Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Review

At the end of April, Cherry announced the acquisition of the gaming specialists Xtrfy and the launch of the new Cherry Xtrfy gaming brand.

Cherry MX mechanical switches are the most reputable product on the market for keyboards, loved by gamers and professionals alike. However, for some reason, Cherry hasn’t established itself as a gaming brand in the West. Instead, focussing on the booming Chinese market.

With the launch of the new Cherry Xtrfy brand, they are hoping to change this.

During the event I attended, Cherry was kind enough to supply a sample of the new MX 8.2 TKL.

At the moment, this seems to be branded as Cherry MX 8.2 TKL, but during the event, Cherry said all existing Cherry gaming products and Xtrfy products would be merged into the same brand, so I assume this will be the Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL.

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Specification

  • Design: Wireless tenkeyless keyboard with solid aluminium housing
  • Illumination: Customisable RGB
  • Keys: 87 + 1
  • Key switches: CHERRY MX Red or Brown
  • Keycap material: ABS
  • N-Key Rollover: Full
  • Anti-Ghosting: Yes
  • Special keys/shortcuts: Browser, CHERRY Key, Calculator, FN, Last track, Next track, Play/Pause, Unmute/Mute, Volume up, Volume down
  • Connection: 2.4 Ghz, Bluetooth or USB
  • Cable length: 1.8 m
  • Weight: 762 g
  • Size: 350 x 220 x 35mm
  • Warranty EU/US/ASIA: 2 years

Packaging

I wouldn’t normally mention packaging for a review, but this includes a metal carrying case for heavy-duty protection, which was worth noting. Sadly, it was so large I couldn’t fit it into my bags to get it home with me.

Design / Features

Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Review RGB

I was supplied with the black model that had Cherry MX Red switches. You can also get this in white, and there is the option for Cherry MX Brown.

The keyboard has a simple minimalist design. The keys run up to the edges of the board, making the overall footprint as small as possible.

Cherry keyboard review2

There is no lip running around the edge of the keyboard, which therefore exposes the RGB LEDs as much as possible.

Cherry keyboard review

It is a reassuringly weighty keyboard that has a solid aluminium housing, and therefore, there is no flex, movement or vibrations when typing.

Cherry also states this has an abrasion-resistant key lettering which should ensure the letting doesn’t wear out over time.

Unlike some brands with gaudy branding, there is one subtle Cherry logo just above the direction keys.

On the keyboard’s top edge are LEDs and icons for the connectivity type, charging state and toggle for power. There is then a USB-C port for wired connectivity. When wired, the keyboard remains on and connected regardless of whether the power switch is on or off.  

Within the packaging is a USB dongle for 2.4GHz wireless connectivity. It is a shame that this is not integrated into the keyboard, unlike the Cherry KW 9200 and the new Cherry KW X ULP.

Other features include Win key lock, anti-ghosting and full n-key rollover.

Cherry App / RGB Lighting Customisation

You can optionally install the Cherry utility software.

It is quite basic, but it is functional.

Under the lighting tab, you have a good range of customisation for the RGB. There are ten pre-defined lighting effects, and you can also create your own custom lighting.

For light colours, you can either set a single colour with different lighting effects, or you can use all random colours.

Under the user keys tab, you can map keys for various functions. You can either reassign a key to something else, create a macro, set up to 200 characters of text for the key or assign a media key function.

Finally, under the KB settings button, you can adjust the USB polling rate and the RGB brightness, including turning it off.

Connectivity

One of the big selling points of this is the three connection methods. You have 2.4GHz wireless via the USB dongle, Bluetooth, or wired using the included USB-C cable.

To change connection methods, you press the Fn key and then the corresponding key, where the print screen/scroll/pause buttons.

The majority of my testing was done with the USB cable attached. My office desktop is not aesthetic or tidy enough for me to worry too much about cables.

However, I also tested with 2.4GHz and Bluetooth, and the performance was excellent.

