Cherry Viola switches

Has anyone here managed to get their fingers on the new low-cost Cherry Viola switches yet?

What I can gather from the linked article:

  • meant as a budget line
  • no keystroke ratings yet
  • feels like browns
  • incompatible with MX keycaps (unless they just used a wrong photo) Correction: MX keycap compatible
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It looks like they went max RGB with the potential of that switch

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Are these the ones where they’ve removed the center post and want the LED placement directly under the stem?

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anandtech has better details
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15367/ces-2020-cherry-unveils-viola-mechanical-switch-for-lowcost-keyboards

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These are… interesting switches, I’ll give them that. Nice to see them copy us and use POM as the housing, but I’m not sure there’s much else of repute here aside from being cheap.

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I wonder if the springs can be swapped with mx springs?

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Here’s something I pulled from the Anandtech article, and it’s something consistent across Cherry advertising; let’s take a moment to unpack this, shall we?

I’m referring to the last bullet point in the list of features: “Made in Germany.”

To which, I’m like, yeah, that’s worth charging a premium for? Please tell me more about your aerospace grade aluminum, you beer-swilling wankers.

Is this a mandate by the German Board of Silly Nonsense, or what? I remember Volkswagen doing the same thing.

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I’m not anti-German manufactured products, by any means. Party on, goths, I’m just over here wondering if someone over there looked at Texas over here, and thought, “yeah, we could use more misplaced pride of origin” and rolled with it.

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It’s more about the assumption that “Made in China” products are lower quality and to oppose Gateron, Kailh, Outemu, etc… Germany has a good reputation for manufacturing.

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Yeh, I’d say it’s easier to say “Made in Germany” than it is “Made in a country with worker rights, environmental and manufacturing standards, and that doesn’t organ harvest political/religious prisoners”. Also I’d say there’s a pretty solid conception that Germany generally makes decent things, “German Engineering” and all that.

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That is a curious design. I would have thought increasing the surface area of contact and movement in a switch would be the opposite way to go. On one hand it might decrease wobble (strong might), on the other hand that’s a pretty large increase in stem/housing contact if I understand the design correctly. Time will tell, I guess.

edit: forgot these were “downmarket”, so they’re not aiming for the perfect switch per se like we are. Carry on, lol.

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Hmm, not the direction I thought Cherry would be going with all the high end boutique switches out there nowadays but it makes sense I guess. Why try to compete where you’re selling lower numbers @ a higher profit when you can sell straight volume to cheap gaming MKB manufacturers. Although this switch is kinda bordering on mechanical IMHO.

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@DasGnome & @donutcat. Yeah, ok then, but here’s the thing; Cherry switches aren’t the enthusiast’s choice because of some mythological national engineering superiority. They’re not execrable, but they’re not good either—and you’d be hard pressed to find any in a meetup build, other than lubed vint blacks.

I know they’re actively projecting a construct with their advertising and they’d really like us to mentally align their products with, say, a Mercedes S Class, or something, but the truth is, they’re selling a ride on the bullshit express, because, as we all have learned through trial and experience, their products aren’t that great.

Honestly, I’d be much more impressed with a tag that says, “Made by Dwarves in the Iron Hills.” Take that, commies. Beards for everybody!

End rant. I’m going off track.

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Of note is the way that they engineered them, similar to how they engineered the MX switches - there’s 8 bumps on the housing that provide most of the contact, thus reducing the points of friction.

Why say that? These seem pretty mechanical to me. Contact-based, with a spring and plunger in a discrete housing, with a contact sticking out the back. It’s definitely a cheapening, but it seems to be as mechanical as MY, if not moreso.

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Ah good catch - from the image it just looks like the whole switch is essentially making contact haha.

I believe Cherry MY is considered semi mechanical because you have to bottom the switch out on a membrane (Model M & Fs use membranes also, I think having to bottom out is what gives it that classification), so I agree these definitely would be more of a mechanical switch than them. The reason I said that about these Viola switches is because the design looks like you have to bottom out a key to have it register with these also. Having to bottom out the key takes away one of the defining features of mechanical keyboard switches IMO.

@Zeal was at CES. I bet he tried the switch. Any comment, sir?

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Cherry can be faulted for not evolving with their competition for enthusiast switches, but let’s remember that their design made it possible for us to have our fancy clones. That being said, I bet these new switches will be far worse, but still more expensive as the basic Gateron lineup.

I think they’re heading in the wrong direction, desperate for a patent, but only time will tell. Maybe it will be both good…and cheap.

I still think they should make a run at the high end instead of falling back on, “we started this, plus Deutschland über alles, never mind our moldy molds.”

Maybe headed in the right direction if their goal is making the most money possible on the majority of consumers, lol. But I would absolutely love to see what premium types of switches they could afford to make with all of their capitol (or at least have access to their R&D department).

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