Mechanical Keyboard History

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Cherry Viola Mechanical Keyboard Switch: The Biggest News in Keyboard History?

Cherry Keyboards introduced the Viola improvement, which revolutionized the mechanical computer keyboard industry. It is solder-free and reasonably priced. If you manage to get your hands on it?

Earlier this week, Cherry, a keyboard switch manufacturer, and developer, presented their newest and most revolutionary product: the Viola mechanical switch, which might be available in keyboards starting in the fourth quarter of 2020 in computer keyboards costing $50 or more. Furthermore, Cherry introduced the MX1A, an update to their Cherry MX line of switches, which is available in four different switch colors.

During the summit, which took place in a private venue, we were shown two prototype configurations that included the most up-to-date mechanical change technologies from Cherry.

The Cherry Viola Unveiled At CES 2020

The Viola necessitates the development of modularity on a new level. Cherry’s new lineup, in contrast to the MX1A collection of enhancements, represents a quantum leap forward in terms of design creativity. In a nutshell, it is best described as modular. This means that it can be readily changed. To put it another way, Viola switches could be replaced and upgraded without the need for a soldering iron. In addition, the buttons are less expensive to produce than the buttons from the initial MX line.

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It is possible to make the viola without using solder.
Instead of requiring extensive soldering, the newest Viola switch simply pops into place on the computer keyboard printed circuit board, saving time and effort (PCB). In addition to being simple to assemble, the Viola will have fewer moving parts than other similar instruments. Because of the limited number of features, it is easier to develop and, in theory, is also more trustworthy than other systems.

Similar advancements have been made on keyboards such as the ErgoDox EZ, which makes use of swappable switches to improve comfort. Aside from the ErgoDox EZ, SIP sockets are available, which allow for simple LED workouts to be performed. Before Cherry’s announcement, there was no cost-effective and simple alternative for anyone who desired a computer keyboard with solder-free, knock-out switches until Cherry’s announcement came along.

The Viola Can Be Solder-Free

On top of that, the Viola does not suffer from the problematic cap wobble that you may have noticed on the standard Cherry MX stems. In part because of its unique box housing, the Viola provides a more rapid scrolling experience when compared to the bulk of switches currently available in the market.

The Viola Can Be Rattle-Free Technology

Along with modularity, the Viola switch’s limited number of components makes it significantly more inexpensive and, in theory, more dependable than other options. The history of keyboards with solder-free Viola switches is not yet known, but it is reasonable to assume that because fewer parts have been utilized, there will be an increase in part longevity because there are fewer moving components.

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While we do not have exact figures for the cost of a computer keyboard with a Viola interface, an early quote suggested that it would be in the neighborhood of $50. When compared to the most affordable Cherry-switch keyboards, such as the Logitech G610 Orion, it appears that using Viola switches can reduce the price of a computer keyboard by around 50% compared to using Cherry switches. If Cherry’s predicted cost is correct around the time of launch, there could be a 60 percent savings on number pads, which cost significantly less than $50. Time will tell how much of a reduction in costs can be expected.

The Viola Is Quicker And Easier

Problems with the Viola Shift?
Unfortunately, the Viola switch is not without flaws. While its modularity and simplicity bring true innovation to the computer keyboard market, it comes at a cost: it is more expensive. Viola will require a completely new motherboard to be created just for the alteration. As a result, outdated boards cannot be adapted and must be replaced.

In addition to that, there is just one switch available at this time. Cherry, on the other hand, claims that they will continue to release modifications to the underlying Viola design. Their street map has all of the Cherry-required buttons, such as Speed, Red, Black, and Blue, as well as a few more. However, I believe that the Viola line will eventually displace the MX line because of the lower cost of production and greater typing characteristics that it offers.

Viola Shift Issues?

The MX1A Revised Version
It is included in the MX1A update that modifications are made to 12 of Cherry’s MX range of buttons. The upgrade will increase the resistance of each switch to dust, soil, and other foreign particles. Additional improvements to the texture and responsiveness of each change’s numerous attributes have been made, including a slew of subtle adjustments. It does not represent a major improvement over the previous MX Cherry switches. However, if you already have a PCB designed for Cherry switches, you may simply remove the MX1A switch without causing any problems.

The MX1A Update

When viewed in the context of this Viola update, the MX1A upgrade may not appear to be particularly noteworthy. However, because it is entirely compatible with all of the current market-dominant keyboards, which are primarily based on Cherry-compatible motherboards, we will most likely not notice this change in keyboards until after we have seen Viola in goods. This is mostly because Cherry’s manufacturing partners do not need to create specialized PCBs in order to accommodate MX1A technology.