If you are looking for a high-end mechanical keyboard that combines performance, comfort, and style, you might want to check out the Cherry KW X ULP.
This keyboard is one of the first to use the new Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches, which offer a smooth and responsive typing experience with minimal noise and travel distance.
The Cherry KW X ULP also boasts a sleek and sturdy design with a metal frame and a thin profile that makes it easy to carry around. It can connect to up to four devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless or USB cable, and has a long-lasting rechargeable battery.
Plus, it has a 10-stage white backlight and media controls for added convenience. In this review, we will take a closer look at the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard and see how it compares to other low-profile mechanical keyboards on the market.
Cherry KW X ULP Review
The Cherry KW X ULP keyboard has a slim and elegant design that looks great on any desk. The metal plate gives it a premium feel and durability, while the plastic chassis keeps it lightweight. The keycaps are made of polycarbonate and have laser etching and UV coating for longevity.
The keyboard has a full-size layout with 110 keys, including a number pad and dedicated media buttons. The keyboard also has integrated feet that can be adjusted to three different angles.
Compared to other low-profile mechanical keyboards, such as the Razer Deathstalker V2 Pro or the Corsair K60 RGB Pro Low Profile, the Cherry KW X ULP has a more minimalist and sleek design, without any extra macro keys or RGB lighting.
It also has a thinner profile at 0.63 inches, compared to 1.04 inches for the Razer and 1.14 inches for the Corsair. However, some users might prefer the more flashy and colorful aesthetics of the other keyboards, as well as their additional features such as volume wheels, metal keycaps, or optical switches.
The keyboard can connect to up to four devices simultaneously: one via the included 2.4 GHz dongle, two via Bluetooth 5.2, and one via the USB-C cable. You can switch between devices easily using the FN+F1-F4 keys. The keyboard also supports AES-128 encryption for both wireless and Bluetooth modes. The USB-C port can also be used for charging the keyboard or for wired operation.
Compared to other wireless mechanical keyboards, such as the Logitech G613 Lightspeed or the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro, the Cherry KW X ULP has a more versatile connectivity option, as it can pair with two Bluetooth devices instead of one. It also has a newer Bluetooth version (5.2) than the Logitech (4.1) or the Razer (5.0), which means better range and stability.
However, some users might prefer the faster wireless connection of the Logitech or the Razer, which use proprietary dongles with low-latency technology. The Cherry KW X ULP also lacks a dedicated switch to toggle between wireless and Bluetooth modes, unlike the other keyboards.
The performance of the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard is generally very good, according to the reviews. It offers a comfortable and accurate typing experience, thanks to the ultra-low profile mechanical switches that have tactile feedback and a low actuation force.
It also has a full-key rollover and anti-ghosting features, as well as a gaming mode that disables the Windows key. The keyboard also supports multiple devices via Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless or USB cable, and has AES-128 encryption for both wireless and Bluetooth modes. The battery life is also impressive, lasting up to six months on a single charge.
However, the keyboard also has some drawbacks, such as the high price tag of $250, which may be hard to justify for some users. Additionally, the keycaps and switches are not easily replaceable, which may limit the customization options for some users.
The keyboard also lacks some features that some users may expect from a mechanical keyboard, such as RGB lighting, macro keys, or USB passthrough.
Compared to other wireless mechanical keyboards, such as the Logitech G915 Lightspeed or the Keychron K8 Pro, the Cherry KW X ULP has a more consistent and reliable performance, as it uses Cherry’s own switches that are known for their quality and durability.
It also has a longer battery life than the Logitech (up to six months vs up to 30 hours) or the Keychron (up to six months vs up to 240 hours).
However, some users might prefer the more customizable and feature-rich keyboards from Logitech or Keychron, which offer RGB lighting, hot-swappable switches, macro keys, USB passthrough, and more.
Typing and Usability
The Cherry KW X ULP keyboard excels in terms of typing and usability, garnering positive reviews from users. One of its key strengths lies in its use of ultra-low profile mechanical switches, which contribute to an exceptional typing experience.
These switches are designed to provide tactile feedback, ensuring that users can feel the keystrokes, and they require a low actuation force of 65 cN. With a slim profile and a height of only 16 mm, the keyboard offers both comfort and convenience during extended typing sessions.
