CHERRY STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE Combo Set Review
Retail Price: £98.99
Whisper-quiet keystrokes with SX scissor actuation
Three-stage DPI switchable mouse up to 2400 DPI
USB Type C charging for both keyboard and mouse
The STREAM line of products has long been a staple of CHERRY's non-mechanical lineup and with every regeneration as it were, looks to have got even better.
Well, that's all continued with the brand new STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE that has already superseded its non-rechargeable brother by bringing with it the benefits of USB-C charging, as well as a new colour: white.
Be wary though - this isn't the most cost-effective of upgrades, given that the RECHARGE variant of the STREAM DESKTOP clocks in at nearly £100 or so, making it a fair bit more expensive than the original version.
Design - Sturdy build and white & silver colouring make for a classy looking combo
I've always been a big fan of how the STREAM has looked over its development and putting this new desk set in white just gives it a much greater premium feel which is arguably justified given its higher pricing.
With that being said though, the RECHARGE's build quality is sturdy with a distinct lack of deck flex that'll be sure to please even the hardest of typists, myself included. You'll be pleased to find out that there is an integrated metal plate which aids with structural rigidity, like some other more premium desk sets at this price and lower, and I include CHERRY's own DW 9000 SLIM set in that.
The STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE is a nicely slim and modern looking set, especially in white, even if other reviews have complained about the thicker surrounds making it look slightly old-fashioned. It's worth remembering that this isn't a gaming-grade set and therefore shouldn't be treated like one.
Unlike its more expensive cousin in the DW 9000, this particular desk set does come with a nice set of flip-up and retractable feet that can be used to raise the board up for a steeper and more comfortable typing angle, as well as some nice status LEDS and a host of multimedia keys to help with productivity.
When it comes to keycaps, like a lot of the more premium products within CHERRY's office-grade range, the STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE makes use of some abrasion-resistant legends that are sure to stand the test of time, no matter what you throw at it during office duties.
The mouse present with the set feels as hard-wearing as the keyboard does, bringing with it some nicely silent yet tactile buttons. Moreover, it's certainly comfortable to grasp with a decently contoured shell that looks to suit any particular grip used.
Performance - Scissor, silent and stupendous to use in an office environment
In any guise, the STREAM has become regarded as one of the most cost-effective and rugged office workhorses, Cutting the cord and adding a rechargeable battery looks to build on the fact it's been built and designed with productivity in mind.
Its usage of a scissor actuated keypress, dubbed as 'SX' technology by CHERRY ensures a tactile and stable typing experience which will be familiar to anyone used to either decent office keyboards as well as laptops. For instance, newer MacBooks from the last Intel 2020 versions onwards, including my own 13" 2020 MacBook Pro.
As well as providing a good overall typing experience, the STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE also is built with security in mind thanks to its inclusion of AES-128 encryption that helps to keep any inputs encrypted and your own personal data safe and secure.
On the mouse front, the included one here is an improvement on other sets out there, providing a three-stage switchable DPI with up to 2400 at a user's disposal. Of course, this isn't a set that's going to be used for intense competitive gaming and in the grand scheme of things, this mouse is plenty sensitive for office tasks with some silent buttons that won't disturb anyone in a home office or any co-workers upon the return to work.
Intriguingly though, as much as I've made a lot about the rechargeable functionality of the new STREAM DESKTOP, it isn't all of what it seems. Where the likes of other Type-C sets such as Logitech's MX Keys feature a lithium-ion cell inside, CHERRY have taken the phrase 'rechargeable' in this context to mean something different.
Bundled in the box along with the set, as well as a USB-C cable, comes some removable and rechargeable GP ReCyko+ batteries for both peripherals. The argument here that CHERRY provide is that if you wanted to swap these batteries out for ones from the likes of Duracell or Energiser if the ReCyko+ ones do die, then you could, as well as the declaration on the product's datasheet: "Let's be honest: A CHERRY keyboard usually lasts longer than any rechargeable battery."
Software & Lighting - Keeping things simple and effective
As the STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE isn't designed for gaming, all the RGB has been spared and there's little to speak of on the lighting front, apart from the board's integrated status LEDs for residual battery charge, charging status and mouse DPI. There's also the usual trimmings on the front of included lock lights for Num, Caps and Scroll lock.
On the side of software, much like other office-based peripherals in CHERRY's lineup, the RECHARGE works with CHERRY KEYS that provides user with the option to map and remap any included function and multimedia keys with a host of standard functions from controlling volume to opening a document or folder. These can be a big productivity help if used correctly.
The STREAM DESKTOP RECHARGE is a great product, hands down. With its stylish white and silver colouring, tactile keypress, office-ready mouse and decent build quality, it represents a good all-in-one option for those looking to upgrade their home office or get a desk set that is going to last.
What I will say though is that high RRP is something to take note of. At £98.99, it's by no means a cheap set, and if you're someone who doesn't have that kind of money to burn and you don't need a recharging function, go and pick up the standard STREAM DESKTOP instead. That's still a brilliant product.
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