Cherry MX 8.2 TKL review: strength, speed, and accuracy in a compact frame

A great choice for gamers and professionals alike

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard is a genuinely amazing keyboard from its high-accuracy switches to wide variety of features like multiple connection types. This is one keeb that is sure to be your next best friend at work and when gaming.


  • +

    One of the best switches

  • +

    Sturdy aluminum frame

  • +

    Performance boosting-features

  • +

    Multiple connection types

  • +

    Configurable RGB lighting


  • -

    Might too small for some

  • -

    Bulky carrying case

  • -

    Not hot swappable

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Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless: Two-minute review

Pop quiz: what is the one piece of technology a programmer, a gamer, and a writer need the most? The answer: a comfortable keyboard. 

That may sound a bit random, but it's true if you think about. Be it working on a new app, playing a game online, or even typing up a review, every scenario requires clacking away for hours on end. Because you'd be typing for long stretches, you need a keyboard that's both comfortable and sturdy to handle your life.

I believe I have found such a keyboard: the Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless keyboard.

Weighting nearly a hefty two pounds, the MX 8.2 TKL is a small, mid-range keyboard that performs like a high-end one. It features your choice of the company's Cherry MX Red switches (one of, if the, best keyboard switches on the market today) or the Cherry MX Browns. 

The MX Red switches are ideal for action-packed games since they send out inputs quickly. But even if you're not a gamer, the Cherry MX 8.2 TKL is still highly recommended. It sports a wide array of features that individually may not be game-changers, but together coalesce into one of the best keyboards and among the best wireless keyboards out there. 

The company seems to have a lot of confidence in their model as comes with its own aluminum carrying case. Unboxing the keyboard felt dramatic like you're opening a treasure chest. I could almost hear The Legend of Zelda chest jingle playing in the background. The case is certainly fitting (if cumbersome) as Cherry's latest keeb is quite a treasure itself and very fun to use.

Finding a keyboard that feels good to type on is like finding a perfect pair of shoes. Once you find it, you'll wear them until they fall apart at the seams.

That was a bit of a tangent, but it perfectly encapsulates how I feel about the MX 8.2 keyboard. Apart from certain situations where I have to use another keyboard, I can't imagine myself ever using another keeb. It's just that good. 

The main reason I like the Cherry MX 8.2 keyboard so much is because it feels really good to type on. One reason for this is its construction. The housing is made out of aluminum like the carrying case, giving the device a nice heft to it without being overtly heavy. On the back are a couple of stiff rubber stands allowing the keeb to sit at an angle. The stands are quite sturdy themselves as during our testing the Cherry MX 8.2 stated rock solid no matter how times one of the keys was repeatedly pressed.

Whenever I playing a Final Fantasy XIV, for example, I mash the daylights out of my keys to ensure my in-game skills activate (My internet isn't the best). In my time mashing buttons like a madman, I did not suffer any sort of hand fatigue or pain even after a whole day of writing articles for TechRadar.

A major factor in enabling this comfort are the switches. The review unit I have features the Cherry MX Brown switches, which, according to the company, offers "quiet operation and noticeable actuation". In other words, it offers fast performance without being overtly loud. Cherry states in a blog post the Browns are ideal for gamers who do a lot of typing – like me.

The Browns are tactile switches, meaning you don't have to push them all the way down to type. Actuation is 2.0mm with a total travel distance of 4.0mm. A light touch is all you need. As long as you feel the bump when typing, the input goes through. 

The other model sports Cherry MX Reds which are linear switches. This means you'll have to press the keys with the Reds all the way down to register an input. They lack the tactile bump. Both options will feel smooth and consistent when typing although the Reds will be slightly faster in sending out inputs. 

Choosing the right switches comes down to what your personal situation. Personally, I prefer the Browns. I'm someone who does a lot of writing from articles to reviews as well as my own personal writing. And being the nerd that I am, I play a lot of video games. I need something that can pull double-duty; something that's easy on the hands while also being good for gaming. The Brown switches meets those needs. 

