With years of successful products behind them, Cherry is undoubtedly the most reputable manufacturer of computer keyboard mechanical switches. The company practically invented the mechanical keyboard switch, with their first products – under patent protection at the time – leaving assembly lines over three decades ago. At the same time, Cherry doesn't just manufacture keyboard switches, but myriads of items, ranging from basic electronic parts to complete retail products. During the recent market boom of mechanical keyboards, Cherry also released several retail keyboards of their own, such as the MX Board 6.0 that we reviewed last year.

Today we're taking a look at the Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent mechanical keyboard. This keyboard is an especially interesting item to review because rather than being a wholly new design, it's a new iteration on a classic design, following in the footsteps of the original iconic Cherry G80-3000 series keyboards that have been in circulation for decades. Unlike most of the keyboards that we usually review, the Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent is not a keyboard directly marketed towards gamers or even consumers in general – rather it is a keyboard that has been designed for workspaces, with an emphasis on office workers, public computers (kiosks, schools, etc.), and for applications where reliability is of the utmost importance (medical equipment, control systems, etc.).

Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent Mechanical Keyboard - Key features and specifications

  • Mechanical Black or Red stem MX Silent keyswitches are rated at 50 million actuations to withstand harsh environments and ensure long product lifetime
  • Patented noise reduction using an integrated 2-component stem minimizes noise at top and bottom-out
  • N-Key rollover: Simultaneous operations of up to 14 keys without any ghosting effects
  • Self-cleaning contacts, dust and dirt resistant
  • Full QWERTY key layout in full-size 18.5″ form factor
  • USB 2.0 Interface or PS/2 with adapter
  • 104 Keys
  • PC & MAC compatible over USB

Packaging and Bundle

Cherry supplies the G80-3494 MX Board Silent in a simple, no-frills, black cardboard box. With the exception of the company’s logo, there is virtually no artwork on the box, not even marketing hype. The box seems to have been designed solely to provide the keyboard with shipping protection. Cherry does not bundle anything along with this keyboard, only the keyboard itself can be found inside the box.

The Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent Mechanical Keyboard
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  • bigboxes - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    I love my G80-3000 keyboard. So much so that I have two. They have MX Blue switches and the noise doesn't bother me. That being said, I would to test drive one in person. I'm a minimalist. That is I love not having all the extra crap on my keyboard. Simple and reliable.
  • Lord of the Bored - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    " What frustrated us is the extensive dead space inside the keyboard’s plastic body, which, in an example of just how far technology has progressed in the last couple of decades, is enough space to fit an entire modern low-power PC. "

    Can anyone say "next project"?
  • preamp - Friday, November 17, 2017 - link

    Been there, done that. http://preamp.org/mods/raspcherry-pi#english
  • erple2 - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    When did the first Cherry mechanical keyboard cone out? Was it before the original buckling spring patent was filed on Aug 30, 1977? The Model F keyboard was made from 1981 through 1984 (?), so I'm not sure who invented what in the mechanics keyboard world.
  • Findecanor - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    Cherry made other mechanical key switches before 1977, yes.
    Cherry MX is from 1983 and is the successor to Cherry M9.
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    -- Was it before the original buckling spring patent was filed on Aug 30, 1977?

    if you check the Wiki, you'll see that the IBM keyboard is not a mechanical switch keyboard, but a membrane keyboard with a novel actuation. nothing in common with Cherry or any other mechanical switch.
  • Findecanor - Saturday, September 23, 2017 - link

    The 1977 patent covers the switch design in the Model F, which has a buckling spring switch that uses capacitative sensing of a pivoting plate on a circuit board. The Model M has membranes.
    What constitutes "mechanical" can be, and has been, debated endlessly. I would say that "catastrophic buckling" combined with the pivot of the foot is a basic mechanism.
  • Beaver M. - Saturday, September 23, 2017 - link

    Would be interesting, if it had illumination. Cherry has always had quite an aversion against illuminated keys, except on their relatively new "gaming" models.
  • Zim - Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - link

    Problem: this looks like a $30 keyboard. Solution: add stupid looking back-lighting. Result: something that looks a $20 keyboard.
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, September 28, 2017 - link

    You seriously think back lighting is just for show?

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