CHERRY announces new MX2A switch variant at Gamescom 2023
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the changes to MX Blues.
Gamescom 2023 has already seen some notable announcements in terms of hardware, but on a personal level, this is the most exciting.
Longstanding German keyboard manufacturer CHERRY has unveiled their latest revision to the MX line of keyswitches. First released in 1983, the introduction of the new MX2A generation marks arguably the biggest leap forward for decades.
We'd already seen some moves late last year by the company with the release of the MX Ergo Clear and MX Black Clear Top switches, but the move to MX2A affects the more 'standard' lines of MX Red, Black, Brown, Speed Silver and Silent Red, as well as their RGB variants. MX Blue unfortunately isn't going to be taking advantage of a couple of the brand new features - most notably the factory lubrication, as well as the move to a barrel spring.
So, what's new? Well, CHERRY says MX2A will be factory lubricated using a compound similar to the standard Krytox 205 Grade 0, potentially preventing the issues that users have had with their switches being scratchy on first use. What's more, the springs themselves have moved from being cylindrical in shape to what CHERRY calls 'barrel geometry', further improving the smoothness and consistency of a keypress, while also utilising the brand's 'Hyperglide' tooling for a smoother keypress.
Also in the name of negating any issues with scratchiness out of the box, MX2A brings with it an 'enhanced socket design', with the addition of a convex dome in the switch's bottom housing to help keep the spring centered. This surface is also diamond-polished, which is designed to offer super-smooth operation.
As well as updating the spring geometry, the same treatment has also been applied to the switch stems. Here, the company has added six ribs to the stem, which they call the 'crown'. This ensures that the spring is consistently centred, in turn reducing key wobble and improving switch feeling and acoustics. Acoustics has become a major part of how people view certain switches in the last few years with the unparalleled rise of enthusiast-level interest in mechanical keyboards, and improvements there should help MX2A to no end.
With all of these new innovations, the heart of MX has remained the same. MX's Gold Crosspoint contacts remain, bringing with them a lifespan exceeding 100 million clicks for certain switch variants, as well as an especially quick debounce time of less than 1ms. Gold Crosspoints also support high polling rates too (more than 1000Hz), meaning when paired with the right keyboard, could help to put CHERRY back on top in the competitive gaming scene.
As well as the switches themselves, MX2A is going to be featured in a brand-new product, coming out later this year. The CHERRY XTRFY K5 V2 has been announced alongside MX2A, and builds on what is one of my favourite keyboards at the moment, the standard CHERRY XTRFY K5. It brings with it virtually endless customisation with everything from switches to stabilisers, and even the logo plate.
What's more, the K5 V2 also features super-scan technology for faster detection of keystrokes, as well as strip RGB lighting. It also comes with a metal top plate, pre-lubricated stabilisers and two layers of sound-dampening foam. Combined with MX2A, it sounds like the K5 V2 could be a great sounding keyboard right out of the box.
CHERRY says MX2A will be available for the general public later on this year, but is available for B2B orders starting from now - exciting times ahead.
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