If you need evidence that Kaihua is really fast at iterating on switch designs, look no further than the limited edition “China Style” switches the company had in its CES 2019 booth. I couldn’t get much information out of any of the reps who were manning the booth as to why exactly Kaihua was making these switches, but suffice it to say that it’s just a promotional thing. It’s unclear if you’ll actually be able to buy them or not, but I suspect that you will. In other words, it’s promotional, but not fake; these are serious members of the Box switch family. I’m just not sure how many Kaihua will make.
There are four China Style switches, each with a fun name that goes beyond mere color: Chinese Red, Noble Yellow, Glazed Green, and Ancient Grey. The Red version is linear; it actually appears to just be a slight remake of the regular Box Red switch. Both have the same specs. The only difference appears to be that the bottom, opaque part of the switch housing is red instead of white. The Glazed Green switch looks to be the same as the clicky Box White switch (other than the color).
The other two, though, have more unique specs. The Noble Yellow doesn’t appear to have a twin anywhere in Kaihua’s catalog. The closest is probably the Box Jade, which has a similar clicky and tactile force curve, but different weights. Noble Yellow is 65gf (+/-10gf) at the bump and what looks like 45gf or so at the actuation point. The Box Jade requires 10gf more to get over the tactile bump and actuates at 50gf.
The most notable of the quartet is the linear Ancient Grey switch that requires a hearty 95gf (+/-10gf) to actuate. The closest thing Kaihua has to that is the Box Navy, which does have 95gf (+/-15gf) at the tactile bump, but it’s not linear like the Ancient Grey switch. That puts the Ancient Grey in rarefied air.
All four of the China Style switches have actuation points of 1.8mm and total travel of 3.6mm, like the rest of the Box switches. And yes, they’re all generation-two Box switches (or whatever we’re calling them), sporting the modified cross stems, so they shouldn’t be cracking any keycaps.
This is wild speculation on my part, but I wonder if these special China-themed switches are destined for this summer’s Ducky “Year of the” keyboard. The annual themed keyboard is always China-focused, based loosely on the Chinese Zodiac, and may involve a renown Chinese artist. This year was the Ducky Year of the Dog, for example, featuring Michael Chan, founder of HongKong Tattoo. For the record, 2019 is the Year of the Pig. Here’s hoping the porcine peripheral will come rocking your choice of one of the four China Style Box switches.
|Kailh Box Chinese Red||Kailh Box Noble Yellow||Kailh Box Glazed Green||Kailh Box Ancient Grey|
|Type||Linear||Clicky, tactile||Clicky, tactile||Linear|
|Pretravel||1.8mm (+/-0.3mm)||1.8mm (+/-0.3mm)||1.8mm (+/-0.3mm)||1.8mm (+/-0.3mm)|
|Operation Force||45gf (+/-10gf)||45gf (+/-10gf) (est.)||45gf (+/-10gf) (est.)||95gf (+/-10gf)|
|Tactile Force||N/A||65gf (+/-10gf)||50gf (+/-10gf)||N/A|