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Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro S RGB review

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Posted · Original PosterOP

 

The keyboard I am talking about:

Manufacturer’s website link:

www.coolermaster.com/peripheral/keyboards/masterkeys-pro-s/

 

LinusTechTips referal code Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/search?tag=linustechti02-21&keywords=coolermaster_masterkeys_pro_s

Referral code-less link: https://www.amazon.com/MasterKeys-Mechanical-Keyboard-Intelligent-Switches/dp/B01D8ETGNQ

 

This is my review on this mechanical TKL keyboard (I got one with Cherry MX Browns).

This review will focus on the keyboard, its lighting (and the ways to change that), the switch to a TKL formfactor, the Cherry MX Brown switches and just generally on switching from a membrane to a mechanical keyboard.

 

This is my first mechanical keyboard after using membranes all my life. I decided to spend a bit more and get the RGB version of this keyboard because that would mean I could change the colors all I want (and because I had an RGB mouse already).

 

The unboxing experience was pretty good. The keyboard came in regular cardboard box and was packaged in a cloth like bag. This is not a transportation bag though, just a packaging one. A carrying bag would have been nice on a keyboard this size (TKL form factor, easy to take to LANs and such) and price (140 USD MSRP. Often on sale it seems though). I cannot fault them though, as similarly priced keyboards with RGB don’t have carrying pouches included either.

After taking out the keyboard out of the box you can find the manual, the USB (2.0) type A (‘regular USB’) to Micro USB B (‘the one Android phones use’) and a metal keycap-puller. The manual is at least a bit helpful, I’ll get to that later in the lighting part. The cable is braided and at the bends kind of stiff.

 

The keyboard itself is built like a tank itself. The keyboard really does not have any flex to it at all, despite being made of a (thick, high quality and non glossy) plastic and the feet are also quite thick and has some soft rubber on the bottom making it not move. The keyboard has some heft to it as well and I am sure this keyboard can endure some real abuse (not that I would do that or recommend that).

 

Connecting the keyboard was quite easy, just get the cable, plug it into the PC and the keyboard. Sadly, the keyboard lacks the Masterkeys Pro L’s or CM Storm’s Quickfire cable routing options. The connection is on the top right back of the keyboard, instead of on the bottom. This makes it a lot harder to work the cable away, especially since the cable included is a left angle connector.. Ugh.

Anyways, after it installed some drivers automatically (it didn’t work before these drivers and it took about a minute until all were installed) the keyboard worked fully. No need for extra software to control the lightning, there is optional software for extra lighting modes. More on this later.

 

The first thing I did on the keyboard was a quick few typeraces, just to see if my speed of typing increases or decreases and after a couple games, it was clear my typing speed was nearly identical to what I had on my previous keyboard.

The transition from membrane to Cherry MX Browns went pretty much flawlessly for myself. The (for me) very slight tactile feedback makes this keyboard awesome to type on. It’s not too loud for a mechanical keyboard too, but that’s relative to other mechanical keyboards of course. If I bottom out the keys it can be a bit more loud, but over the last couple of days I have learned to not always bottom out the keys.

All keys need the same amount of force to press down (from what I can notice) and no keys make weird noises. The keycaps used are also quite good. They use a clear font, let the light shine through nicely and overall feel nice too.

 

This is a TKL keyboard, meaning it has no numpad on the side. It does have the navigation keys (Home, End, etc. and the arrow keys). I am someone who came from a full sized keyboard, but only occasionally used the numpad’s enter. Other than sometimes blindly trying to press the numpad enter key, I don’t miss the numpad at all. Your mileage may vary though. If you still need the numpad, Coolermaster also makes a ‘Pro L’ keyboard too, which is a full sized keyboard and has dedicated profile buttons (here the profiles are hidden under the 1-4 buttons and used via the Fn. key). The Pro L keyboard also has the its connection on the bottom and three ways to route the cable (left, right or center) and thus is a bit more advanced version of this keyboard.

 

Lighting is nowadays quite an important feature on keyboards (to some people), this is an RGB keyboard and features (according to Coolermaster) 16.7 million different colors.

It displays color quite well, because of the clear keycap upper switch housing and white bottom (see pictures to get a good idea of what I mean). This white bottom reflects the colors quite nice, which can be nice, but if you have multiple different colored keys next to each other, the light might somewhat ‘leak over’ to the key(s) next to it. Overall, very nice lightning. But RGB lightning is still a luxurious option (with a price premium)

The way to control the lightning is quite nice, it doesn’t rely on proprietary software you have to install, but you can rather customize the lightning via the keyboard itself. It’s not super easy to figure out on your own, but after watching one tutorial I got it down and now can change anything I want in terms of key colors. I wanted to try out their software too, but the Coolermaster site was quite unstable for me and I couldn’t download the software.

