The Cherry and OEM keycap profiles stand as two iconic pillars in the realm of mechanical keyboards, each offering distinct attributes that shape both the tactile and visual aspects of typing.
This article embarks on a journey of exploration, dissecting the nuances, strengths, and considerations that accompany the decision between OEM and Cherry profile keycaps. As the canvas upon which the keyboard enthusiast's experience is painted, this choice holds the power to transform typing into an art form, blending comfort, aesthetics, and functionality into a harmonious whole. Join us as we delve into the realm of keycap profiles, uncovering the merits, drawbacks, and personal preferences that guide the path between Cherry and OEM.
Let's delve into the characteristics of both profiles to help you make an informed decision.
Keycap profiles refer to the specific shapes and dimensions of individual keycaps on a keyboard. Different profiles are designed to provide varying levels of comfort, ergonomics, aesthetics, and typing experiences. Keycap profiles play a significant role in determining how a keyboard feels to use, how keys are positioned and sculpted, and how the overall typing experience is perceived.
There are several popular keycap profiles, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most well-known keycap profiles include:
1. Cherry Profile: This is one of the earliest and most widely recognized keycap profiles. Cherry profile keycaps have a slight curve with a medium height, and the top of the keycap is cylindrical, meaning it follows a consistent curve. The Cherry profile keycaps are the standard to which other profiles are measured.
2. OEM Profile: Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) profile keycaps are usually often found on many mass-produced keyboards. OEM keycaps are generally taller and more rounded than Cherry profile keycaps, offering a slightly different typing feel. They are commonly used on standard office and gaming keyboards.
3. SA Profile: The Sculpted SA profile is characterized by its extremely tall and spherical keycaps. SA keycaps provide a distinctive and retro aesthetic and are often chosen for their unique appearance. Typing on SA profile keycaps can be quite different from other profiles due to their height.
4. DSA Profile: DSA keycaps have a uniform spherical shape and are relatively shorter compared to many other profiles. These keycaps are known for their consistent feel across all keys, which can be advantageous for touch typists.
5. XDA Profile: Similar to DSA, XDA keycaps are uniform in height and shape, but they have a wider top surface. XDA profile keycaps are sometimes chosen for their modern and minimalistic appearance.
6. KAT Profile: The KAT profile is similar to SA in terms of height, but it offers a more modern and streamlined design. KAT keycaps have a sculpted shape and a shorter keycap stem compared to SA.
The keycaps for your keyboard are your main interface with your computer. A keycap profile affects how comfortable and ergonomic the keyboard is, the tactile and auditory feedback you receive while typing, and the visual aesthetics of your setup. Since typing is a central activity for many people, choosing the right keycap profile can significantly enhance your enjoyment and productivity when using your keyboard.
You've probably heard about the Cherry profile keycaps in your quest for the perfect typing experience, but what's all the hype about? Let's dive into the rich history and unique characteristics of these sought-after keycaps.
The Cherry keycap profile has a rich history that dates back to the early days of mechanical keyboards. It was developed by Cherry Corporation, a German company that has been a prominent player in the mechanical keyboard industry since the 1950s.
Cherry Corporation was founded in 1953 by Walter Cherry in Auerbach, Germany. The company initially focused on producing electrical components and switches for various industries.
In the 1970s, Cherry Corporation expanded its product offerings to include mechanical keyboard switches. These switches, known as Cherry MX switches, became popular due to their durability and tactile feel. As mechanical keyboards gained traction, Cherry Corporation saw an opportunity to innovate further by designing a keycap profile that complemented their switches.
Cherry Corporation introduced the Cherry keycap profile as a way to enhance the typing experience for users of their mechanical switches. The profile was characterized by a slight curve, medium keycap height, and cylindrical keycap tops. This design aimed to provide a comfortable and ergonomic typing experience while maintaining compatibility with Cherry MX switches.
The Cherry keycap profile gained widespread recognition and adoption within the mechanical keyboard community. Its compatibility with Cherry MX switches and its comfortable typing feel made it a popular choice for many enthusiasts and manufacturers.
Over time, other keycap profiles emerged such as the OEM, SA, and DSA profiles. Despite the competition, the Cherry profile remained a preferred option for many users due to its balanced design and compatibility with a variety of keyboards.
As the mechanical keyboard community expanded, enthusiasts began customizing their keyboards with unique keycap sets. Custom keycap manufacturers started producing sets in various profiles, including the Cherry profile, allowing users to personalize their keyboards according to their preferences.
Even in the face of newer profiles, the Cherry profile has retained its popularity and influence. It's often chosen for its comfortable typing experience, tactile feedback, and compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards.
Cherry profile keycaps are a popular choice among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts due to their comfortable design and widespread compatibility. However, like any keycap profile, they come with both advantages and disadvantages.
The Cherry keycap profile is known for its comfortable and balanced design, and it has inspired the creation of various popular keycap sets that are widely used by mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. Here are some of the popular Cherry keycap profiles:
1. GMK (Group Buy Manufacturing Keycaps): GMK is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality keycap sets in various profiles, including Cherry. GMK keycaps are highly regarded for their precise legends, durable doubleshot construction, and vibrant color options. These sets often feature unique themes and designs that cater to a wide range of tastes.
2. EnjoyPBT: EnjoyPBT produces keycap sets in Cherry profile using dye-sublimation printing on PBT plastic. They offer a range of colorways and designs that appeal to both minimalists and enthusiasts looking for unique themes.
3. ePBT (Electronic Plastic Keyboards): Similar to EnjoyPBT, ePBT produces Cherry profile keycap sets with dye-sublimation printing on PBT plastic. They are known for their high-quality and affordable options, making them a popular choice for those seeking well-made keycaps without breaking the bank.
