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Cherry MX releases low profile tactile keyboard switches

williamcll
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Very few laptops have mechanical switches, but popular keyboard switch manufacturer cherry has announced their Low profile switches designed for latops. It is already install in a few alienware models as well as MSI soon.

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In March 2021, the MX Ultra Low Profile switch was introduced as a completely new development and a milestone in switch development: With an overall height of just 3.5 millimeters, CHERRY MX unveiled the shallowest model in its product range. Particularly for laptops, this allows the realization of fully mechanical high-end keyboards that clearly stand out from previous solutions in terms of pleasant tactile feel, intensive feedback during gaming or typing, and increased reliability as well as greater durability without changing the format. The CHERRY MX ULP also opens up new possibilities for desktop keyboards that were previously technically unfeasible. The exclusive and patented switch design incorporates the feature set of CHERRY MX switches that have been proven for decades, ensuring maximum precision and perfect function even in the new design.

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Characteristic for both variants of the ULP switch is a total travel of 1.8 millimeters and the tactile switching point at 0.8 millimeters. This also results in an ergonomic overtravel of 1.0 millimeters. The required actuation force at the tactile point amounts to 65 centinewtons. As with all MX switches, the leading, world-exclusive, high-precision, and durable gold crosspoint technology with corrosion-resistant gold contact points form the heart of the new switch variant. This is a crucial quality feature that, combined with the long-life mechanics, ensures superior durability and consistent actuation quality.

 

My thoughts

According to a few alienware users the MX LP is pretty good, but I haven't tried it out myself so I can't tell you how well it is.

 

Sources

https://www.techpowerup.com/295995/cherry-announces-cherry-mx-ultra-low-profile-tactile-switches

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So annoying click-clack switches that drive everyone nearby insane now also on mobile devices? Great! Now you can even annoy people on trains and airplanes in addition to your coworkers.

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Neat. Would like to see it in TKL style proper site keys and spacing, concave in 17".

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2 hours ago, Dracarris said:

So annoying click-clack switches that drive everyone nearby insane now also on mobile devices?

The Macbooks with their butterfly keyboards already had that feature 🙂 

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Ah yes, the ability to annoy your coworkers with the stealth blues.

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Shouldn't we be focusing on making a gaming laptop that isn't hot enough to remove your ability to remove your ability to reproduce/fry eggs/cause 2nd degree burns on contact?

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50 minutes ago, Senzelian said:

The Macbooks with their butterfly keyboards already had that feature 🙂

what? hell no, these are totally silent in comparison.

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2 minutes ago, IPD said:

Shouldn't we be focusing on making a gaming laptop that isn't hot enough to remove your ability to remove your ability to reproduce/fry eggs/cause 2nd degree burns on contact?

maybe we should focus on recognizing how fundamentally stupid and flawed the concept of gaming laptops is.

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6 minutes ago, Dracarris said:

maybe we should focus on recognizing how fundamentally stupid and flawed the concept of gaming laptops is.

They’re a product category still being sold for the better part of 25 years. Obviously, there’s a niche or three these fill, otherwise they’d be long gone. Not for everyone, certainly, but gamers and power users needing easily portable performance exist. As much as you want to slam the category, it still existing kind of speaks for itself. 
 

On a side note, you should’ve seen how chonky the old Pentium 4M laptops were. These weren’t cut down CPUs, they were actually full blown desktop Pentium 4s. I borrowed one for awhile in 2011 for college (my previous laptop died), and the power brick itself weighed as much as a textbook. Played Eve Online pretty decently. 

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15 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Not for everyone, certainly, but gamers and power users needing easily portable performance exist. As much as you want to slam the category, it still existing kind of speaks for itself. 

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

The requirement for a chonky power brick plus an outlet and/or ridiculously low battery lifetime alone shows how flawed and indeed not really mobile at all the concept is. If at all they should be called portable computers - they certainly don't sit at the top of your lap with nothing else plugged in.

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23 minutes ago, Dracarris said:

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

 

Perhaps not to you, but the people buying these obviously feel they make sense. Your use case is not a “One Size Fits All”, which is the great thing about the PC platform in general. You have choices. 

