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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  • blackworx - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Also replacement key caps are available for Cherry switches, both individually and as complete sets. I'd be surprised if there was nothing suitable with nubs.
  • Inteli - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Since Cherry uses ANSI-standard layouts, the hardest key to get might be the stepped caps lock. Full sets with a normal caps lock key are common and inexpensive, and typically have nubs on the home keys.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    "I should, however, stress that you should not expect miracles here - the Cherry MX Black Silent switch is much quieter than its regular variant but that alone cannot make any keyboard entirely silent. The Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent is much quieter than typical mechanical keyboards but it will still be audible."

    How does it compare with normal Cherry switches with orings installed? I have a keyboard with Red switches and installing o-rings reduced its noise to something tolerable; but still not as quiet as I'd have preferred.
  • Findecanor - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    The Cherry MX Silent switches silence the upstroke a bit also.
    There are also keyboards from other manufacturers with these Silent Red or Silent Black and with a more solidly built case.
  • Robotire - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    I’d love to try a "silent" mechanical keyboard, but this is just yet another non-ergonomic keyboard with keys that are not placed accordingly to the fingers’ position. I don’t understand why keyboard makers keep releasing a couple new models a week of the same old broken keyboard layout…
  • ayabe - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Because those types of keyboards are and will always be niche products. They've been out in various flavors for 20 years, everyone who wanted to try one already has yet sales are...terrible.

    It's about the money.
  • dave_the_nerd - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Yup. Money makes the world go 'round.

    Same reason you can barely find a good ergonomic trackball.
  • Diji1 - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    I realise they're following a classic design but damn, so much bezel if that's the correct word (it probably isn't).
  • Inteli - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    I mean, if you REALLY want to try a silent switch, you could build an Ergodox, or buy an MX ergonomic keyboard, disassemble every switch and swap out the internals for the silent switch internals.
  • bigboxes - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    Ergonomic keyboards suck. I suppose it varies on the individual. I like to be productive so I prefer a standard keyboard. Now, everything else is ergonomic. The keyboard tray, the chair (and it's arms), the monitor (on a arm).

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