When gam­ing just isn’t your thing


HAL­LELU­JAH! It's not a gam­ing key­board, for once. Yep, this time around we’ve left the me­chan­i­cal clack­ers be­hind in fa­vor of some­thing a lit­tle more so­phis­ti­cated. Cherry got in touch with us re­cently, cu­ri­ous as to whether we’d be keen to test out its lat­est it­er­a­tion of the Cherry B.Un­lim­ited 3.0 wire­less key­boards. We’re big fans of the key-craft­ing com­pany, so nat­u­rally we stepped out of our com­fort zone and said “Yes!”

Gam­ing key­boards are great, with me­chan­i­cal switches usu­ally lit­ter­ing those pan­els of alu­minum, but in re­al­ity, there’s al­most al­ways one ma­jor prob­lem: the ca­ble. No mat­ter what you do, if a clean and tidy work­ing aes­thetic is your jam, the like­li­hood is that you’re just not go­ing to achieve it with a gam­ing key­board. They look pretty, they feel great, but the clut­ter the ca­ble adds is un­avoid­able, with­out drilling holes in your desk.

This is where Cherry comes in. Although it’s not the first, the B.Un­lim­ited 3.0 is a fan­tas­tic wire­less key­board and mouse combo, de­signed to work any­where. It’s quiet, clean-look­ing, and com­pact. Although it’s not the cor­nu­copia of “aero­grade” alu­minum, RGB light­ing, and deep laser-etched key fonts we’re used to, the plas­tic soft touch feels right at home, and its straight­for­ward, clean, black key caps, with white etch­ing, are sim­ply clean and pre­cise.

At first glance, you’d be for­given for think­ing this is just your stan­dard

mem­brane af­fair, but Cherry has in­cor­po­rated a scis­sor switch into the board, ca­pa­ble of ac­tu­at­ing 20 mil­lion times be­fore fail­ure. That’s far cry from the 50 mil­lion rated hits Cherry’s me­chan­i­cal switches can take, but still plenty for any­one us­ing it in the of­fice. Other than that, there are cal­cu­la­tor, email, home, and lock quick-keys lo­cated on the topright. There’s also a nice lit­tle bat­tery LED in­di­ca­tor to let you know if you’re run­ning out of juice, and that’s about it.

Speak­ing of juice, charg­ing is man­aged by a sin­gle USB power adapter, not too dis­sim­i­lar from those on lap­tops, although ob­vi­ously far less juice is sup­plied. EN­CRYPTED EX­PE­RI­ENCE The big seller, how­ever, is the 128-bit AES en­cryp­tion in­cluded with the key­board. By de­fault, the B.Un­lim­ited uti­lizes a tiny wire­less USB don­gle to con­nect both the key­board and the in­cluded mouse, which op­er­ates on the 2.4GHz wire­less spec­trum, so it would be fair to be con­cerned about the safety of any con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion. And if it weren’t for that en­cryp­tion, we’d be in­clined to agree with you. Luck­ily, it doesn’t cause any de­lay or lag when typ­ing—it’s an in­ter­est­ing con­cept, and us­ing the key­board is gen­er­ally just a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence.

How­ever, we feel as though Cherry could take the wire­less ex­pe­ri­ence fur­ther than it has done here. Me­chan­i­cal switches, by de­fault, don’t re­quire power to operate, merely to reg­is­ter the ac­tu­a­tion of the switch. A wire­less me­chan­i­cal key­board would be a god­send for any­one look­ing to build a clean desk­top en­vi­ron­ment. Com­bine that with Cherry’s le­gendary switches and good build qual­ity, as found on its MX 6.0 key­board, and the plucky com­pany would be laugh­ing all the way to the bank. You could even throw a pass-through on here for good mea­sure, given the na­ture of the 2.4GHz wire­less con­nec­tion be­ing used to power the de­vices.

Pos­tur­ing aside, the Cherry B.Un­lim­ited 3.0 is a sim­ple yet el­e­gant key­board. For those who are fond of me­chan­i­cal switches, us­ing scis­sor switches does take some time to get used to, but they’re still far more sat­is­fy­ing than the mem­brane al­ter­na­tive. If you’ve got $75 to spare, and des­per­ately need a de­pend­able, quiet key­board and mouse you can plug and play any­where, this is the one. –ZAK STOREY

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