The Cherry Stream Keyboard is a wired keyboard that is one of the best basic-grade all-around keyboards for ordinary office and home computers. So, how can you improve on something that’s already quite good? Of course, you snipped the cord! The Cherry Stream Wireless Keyboard ($49.99) has almost all of the same features as the wired version, including a silent keystroke, long-lasting key labels, and Cherry’s SX scissor key switches. When you combine these capabilities with 2.4GHz wireless technology and 128-bit AES encryption while keeping the price reasonable, you have our new Editors’ Choice pick for cheap wireless keyboards.
- Design with a low profile
- Feeling at ease when typing
- Battery life is rated as 36 months
- AES encryption with a key length of 128 bits
- The customization software is really basic
- Support for Mac is limited
- AA batteries are required
CHERRY STREAM WIRELESS KEYBOARD SPECS
|Number of Keys||115|
|Dedicated Shortcut Keys||Yes|
|Onboard Profile Storage||No|
|N-Key Rollover Support||Yes|
A Cherry That’s More Appetizing
The full-size Cherry Stream Wireless is quite the looker, with a low profile that resembles an Apple Magic Keyboard. The attractive board has a full number keyboard as well as specialized media buttons and shortcuts to check your email, calculate, and even lock your computer. It has a frame that measures 0.9 x 18.1 by 6.3 inches, which is roughly identical to the wired Cherry Stream (HWD). It doesn’t quite match the Apple Magic Keyboard with Touch ID’s razor-thin dimensions, but it beats out just about any full-size mechanical keyboard in that regard. It also has a light frame, weighing only 2.08 pounds.
On the gray belly of the keyboard, you’ll find eight rubber grips that help keep the keyboard still and secure on your desk, as well as two feet that pop out of the keyboard’s frame to give additional support and height. The legs are stiff and need some energy to come out, but once out, they are strong enough to stand on their own.
There’s also a battery door underneath—the Cherry Stream Wireless runs on AA batteries. While this may be a drawback for some, it does offer a staggering 36 months of use without the need for a replacement pair. Keep in mind that if you run out of power, you won’t be able to connect by wire.
It’s simple to set up. When using the Cherry Stream, you won’t need any other software (save for the optional software download, which we’ll discuss later). It’s as simple as plugging in the USB dongle and turning on the board. The 128-bit AES encryption on the 2.4GHz connection is designed to encrypt and safeguard your inputs while they’re in transit between the board and your PC.
You could notice a definite lack of pizzazz with the Cherry Stream if you’re used to more expensive mechanical gaming keyboards. There is no RGB lighting—in fact, no key backlighting at all—as there is on the MSI GK71 Sonic Mechanical Keyboard. It also lacks any further visual flare, except from the LEDs that indicate a low charge or an enabled feature. Cherry doesn’t include a wrist rest or USB passthrough, instead opting for a set of specialized media buttons at the top of the keyboard’s basic chassis. This is an office keyboard, not one that will brighten up your bedroom.
Key Switch Quality You’re Used To…But It’s Not Mechanical
Cherry is perhaps best known for its mechanical key switches, which are frequently imitated by gamers and finicky typing fans. The Cherry Stream isn’t designed to be a gaming keyboard (though it may be used that way if necessary), but it offers a fantastic typing feel. Instead of the conventional, clicky Cherry mechanical switches (such the Cherry MX Blue, MX Black, and so on), this model uses SX scissor switches, which are less expensive options that keep key strokes even, responsive, and silent.
While I’m not a big fan of scissor switches and prefer the clicky, typewriter-like switches found in mechanical keyboards, the Cherry Stream convinced me otherwise. My issue with most Apple keyboards (a popular model that uses scissor switches) is that the boards are so narrow and unergonomic that typing for long periods of time can be painful. However, this is not the case with the Cherry Stream.
The Cherry Stream also includes an extra software installation that lets users to customize the function row and media key row to their preferences. The app’s sleek and basic interface makes creating macros, setting up text blocks, and assigning a few additional functions a breeze.
However, too much simplicity might backfire. New users may struggle to figure out how to alter settings without instructions or a tour. You won’t be able to alter macros if you’re a Mac user, which is something to consider if you’re searching for a Mac keyboard replacement.
Ideal for the Workplace
When done effectively, a basic keyboard can be a genuine keeper that you keep from PC to PC. The Cherry Stream Wireless is an office keyboard that comes close to being perfect. While it doesn’t compare to other ergonomic office keyboards like the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard in terms of comfort, the Cherry Stream Wireless is strong and trustworthy while keeping a slim, low profile.
Most importantly, its keys are long-lasting and comfortable to use, which is great for someone who spends hours in front of a computer typing. The Cherry Stream Wireless is an easy recommendation for basic wireless use and one of the best lower-end wireless keyboards available, and it comes at a great price.