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1 hour ago, Dracarris said:

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

The requirement for a chonky power brick plus an outlet and/or ridiculously low battery lifetime alone shows how flawed and indeed not really mobile at all the concept is. If at all they should be called portable computers - they certainly don't sit at the top of your lap with nothing else plugged in.

Battery life isn't bad at all on modern ones. If you game it's lower, but it depends on the game and what settings you're running at. If anything modern gaming laptops are smaller and quieter and have better battery life than what office laptops could do 10-15 years ago.

 

 

As in everything there are extreme examples, but they are extreme and definitely not what majority of people buy.

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4 minutes ago, ZetZet said:

have better battery life than what office laptops could do 10-15 years ago

what kind of low, meaningless bar is that? my phone also runs much faster than my 15 year old desktop PC, so what?

Compared to 12-20hrs of battery life on the likes of XPS, MBP and so on the battery life is still really bad. Same for volume, noise and heat.

48 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Perhaps not to you, but the people buying these obviously feel they make sense.

I just explained my "feelings" through objective facts about gaming "laptops" that you seemingly forgot to quote.

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Interesting. I must say Dell's membrance keyboards on their XPSes are some of the best I've typed on for me. Hopefully this branches out beyond laptops and will give us low-profile keyboards if they're any good.

  

1 hour ago, Dracarris said:

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

The requirement for a chonky power brick plus an outlet and/or ridiculously low battery lifetime alone shows how flawed and indeed not really mobile at all the concept is. If at all they should be called portable computers - they certainly don't sit at the top of your lap with nothing else plugged in.

Portable computers were a thing and if we can believe Wikipedia's etymology section 'laptop' was meant to distinguish itself from 'portable computer' as a "fits on your lap"-portable version. It's an old(er) term that stuck around and evolved nowadays really just refers to a portable battery-powered (clamshell) computer.

 

In that light: people focus too much on the battery aspect of gaming/workstation laptops in my opinion. Obviously putting 100+W components in something with a 100 Wh or less battery will not give you great battery life at full throttle, but that's not the point. The point is having a powerful system that one can simply chug in my backpack and carry between home and work, for example, or have some gaming capabilities if lifestyle demands a lot of travel making me live at different places often. A SFF build will not come close to that. High-end laptops are just niche. That doesn't mean they make no sense.

 

Instead it's a wonder we have it the other way around with still very capable 'ultrabooks' that offer >6 hours of battery life. Heat is an issue with many laptop besides gaming/workstation units nowadays as well. My XPS13, for example, has a low-power U chip (i7-10510U) but that still gets uncomfortably hot for long lap sessions even when hardly doing anything. That's simply inherent to the laptop form factor.

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2 hours ago, Dracarris said:

what? hell no, these are totally silent in comparison.

I have one here. It's pretty damn loud.

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10Gb/s - USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB 3.1 Gen2)

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40Gb/s - USB 4.0, Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4

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55 minutes ago, Dracarris said:

 

I just explained my "feelings" through objective facts about gaming "laptops" that you seemingly forgot to quote.

You obviously can’t have everything in a laptop. Depending on what you’re looking for, tradeoffs have to be made. Obviously, if you have space for a gaming desktop at home, you can get by on a laptop with a lesser dGPU, or (in the case of Iris XE and AMD’s APUs) even integrated graphics. Heck, you can play a lot of games on good integrated graphics nowadays. 
 

Gaming laptops sacrifice the battery life (at least under load), but still present a portable, all-in-one solution that is fast to setup, move from place to place, and requires very little space. People that frequently travel, truckers for example, often go this route. Traveling engineers (Linus had highlighted the oil industry as an example for a portable workstation) often need a powerful, easy to setup workstation, and gaming laptops often fit the bill here. 
 

For people that use a laptop as their primary machine for work and play, gaming (and workstation) laptops begin to make a hell of a lot more sense. For people that do have a home desktop, there’s seldom a need to go that route. 

