Kailh have created a low-profile mechanical keyboard switch that’s fated to create a new generation of noisy, clacking gaming laptops. Their new Mini Chocolate switches will allow laptop manufacturers to retain their small stylish chassis, while also offering the satisfying feel of a mechanical keyboard. Tasty.
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Gamers need mechanical switches for the quickest reaction manoeuvres, the fastest reloads, the most macro keys… and well, they also feel great to type on. Gaming laptops forgo mechanical keyboards the majority of the time, leaving on-the-go gamers stuck with mushy keys and more typos.
Fear not, laptop gamers, Kailh have come to save you from the doldrums of dead keys with no feedback to bring you into the mechanical light. Kailh have created the Mini Chocolate low-profile PG1232 switch.
With a lower height than regular mechanical switches, they achieve a total travel of 2.4mm and actuate at 1.2mm with 50g force. The popular Cherry MX switch range use a travel distance of 4mm and actuate at 2.2mm with 50g force on their standard switches. Kailh also have a range of slightly taller PG1350 Chocolate keyswitches, with a slightly longer travel and higher actuation point.
Kailh aren’t the first manufacturer to ditch the standardised height for mechanical keyswitches, with Razer creating their own ultra-low profile switch back in 2016. These switches only grace Razer’s 4K Blade Pro and an iPad accessory for the time being. Multiple laptop manufacturers are also doing their best to find the balance between reduced height switches and that true mechanical switch feel, such as Gigabyte with the Aorus X9 and HP with the 2.5mm travel on the mech-board built into their upcoming Omen X.
Laptops with full-fledged mechanical keyboards have been available for a little while now. The sheer size of these laptops, such as MSI’s GT80 2QE Titan SLI, or Acer’s Predator 21 X, is enough to remove most of the portability factor customers will most likely be looking for in a laptop.
Kailh are sure to get some of their new low-profile keyswitches out to manufacturers as soon as possible, meaning we will hopefully see laptops utilising these keyswitches out in the wild very shortly. And not just the ultra-enthusiast class ones, too.
With current mechanical keyboard offerings in laptops drastically increasing chassis size, low-profile mechanical keys may finally be able to satiate gamers who want to both game on a full-fledged gaming laptop, and move their machine from place to place without requiring a forklift truck.