Mechanical keyboards are pretty much the choice of gamers who play competitively from professional to a non-professional level. They may be loud but they feel responsive with each key pushing back up on your finger so you know that as soon as you let it go it is back up and ready to activate again in a split second. The standards you might hear referenced commonly are ZF Electronics' Cherry MX which come in a variety of styles Blue, Red, Green, Brown, each one tailored to different gaming styles.
Razer argues traditional mechanical keyboards were designed for typing and were not good enough for gaming so they decided to build their own standard for mechanical keys which they are dubbing the "Razer Mechanical Switch". According to Razer they gathered together their top scientist and engineers to build a new keyboard switch form the ground up with gamers in mind. Here what they had to say about it:
"After extensive research, Razer's multi-award winning engineers identified the optimal actuation distance for a gaming switch to a fraction of a millimeter and reduced the distance between the actuation and reset point by almost half to allow for faster, more precise gaming commands when compared to standard mechanical switches. Furthermore, the all-new Razer Mechanical Switches are made using an ultra-precise manufacturing technique that, along with gold plated contact points, result in a lifespan of up to 60 million key strokes."
What they achieved was an actuation difference of 0.3mm, now 1.9mm vs the previous 2.2mm of traditional mechanical switches. It doesn't seem like much but then again 0.3mm can mean tremendous differences depending on what we are talk about for example 0.3nm difference in GPUs can mean a difference of millions of core processors. However, we aren't yet sure of how the 0.3mm difference in keyboard actuations will affect gameplay, especially by the masses. Professional gamers may notice it immediately and only time will tell if it has made a significant impact on the gaming community, but if history tells us anything, even tiny differences have been significant enough to warrant splitting up the Cherry MX standard into 4 categories, else there would only be one Cherry MX if gamers didn't care about the details.
Even now there has been numerous comments coming through the interwebs on major gaming blogs, majority of which argue that it's not a big deal, why should anyone care or just ascetic issues with the green and orange lighting. But clearly those who game regularly and care about the details will probably remain silent and let the product speak for itself. We're excited and hope to get a chance to test drive it ourselves soon to let you know what we think.