4. SA-inspired Cherry Keycaps: While SA profile is a separate keycap profile, some manufacturers have produced Cherry profile sets that are inspired by the SA aesthetic. These sets often have a more sculpted look, giving users a chance to experience a taller profile with Cherry compatibility.
5. Keycap Group Buys: The mechanical keyboard community often organizes group buys for unique and limited-edition Cherry profile keycap sets. These group buys allow enthusiasts to purchase exclusive sets with custom designs, colors, and themes.
6. Artisan Keycaps: Some artisan keycap makers create Cherry profile artisan keycaps. These are typically small, sculpted keycaps that add a unique touch to a keyboard. Artisan keycaps are often collectible and can complement larger keycap sets.
In this discussion, you'll delve into the world of OEM profile keycaps. You'll explore their distinct features and origins, comparing them with other popular profiles like Cherry and SA. You'll also unpack their pros and cons.
Additionally, you'll get to discover some of the most sought-after OEM profile keycap sets in the market.
Most importantly, you'll learn why many users gravitate towards OEM profile over other options. It's not just about standard availability or cost-effectiveness, but also about personal preference in typing feel and aesthetics.
The OEM keycap profile, like the Cherry profile, has a history that's deeply intertwined with the evolution of mechanical keyboards. OEM stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer," and the OEM keycap profile is one of the earliest and most commonly used profiles in the keyboard industry.
In the early days of mechanical keyboards, various manufacturers produced keyboards with different keycap designs. One of these designs, which eventually became known as the OEM profile, emerged as a standard for many mass-produced keyboards.
As mechanical keyboards became more popular, there was a need to standardize keycap shapes and sizes to ensure compatibility and interchangeability. The OEM profile was developed to create a consistent keycap design that could be used across different keyboard models and brands.
The OEM profile features a slightly curved top surface on its keycaps, and the keycaps are generally taller compared to the Cherry profile. The curved top contributes to a comfortable typing experience, and the taller height is aimed at improving the aesthetics and overall feel of the keyboard.
The OEM keycap profile gained widespread adoption due to its compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards. Many major keyboard manufacturers used the OEM profile in their products, contributing to its popularity and recognition.
The OEM profile's popularity is partly attributed to its use in a variety of consumer keyboards, from office keyboards to gaming peripherals. Its design is often aimed at providing a comfortable and approachable typing experience for a broad audience.
OEM keycaps were traditionally made from ABS plastic, which is less durable than PBT but can have a glossy finish. Over time, custom keycap manufacturers started producing PBT keycap sets in the OEM profile, offering enthusiasts the option for higher-quality materials.
While the basic shape and design of the OEM profile have remained relatively consistent, there have been slight variations and adaptations by different keyboard manufacturers. Some OEM keycap sets may have slightly different curvature or height, but the general characteristics remain similar.
Using OEM profile keycaps comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. These keycaps have a standard design that's been widely adopted in mass-produced keyboards, making them a familiar choice for many users.
The OEM keycap profile itself is a standardized design that's widely used in many mass-produced keyboards. However, when it comes to aftermarket keycap sets that follow the OEM profile, there are several manufacturers and collections that offer popular and high-quality options.
1. HyperX Pudding Keycaps: HyperX is a gaming brand that offers Pudding Keycaps in the OEM profile. These keycaps have a dual-layer design with translucent sides that allow RGB backlighting to shine through, creating a unique and vibrant lighting effect.
2. Razer PBT Keycap Upgrade Sets: Razer, a popular gaming brand, offers PBT keycap sets in the OEM profile. These sets are made from more durable PBT plastic and are designed to enhance the look and feel of Razer keyboards.
3. Ducky Keycap Sets: Ducky is a reputable keyboard manufacturer that produces a variety of keycap sets in the OEM profile. These sets often come in PBT plastic and feature unique colorways and designs.
4. Tai-Hao OEM Keycap Sets: Tai-Hao is a well-known manufacturer of aftermarket keycap sets. They offer a wide range of colorful and themed keycap sets in the OEM profile, catering to different aesthetics and preferences.
5. Drop (formerly Massdrop) Keycap Collaborations: Drop collaborates with various keycap designers and manufacturers to produce high-quality keycap sets in different profiles, including OEM. These sets often feature unique themes and designs that are appealing to enthusiasts.
6. Keycap Group Buys and Artisans: While not always mass-produced, there are also various keycap group buys and artisan makers that create unique OEM profile keycap sets. These sets might be limited in quantity and offer distinctive designs and colorways.
Choosing between different Cherry and OEM profile keycap sets involves considering a variety of factors to ensure you select a set that aligns with your preferences and needs. Here are some important factors to consider when making your decision:
Beyond Cherry and OEM, there's a whole world of other styles that might be the perfect fit for your typing or gaming needs.
In addition to the Cherry and OEM keycap profiles, there are several other popular keycap profiles that offer unique aesthetics, tactile experiences, and customization options.
Each of these keycap profiles offers a different typing feel, aesthetic, and overall experience.
Cherry profile keycaps, with their ergonomic design and tactile feedback, have etched themselves into the annals of keyboard history. Their curved tops and medium height create a typing experience that combines comfort with accuracy. Their compatibility with Cherry MX switches and a balanced aesthetic has made them a staple for enthusiasts seeking a versatile and classic keyboard setup.
OEM profile keycaps offer a familiar, universally accessible design. As the cornerstone of many mass-produced keyboards, they provide a comfortable and approachable typing experience with their curved tops and taller height. Their compatibility and widespread availability make them an attractive choice for those seeking a straightforward option.
The choice between Cherry and OEM profiles depends on individual preferences and priorities. A careful evaluation of factors such as comfort, typing feel, sound, aesthetics, customization, and compatibility will guide the selection process.