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What just happened? Mechanical keyboards may be the preferred choice for most PC gamers, but their chunkiness mean they rarely appear in laptops. Thanks to Alienware's new collaboration with Cherry MX, however, we now have laptops with Cherry MX mechanical keyboards.
Alienware teased its three-year-long alliance with Cherry MX, which the companies call "Project X," back in January with a video featuring a DeLorean, aka the car from Back to the Future. It's now revealed the fruits of that partnership: the first laptop designed in collaboration with the famous key switch maker.
The DeLorean connection refers to the car's icon gullwing doors. The Cherry MX ultra-low-profile switches use "a two-piece keycap structure and gold-based cross-point contact system ensuring absolute precision and wobble-free keystrokes." They measure just 3.5mm in total, making them much smaller than the MX low-profile key switches (11.9mm) and positively tiny next to the 18.5mm MX original.
The keys offer 1.8mm of travel and a 0.8mm actuation point. Their pressure point is at 0.3mm and it takes 65g to activate them. They also come with a self-cleaning mechanism that likely contributes to the promised lifetime of 15 million keystrokes per key. If that's not enough, you even get per-key RGB backlighting, full N-key rollover, and anti-ghosting features.
Cherry MX's Head of Technology & Partner Marketing, Michael Schmid, says the switches are closest to Cherry MX blues, despite being around six times smaller, and are "the fastest Cherry MX switch, by far." Using them has been described as "popping bubble wrap from a delivery box," which sounds glorious.
The keys are new configuration options for the m15 R4 and m17 R4 laptops, which can be specced up to a 10th generation Intel CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. The m15 R4 starts at $1,799.99, while the m17 R4 starts at $1,899.99. Adding the Cherry MX keys will see those prices rise by another $150.