Cherry reboots its coveted ’80s keyboard switch

Cherry brings the . from MX Black Clear-Top (aka the “Nixie”) a new version of an ’80s keyboard switch, prized for its typing feel and acoustics. It was manufactured for a German company called Nixdorf (hence the nickname) that mainly built keyboards for terminals, servers and mini computers. Since the Nixie was only built for a few years, used switches are rare and command high prices – a fact that no doubt inspired Cherry to start building an updated version.

The original Nixie Switch was a variant of Cherry’s MX Black switch with very specific modifications. The actuation force was increased slightly from 60 to 63.5 centinewtons, and a diode was integrated into the n-key rollover (NKRO) switch that allows the keyboard to register every keystroke, even if it’s done simultaneously.

The new version has the same specs and looks, including “the familiar milky top housing, black bottom and black stem,” Cherry wrote in a press release. It has the same actuating force of 63.5 centinewtons, 2mm of travel and 4mm of total travel. The company also kept the same vintage design for spring.

At the same time, however, it is built using the company’s latest production systems, so it conforms to the quality of the latest MX switches. Cherry will offer the MX Black Clear-Top both with and without lubrication, the latter for enthusiasts who want to lubricate themselves. The switches will arrive in early 2023, but Cherry has not yet announced the price.

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