PC & Console Peripherals

Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact Test – Gaming keyboard with MX2A Red switches

During Gamescom 2023, Cherry presented the new MX2 switches, the successor to the popular MX switches. Cherry uses these directly for the newly presented and hot-swappable Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact gaming keyboard, which is based on the K5 that was developed without Cherry. In addition to the new MX2 switches, it offers a compact 65% layout, two layers of sound-absorbing foam and RGB lighting. The keyboard is available in black and white, but can also be customized in the configurator. Find out whether the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact and its new MX2 switches are convincing in our test.

Technical data of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact

Key switch type Cherry MX2A Red
Switch types offered Cherry MX2A Red, more in the configurator
Replaceable switches yes, hot-swappable
Form factor 65 %
Keycaps ABS
Rollover technology Full key rollover with 100 % anti-ghosting
Special features factory-lubricated switch stabilizers, two sound-absorbing layers, on-the-fly macro recordings, WIN key lock for gaming
Lighting Per-key RGB LEDs
Connector USB-C
Dimensions 325 x 110 x 37 mm
Weight 694 g
Color black, white, more in the configurator
Scope of delivery Keyboard, detachable braided USB-C to USB-A cable (2 m), keycap and switch puller, sticker, quick start guide
Price € 139.00 *

Scope of delivery

The Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact comes in a black cardboard box, on the front of which the complete gaming keyboard including RGB lighting is depicted. In addition to the Cherry Xtrfy logo, you will also find the model name and a sticker indicating the built-in switches. On the back, the mechanical MX switches are described in general and some of the keyboard’s features are listed. The technical data, on the other hand, can be found on one of the side panels.

In addition to the Xtrfy K5V2 Compact itself, a 2 m long braided USB-C to USB-A cable, a keycap and switch puller, a sticker and several short instructions are included in the scope of delivery.

Customization options at a glance

The Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact is currently only listed with MX2A Red RGB switches (linear) and in the colors black and white in price comparisons. The gaming keyboard is due to be released on March 15 and can also be configured via the Cherry online store.

The configuration options include the layout, the housing, the switches, the keycaps, the cable and a logo plate. In addition to the MX2A Red RGB switches, MX2A Blue, Brown, Black, Speed, Speed Silver, Silent, Special, with partly unknown availability, and other switches are also available. You can either assemble the keyboard yourself or it will be delivered already assembled for €25. Cherry also offers the parts individually. The configurator offers a variety of options – Cherry itself writes over 150 – but the price can also increase significantly depending on your own preferences and ideas.

Design and workmanship of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact

The black Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact is completely monochrome – as is the white version – and has a compact 65% keyboard layout with just 68 keys. There are no separate macro keys and all other functions are available via an Fn key and double assignments. The keycaps used are made of ABS, which is rather smooth and is used on most keyboards. Keycaps made of PBT, which is rougher and is considered particularly durable, are currently only available in the configurator for a small surcharge. Under the keycaps, we find Cherry’s new MX2A Red switches, which are interchangeable here. Cherry also uses switch stabilizers on larger keys for even pressure behaviour and two sound-absorbing layers for better keyboard acoustics.

The frame of the Xtrfy K5V2 Compact is made of plastic, is attached to the keyboard and can be easily replaced. However, the keyboard can also be used without the frame, making it even more compact. There is a sturdy metal plate under the frame, on which the switch bases and RGB LEDs are mounted. The USB-C port is located on the left at the back.

On the underside of the 694 g Xtrfy K5V2 Compact, there are four wide rubber pads to prevent the keyboard from slipping. The keyboard is already slightly inclined, and the two rubberized keyboard feet can be used to further increase the angle of inclination.

Material quality and workmanship

The material quality of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact turned out to be good in the test, the workmanship very good. It is a bit of a shame that the metal plate of the black keyboard is covered by a plastic frame. This looks less high-quality, but is probably due to the slightly translucent frame of the white version and the other different colored frames. Despite the modular design, the keyboard appears very stable and nothing creaks or wobbles.

