Every hardcore PC gamer is likely familiar with mechanical keyboards, particularly Cherry MX keys. But gaming on a laptop means either giving up mechanical keys or buying an external keyboard. But now, Alienware will bring Cherry MX keys to the m15 R4 and m17 R4 laptops.
It’s the first time a gaming laptop promised mechanical keys, but it is a first for Cherry MX keys. Even still, mechanical keyboards on a laptop are exceedingly rare because they have conflicting priorities. A laptop wants to be as thin and sleek as possible, even if a gaming laptop still ends up a brick. And mechanical keys want as much height as possible, adding bulk and extra weight.
To get Cherry MX into the Alienware m15 and m17 R4 laptops, Dell and Cherry collaborated to redesign the keys. The two companies took inspiration from the DeLorean of all things and created a “binary mechanical switch experience” that fit in a laptop. Compared to the standard Cherry MX switches, the new keys look pretty different on the inside.
The keys deliver a full 1.8mm of travel through a self-cleaning mechanism, and despite the thinner profile, create a satisfying click. You can hear the keys now, courtesy of a tweet from Dell. And of course, the laptops still get Alienware’s RGB customization options, macro key assignments, 100% anti-ghosting, and N-Key RollOver. Despite fitting mechanical keys into the laptop, Dell says the Alienware laptops didn’t get any thicker—the dimensions are the same.
— ALIENWARE (@Alienware) March 17, 2021