Razer Releases Their Own Mechanical Switches
You all know that I am a fierce lover of mechanical switch based keyboards. But beyond loving the technology I do understand that it has become, at least from a marketing and innovative standpoint, quite stagnant.
We’ve had the same popular switches for a few years now and there is only so much excitement by gamers with a new keyboard release containing the same Red/Blue/Brown/Black/Green switches that were available in previous iterations.
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So reading my inbox today and seeing this announcement by Razer has definitely perked up my outlook. To say I am excited doesn’t quite capture it
Razer understands that the switches on offer today were developed primarily as “typing” switches from the ground up and, by chance, just recently became noticed as superior gaming components due to their fast actuation times, actuation force and superior lifespan. So their rationale was to design mechanical switches from the ground to be enhanced switches tuned for gaming.
Thus they designed two new switches, dubbed the Razer Green and Orange, ultimately researching and then tweaking the basic principles already established in mechanical key technology, aiming to reduce actuation time, reset points and increase tactile response.
Basically they identified the optimal actuation distance for gaming and reduced the distance between the actuation and reset points by almost half compared to older switches. They also claim increased lifespan of 60 million key strokes thanks to a precise manufacturing technique and using gold plated contact points, an increase of 10 million from previous switch technology.
Now these were designed and engineered by Razer but the mass production of these switches were done by a third party, but with oversight of Razer’s own quality assurance experts.
As said above, these switches come in two flavours. The Green switch has an actuation point of 1.9mm, an actuation/reset point of 0.4mm (how far the key needs to travel upwards to reset the key) and an actuation force of 50g. Razer call it the “clicky” key and I feel it most resembles the traditional blue switch in terms of actuation force. Also, most mechanical switches today are rated at 50 million keystrokes, so I’m not sure why Razer are comparing it to a 20 million keystroke keyboard.
Next is the Orange key, with very similar specifications of 1.9mm actuation point, actuation/reset point of 0.05 mm and requiring only 45g of actuation force. They have dubbed these the silent keys and they resemble the Red switches mostly I feel. You can read and watch videos to learn more about the keys here.
I for one am quite excited to try these new keys. These switches will be shipping out with the, refreshed and most iconic Razer product: The Razer Blackwidow Ultimate.
Personally I think a company willing to create a new mechanical switch is great, and ultimately might lead to more interesting advancements and freshness in the mechanical keyboard market, something which is always welcome.