The Reds are meant for people who want a keyboard solely or mostly for gaming. The lack of tactile bump means you have to press these all the way down to send an input. These are still good for typing; however you may experience a bit of hand fatigue using the Cherry MX Reds over a long period of time. 

Do be aware that neither the Browns or Reds are clicky switches. They're fairly quiet, but they do still make some sound. Unfortunately, the switches on the MX 8.2 TKL are not hot swappable so you can't exchange the switches for something like the Cherry Blues.

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard

(Image credit: Future)

I want to shoutout the software features since they also play a major role in making this Cherry keyboard so good. You have Full-N-Key Rollover to ensure no inputs are lost. Anti-ghosting is present to prevent weird typos and latency is less than a millisecond. 

Thanks to this batch of software, performance was tiptop whether I used a wired, Bluetooth, or 2.4GHz connection. Rest easy knowing the quality is there regardless of preferred connection type.

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Layout: Tenkeyless
Switch: Cherry MX Red or MX Brown
Programmable keys: Fully programmable keys via Cherry Utility app
Dimensions: 16.57 x 8.86 x 3.07 inches (167 x 225 x 78 mm)
Weight: 1.81 lbs
RGB: Yes

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless: price and availability

  • How much does it cost?: $149.99 / £210
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and the UK

The Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard is a bit pricey at $150 / £210. First time buyers may be put off a little by the cost, but realize it's actually one of the cheaper options out there for the best gaming keyboards. Many of them push more towards $200 and above. Granted, there are good cheap options out there like the Razer Huntsman V2 TKL; however, a lot of them tend to be pretty barebones. They don't have a lot in the way of features. If it wasn't for the RGB, the low-cost options would be basically like your garden variety office keyboard

Think of the MX 8.2 keyboard as being in a Goldilocks position. It offers high-quality performance, smooth typing feel, a sturdy build, numerous features – all at a relatively price. It's just right, in our opinion.

SHOULD I BUY THE Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless?

Buy it if...

You want a well performing keyboard
The Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard provides world-class performance thanks to its Cherry Red switches, but if you something more comfortable, you can't go wrong with the Cherry Browns.

You want a wireless keyboard with good connectivity
Whether you use a wired or wireless connections via Bluetooth, the Cherry MK 8.2 TKL performs well across the board. 

You want a lot of features
From RGB lighting to anti-ghosting software, this keyboard sports a wide features that won't leave you wanting more.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
$150 isn't super expensive for a gaming keyboard, but it can be pricey for newcomers. There are other options out there.

You're want a bigger keyboard
The Cherry MX 8.2 keeb is pretty compact so typing on it may be tricky for some people. 

Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless: Also consider


Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard
Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard is another well-performing device complete with mod kit; although it is expensive.

Read our full Drop + The Lord of the Rings Elvish keyboard review


Corsair K100 Air Wireless
The Corsair K100 Air Wireless keyboard is an ultra-thin device sporting an 8,000Hz polling rate and a ton of features.

Read our full Corsair K100 Air Wireless review

How I tested the Cherry MX 8.2 TKL Wireless

  • Spent a couple of weeks testing
  • Time mostly spent working; occasionally gaming
  • Tested features and connectivity options

Most of the testing was done doing a lot of mundane tasks like writing up guides, reviews, news stories, and responding to emails. Day-to-day stuff. The reason being is because the review unit I had came with the Cherry Brown switches as mentioned earlier. From the moment I wake up in the morning to bedtime, I'm typing and clacking away at a keyboard; either because I'm working or playing a game. I need a keeb that can handle me.

Gaming with the Cherry MX 8.2 TKL was pretty fun. A lot of the titles I play require a lot of key presses like recently released Remnant 2 and Final Fantasy XIV. In my entire time testing, I didn't suffer from hand fatigue once.

Read more about how we test

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.