Thanks for stopping by and checking out this gaming keyboard review. Jamy over at Cooler Master hooked me up with the MasterKeys Pro S and Masterkeys MK750 keyboard (for that review go here). Venture on to read about my experience with the keyboard and whether it is worthy of the $100+ price tag.
Zoom In: Specs
- Layout: TKL
- Type: Mechanical
- Switches: Cherry MX
- Response Rate: 1ms
- On-Board Memory: 512 KB
- Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 1.5 inches
- Weight: 2 lbs
- MasterKeys Pro S Keyboard
- Quick start guide
- Keycap puller
- 1.5m detachable USB cable
- Dust cover sleeve
I’m all about matte finish on everything possible, so I love that the keyboard frame is a perfect matte black. One thing that always concerns me is that matte finish often does wear off. For example my current mouse has a worn off shiny spot where my finger rests now.
However, the Cooler Master Masterkeys PRO S has keys with a dull luster, instead of a matte coating, so that seemingly won’t be a problem after a lot of use.
My biggest detractor in scoring for visual marks is the logo and logo placement. Instead of a traditional start key, Cooler Master has placed their logo there- which is a common placement of logos for keyboard companies. However, the logo doesn’t really do a whole lot for me in terms of design. A symbol of some sort, rather than the Brand Name would score higher in the visual department for me.
There’s nothing that fancy to the design itself besides the lighting- which is obviously the point of the whole design. The lighting is so intricate and frankly, impressive, that it does a lot to increase the visual value for me.
With the software installed successfully, I was able to play around with all of the different options for color settings. You’re given 4 Profile slots to preset, that you can easily switch between by clicking FN+1(2, 3, or 4). So far I have made two custom settings for my keyboard that I like to switch between. I was impressed with the RGB color selection, making it easy to put in whatever shade I wanted. You could literally select a different color for every key- if you have that kind of time! There’s also a variety of preset options, and if you take the time to make a profile, you can back it up, by saving it in your library (so your hardwork won’t be lost).
My big detractor, is that setting the colors without the software is pretty complicated, and I wasn’t a fan. The instruction manual was printed with some of the smallest text I’ve seen. I couldn’t even read it with my reading glasses on. Reading the instructions might take you some time to decipher, so if you the software isn’t compatible with your unit you’ll want to keep this into consideration.
Another thing is that the preset flashing settings are cool, but honestly way too distracting for me for gaming or working, even on a dim setting. They do may cool “Away” setting profiles so that you can have something to show off.
I would also say the extensive LED Software that Cooler Master includes is also a massive bonus feature. It’s easy to install, and use, and makes it simple to take your LED customization to a new level.
The customization of the backlight and the software combined actually prompts me to give this keyboard a perfect 10. Though I’m not a fan of the on keyboard setting triggers, most PCs are compatible with the software so it won’t be a problem. If anything I would say that integrates more into the Build category as well.
Taking it Apart
For this mechanical keyboard, we requested it with Cherry MX Red switches, which are the most recent Cherry MX development. They have a low actuation force of 45 cN, and are great for gaming because of how lightweight the pressure needed is, which can speed up your actuation quite a bit. I even mentioned this to my partner in the last few minutes, as they remarked at how much faster I was typing than usual. My fingers are flying!
My one detraction on they keys is that the spacebar is a tad too sensitive for my taste. I have smaller hands, and usually type with my thumbs resting on the spacebar, however I’ve ended up with some unnecessary spacing every once in a while so I’ve had to readjust my positioning.
For a TKL mechanical keyboard, the size is pretty standard. Without adding extra display changer buttons, they’ve been able to keep things small. It is an angled keyboard, and has kick-stand legs on the back to take the height to a new level depending on your preference and ergonomic comfort. It weighs a little more than I like my TKL keyboard to be, but the weight has it’s benefit, as the keyboard doesn’t move when bumped or while typing.
It is a corded system, featuring a black braided cable that increases durability, and is easier to keep out of the way. The cable is detachable, and for easy transportation they’ve included a protective dust cover.
The Key Puller is and awesome tool to be able to remove and replace keys without risk of breaking them. It slides around and under keys easily, and requires very little force to pull them off of the placement.
Between the use of space, and lock-in-place kickstands that are built in, the Cooler Master Masterkeys PRO S gets a big boost. My big detractor when scoring this is the space bar being prone to bumping, which I can even say has happened while I was writing this review. I also would like to see this same keyboard with a metal casing, to make it a little more worth the cost in terms of lifespan.
Putting it Back Together
The Matte Finish is great, and the low-luster shine on the keys helps the LED to shine through with out refracting off of them. However, I still don’t like the logo placement. It’s distracting from the minimalistic design to the keyboard as a whole.
There’s not a whole lot that can be said more about the Switches than I haven’t already mentioned. Cherry MX Red switches are just prime, and as far as actuation goes it’s really impressive and makes typing and gaming a breeze.
For the high price point, I’d like to see better metal integration into the casing, as well as a better look. Cooler Master has said that they’ve put a lot of work into the LED Customization and Software, and not a lot elsewhere, so if that’s worth it to you I would definitely put my money on it to fit your specifications. The switches offered is also a plus for pricing. For a TKL keyboard though, $139.99 base price is more than I would usually like to pay. However, if you’re able to catch it on sale don’t hesitate to buy.
For more keyboard options, check out our list on the best gaming keyboards page.
- Cooler Master Masterkeys MK750 Review
- Best Gaming Keyboards
- Best Wireless Gaming Keyboards
- Best 60% Gaming Keyboards
Zoom Out: Verdict
Build - 8/10
Backlight - 10/10
Look - 8/10
Switches - 9/10
Price - 8/10
More than just a keyboard that happens to feature top tier game-ready Cherry MX Red Switches, the Masterkeys Pro S package is a serious threat to the likes of keyboards from big brands Razer, Corsair, Logitech, Steelseries, et al.
- Great all-around specs
- Stunning LED backlight
- Top-notch Cherry MX switches
- Somewhat bulky
- Expensive for a TKL
- Poor logo placement