Typing Experience with Cherry MX Red Switches

My sample has the Cherry MX Red switches. The main difference between Reds and Browns is the actuation force difference and that browns have a designed bump in its travel, hence tactile, while Reds are completely smooth, hence linear.

Since August of last year, I have been using the JamesDonkey RS2, which uses Gateron G Pro Red switches.

The specs of the switches are:

  • Gateron G Pro Red
    • Type: Linear
    • Actuation Force: 45 cN
    • Actuation Point/Pre-Travel: 2 mm
    • Bottom Out Force: 55 cN
    • Bottom Out Travel/Travel Distance: 4 mm
  • Cherry MX Red
    • Type: Linear
    • Actuation Force: 45 cN
    • Actuation Point/Pre-Travel: 2 mm
    • Bottom Out Force: 60 cN
    • Bottom Out Travel/Travel Distance: 4 mm
  • Cherry MX Brown
    • Type: Tactile
    • Actuation Force: 45 cN
    • Actuation Point/Pre-Travel: 2 mm
    • Bottom Out Force: 60 cN
    • Bottom Out Travel/Travel Distance: 4 mm

Gateron have G Pro, and G Pro 2.0 models, which are slightly different, but I think my JamesDonkey uses the G Pro.

Cherry MX are better than Gateron for durability, being rated for 100 million keystrokes before deviating from factory conditions vs 60 million of the Gateron G Pro.

Since switching to the Gateron G Pro Red switches, I have been a linear switch convert. I always thought I liked something more clicky, but when it comes to writing, I swear the linear design improves my typing speed considerably.

I likely need to spend more time getting used to them, but I am not quite as keen on the Cherry MX Red. I am a bit heavy-handed, so I tend to bottom out with most of my keypresses, and I think that extra bit of force with the Cherry MX Red is noticeable, and they don’t feel quite as fast to type on.

But it is a small difference, and the MX 8.2 TKL is an enjoyable keyboard to work on. Apart from the lack of a number pad and media key, I found that there was no time to adjust. All the keys felt perfectly positioned for my liking.

I am not a competitive gamer or even a good gamer, but this keyboard performance well in all the games I played.

You have a good range of additional functions available via the Fn key in combination with the F keys.

Price and Alternative Options

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The Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL has an RRP of $220.58 (USD), and it is listed on Amazon UK for £167.67. The Cherry Xtrfy website indicates that this should be available from the 19th of May, with the US layout available from mid-July.

There are so many mechanical keyboards on the market it is a bit difficult to find alternative products. Like for like alternatives are a little hard to come by.

The Corsair K70 PRO is smaller, using a 60% form factor, but it is wireless and uses Cherry MX Red switches and costs £170.

The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX PBT TKL is tenkeyless and includes a wrist wrest. It uses ROG RX Optical Mechanical Switches and costs £145.

There is also the ASUS ROG Falchion Cherry MX Red for £145 which is 65% form factor. It is wireless but lacks Bluetooth.

Logitech has either the G715 for £180 or the G915 TKL for £220 and uses Logitech switches, with the G915 being low profile.

Keychron is probably the most affordable alternative. The Keychron K8 with RGB, aluminium frame, and Gateron G Pro Red keys is just $99+$14 shipping.

Overall

I think the Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL Wireless is an excellent mechanical keyboard. The overall build quality is particularly impressive. The aluminium frame gives this a more premium and durable feel than any other keyboard I currently have in my office.

I like how the keyboard doesn’t have any unnecessary design elements. It has a basic rectangular shape with exposed RGB and no outer bezels, which gives the keyboard a clean and simple aesthetic.

The typing experience is excellent, as you’d expect from Cherry MX switches. This is excellent for both demanding gaming and work environments.

While this is not a cheap keyboard, I think once you factor in all the features and premium components, it justifies the cost.

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless Mechanical Keyboard Review Rating
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Summary

The Cherry Xtrfy MX 8.2 TKL Wireless is an excellent mechanical keyboard. The overall build quality is particularly impressive.

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