Additionally, the switches are highly durable, boasting a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes per key, ensuring longevity and reliability.
To further enhance typing and usability, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard incorporates several notable features:
Full-key rollover and anti-ghosting: This feature guarantees accurate registration of every keystroke, even when multiple keys are pressed simultaneously. It ensures that no keystrokes are missed or jumbled, making it ideal for fast typists or gamers requiring precise input.
Gaming mode: The keyboard includes a dedicated gaming mode that disables the Windows key. This functionality prevents accidental interruptions during gaming sessions, allowing users to fully immerse themselves without any disruptions.
10-stage white backlight: The keyboard offers customizable backlighting, allowing users to adjust the brightness of the keys to suit their preferences and ambient lighting conditions. This feature enables comfortable typing even in low-light environments, ensuring optimal visibility.
Dedicated media buttons: With dedicated media buttons, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard allows users to control the volume and playback of audio and video files without needing to leave the keyboard. This convenient feature enhances usability and productivity, providing quick access to multimedia controls.
Status LEDs in the keys: The keyboard incorporates status LEDs within the keys, providing useful indicators for various functions. These LEDs display information such as battery level, connection mode, caps lock, scroll lock, and num lock. Users can easily monitor important keyboard settings at a glance.
Furthermore, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard offers versatile connectivity options. It supports multiple devices through Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless, or a USB cable.
This flexibility allows users to connect the keyboard to various devices of their choice. Additionally, the keyboard implements AES-128 encryption for both wireless and Bluetooth modes, ensuring secure and encrypted communication.
Switching between devices is effortless with the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard, thanks to the FN+F1-F4 keys, which enable seamless device switching. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals who work with multiple devices or need to switch between different platforms quickly.
Overall, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard provides an excellent typing and usability experience. Its comfortable and accurate typing, sleek design, and robust construction make it a standout option for users seeking a high-quality keyboard. Whether for professional use, gaming, or multimedia control, this keyboard offers impressive performance and functionality.
Switches and Keycaps
Switches: The keyboard uses Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches, which are mechanical switches with a very low height of 16 mm. They have a tactile feedback and an actuating force of 65 cN. They are also rated for 50 million keystrokes per key. The switches are exclusive to Cherry and are not compatible with other keycaps or switches.
Keycaps: The keycaps are made of polycarbonate and have laser etching and UV coating for longevity. The keycaps are also very low-profile and have a total travel path of 1.8 mm. The keycaps are not easily replaceable, as they are not compatible with other switches or keycaps.
The switches and keycaps of the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard offer a comfortable and accurate typing experience, but they also limit the customization options for some users.
Compared to other ultra-low profile switches and keycaps, such as the Gateron Low Profile or the Logitech GL, the Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches have a more pronounced tactile feedback and a higher actuation force, which may appeal to users who prefer a more responsive and clicky feel.
They also have a lower height and travel distance than the Gateron or Logitech switches, which may make them more comfortable for some users. However, some users might prefer the smoother and lighter feel of the Gateron or Logitech switches, which may also be quieter.
The keycaps of the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard are similar to the Mac style keys, with a flat and thin design. They have a laser etching and UV coating that make them durable and resistant to wear. However, they are not easily replaceable, as they are not compatible with other switches or keycaps.
Some users might prefer the more curved and sculpted keycaps of other keyboards, such as the Corsair K100 Air Wireless or the Keychron K1, which may offer a better typing ergonomics and aesthetics. These keyboards also have more options for customizing the keycaps, such as different colors, materials, or fonts.
The Cherry KW X ULP keyboard boasts an impressive battery life, ensuring extended usage without frequent recharging. It is equipped with a built-in 2800 mAh Li-Ion battery, which offers substantial power capacity.
Depending on usage patterns and backlight settings, the keyboard can last up to six months on a single charge, providing convenience and uninterrupted typing sessions. It’s important to note that battery life may vary based on individual usage habits and preferences.
To recharge the battery, users can simply connect the keyboard to a power source using the included USB-C cable. This versatile charging option ensures flexibility and convenience, allowing users to replenish the battery using various devices or charging adapters.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the battery itself is not replaceable, which means that if the battery reaches the end of its lifespan, the entire keyboard would need to be replaced.
