Cherry KC 6000C for Mac Review:
With the KC 6000C, Cherry offers a beautifully engineered basic Mac keyboard that doesn’t bring much to the keyboard conversation other than they can be made more affordable while maintaining quality. MacBook users, in particular, will appreciate the Apple-ness of the KC6000, but its permanent USC-C cable, lack of backlighting, and kludgy support for typing angle prove quality can combine with a lack of inspiration.
Cherry KC 6000C for Mac Review
I have come to love mechanical keyboards. The Cherry brand often arrives with any mention of mechanical keyboards, as most other brands tout their “Cherry compatible” switches. But Cherry also makes scissor-switch keyboards with a flat profile that appeal to many Macintosh owners, given Apple’s design inclinations.
Post-CES 2023 Cherry introduced me to their products through the $39.99 Cherry KC 6000C for Mac. This beautiful, wired chicklet-style keyboard, however, doesn’t offer the high-end typing experience available on mechanical keyboards. Still, it does a perfectly serviceable job as a basic Mac keyboard that looks good while it works.
What we like
- Well-engineered with a clean, beautiful design
- Supports USB-C
- 2-year warranty
- Plastic-free packaging
The Cherry KC 6000C is a clean, beautiful design with an aesthetic clearly derived from Apple’s. Apple fans will appreciate Cherry leaning into Apple with dedicated function keys that control thirteen basic Mac functions like brightness, volume, audio control, and search.
Typing is a matter of subjectivity as the flat keys and flat profile may not be for everyone. However, for those who want a better input angle, the keyboard does come with additional feet to change the pitch. I have been spoiled by well-sculpted keys that rise significantly above their keyboards, but I found the KC 6000C’s chicklet keys adequate for all but the most intense writing sessions.
A built-in zoom key works with the Accessibility↦Zoom feature (turn on the keyboard shortcuts option) to zoom in on the active window.
The “C” in the Cherry KC 6000C model’s name comes from its support for USB-C. The keyboard connects via a supplied 5.9-foot (1.8-meter) USB-C cable that should loop around most desks, for instance, to attach to an iMac.
Unlike many lower-priced keyboards, the Cherry KC 6000C includes an integrated metal plate that keeps it in place on a desk and ensures it doesn’t bend when traveling. The durable keys, and perhaps just as importantly, their labels, are designed to hold up to many hours of typing.
The KC 6000C is also a full keyboard, meaning both full-sized and complete with a 10-keypad. Buyers need to make sure their desktops will accommodate a keyboard longer than 17 inches.
Cherry backs the KC 6000C with a 2-year warranty—the plastic-free packaging rates as excellent on the environmental packaging front.
What could be improved
- No backlighting
- Not a great typing experience for productive writers or devs
- Only Wired connection
- Fixed cable (that is long enough and too long, depending on the circumstances.)
- Lack of integrated feet for changing the typing angle.
Despite being from Cherry, the KC 6000C is an entry-level keyboard in many ways. It lacks wireless support and backlighting. Cherry does emphasize the “shimmering blue keyframe” which speaks to a kind of reflective backlight, but that design element is only noticeable in well-lit spaces. I would much rather enjoy good backlighting, especially on a wired keyboard where power management isn’t an issue. Adding backlighting will also, of course, raise the price.
While the KC 6000C looks like an Apple keyboard, the keys require more effort than Apple’s. That means Cherry should design their switches for people who type for a living—those who don’t will quickly adopt a good keyboard, but those who live on keyboards will just as quickly abandon a poor one.
I am not a fan of permanent cables on a keyboard. The fixed cable choice does not allow for replacements for looks or function. The 5.9-foot cable doesn’t make much sense in tight quarters, such as my desk, where the keyboard sits only about a foot from a USB-C hub, leaving nearly five feet of cable bundled on the desktop. And if something happens to the cable, the keyboard is done. A USB-C port on the KC 6000C would be a welcomed addition.
I would also like to see a version of this keyboard without the 10-keypad.
I would rather see the design include integrated feet, as, to be honest, I recycled the plastic-free packaging after taking pictures for my review files—and missed that the feet were placed somewhere in that box.
Cherry KC 6000C for Mac: The bottom line
As an alternative to Apple’s more expensive keyboard, the Cherry KC 6000C fits into an Apple desktop environment perfectly. And adequately so. At the $39.99 price point, buyers won’t be disappointed but won’t be inspired. The Cherry KB 6000C doesn’t add much to the Mac keyboard conversation.
I would like to see the company take its clear engineering prowess and create a keyboard that doesn’t just prove it understands Apple’s aesthetic but adds its unique spin, like meaningful backlighting, compactness, wired + wireless connectivity, and an excellent way to deal with typing angle. People will be willing to pay more for a Mac keyboard that isn’t just an Apple knockoff. Just ask Logitech.
Cherry provided the KC 6000C for Mac for review. Images courtesy of Cherry unless otherwise noted.
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