The finished version of the LP switch, the Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile

exciting This is the thought I had when I pressed the Cherry MX Low Profile switch (MX LP switch) for the first time. It looks like a pantograph keyboard, but when you press it, what is a pantograph? It is a linear switch. It is also a key, but it was very comfortable during the game. In fighting games or classic games, I was able to enter commands at high speed without deep pressing. For that reason, I’ve been with the MX LP switch keyboard for a long time, but it seems it’s time to say goodbye. The MX Ultra Low Profile switch (MX Ultra Low Profile, MX Ultra LP, hereinafter referred to as MX ULP), which is more advanced than the MX LP switch, has appeared. I can’t stand this.

CHERRY MX ULTRA LOW PROFILE FEATURES

MX ULP is divided into click and tactile. The features when keyed are the same as the existing MX switches. It is convenient to think of clicking as blue and tactile as brown. The structure of the switch is similar, but you can hear the clicking sound and not hear it, and it can be seen as a difference in degree. Click MX ULP is ‘Tactile and audible switching’, MX ULP tactile is the degree to which the features are marked as tactile switching features.

▲ Click on the method
▲ Click on the method
▲ Tactile method
▲ Tactile method

The detailed specifications of the MX ULP switch are as follows. The key pressure is 65 g, and the key travel is 1.8 mm (initial travel 0.8 mm). The main features are: The height is very low. It is lower than the current MX LP switch and has a short travel distance.

▲ Tactile method
▲ Tactile method

Therefore, it has suitable conditions for installation on laptops etc. Just comparing the size of the switch, the original MX is 18.5mm, the MX LP switch is 11.9mm, and the MX ULP is 3.5mm. Even the current MX LP is on the low side, but it is more than three times thicker than the MX ULP.

The structure of the ULP MX is springs, wings, polymer actuators and sockets, gold cross-points, and a base frame. A spring holds the two wings, and when the switch is pressed, these wings go down and touch the contact point. In addition, it transmits signals precisely with gold crosspoint technology.

After the switch was released, it was installed in the Dell Alienware m15 R4 gaming laptop. However, there was almost no way to test the switch other than a laptop keyboard. I had forgotten all about it, but Corsair introduced a new keyboard with the switch.

Corsair K100 AIR Flagship Keyboard with MX ULP Switches

Corsair is a well-known brand of gaming equipment. In particular, the gaming keyboard has a high level of perfection and is highly preferred by gamers. The higher the number after the K, the higher the performance of the Corsair keyboard. For example, if you think simply, the K70 is a better product than the K60. So, what is the best Corsair keyboard out there? It’s K100. Corsair OPX optical axis and MX speed axis can be selected, and all Corsair technologies are included.

In other words, if the K100 is attached, it can be seen as a flagship product among keyboards at this point. A new flagship was released with such K100. K100 AIR (hereafter referred to as K100 Air). The flagship is correct, but unlike the current product line, it has a built-in MX ULP switch.

Therefore, the K100 Air has a completely different design from the current product line. It is extremely slim with a thickness of 11 to 17 mm. In addition, unlike the current Corsair keyboards, which grow in size as the number increases, it adopts a minimalist design. But flagship is progressive. The reaction rate is extremely fast. You can play games wirelessly as well as wired. You can also set macros, and of course, fancy RGB effects are implemented.

▲ thin
▲ thin
▲ It's thin, but you can store a USB dongle in the keyboard.  A definite advantage.  FYI, there are some high-end gaming keyboards on the market that use wireless and are thin but they cannot include dongles.  Also, if the dongle is lost, you may not be able to purchase a new one.  So dongle control is important, but the K100 Air has reduced that concern.
▲ It’s thin, but you can store a USB dongle in the keyboard. A definite advantage. FYI, there are some high-end gaming keyboards on the market that use wireless and are thin but they cannot include dongles. Also, if the dongle is lost, you may not be able to purchase a new one. So dongle control is important, but the K100 Air has reduced that concern.
▲ The wired connection method uses a USB Type-C port.  It is more convenient to use than the micro 5-pin method.
▲ The wired connection method uses a USB Type-C port. It is more convenient to use than the micro 5-pin method.
▲ Compared to the Corsair K60 RGB PRO LP.
▲ Compared to the Corsair K60 RGB PRO LP.
▲ This was the saddest K60 RGB PRO in terms of thinning, but compared to the K100 Air, it became sadder.
▲ This was the saddest K60 RGB PRO in terms of thinning, but compared to the K100 Air, it became sadder.

Anyway, the most important thing is the feeling. When I pressed the K100 Air, it was very chewy. It is completely different from the current MX LP switch. If you press the red or silver MX LP axle, it’s a linear type, so it goes in easily, but this MX ULP feels similar to the existing brown axle. Also, although the height was low like a pantograph, there was no sensation of squeezing the rubber dome like a pantograph.

Also, the key weight is 65g, so it’s not that light. Still, it’s not that hard to lean on. Even after using it for a long time, my fingers didn’t hurt at all.

Corsair’s unique aluminum roller for volume control, hot keys (profile change, backlight control, Windows key lock) are also equipped, and 4 macro keys are supported. FYI, the macro key was not placed on the left side like the K95, but on the right ten key. These keys are G1, G2, G3, and G4, and these keys can also be used to determine the wireless connection method. Anyway, the placement of the macro keys was appropriate, so the keyboard didn’t stretch. Thanks to this, it is easy to adjust the arrangement.

▲ Since the macro key is higher than the ten keys, the keyboard didn't go long.
▲ Since the macro key is higher than the ten keys, the keyboard didn’t go long.

The wireless gaming keyboard can be found in the gaming equipment manufacturer’s flagship product line. If the purpose is simple typing, it doesn’t matter much if it’s not a flagship product, but if the purpose is a game, the story is a little different. Even when connected wirelessly, it should be enough to enjoy the game, and the battery life should be long. In addition, when switching to wires, a high polling rate must be supported.

The K100 Air wireless keyboard meets all the factors mentioned above. The connection method is divided into three types. It supports fast wireless sleep streaming, low-latency Bluetooth that connects to up to three host devices, and 8,000Hz hyperbola when connected to PC and Mac via USB wire. The battery is also lithium-ion 4170mAh, and can be used for up to 50 hours when using the RGB backlight and up to 200 hours when not in use. When I was using it while working, I was able to use it without any inconvenience as I picked it up once a week.

Attractive MX ULP switches.

We looked at the MX ULP switch and the Corsair K100 Air that has the switch. If you want to try a flagship gaming keyboard based on LP switches, the K100 Air is your only option right now.

However, the K100 Air has a high level of perfection, just like Corsair’s flagship gaming keyboard. If you are used to typing on a laptop keyboard, you can adjust quickly, and although it is thin, the characteristics of a mechanical keyboard are still alive. Still, it’s a mysterious switch that feels like a pantograph when keyed. If you are interested in LP switches and looking for a high performance gaming keyboard, this could be a good choice.

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