Since I have written about keyboards a lot lately, I thought it would be worth to write about the Cherry G230 G85 keyboard. It is the keyboard I have used at my work, replacing a standard Dell keyboard that came with the new PCs.
Cherry G230 G85 – First Things First
Is it any good? Well, if you are not into mechanical keyboard, and you are searching for a quiet, resistant, and reliable keyboard that you are going to use mostly for work, then I strongly recommend that you look into the Cherry G230 G85 (here on Amazon.)
If you need a gaming keyboard I wouldn’t recommend it: the keys offer a strong resistance when typing, and in an office setting, it is an excellent feature, but you can see how it would become tiring during a gaming session. It’s not horrible, you can do anything with it, really, but it’s not ideal either.
It’s heavy: almost 1 kg of product once unboxed. It sits steadily on your desk and it will not move a millimeter when you type; no matter how hard you press those keys down. It’s rather quiet, but not completely silent (but I guess no keyboard really is.) Of course, compared to the MX Blue switches it there is barely anything to hear at all. It makes an excellent companion on my work-desk. Further, consider that there are around a hundred of these at the library where I work, one for each computer station. I guessed it was deemed silent enough for a library setting where a hundred students type all at the same time.
Small details can go a long way, and in this case the detail is the way the keys are designed. The keys are not standard square blocks, tightly snug one to the other: the left, right and bottom edges of every key are slightly slanted, effectively creating a space of a little less than half a centimeter between each key. This means that when typing you always have a sensorial feedback that allows you to know if your fingertips are on target or not. If your finger is misaligned, you will feel that gap right away, and you’ll already know that you have mistyped. You will be already correcting your mistake before you know if.
As I mentioned in my other posts, using keyboards is also a matter of taste: for as much I believe that the Cherry G230 G85 is the best keyboard for typing of the three keyboards I have been using recently (Das Keyboard 4 Professional, Razer Deathstalker Chroma, and the Cherry G230 G85), the Das Keyboard Professional is still the one that gives the most pleasure and satisfaction while working with it: with the Cherry G85 you work, quietly and seriously. You do your duty, quickly and efficiently and in an elegant way. With the Das Keyboard 4 Professional, you are shouting to the world that you are typing and working instead. You are playing music that only your ears can appreciate. Click-click-click! Your work comes alive in your ears! But also in your colleagues’, and that’s not nice. So keep your MX Blue Switches at home.
Anyway, simply said: between the three keyboards that I use each day, the Cherry G85 is by far the best for typing in an office setting, the Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a very solid all-rounder, and the Razer Deathstalker Chroma is something for the fun of it.
The Cherry G230 G85 looks plain, but not ugly. One placed down on the desk it is essentially a black slate of metal and plastic. No fancy backlighting, not RGB led effects. If anything there are three lights above the numpad indicating the status of the scroll lock, caps lock, and of the numpad itself. There are also six media button available above the normal keys: Volume controls (up, down, mute) plus the play/pause button; previous/ next song. That’s it. It uses scissor switches, just like most of the laptops out there, so if you are familiar with those you will feel at home with this keyboard right away.
Getting your hands on it
Cherry G230 G85s are difficult to come by. Cherry is a well-known manufacturer of switches more than their own keyboards. The Das Keyboard Professional that I recently wrote about uses the switches made by Cherry, for example. Cherry is not a well-known brand either, it’s not really a consumer brand; it is mostly aimed at professional use. But it’s cheap. Very cheap; and if you consider what you are getting, the cost/quality ratio is extremely positive. Between the three I mentioned before, by far the Cherry G230 G85 has the best value -for-money ratio. It costs around 30 euros (often less.) Cherry doesn’t really make consumer products by the millions, so if you intend to acquire a Cherry G230 G85, prepare yourself for a small odyssey. You might find them on Amazon, and since the Cherry company has been acquired by the Germans, you will find quite some on the German Amazon. Be careful with the product codes though: G85-23100DE-2, for example, indicates a German QWERTZ layout. If you want the standard American layout, you need a Cherry with this code: G85-23100EU-2.
Bottom line: the Cherry G230 G85 is a fine working partner.
If you are searching for an excellent, solid and rather convenient keyboard, I strongly recommend the Cherry G230 G85.