Alienware m15 and m17 R4 gain genuine Cherry MX mechanical keys — What you need to know

Alienware m17 R4
(Image credit: Future)

Mechanical keyboards are virtually impossible to find on even the very best gaming laptops because these keys tend to be on the chunky side. However, Dell's Alienware revealed today a new design that's finally bringing the clicky sounds of Cherry MX to laptops.

Alienware announced it's adding Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches to its laptops thanks to an all-new "ultra-low profile" design. The keys can now be added to Alienware's m15 R4 and m17 R4 laptops. 

Alienware's "MX Ultra Low Profile" mechanical keyboard

Alienware originally teased that it was partnering with Cheery MX to bring us something "sweet," and now we know it's in the (small) form of the "MX Ultra Low Profile." Apparently, it took 160 prototypes to get it right over the past 3.5 years, so here's hoping the new design does the laptop justice.

On mechanical keyboards using Cherry MX, keys are quite thick as MX original keys stand at 18.5mm tall, while even the MX low-profile key switches are 11.9mm tall. These aren't the best fit for laptop keyboards, but the MX ultra-low profile's 3.5mm makes it a lot more realistic. 

Alienware Cherry MX Ultra Low Mechanical Keyboard Switches

(Image credit: Alienware)

The new Cherry MX mechanical keyboard options are now available when purchasing Alienware's fourth-gen m15 R4 and m17 R4 laptops, which are two of the best gaming laptops you can get today. Although, it will cost you an extra $150 in to get the additional features. Apparently, the design of both laptops didn't have to be tweaked at all to be compatible with the new switches, so don't expect any other major changes.

While we haven't been able to test the keyboards out ourselves, we do know the upgrades will have per-key RGB backlighting, full N-key rollover, and anti-ghosting features, a perfect combo for gaming.

Prefer to plug in an external keyboard instead? Never fear, as the very best mechanical gaming keyboard options are here. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.