 

The lightning modes it features can be seen in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVHoc3L2zOo

The modes available are:

  • some sort of rain/meteor shower effect,

  • color cycle (it slowly fades from red, to orange, to yellow, to green, to blue, etc.),

  • a breathing effect (in whatever color you want. It basically fades from completely on to completely off lighting, doesn’t look super good),

  • reactive typing, as in when you press a key a vertical line of lighting (in whatever color you want) goes from the key you press to left or right,

  • a snake game (which never really worked great for me.. It’s kind of gimmick anyways),

  • lighting off,

  • light in whatever static color you want,

  • rainbow from left to right over the keyboard (you probably can imagine what it looks like if you have seen any RGB keyboard review),

  • another reactive typing one (this one basically makes a full horizontal and vertical line over where you just pressed),

  • simple reactive typing as in it lights up the key you pressed before it fades out again,

  • and finally just a simple “choose whatever color you want whatever key to be”-mode. I used this mode the most.

I found most of the modes distracting, so spent most of my time with the custom mode. At the start i also used the rainbow mode, because it’s not a super fast flowing rainbow.

 

Thanks to its white back and clear upper switch housing, most colors come out very good. I am sort of disappointed with the yellows colors it can show, since they look all looks sort of ‘toxic green-ish’/brown/dark-ish and not fully yellow. White colors also look a bit blue-ish, but that just come with it being RGB.

A con on this keyboard is that keys with multiple function on them (e.g. the number 1 which also has ! on the key) only the top character is lit up. This mean all the numbers are not lit up, but the extra functions are. When it’s a bit darker it’s not a huge deal, but when it’s a bit lighter around, it’s fairly noticeable.

 

Pros:

  • Very sturdy

  • (Removeable) braided cable)

  • Great feet that keep the keyboard where it is.

  • Full RGB LEDs (that look beautiful)

  • Many different LED modes

  • Compact due to not having a numpad

  • Windows lock key

  • Being able to set macros on the keyboard itself

  • It remembers the settings on the keyboard, instead of the PC

  • Light turns off if the PC is off (in my case of course)

  • Cherry MX Browns have a great tactile feeling without being too loud

  • Somewhat affordable compared to other RGB mechanical keyboards

  • All keys require pretty much the exact same amount to be pressed down (I tried a Kailh keyswitch keyboard one time where this was not the case)

  • Keycap puller included

 

Cons:

  • No wrist rest included (although that doesn’t bother me)

  • The Windows keys (or whatever you call them when using Linux/Mac) have Coolermaster keycaps. While that is not entirely bad, it would have been great if they actually had  Windows keycaps/blank keycaps in the box to switch these out with.

  • Extra keycaps for the WASD would have been great too, but not expected.

  • The keys have a slight bit of wobble on them, but it’s not too noticeable while typing and I believe this is a thing that many mechanical keyboards have

  • Coolermaster’s website was not functioning as it should, making it so I couldn’t download their software. :/

 

Conclusion.

This keyboard is good. Like, really good. I am not planning on switching back to a membrane keyboard ever, typing on this just feels so much better than a membrane keyboard. Compared to my previous membrane keyboard it only makes a bit more sound, but that is with me bottoming out the keys a lot (I’m still getting used to using a mechanical keyboard). IMO the Brown switches aren't too loud either (my membrane keyboard wasn't very quiet either)

The build quality of this keyboard is really good too, it’s very sturdy. The fact that I have the ability to change the keycaps on this keyboard is really cool to myself too, I might get a keycap set in the future to replace the one on it now (not because this one is bad, I just might want to make the keyboard look different.)

Kind of a shame I couldn’t download their software because of a non-functioning site (in Google Chrome) though.

 

If you have any more question about the keyboard, be sure to ask them.


"So, our goal today is to determine whether the waifu is hot" - Steve, Gamers Nexus

 

"There's no such thing as perfect. You're beautiful as you are Courage. With all your imperfections you can do anything." - Bathtub Barracuda

"Wish i could find a way to stop the pain.         -         Besides the one that i keep thinking of."

