Cherry is best known for manufacturing the most popular mechanical keyboard switches, and at CES 2018, the company revealed and showed off its latest switch. The Cherry MX LP (low profile) sports the smallest form factor of any of its switches, 35% smaller to be exact. This will allow future gaming keyboards and laptops to use Cherry technologies while maintaining a relatively thin profile.
The Cherry MX LP switch that was available to test at CES was a linear, non-tactile version, similar to the MX Red but with different actuation specs. While it shares the same actuation force of 45 cN, the total travel distance is around 3.2mm and the actuation point is about 1.2mm. These specs make them technically faster than most Cherry switches, and close to the MX Speed, although the new MX LP felt much more firm.
The new switch features an arc around the housing to facilitate better LED backlighting with options for single color or full RGB. Although the MX LP doesn't have any IP standards for spill resistance, Cherry asserts that by nature of its enclosed design, the switch internals will not take on dirt or dust. The company also boasts that its gold crosspoint technology ensures at least 50 million keystrokes per key.
Currently, there aren't any specific keyboards announced yet that'll use the MX LP switch, but Cherry stated that it's working with several partners to release MX LP keyboards this year.
For a while, Corsair had an exclusivity deal for its gaming keyboards with Cherry providing the switches. Even though this has passed, many companies are moving to creating switches in-house. Logitech has the Romer-G switch as seen in the Logitech G413, Razer uses its own line of color-coded switches with the new Blackwidow V2, and Steelseries has its QX2 used in the Apex M750.
We have many more stories out of CES 2018; you can check out our impressions of the new HTC Vive Pro and 65-inch gaming monitor from Nvidia. To see all the best gaming hardware from the show, be sure to read our CES 2018 roundup.