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2 hours ago, Dracarris said:

Compared to 12-20hrs of battery life on the likes of XPS, MBP and so on the battery life is still really bad. Same for volume, noise and heat.

XPS laptops can be pretty much gaming laptops too. So I don't see your point there. Unless you specifically mean the absolutely highest spec laptops only. Then those are still more portable than even the smallest ITX desktop. 

 

Zephyrus M16 for example has fan stop, pretty good battery life surfing the web and still has a 3060 or 3070, for when you want it to do something more. 

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3 hours ago, Dracarris said:

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

The requirement for a chonky power brick plus an outlet and/or ridiculously low battery lifetime alone shows how flawed and indeed not really mobile at all the concept is. If at all they should be called portable computers - they certainly don't sit at the top of your lap with nothing else plugged in.

If a product fills a need and there is demand for it then yes the product makes sense. I think the problem you are having is that the product doesn't make sense for your use case. I personally work on a thick laptop for work because I need the power but also need to be able to bring the laptop to and from work in case I need to work from home. Obviously a thin and light wouldn't cut it for the work I do and a desktop wouldn't work either as it wouldn't be portable enough. I think you are assuming that gaming laptop are being used while not plugged in which I would say is fairly unlikely especially when gaming as  you really need a desk or table to some sort to sit at and are likely to have an outlet available. Anyways like you said it probably should be called a portable computer as that is what most will use it as which honestly is in high enough demand to warrant the huge market for gaming laptops. 

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1 hour ago, Brooksie359 said:

If a product fills a need and there is demand for it then yes the product makes sense. I think the problem you are having is that the product doesn't make sense for your use case. I personally work on a thick laptop for work because I need the power but also need to be able to bring the laptop to and from work in case I need to work from home. Obviously a thin and light wouldn't cut it for the work I do and a desktop wouldn't work either as it wouldn't be portable enough. I think you are assuming that gaming laptop are being used while not plugged in which I would say is fairly unlikely especially when gaming as  you really need a desk or table to some sort to sit at and are likely to have an outlet available.

Literally everything you described would be better served by a SFF PC with a handle and a stationary monitor at the places where it gets used. That way you get proper desktop CPU and GPU. Much more cost, volume, and thermally efficient. Cramping the amount of performance that gaming „laptops“ usually have in the usual amount of space leaves you with a very, very bad compromise. 

 

Very expensive for the performance

Very bulky compared to actual laptops

Just a tiny amount of added portability compared to an SFF but in addition to an outlet you also need to carry a bulky power brick with you at all times which is still limited to ~150W or so.

 

They make just no sense. Not only for me, but in general. They are an inherently flawed concept and a very foul compromise.

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15 minutes ago, Dracarris said:

Literally everything you described would be better served by a SFF PC with a handle and a stationary monitor at the places where it gets used. That way you get proper desktop CPU and GPU. Much more cost, volume, and thermally efficient. Cramping the amount of performance that gaming „laptops“ usually have in the usual amount of space leaves you with a very, very bad compromise. 

 

Very expensive for the performance

Very bulky compared to actual laptops

Just a tiny amount of added portability compared to an SFF but in addition to an outlet you also need to carry a bulky power brick with you at all times which is still limited to ~150W or so.

 

They make just no sense. Not only for me, but in general. They are an inherently flawed concept and a very foul compromise.

I'm sorry but I can easily put a gaming laptop or my work laptop in my backpack but not a sff pc. Not only that but laptops are just easier to move around without having to worry about damaging it while moving it around. You also have to realize that laptops are pre-made and it's much easier to purchase one vs trying to purchase a pre-made sff. Sure a sff might have some better performance but honestly it's not really an issue when a gaming laptop already provides enough performance and the down sides to a sff surely make up for that performance difference in my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, Dracarris said:

Literally everything you described would be better served by a SFF PC with a handle and a stationary monitor at the places where it gets used. That way you get proper desktop CPU and GPU. Much more cost, volume, and thermally efficient. Cramping the amount of performance that gaming „laptops“ usually have in the usual amount of space leaves you with a very, very bad compromise. 