My gear:                    

Spoiler

PC:

The brains: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ||

The torso: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon ||

Short term memory: 2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3200Mhz ||

Pixel pusher: EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Gaming || 

Where I store memes: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB + Seagate Barracuda 2TB + Samsung 860 EVO 1TB || 

Un-heater: Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 ||

Carboard box: Thermaltake Core G21 TG ||

Power squid: Corsair RM750x ||

 

Peripherals:

Sound helmet: Beyerdynamic DT-990 250 Ohm ||

Clickity-clack (sadly not clicky :() : Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro S RGB ||

Return the (drawing) slab! : Wacom Intuos Pen Small (2015) ||

Rodent: Asus ROG Gladius ||

Cloth for rodent: CM Storm Swift-RX XXL ||

 

Old PC:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 255 || Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO || RAM: 4x2GB DDR3 || GPU: Nvidia Quadro 512MB || Case: Antec Sonata III || PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500W Bronze

Setup: Current setup

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, Xreldo said:

corsair mx Speed keyboards are pretty dank just to get out outhere

Reds feel kinda 'mushy' to me and I thought Speeds are kinda like a lighter Red? I have never been able to try out Reds IRL though.


"So, our goal today is to determine whether the waifu is hot" - Steve, Gamers Nexus

 

"There's no such thing as perfect. You're beautiful as you are Courage. With all your imperfections you can do anything." - Bathtub Barracuda

"Wish i could find a way to stop the pain.         -         Besides the one that i keep thinking of."

My gear:                    

Spoiler

PC:

The brains: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ||

The torso: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon ||

Short term memory: 2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3200Mhz ||

Pixel pusher: EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Gaming || 

Where I store memes: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB + Seagate Barracuda 2TB + Samsung 860 EVO 1TB || 

Un-heater: Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 ||

Carboard box: Thermaltake Core G21 TG ||

Power squid: Corsair RM750x ||

 

Peripherals:

Sound helmet: Beyerdynamic DT-990 250 Ohm ||

Clickity-clack (sadly not clicky :() : Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro S RGB ||

Return the (drawing) slab! : Wacom Intuos Pen Small (2015) ||

Rodent: Asus ROG Gladius ||

Cloth for rodent: CM Storm Swift-RX XXL ||

 

Old PC:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 255 || Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO || RAM: 4x2GB DDR3 || GPU: Nvidia Quadro 512MB || Case: Antec Sonata III || PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500W Bronze

Setup: Current setup

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I got my MasterKeys Pro S yesterday, love mine too.


my money is now all stolen from audio

 

 

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Thanks for posting this as I'm considering getting this keyboard. 

 

How sturdy does the angle connector feel when it's plugged in to the keyboard? Does it feel like it could disconnect easily? 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 minutes ago, razor767 said:

Thanks for posting this as I'm considering getting this keyboard. 

 

How sturdy does the angle connector feel when it's plug in to the keyboard? Does it feel like it could disconnect easily? 

It doesn't feel like it would unplug from the keyboard, but it's still a micro USB connector. Not the most sturdy of things.

The connector is not a deal breaker (IMO), but is something they should make better in their next revision.


"So, our goal today is to determine whether the waifu is hot" - Steve, Gamers Nexus

 

"There's no such thing as perfect. You're beautiful as you are Courage. With all your imperfections you can do anything." - Bathtub Barracuda

"Wish i could find a way to stop the pain.         -         Besides the one that i keep thinking of."

My gear:                    

Spoiler

PC:

The brains: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 ||

The torso: MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon ||

Short term memory: 2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3200Mhz ||

Pixel pusher: EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Gaming || 

Where I store memes: Samsung 960 EVO 250GB + Seagate Barracuda 2TB + Samsung 860 EVO 1TB || 

Un-heater: Be Quiet! Dark Rock 3 ||

Carboard box: Thermaltake Core G21 TG ||

Power squid: Corsair RM750x ||

 

Peripherals:

Sound helmet: Beyerdynamic DT-990 250 Ohm ||

Clickity-clack (sadly not clicky :() : Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro S RGB ||

Return the (drawing) slab! : Wacom Intuos Pen Small (2015) ||

Rodent: Asus ROG Gladius ||

Cloth for rodent: CM Storm Swift-RX XXL ||

 

Old PC:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 255 || Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO || RAM: 4x2GB DDR3 || GPU: Nvidia Quadro 512MB || Case: Antec Sonata III || PSU: Antec Earthwatts 500W Bronze

Setup: Current setup

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