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What just happened? Mechanical switch maker Cherry waited until the final day of the Consumer Electronics Show to announce its latest product. The new Viola mechanical switch is a value-oriented product built on a solder-free design that offers 2mm of pre-travel, 4mm of total travel and 45 cN of actuation force.
The Viola switch uses an industry standard cross-stem design for attaching the keycaps. They are hot-swappable and fully compatible with LED lighting systems that seem to be all the rage with gamers these days. The team at Cherry spent over a year designing the new switch, we're told, and will be building them in Germany alongside their other switches.
In testing, TechCrunch said the switch resembled a quiet MX Brown switch. Tom's Hardware noted that it had a less tactile and clicky feel than other mechanical keyboards and was somewhat quieter, too. Despite those characteristics, it didn't have a mushy, low-profile feel like a membrane keyboard, the publication added.
Cherry hasn't yet provided guidance with regard to how many keystrokes the switches will be rated for although that will likely come as we get closer to launch. The first Viola keyswitch-equipped keyboards should be coming down the pipe soon starting around the $50 mark.