Alienware With Mechanical Keyboard
Mechanical keyboards are usually only used by PC gamers on their desktop computers. Although mechanical keyboards are more uncommon on gaming laptops, Alienware is working to change that by announcing a new configuration option for both the m15 R4 and m17 R4 laptops that includes one.
These laptops, in particular, feature Cherry MX Ultra Low-Profile Keys, and Alienware claims that they are the first in the world to be developed in collaboration with Cherry MX.
Alienware Partner with Cherry
In reality, according to Alienware, the new mechanical keys took three years of collaboration between the two companies. The companies seem to have used the 11.9mm Cherry MX Low Profile keys as a starting point to build these 3.5mm Ultra-Low-Profile keys with stainless steel mechanical components.
Alienware said in its announcement today that:
“Inspired by the upward opening gull-wing doors of the iconic DeLorean sports car, the goal was to engineer the keyboard to be an extension of the gamer’s senses and allow you to press deeper with more emphasis.”
While that may be a little excessive, these keys do allow for 1.8mm of key movement. A “self-cleaning mechanism tested for 15 million keystrokes per key” is also used in the Ultra-Low-Profile keys.
Redesigning of Keys
According to the comparison image above, Cherry MX’s mechanical switches have undergone a significant redesign, and Alienware guarantees that each key will have a light actuation force and distinct acoustics, just as we’d expect from a mechanical key.
Of course, everyone who has looked at the m15 R4 and m17 R4 spec sheets prior to this Cherry MX partnership knows that these laptops aren’t slouches in other fields, either.
Both are powered by 10th-generation Intel Core processors and can support up to an Nvidia RTX 3080 Laptop GPU. A true gaming machine these days wouldn’t be complete without some RGB, and Alienware claims that each laptop has per-key RGB backlighting.
Obviously, with that kind of hardware on the inside, the m15 R4 and m17 R4 had the potential to be costly laptops already, and adding a mechanical keyboard to one of these laptops would cost you much more.
Cost and Availability
According to Alienware, Cherry MX keyboard configurations would cost $150 more than regular keyboard configurations, and with the m15 R4 starting at $1,799.99 and the m17 R4 starting at $1,899.99, that’s an expensive add-on.
Alienware does not specify when models with Cherry MX keyboards will be available, but we expect them to be available soon.