Cherry MX Board Silent: The keyboard for professionals

I didn't think I could get excited by new keyboards any more until I tried the Cherry MX Board Silent. Now I wish every keyboard I had to use was this good.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Cherry MX Board Silent

If, like me, you spend a lot of your time driving a keyboard, you'll appreciate the difference between a good keyboard and a bad keyboard.

And the Cherry MX Board Silent keyboard has made me realize just how bad they keyboards I use are.

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If you're a tech geek like me, then you've no doubt heard of Cherry before. The company has been making keyboards since the 1970s, and is the oldest keyboard maker in the business. If you're really interested in the history of Cherry products, here's a link that will entertain you for hours.

So, onto the Cherry MX Board Silent. On the face of it, it looks like a boring old keyboard transported back in time from the last century. It's big. It's bulky. It's beige.

But it's also good. Very good.

Nostalgia-inducingly good. It takes me back to an era when companies cared about input devices and the market wasn't flooded with cheaply made junk designed to last a few months before being tossed into a landfill.

Not the Cherry MX Board Silent.

According to Cherry's own specs, the MX switches that are behind each of the 104 keys on the MX Board Silent are good for 50 million keystrokes.

That's a lot of keystrokes.

It attains this level of durability through the use of dust- and dirt-resistant self-cleaning contacts within each of the switches (there's a cool animation here of how the switches work).

​Close-up of a Cherry MX switch

Close-up of a Cherry MX switch

The quality of the switches mean that the keystrokes are smooth, consistent, and quiet. Not silent, but not that annoying "clackity-clack" that is generated by enthusiastic keyboard usage (or the unsatisfying mushy feeling that other keyboards that try to minimize on noise have).

Everything about the Cherry MX Board Silent screams quality. It's well-built and rock-solid on the desk when in use. The keys are a pleasure to use, each beautifully laser-engraved (not the cheap printing that wears off). Even the cable and USB connector oozes that quality feel.

​The quality and precision of the laser etching on the keys is second to none.

The quality and precision of the laser etching on the keys is second to none.

Which is exactly what I'd expect from a keyboard that costs in the region of $100. That's not cheap, but if you spend a lot of hours a day in front of a screen and peripherals, you owe it to yourself to make those the best bits of kit you can afford. Using the Cherry MX Board Silent for a while has made me realize how bad most keyboards are. Even the keyboard on my MacBook Pro now feels imprecise, vague, and very noisy in comparison.

Maybe I'll pack a Cherry keyboard with my MacBook Pro when I go on the road.

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