 

Very expensive for the performance

Very bulky compared to actual laptops

Just a tiny amount of added portability compared to an SFF but in addition to an outlet you also need to carry a bulky power brick with you at all times which is still limited to ~150W or so.

 

They make just no sense. Not only for me, but in general. They are an inherently flawed concept and a very foul compromise.

With a SFF desktop, I still need monitor and peripherals that ate not easily portable, take longer to setup (unless you have stationary places with monitor already in place), longer to put everything away, and requires more space, potentially multiple bags to comfortably fit your setup. 
 

A gaming laptop, all you need are the laptop, power brick, and maybe wireless mouse. Only the one cable is required to have everything ready to go. Everything will easily fit in a single backpack or bag. You also have a lot more flexibility in regards to places you can setup. Random gaming session at the dining table? Absolutely! Needing to show off your autocad work at a conference table? You can do that! Live in your semi truck and have no desk and little space? Gaming laptops are a fine choice for you!

 

Just because you can’t think of a good use case for these things does not mean they don’t exist. 

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3 hours ago, Dracarris said:

Literally everything you described would be better served by a SFF PC with a handle and a stationary monitor at the places where it gets used. That way you get proper desktop CPU and GPU. Much more cost, volume, and thermally efficient. Cramping the amount of performance that gaming „laptops“ usually have in the usual amount of space leaves you with a very, very bad compromise. 

 

Very expensive for the performance

Very bulky compared to actual laptops

Just a tiny amount of added portability compared to an SFF but in addition to an outlet you also need to carry a bulky power brick with you at all times which is still limited to ~150W or so.

 

They make just no sense. Not only for me, but in general. They are an inherently flawed concept and a very foul compromise.

Except a gaming laptop can be put into a backpack or laptop case, an sff pc may provide better performance however you wont be able to fit one into a backpack, and you will also have to carry around a monitor,keyboard,and mouse. And a sff pc can get damaged from moving it around, or ram or the GPU could come loose while moving the pc.

There are plenty of gaming laptops that easily fit into a backpack, like an Asus Zephyrus G15, Acer Nitro 5, or Lenovo Legion 5, there is quite a market for gaming laptops so they make sense for a lot of people, not everyone wants or needs an ultrabook laptop.

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9 hours ago, IPD said:

Shouldn't we be focusing on making a gaming laptop that isn't hot enough to remove your ability to remove your ability to reproduce/fry eggs/cause 2nd degree burns on contact?

It's almost like a third-party company that makes keyboard switches its not that same company that designs gaming laptop cooling. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/21/2022 at 8:52 AM, Dracarris said:

maybe we should focus on recognizing how fundamentally stupid and flawed the concept of gaming laptops is.

 

On 6/21/2022 at 9:23 AM, Dracarris said:

Just because there is demand doesn't automatically mean that a product makes sense.

 

The requirement for a chonky power brick plus an outlet and/or ridiculously low battery lifetime alone shows how flawed and indeed not really mobile at all the concept is. If at all they should be called portable computers - they certainly don't sit at the top of your lap with nothing else plugged in.

 

On 6/21/2022 at 10:35 AM, Dracarris said:

what kind of low, meaningless bar is that? my phone also runs much faster than my 15 year old desktop PC, so what?

Compared to 12-20hrs of battery life on the likes of XPS, MBP and so on the battery life is still really bad. Same for volume, noise and heat.

I just explained my "feelings" through objective facts about gaming "laptops" that you seemingly forgot to quote.

<redeacted>

 

-Battery life is irrelevant for gaming laptops.  They are intended to function as a competent gaming platform while on the go.  That doesn't mean you play in UHD on battery power.  It means you are in a hotel for a few nights, and have a gaming rig you can fit in a backpack.

 

-Just because you have a failure of imagination and cannot accept why it's a viable and valuable product segment--doesn't invalidate the concept.  In that regard, your views on the matter are like telling people to buy a Tesla because gas prices are too high; stupefying hubris.

Edited by SansVarnic
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