Cherry is best known as the creators of highly-coveted keyboard switches, the tiny switches that sit behind every key in your favourite input device. They’re less well-known for actually making their own peripherals, which is why the Cherry KC 4500 Ergo is particularly interesting.
This full-sized keyboard is, as you can see above, ergonomically designed for comfort. The keyboard is 18.70 x 8.53 x 1.39 in and not backlit.
The chiclet-style keys have a similar key travel to MacBook keys and are quite silent. The depth is satisfying but the entire thing has a slightly mushy feel, which you’d want if you’re trying to reduce strain on your hands. While they aren’t my favourite style, they are definitely easy on the fingers and very quiet.
Cherry KC 4500 Ergo
WHAT IS IT?
An ergonomic keyboard from the top maker of keyboard switches.
Nice price, nice comfort.
No N-Key rollover, soft switches.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.
The key switches are rubber dome, which means they aren’t traditionally mechanical. This style is very similar to the switches in most laptop keyboards, which should make the transition from a MacBook fairly smooth.
Now for the bad news. The keyboard has no N-key rollover which means you can hold down only a few keys at once. In most mechanical keyboards, you could easily hold down all four of the top row — say, “qwer” — and then tap “ty” both at the same time and get “qwerty.” In my tests, this keyboard supported up to four keys at once, and not very well. Don’t expect to do any hardcore gaming or slam your fingers on a heavy typing jag and you’ll be fine.
While this model isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely worth a look when compared to similar offerings like Microsoft’s $50 model and Logitech’s K350 Wireless Wave Keyboard which clocks in at a pricier $80.
The 4500 Ergo is definitely built for comfort. If you’ve been banging away at a mechanical keyboard for any length of time, this $US45 ($58) keyboard is like giving your carpal tunnel a spa day. The built-in wrist rest is soft and comfortable, the design is great, and the switches, while not quite the workhorses we’re used to from Cherry, are better than most laptop keyboards. When you think of it as a way to take a break from standard keyboards, the 4500 Ergo is just fine.