Keyboard, Review

Akko CS V2 Switch Review: Great Starting Point for Newcomers

Figuring out your switch preference is one of the most important first steps as a newcomer in the custom mechanical keyboard hobby. That’s where these Akko CS V2 switches come into the picture: thanks to their very affordable nature, they are perfect for beginners to try out.

Of course, given the affordability of the CS V2 switches, they do have some room for improvement. But these are without a doubt fantastic switches for the money, and if you’re just starting out in the custom keyboard hobby, they can help you discover the kind of switch that’s to your liking before committing to higher-end options.

What It Is

There are three switches in Akko’s CS V2 series: Radiant Red (62g linear), Vintage White (45g linear), and Lavender Purple (50g tactile). They are also 3-pin switches with no factory lubing out of the box, but what makes them even more interesting – aside from their very affordable pricing – are the switches’ long springs.

Both the Radiant Red and Lavender purple have 18mm long springs, while the Vintage White has an even longer 22mm spring. The longer the spring, the “slower” they are, which provides an interesting typing experience compared to shorter, “faster” standard springs – we’ll get back to this further down this review.

As mentioned, these CS switches are budget-friendly offerings. A box of 45 switches for the Radiant Red and Lavender Purple cost RM38, while the Vintage White (oddly enough) is priced at RM39.56 for the same amount of switches from Akko’s official store on Shopee Malaysia.

Given that you’re paying less than RM1 per switch, these are absolutely some of the most affordable options in the market now, even if they are only sold in a box of 45 switches.

The Good Stuff

Let’s start with my favourite switch of the lot, the Radiant Red linear switch. Out of the box, it feels quite smooth with just a hint of scratchiness. While it’s not as smooth as a (far more expensive) JWK switch, its smoothness is comparable to a Gateron switch – that’s really quite good.

I’m quite a fan of the Radiant Red’s sound profile too, which is on the clackier side. It has a pleasant, poppy sound signature, with a slightly deep bottom out sound from the nylon bottom housing.

The Radiant Red’s 18mm slow spring provides a “snappy” typing experience too. Not only does the longer spring allows the switch to have a more responsive, stronger upstroke, pushing down on the switch from the very top of the downstroke requires more force as well – this may be a typing characteristic some folks would want out of a switch.

As for the Vintage White linear switch, it’s largely the same as the Radiant Red, though it is a tad higher-pitched with an even longer 22mm spring. This gives it a slightly snappier upstroke compared to the Radiant Red, but the Vintage White’s 45g spring weight makes it feel quite a bit lighter too.

Last but certainly not least is the Lavender Purple tactile switch. Out of the three switches in the Akko CS V2 series, this is the clackiest and highest-pitched switch of the bunch. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course: some folks (like myself) love clacky switches.

As for the tactility of the Lavender Purple, it has a rounded bump with medium tactility. While it’s not as tactile as the Glorious Panda or Gazzew Boba U4T switch, the Lavender Purple is definitely more tactile than a typical Brown switch, such as the Gateron Phantom Brown on the Keychron Q1.

The Bad Stuff

Since we’re still on the Lavender Purple, let’s talk about its shortcoming first in this section. Although it has a long 18mm 50g slow spring – giving it a snappy, strong upstroke – it still feels quite…well, sluggish. In fact, the switch actually got stuck on the spacebar a few times.

And then there’s the sound profile of the Akko CS V2 switches. As I’ve mentioned multiple times in this review, all three of these switches have a clacky sound profile. If you prefer a deeper, thockier sound signature, you won’t get it with these Akko CS switches without some modding.

Speaking of which, the unlubed nature of the CS V2 switches presents a number of issues too. Out of the box, they feel a little bit scratchy; some switches have noticeably worse spring ping too. Granted, some lubing will solve these two negatives, but if you want a switch that’s ready to go without some modding, these are not the best options.

Is It Worth It?

Even though the Akko CS V2 switches are not the best out of the box – not many are, especially at this price point – these are still fantastic options for their sheer affordability. After all, once these switches are lubed, I reckon they are comparable to more expensive switches.

Well, not quite on the same level as premium offerings like the Cobalt POM or Boba U4T, but definitely better than, say, Gateron’s or Kailh’s more affordable switches. If you want to try out Akko’s CS V2 switches, you can get them from Shopee Malaysia. Alternatively, you can also purchase them on Akko’s own international online store.