CHERRY B. UNLIMITED 3.0
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