Cherry MX 3.0 Mechanical Keyboard Review
+ Light weight
+ Feel solid despite the plastic material
+ Shallow custom key-cap
+ Less loud when typing
+ Optional palm-rest for purchase
- Awkward home button on top right corner
- Context Menu instead Fn key
Mechanical keyboard comes in many forms to suit individual tastes. The current trend, RGB lighting is the main reason why many are interested in getting a mechanical gaming keyboard. But does it really helping you during gaming? Based on my own experience, I could say it is pretty unnecessary. Heck, when the plain white LEDs on my own Corsair mechanical keyboard started dying one by one, I turned them all off and I can say I still pwn just as much as I do with them on. I’m not really a mechanical keyboard enthusiast but after several years with a mechanical keyboard, I’ve found that the feel when using the keyboard is what really matters. I got a chance to test the Cherry MX 3.0 keyboard and I really believe it can be a great keyboard for most people.
The packaging is small, slim and feel rather light in my hands thus I found myself asking myself, is this really a mechanical keyboard? Most mechanical keyboard tend to be bulkier and heavier than cheap membrane keyboards.
As stated on Cherry’s website, the Cherry MX 3.0 is under the “Professional Office” product category. The box itself looks premium with a dark theme and some gold foil on the font. On the right it show what switches are used while on the back it has useful information regarding the different Cherry MX switches.
The keyboard is wrapped nicely with plastic in the box, “ORIGINAL CHERRY…” made me really excited to plug it in and start using it. Gently, I unwrapped and touched it for the first time. Plastic build is expected, given the price range. Aside from the keyboard I got a USB cable, two rubber feet for the keyboard and two for the keyboard stand, and also a user manual, in case someone doesn’t know how to use a plug and play keyboard.
The keyboard in this review has the model number G80-3850LXBEU-2, and this Cherry MX 3.0 is equipped with Cherry MX Brown. With a length of 17.5 inches, the keyboard adopts the standard 104 international key layout and looks exactly like your average office keyboard at first glance.
The plain exterior disguises the great mechanical switches in it. For some people who thought that this is not a gaming-oriented keyboard, you are just so wrong. The Cherry MX Brown, as most users will agree, is somewhere between the blue and red switches in terms of feel. The Cherry MX Browns give a satisfying tactile feedback as a small bump when you depress the switch lets you know when the switch is actuated.
There is something interesting about the MX 3.0; the keycaps. It is a custom designed keycap which is a lot shallower compared to standard mechanical keyboard keycaps. Okay we know about the shape now, but what’s important is whether it affects the keyboard performance and overall feel? That is what we are going to find out.
A detachable USB cord is a wonderful thing to have; I wish more mechanical keyboard start using detachable cables it as it is really quite nifty. It makes it much easier to clean the desk as you can just detach the cable from the keyboard to wipe under and around the keyboard. Of course if you frequent LAN parties it will also be easier to pack it, while also avoiding any stress on the cord which may have happened during transportation if your keyboard has a fixed USB cable. All in all, Cherry did a good job throwing in an often overlooked feature.
Palm rests are supported but that is an optional feature, you can purchase it separately but I personally found it unnecessary. Provided rubber feet are not factory-applied, which is a good move from Cherry. If your desk is not that slippery then there is no reason to put it on.
The only complain I have with this keyboard is the multi-media key on the top right corner, I felt that the “Home” button there is rather irksome and I will tell you why in the user experience section below.
|Switch||Cherry MX Brown|
|Dimensions||17.56″ x 6.22″ x 1.10″|
|Service Life||50 Million key|
|Keyboard Layout||Europe 104 keys|
It didn’t take a long time for me to feels the differences between the Cherry MX 3.0 and both of my current keyboards, the Ducky DK9008 (Cherry MX Black) and Corsair K95 (Cherry MX Red).
My real first impression when I used this keyboard was its sound. The keyboard doesn’t produce as much noise (or music of the Gods of keyboards, depending on who you ask) compared with the other two keyboards I have, and this is most probably because of the shallow keycaps in combination with the Brown switches and it’s feels really comfortable to use. While being of a lower profile than what I am used to, the keycaps on the MX 3.0 didn’t affect my typing accuracy and speed at all.
Tactile feedback from the Cherry MX Brown switches is really good, I would say without hesitation that it’s much better than the black and red switches. Typing on the Cherry MX 3.0 just feels absolutely great, easy and comfortable, to the point that I just want to keep typing and typing.
When it comes to gaming, the Cherry MX 3.0 might lose to some actual gaming keyboards because of the lack of extra programmable keys. It’s actually okay since the percentage of gamers who actually use macro keys is actually pretty low, even I myself do not use macro keys in DOTA2. Played a bit of Battlefield 4, and I found the keyboard is perfect as a gaming keyboard as well.
We are often told that Cherry MX Reds are better for gaming because of the linear actuation and higher perceived sensitivity which results in easier and faster double tap action but I found the difference to be negligible in this case. From now on I would vote Cherry MX Brown as the best choice for both typing and gaming.
During my test, I used neither the Home key nor the Windows lock function. I found them unnecessary and I thought I can remap them to other functions via software.
After several minutes of Google search, I found that Cherry provides a software called Cherry Keyboard Manager; it’s supposed to allow me to re-program and remapping all the keys on the keyboard. I downloaded and installed it in hope that I can fix my one and only niggle with the keyboard.
I wanted to change the “Home” button to a “Play/Pause” button but the effort was futile. There is no options for that and the software seems to offer very limited customization options. I really wish that Cherry updates and improves the software to allow more customization options.
If you guys have any software recommendation for the key remapping please let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page so I can update this section.
Overall I really like the Cherry MX 3.0, except for the minor personal issue with the “Home” button which is most definitely not a deal breaker. Considering the price, quality build, overall feel and performance, the Cherry MX 3.0 has met all of my expectations.
About the Cherry Key Manager, it is not that bad at all; it still allows you to remap all the keys and record key sequences. But the software really needs to be updated. Addition of more functions and allow more profiles will be a much appreciated.
The price of the Cherry MX 3.0 is around MYR 338 which is really quite affordable for a mechanical keyboard, the price might change from time to time. Would I recommend the Cherry MX 3.0 keyboard? The answer to this question may be the only reason you are here, and the answer is yes. For me the Cherry MX 3.0 is really worth the price and offers solid performance. You might find another keyboard that is around the price range but the Cherry MX 3.0 is definitely among the best out there. Eventhough it is probably the best among the keyboards in its price range, I awarded the Cherry MX 3.0 a silver award as it satisfied me with the overall feel and the solid performance, but the minor niggle with the Home button and software held me back from giving it our highest award.
I want to thank Cudo Technologies for supporting us by providing the keyboard to be tested and reviewed. Giving a like on their Facebook page is much appreciated, and of course do not to forget to like Pokde.net‘s page too.