Software, configuration and RGB lighting

Surprisingly, Cherry does not provide any software, although the Cherry Utility is available for other keyboards to change the key assignment, keyboard settings and control the RGB lighting. All settings of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact are changed directly on the keyboard using key combinations and saved on the keyboard. The internal memory only contains one profile; it is not possible to switch between different profiles.

RGB illumination is possible with six typing effects and seven wave effects, the speed and brightness of which can be adjusted. Cherry also offers static lighting for all keys or selected keys.

The various settings and the corresponding key combinations are documented in the operating instructions and a video guide (YouTube).

Practical test of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact

The Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact impressed us in our practical test. The keyboard is well made, the black version is visually rather plain. If you like it colorful, you can customize the keyboard to your liking thanks to different colored keycaps and frames in the configurator. In general, we see the configurator as a good addition to the black and white versions with MX2A Red RGB switches. The RGB lighting is very bright and can be extensively customized.

The compact 65% keyboard layout is a pleasure to use in everyday life and especially for gaming. The lettering on the keys is modern and easy to read both with and without lighting. This also applies to the many practical double assignments on the front of the keycaps, which are probably due to the lack of software. Speaking of software: we like the fact that all settings can be changed without software, but we would still like to see optional software for more extensive settings such as the RGB lighting, as this is easier to understand. You would also have a good overview of all settings within the software.

The new MX2A Red RGB switches are impressive

The typing feel of the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact is very pleasing. The ABS keycaps are high and pleasant to the touch, while the lubricated switch stabilizers also ensure even pressure response. However, as the keyboard is slightly higher, a palm rest would be desirable.

With the Xtrfy K5V2 Compact, Cherry is using the new MX2A Red RGB switches for the first time, which offer linear characteristics. The actuating force of 45 cN, the forward travel of 2 mm and the total travel of 4 mm are unchanged from the previous generation. While the switches are also unchanged on the outside, they have been revised internally in several places. They are now lubricated at the factory and feature a new spring geometry as well as revised guide grooves and plungers. More detailed information on this can be found on the Cherry homepage. In practice, this means that the popular switches can now be operated more smoothly and quietly. The two sound-absorbing layers also contribute to good acoustics, whereby the volume of the keyboard can be described as pleasant rather than quiet.

In addition to the fast linear switches, gamers are also offered the usual features such as full N-key rollover and anti-ghosting, whereby all inputs are recognized simultaneously and incorrect inputs are also recognized. Individual keys can also be deactivated using a key mask to prevent unwanted actions.

Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact test: Conclusion

The Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact leaves a good impression in the test, the new MX2A Red RGB switches even leave a very good impression. The compact keyboard is well made and looks rather plain in black. However, the keyboard can also be customized in the configurator and many components are available individually. Cherry thus offers the user a good introduction to the world of custom keyboards in addition to two monochrome variants. The bright RGB lighting is also visually appealing.

The new MX2A Red RGB switches offer the characteristics familiar from the first generation and very popular with many gamers. The switches have been slightly revised in several places and are now somewhat smoother and quieter. In addition to the new and replaceable switches, the Xtrfy K5V2 Compact also offers lubricated switch stabilizers and two sound-absorbing layers. This results in a very good typing feel and pleasant acoustics.

Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact

Workmanship
Features
Ergonomics
Software
Value for money

86/100

The compact gaming keyboard scores with good workmanship, a modular design with many customization options and very good switches. The new MX2A Red switches are a successful upgrade of the very popular MX Red switches.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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During Gamescom 2023, Cherry presented the new MX2 switches, the successor to the popular MX switches. Cherry uses these directly for the newly presented and hot-swappable Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact gaming keyboard, which is based on the K5 that was developed without Cherry. In addition to the new MX2 switches, it offers a compact 65% layout, two layers of sound-absorbing foam and RGB lighting. The keyboard is available in black and white, but can also be customized in the configurator. Find out whether the Cherry Xtrfy K5V2 Compact and its new MX2 switches are convincing in our test. Technical data … (Weiterlesen...)

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