Kailh’s Mini Choc PG1232 is a mechanical key switch on a diet

Typical mechanical keyboard switches are inherently a certain height, and that presents some problems for some scenarios. Even if you aren't creating a wacky design, keyboards with Cherry MX-like switches still have to be a certain thickness. If you'd like a slimmer mechanical keyboard, you should be pleased to hear about Kailh's new Mini Choc switches, model number PG1232.

The new mechanical keyswitches have a total travel of just 2.4 mm (compared to 4 mm on the Cherry MX design), and actuate in just 1.2mm. The Kailh switches require 50 gram-force to actuate, making them similar to MX Blue switches in necessary weight. The current PG1232 switches are available in clicky form only, although Kailh says that if there's interest, it will produce tactile or linear versions of the switches.

Unlike most of Kailh's offerings, the new PG1232 slim keyswitches don't have Cherry MX-compatible (cross-shaped) stems. That means you can't simply slap your favorite set of novelty keycaps on them. We're looking forward to see what kind of low-profile designs the usual keyboard suspects can create with these switches.

Comments closed
    • Generic
    • 2 years ago

    Ah ha! That seems so obvious now. Thank you.

    Sidebar: I’d totally buy a notebook with a clasp to have those keys 😉

      • just brew it!
      • 2 years ago

      The need to sit on it to get it closed so you can latch the clasp is gonna get old real quick though…

    • just brew it!
    • 2 years ago

    I would be willing to put up with a slightly thicker laptop to have these switches.

    Actually, unless the laptop is an ultra-thin style one, I would think it should be possible to use these without increasing overall thickness. With higher integration SOCs there’s no reason the keyboard needs to sit over the motherboard any more as in a traditional laptop design; the motherboard can have a hole in it to accommodate the keyboard and still have enough area for the other system components.

      • BillyBuerger
      • 2 years ago

      I totally agree with this. And I would add that it would be nice if they had some standard sizes for laptop keyboards where people could swap out the keyboard for one with different switches or even a different layout. But I don’t expect that would ever happen.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 2 years ago

      I would also gladly go for a slightly [s<]smaller[/s<] thicker laptop. I do have a pretty thin machine, though. I also expect these to only be on 1337 g4m1ng laptops, unfortunately. 🙁

    • Generic
    • 2 years ago

    Two silly questions:

    – Would big OEMs use these for laptops, or no?

    – Would standard throw switches (like Cherry MX Brown) get damaged
    after an extended period of being depressed? I’d love a laptop that
    had nice tall keys that deactivate and fully depress when
    the notebook is closed.

      • Shobai
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]- Would standard throw switches (like Cherry MX Brown) get damaged after an extended period of being depressed? I'd love a laptop that had nice tall keys that deactivate and fully depress when the notebook is closed.[/quote<] You're looking at the wrong end of the equation, to my eye. What would be depressing such keys? The laptop's LCD, usually, and they really don't like point pressure.

        • exilon
        • 2 years ago

        Even if the display is fused to glass for a touch screen it still wouldn’t work. Each key is 50 gram-force. A standard keyboard would have 80-100 keys. That ends up being 4-5 kilograms-force or 9-11 pounds needed to keep the laptop closed.

        You’d need a latch or something.

        • Ethyriel
        • 2 years ago

        Think of the Thinkpad Yogas that retract when in tablet mode. The problem would be how deep they’d need to retract in this case, that’s a lot of space that can’t be used for things like disks, boards, and battery.

          • bhtooefr
          • 2 years ago

          The Yogas don’t retract, they actually EXTEND the shroud.

    • pirate_panda
    • 2 years ago

    They look very similar to Cherry ML switches, and will probably be a competitor in the same spaces (premium mechanical chiclet-style keyboards with short travel distances). Unfortunately they probably aren’t keycap-compatible, as the stem is centered on these and near the top on a Cherry ML.

      • BillyBuerger
      • 2 years ago

      Yes, the keycaps aren’t 100% compatible with Cherry ML. The off-center mount on the ML causes the keycaps to hit the top side of the Kailh switch. Although if you don’t care about how your ML keycaps look, you can chop off the back side and then they’ll fit. I’m still waiting for some keycaps to be available.

    • willyolioleo
    • 2 years ago

    interesting. I (or my wrists) prefer low-profile keyboards, but my fingers prefer clicky keys. I sort of make do for now by using a big wrist rest, but that’s a little clunky.

    Now if someone would take these switches and put them into something similar to the MS Sculpt, that’d be great. And maybe Logitech’s lightspeed wireless tech. And AA batteries instead of proprietary crap. Yeah that’d be my perfect keyboard.

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