Cherry intros MX RGB key switch; first keyboard due from Corsair

Like your keyboards backlit? Then you may like this piece of news. Cherry has announced a new family of MX mechanical key switches designed specifically for multicolor illumination. Known as the Cherry MX RGB series, this switch family is due to premiere in a Corsair mechanical keyboard next year.

Now, of course, we've seen backlit keyboards based on Cherry's previous MX switches before—but those simply had 3-mm LEDs slapped on the side of each key switch. The MX RGB switches work a little differently. They're translucent (or, in Cherry's words, have an "optimized, transparent case with a scattering surface lens"), and they're meant to be paired with LEDs mounted right on the surface of the circuit board. The result, according to Cherry, is that keycaps can be "evenly illuminated not only in the widest variety of brightness levels but also in up to 16.7 million different colors."

Here, I'll let the company show off the MX RGB switches in the world's most hilariously overproduced video:

Cherry intends to offer these MX RGB switches in four flavors corresponding to the most popular non-illuminated MX variants out there today: blue, brown, red, and black. In this case, the colors refer not to backlighting, but to the tactile and auditory response of the switching mechanism. Blue and brown switches have tactile bumps in the actuation curve, and the blues also click when actuated. The red and black switches both have linear response and no click; the only difference being that the reds need a little less pressure to depress. See this page for more details.

Corsair hasn't said exactly when it plans to release the first Cherry MX RGB-based keyboard, but the company tells us it's planning "exclusive demonstrations" at CES 2014 early next month. I assume we'll get more details then.

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