Razer Designs New Mechanical Switches

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | March 6, 2014 - 10:22 PM |
Tagged: razer, Cherry MX, cherry, mechanical keyboard

So Razer has a history of doing the unexpected. The peripheral manufacturer has branched out into other segments, including laptops, tablets, software, exercise equipment, and so forth. Their April Fools announcements are often hilarious but their real products sometimes feel as far-fetched, except that they release and apparently find an audience. If Project Christine comes out then it would be the best example, but Project Fiona and the Razer Blade seemed just as unlikely - and I've seen multiple Blades in the wild.

And yet it is their keyboard announcement which surprises me, today.

It turns out that Razer decided to design their own key switch modules, instead of ordering them off-the-shelf from ZF Electronics (Cherry). Razer will not manufacture these key modules, and they look enough like Cherry MX switches that I could guess who their third party manufacturer is, but they did push their own specifications. Razer claims that the main advantage is a higher actuation point, leading to less latency between when your finger starts moving, and when it has moved enough to activate the button.

Razer has developed two switches: "Green", which is their analogy of the Cherry MX Blue, and "Orange", which is analogous to the Cherry MX Brown. The former is clicky while the latter has a relatively silent bump.

The Green switches are available in the BlackWidow, BlackWidow Tournament, and BlackWidow (with the Orange switches in each Stealth variant). Some models will ship in late March with the rest shipping in April.

Source: Razer

March 6, 2014 | 11:22 PM - Posted by tabuburn (not verified)

10 bucks says the OEM for the switches is Kailh. They are Chinese manufacturers that make knock offs of the Cherry MX switches with slightly different specs. You'd think that it would make the keyboards cheaper by having them made in China rather than Germany where Cherry makes theirs but nope, still the same price. The ID on the keyboard itself is pretty much unchanged so the only difference is most likely that their profit margin just when up.

March 7, 2014 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Kailh switches are good knockoffs but are they really rated at 60 million key presses?

March 8, 2014 | 07:00 AM - Posted by tabuburn (not verified)

That's the beauty of marketing. You can say anything you want, be it true or not. At least with Cherry MX switches, they have decades of proven track record to show for it.

March 7, 2014 | 08:28 AM - Posted by MarkT (not verified)

Yea I can only see Razor doing this to cut costs. I'm a Cherry Red fan and will always be, I like life on the edge style because of pure performance reasons.

March 7, 2014 | 11:37 AM - Posted by Stealthgyro

I'm really curious to tell if I can actually feel the difference between blue->green and brown ->orange. Honestly don't need to upgrade now, but if they did something like the Corsair RGB Backlit Mechanical Keyboard with some oranges... yeah I'll buy that.

EDIT: wouldn't mind a mechanical type G19/DeathStalker ultimate variant either.

March 7, 2014 | 05:30 PM - Posted by praack

i would probably give it a go- of course i am a cheap B*^%$RD and so i need my other gaming keyboard to go belly up.

and since it shows no sign of that - well probably be 5 years from now before my next keyboard....- hey it took a long time to give up my old ibm ps/2 mechanical.

March 8, 2014 | 06:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

RAZOR sucks! all their products have a super low build quality and will fail after a couple month! just check their amazon ratings. i had razor once and will never buy any of their products again!

March 8, 2014 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A small group of my friends all have Razer products, and we've had good luck with them. We simply don't eat food on them, drink off them, and clean them when they get dusty. I have a original Naga from around 2010, use it daily. While it does need some repair, it's my daily driver, 7 days a week.

March 9, 2014 | 04:31 AM - Posted by Arc (not verified)

I use exclusively Razer mice now and even though my current naga broke a little during transport in a seabag handled by morons, it still works great, its just an ultra sensitive clicker and I have to treat it like a trigger...

My other Razer mice broke too but I also beat the crap out of them with Warcraft, Cs, and endless gaming. Funny.. my mothers razer mouse is working fine but she doesn't abuse it till it stops working.

March 11, 2014 | 04:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

well i dont drink or eat on my keyboard either but i bought a razor mamba for like 110 euros and its battery died after 5 month. so i bought a new one for like 15 euros (original razor one) and this one wont make it through the day. so i ended up using it with a cable but the reason i bought it was because its wireless. i could have gotten just a 40 euro Logitech mouse instead then... because i dont need a shiny glasbox around my mouse, i need stuff that works!

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