Furthermore, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard incorporates status LEDs within the keys, providing useful indicators for various functions, including the battery level. These LEDs enable users to easily monitor the remaining battery power, ensuring that they are aware of when a recharge is needed. Additionally, the LEDs also indicate the connection mode, caps lock, scroll lock, and num lock, enhancing usability and providing visual cues at a glance.
In summary, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard offers a commendable battery life, allowing users to enjoy uninterrupted typing sessions for up to six months on a single charge. The inclusion of status LEDs within the keys provides convenient battery level monitoring, ensuring that users can stay informed about their battery’s remaining power.
The ability to recharge the keyboard via USB-C adds to the overall convenience. However, it’s important to consider that the battery is not replaceable, meaning the entire keyboard would need to be replaced once the battery’s lifespan is exhausted.
Cherry Keys Software
The Cherry Keys software is a free software that allows you to customize the F keys and special keys of your Cherry KW X ULP keyboard. You can assign new functions to these keys, such as shortcuts, text modules, macros, open files/folders/programs/websites, multimedia or system functions. You can also assign functions to the thumb keys and the middle mouse button of your mouse.
The Cherry Keys software works with almost any keyboard and mouse, regardless of manufacturer. However, it works best with original Cherry products, as some special keys may be specific to certain keyboards. The software runs in the background and modifies the incoming signals from the input devices according to your wishes.
You can download the Cherry Keys software from the Cherry website. You can choose between the 32-bit or 64-bit version depending on your system. The software is compatible with Windows 7 or higher.
Here are the specifications of the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard:
- Switches: Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile (red, brown, or blue)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2, 2.4 GHz wireless, or USB-C
- Battery life: Up to 120 hours
- Dimensions: 12.2 x 5.1 x 0.63 inches
- Weight: 22 ounces
- Features: Full N-key rollover, anti-ghosting, adjustable feet, white backlighting
Pros and Cons
- Slim and lightweight design
- Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile switches
- Long battery life
- Wireless connectivity
- Full N-key rollover
- Adjustable feet
- No RGB lighting
The Cherry KW X ULP keyboard emerges as an excellent choice for individuals seeking a slim and stylish mechanical keyboard designed for business and everyday use. With its sleek design, featuring a robust metal frame and a 10-stage white backlight, it exudes a premium aesthetic.
Versatility is a key strength of the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard, as it supports connectivity with multiple devices through Bluetooth, 2.4 GHz wireless, or USB cable. The inclusion of AES-128 encryption for both wireless and Bluetooth modes ensures secure and encrypted communication, providing peace of mind for users concerned about data privacy.
When it comes to typing experience, the keyboard excels by offering a comfortable and accurate performance. This can be attributed to the ultra-low profile switches that provide tactile feedback and possess a low actuation force. Users can enjoy precise and responsive keystrokes, enhancing productivity and reducing typing fatigue.
Usability is further enhanced by a range of thoughtful features. The full-key rollover and anti-ghosting capabilities ensure that every keystroke is accurately registered, even during intense typing sessions or gaming scenarios. The dedicated gaming mode disables the Windows key, preventing accidental interruptions. The presence of media controls allows for convenient adjustment of volume and playback without leaving the keyboard. Additionally, status LEDs in the keys provide at-a-glance information regarding battery level, connection mode, caps lock, scroll lock, and num lock.
However, it’s important to consider certain factors before making a purchase decision. The Cherry KW X ULP keyboard carries a higher price tag of $250, which may present a barrier for budget-conscious buyers. Furthermore, the keyboard’s keycaps and switches are not easily replaceable, limiting customization options for users who desire personalized keycaps or switches.
It’s worth noting that the keyboard does not incorporate some features commonly associated with mechanical keyboards, such as RGB lighting, macro keys, or USB passthrough. While these features may be desirable for certain users, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard prioritizes sleekness and functionality over extravagant customization options.
In summary, the Cherry KW X ULP keyboard stands out as a compelling choice for those in search of a slim and stylish mechanical keyboard with versatile connectivity options. It offers a comfortable and accurate typing experience, complemented by a premium design and build quality. However, the higher price point and limitations in customization and certain features should be considered before making a purchase.