review

Is this combo a must-have for the office?

Cherry is probably most known for mechanical switches, but Cherry Americas also carries an impressive line-up of peripherals. One of the latest releases, the Cherry DW 9100 Slim, takes a slim and stylish approach to a keyboard and mouse combo with both a wireless dongle and Bluetooth connectivity. Coming in at $109, is this the best combo for the office? Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details. 

Right out of the gate, one of the best features of this keyboard and mouse set is that it runs off of a single small USB dongle or Bluetooth. So either way, when they are connected to a computer, it has a pretty small footprint. 

Razer also has some peripherals that can connect to a single dongle, but typically for wireless peripherals you’re either limited to Bluetooth or have to rely on a separate dongle for each peripheral. 

Cherry DW 9100 Slim keyboard

At its core, the keyboard in the DW 9100 kit is a wireless slim keyboard aimed a style and productivity. In addition to the white and silver version we have here, Cherry also offers the set in a nice black and bronze variant.

Overall, the Cherry DW 9100 Slim keyboard feels sturdy and well built. There is very little flex in the body and metal faceplate. The sides and body are a white plastic that looks nice enough, but it doesn’t have quite the same premium look like an Apple Magic Keyboard. 

In its stock form, the keyboard has a slight rise to it for typing, but there is also a magnetic riser included to that angle a little higher. 

The Cherry DW 9100 Slim keyboard offers all of the functionality of a full-size keyboard with a number pad and then some. Navigation keys are right where you would expect them to be. Across the top, the F-keys are a little compressed for closer placement, which also lets the board pack in some extra keys.

Next to F12, the keyboard has a web browser button that will open a new window if you are in another application, or it will take the current tab to the home page when you are already working in a browser. At least, that is how it functions with Chrome as the default browser. 

There is also a lock button that will lock Windows and require the password or pin to get back in on the current user. 

On the number pad, the DW 9100 Slim adds an additional key along the right column to squeeze another backspace in. So if you are working in the calculator app or entering some figures into a spreadsheet, there isn’t a need to move your hand to hit backspace and quickly fix a mistake. 

Speaking of calculator, above the number pad are media controls for mute and volume as well as a dedicated button to pull up the calculator. 

Cherry DW 9100 Slim: Video

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Switches and typing

As a slim and low-profile keyboard, the DW 9100 Slim is using scissor mechanisms with short travel for switches. Overall, it types pretty well and sounds quiet, which matches the style of the keyboard. If you want a little more click, check out the Vissles LP85 we recently reviewed. 

The switches have nice travel and offer plenty of tactile feedback. It’s not too sharp or spongey, either. Personally, I would prefer a lighter actuation force, but that is going to be personal for everyone. 

The sound is quiet and muted, so it won’t disrupt anyone at the office, coffee shop, or at home. The Razer Pro Type is considerably more audible with its full MX-style switch design and proprietary Razer switches with Razer keycaps. 

Lighting

One bummer here is that there isn’t any backlighting on the keys. There are some specific lights on caps lock, num lock, and scroll lock that will illuminate when activated and will also show when the internal battery is getting low.

Though I don't know the exact numbers, battery life is pretty impressive on the Cherry DW 9100 Slim.

Cherry DW 9100 Slim mouse

For the mouse, Cherry has opted for a small symmetrical design. Despite that small size, though, it still comes in at 90g. With gaming mice of similar dimensions coming in at around 60g, that’s quite a bit more weight. It’s still easy to move around, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re looking for a lightweight mouse, this probably isn’t the right pick. 

Design-wise, the mouse looks sharp – the white with silver accents looks great next to the keyboard. The black and bronze colorway is also really striking on the mouse. Up top are the standard mouse 1 and mouse 2 buttons, a notched scroll wheel, and a DPI button with an LED light behind it. On the left side of the mouse are two thumb buttons and an indented shell that makes the mouse easy to grip. The right side dents in a little bit as well, but it doesn’t seem quite as much as the left side. On the bottom is the sensor, a three-way adjustable switch for power, RF wireless, and Bluetooth modes as well as a pairing button. 

The Cherry DW 9100 Slim mouse is relatively small compared to most mice.

The USB-C charging port is located right where it should be on the front of the mouse. 

I’m used to gaming mice which usually have a way to dial in the DPI to an exact number. The Cherry wireless mouse has three different DPI settings, but there is no way to dial it into an exact number. The three different DPI settings are 1000, 1600, and 2400 dpi. You can go into system settings and change the cursor speed, but that isn’t the most convenient thing to do and isn’t as precise as being able to dial in a DPI setting. 

Cherry DW 9100 Slim mouse from above.

Cherry Keys software

Cherry does have software to customize buttons on the mouse and keyboard, though. While it doesn’t have full control to customize every button and switch, the Cherry Keys software does make it easy to add macros, open a specific folder, run a program, or enable a large variety of controls. For the keyboard, customization is limited to the Function keys and additional navigation keys, and on the mouse, the app enables customization of the thumb buttons as well as the scroll wheel click.

Razer Pro Type on desk

Cherry DW 9100 Slim vs. Competition

Overall, the thin design is very reminiscent of a full-size Apple keyboard. This Cherry set is designed for Windows, though, and doesn’t come in an Apple layout. 

In this white colorway and with an emphasis on productivity, I’m tempted to call the Razer Pro Type and Pro Click competition, but those are really very different pieces. Razer’s pieces feature a full-size mechanical keyboard with large MX-style switches, and the Pro Click mouse is a much larger ergonomic shape rather than the small and minimal Cherry mouse. 

Logitech’s MX Keys and  MX Master 3 combo might be the most recommended productivity and style-themed competition, but at $100 for the mouse and $120 for the keyboard, that’s a significantly larger investment. 

Cherry DW 9100 Slim standing up on desk.

Battery life

Cherry doesn’t advertise specific battery life figures for the keyboard or mouse on the website but states that they will last for weeks on a single charge. Like most wireless devices I would imagine those numbers vary between the RF wireless connection and Bluetooth, with the latter usually lasting longer, but I’m unsure of that. 

What I do know, is that off and on use for over a week hasn’t drained the batteries yet, and I didn’t even charge them fully before using them – the lack of lighting definitely helps with those numbers. They definitely seem to last for a long time. And when the time comes to recharge, there is a USB-C to USB-A cable included that can be plugged into your computer. Interestingly, though, there is only a single cable. So with the kit from Cherry, only one device can be charged at a time. The mouse and keyboard will have to take turns, or you’ll need to provide an additional cable. 

9to5Toys’ Take

Cherry has put together a nice all-in-one package for the home or office that has some nice added functionality on the keyboard. While it won’t light up a workspace or gaming space like RGB-filled gaming peripherals, the sleek and stylish design works well for a minimal setup. Since I usually work and game on the same peripherals, these probably won’t earn a full-time spot on my desk, but if someone was looking for a reasonable combo for productivity, the Cherry DW 9100 Slim keyboard and mouse combo would be an easy recommendation. 


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