Final Words

The Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent is the latest iteration of the legendary Cherry G80-3000 keyboard that was initially released back in the late 1980s. Despite the decades that have passed since then, Cherry has changed virtually nothing except the color of the keyboard. If we do not take the more recently introduced Windows keys or modern USB connectivity into account, the new Cherry MX Black Silent switches are practically the only upgrade that our reviewed model has over the 80s version. Otherwise G80models that are using the classic Cherry MX Blue or other switches are virtually identical to the keyboards that were released years before the first Intel Pentium processor ever hit the store shelves.

Why is Cherry still placing so much faith on such an old design? The answer is simple: proven reliability. For professional applications, that usually is a very important, if not the only selection factor. Especially for applications where reliability is of utmost importance, such as machinery controls and medical equipment, a simple and proven device – and one that long-time users will be incredibly familiar with – outweighs the entirety of the competition with ease.

The inclusion of the new Cherry MX Black Silent switches makes the Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent the perfect keyboard for the busy workplace. It is great for professional typists and the noteworthy noise reduction greatly increases the comfort of both the user and everyone else in the immediate vicinity. The low noise output makes it particularly useful for people who work over the phone, minimizing the clicking noise that often disturbs the people on the other side of the line.

The flipside of that however is that because the Cherry G80-3494 is so similar to its classic forefather, it doesn't do anything to break outside of the classic office role it was originally designed for. Consequently, for casual and advanced gamers alike, the Cherry G80 offers little more than a cheap office keyboard. Not that Cherry has claimed any differently, but gamers looking for a retro or no-frills mechanical keyboard may be surprised by just how retro it is.

Otherwise, with a price tag of over $100, pricing is clearly the Achilles’ heel of the Cherry G80-3494 MX Board Silent. $100 places it towards the high-end of the market and well above a number of other mechanical keyboards, and it's a price that cannot be justified by such a simple design. The Cherry G80-3000 design has stood the test of time for a reason – it is a reliable, comfortable mechanical keyboard – but in 2017 it's also clearly one that's aimed at a niche audience. If you fall into that niche, be it because you're after a proven keyboard or are a long time Cherry G80 user that simply wants a quieter version, then the G80-3494 MX Board Silent fits that role nicely. Otherwise, users who are looking to buy a reliable keyboard for everyday use will most likely want to look at another model, as more modern keyboards equipped with the same Cherry switches can be found for less.

Per-Key Quality Testing & Hands-On
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  • Ninhalem - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    This keyboard is designed very similarly to my second generation DasKeyboard. In fact the internal shots are almost identical compared to the Das, even down to those stiff ribbon cables connecting the PCB switch board to the microchip board. One of the improvements they need to make is putting big strips of rubber on the bottom to prevent sliding on desks.
  • Gothmoth - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    "his keyboard is designed very similarly to my second generation DasKeyboard"

    more the other way around...
  • HStewart - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Probably so - since Cherry is one that make the keys - but this is first time I heard of them having actual keyboard.

    Keep in mind, one thing these keyboards are not just for desktops, I use a DasKeyboard on my Lenovo Y50 notebook and love it. Most of time it connected to keyboard and have it connected to Samsung 4K monitor - I do use it as laptop but for this laptop that is rare.

    I wish I had more of these keyboards - they are perfect for me. There also portable enough if I need to travel with it. I guess that is why they are call some laptops, desktop replacements
  • Wolfpup - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Yeah, I use keyboards with Cherry MX Browns on my notebooks.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    "but this is first time I heard of them having actual keyboard."

    come on man

    "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."

    the one they mention has been around since 1988 -
  • Ninhalem - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    Err no. I bought this DasKeyboard in 2005. Certainly the switches are Cherry MX Blue's but the design of the keyboard setup itself, where the control board is placed, where the cord exits the casing, and how the control board and the switch PCB board are connected, those are all design decisions.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    and the older Cherry board this is based on came out in 1988 so...
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    LOL this reminds me a little of arguing with an Apple fan about a "new" feature.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - link

    1988 came before 2005? You don't say.
  • bigboxes - Thursday, September 21, 2017 - link

    You may as well stop while your behind

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