At the beginning of summer, we published a review of the TK Hybrid keyboard Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro M RGB. And now we have reached the full-size model from the same series – MasterKeys Pro L RGB. In the article we will tell its advantages and disadvantages, evaluate the appearance, functionality and ergonomics.
|Model||Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB|
|Polling frequency, Hz||1000|
|Number of keys||104|
|Keystroke resource, mln.||50|
|Switch type||Cherry MX Red RGB|
|Changing the angle of the body||+|
|Built-in memory, KB||512|
|Ability to record macros||+|
|USB cable length, m||1,5|
|Braid material||Nylon braid|
|Removable palm rest||–|
|Dimensions (L x W x H), mm||439 x 130 x 42|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10|
|Peculiarities||Embedded 32bit ARM Cortex M3 processor|
|Average cost, $||140|
Contents of delivery
Our review turned out to be a sample without a box. Therefore, in addition to the keyboard, there is only a USB cable. Judging by the official website, the standard kit also includes a user manual and a key to remove the keys.
Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB looks simple and stylish. The keyboard received a Spartan design and does not pamper the eye with fanciful rounded lines of designer bells and whistles. The body material is black matte plastic without manufacturer’s logos – they are placed on the Win keys.
The keyboard received a standard printed block with long shifts. There is a single-row Enter, and the F1 key is located exactly under the “2” button. There is only one Fn function key and it was placed on the right side, almost near the arrows.
Laser engraving of letters and numbers is clear and convenient. Cyrillic is made thinner than Latin. The “F” and “J” keys have special notches for the touch typing method. The caps are not slippery, long buttons do not play and do not deviate to the sides.
As in the MasterKeys Pro M RGB model, the digital block of this version has additional functional markings. They work when the NumLK key is off, and when it is on, only numbers can be typed from the numeric block.
The MasterKeys Pro L RGB is equipped with Cherry MX Red switches in a transparent case (available in MX Blue and Brown versions), which are mounted in a durable iron plate. The full key travel is 4 mm, before actuation – 2 mm. The claimed pressing force is 45 g, and the service life is 50 million clicks. The keycaps are easy to remove without using a key from the kit, while they are firmly attached to the socket and do not emit additional sounds characteristic of mechanical keyboards.
The keyboard case is tilted forward. The top three rows of keys got a bevel in the front side, and the bottom three – in the opposite direction. Retractable legs raise it by 1.5 cm.
On the sides and top there is a chute through which you can lead the wire at the request of the user in one direction or another.
The 1.5 meter USB cable has an average level of rigidity and is in a nylon braid. It detaches and connects via a microUSB connector. Both connectors are gold plated.
There are four rubber feet on the bottom of the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB. Retractable mechanisms are also provided with rubber pads. Brief information about the model is available in the center. The gutters mentioned above for cable outlet to one of the three sides are immediately visible.
The keyboard was equipped with RGB backlighting for 16.7 million colors. The light is bright and uniform, while in complete darkness the backlight does not dazzle and clearly shows the key designations. True, you can not change the brightness of the glow. Only change of its intensity is available.
MasterKeys Pro L RGB is equipped with a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor and 512 kilobytes of memory. This is necessary to work and configure the four available backlight profiles, as well as to create your own macros (configurable only from the keys). The keyboard allows you to manually start and turn off all available features. To simplify the memorization of the available commands, there is a special table below.
|Fn+Esc||Switching to a basic profile|
|Fn+E||Reset to factory settings|
|Fn+R||Reset the current profile to default settings|
|Fn+F1||Cycle through the level of red in the current hue (0-9)|
|Fn+F2,||Cycle through the level of green in the current hue (0-9)|
|Fn+F3,||Cycle through the level of blue in the current hue (0-9)|
|Fn+F4||Cycling color effects, LED mode: 1) static, 2) color wave, 3) crosshair, 4) color change on click, 5) custom button color, 6) starry sky, 7) rain, 8) color cycle, 9) breathing, 10) water circles, 11) four levels of lighting effects, 12) snake game, 13) system status, 14) backlight off|
|Fn+F5, F6, F7, F8||Changing the character repeat rate to 1x, 2x, 4x, or 8x|
|Fn+F9||Locking and unlocking the Win key|
|Fn+F10||Setting individual key colors|
|Fn+F12||Deleting a macro|
|Fn+1, 2, 3, 4||Activate one of four backlight profiles and macros|
|Fn+PrtScr, ScrLk, Pause||In macro recording mode – select the option to play it: once, repeat the macro until the key is pressed again, repeat continuously while holding the button|
|Fn+Ins||Start playback / pause|
|Fn+PgUp||Turn up the volume|
|Fn+PgDn||Turn down the volume|
|P1||Switching to profile 1|
|P2||Switching to profile 2|
|P3||Switching to Profile 3|
|P4||Switching to profile 4|
The order of launching commands on the keyboard occurs using the key combination Fn and F1, F2, and so on.
To customize the backlight, press Fn + F10, then continue to hold down Fn and use the keys from F1 to F3 to select the intensity and the desired color. In this case, the Fn key shows which color is now in priority. Select the shade you like, release Fn and press the buttons to which you want to assign the selected color. Next, we write the setting to the keyboard memory using the combination Fn + “1”, “2”, “3” or “4”.
To create a macro, press Fn + F11, after which the keyboard lights up blue. We press any button, then we enter the necessary commands and press the key combination Fn + PrtScr, ScrLk or Pause. This action selects the macro’s behavior and writes it to memory. To exit this mode or cancel the command, press Fn + Esc.
To delete a macro, press Fn + F12. After that, the numbers with the recorded macros light up. Select the one you don’t want and press its number. The key goes out, the macro is deleted. Exit from the mode – Fn + Esc.
For RGB backlight settings, the proprietary Cooler Master Portal program is also available. At startup, the system prompts you to install drivers for the keyboard and proceed to setting the backlight.
Cooler Master Portal has the same functionality as keyboard shortcuts. In the LED section, push-button adjustment of the backlight is available, as well as the choice of modes (wave, rain, attenuation, etc.), as well as their intensity. The backlight you like should be written to one of the four memory profiles. In the “Library” you can load the profiles already created on the keyboard and continue to configure them through the program.
Ergonomics and testing
Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB is best suited for gaming and poorly adapted for comfortable and long typing. The keyboard is very high, there are no wrist rests in the kit. Without them, the hands get tired after a couple of hours of work. Therefore, if, apart from games, you are going to print a lot, it is better to pay attention to something else or buy a stand.
Cherry MX Red switches react instantly, they are very sensitive and perform well in games, especially in shooters. But typing at first is unusual because of the same hypersensitivity. This greatly interferes in my case, when owning a ten-finger typing method. For example, when you press the Backspace key, not one letter can be deleted, but a word or even half a sentence at once. A similar situation is with the space, which sometimes responds to one click with several characters.
When printing, the MasterKeys Pro L RGB sounds significantly quieter than other mechanical models. There are no other extraneous sounds from pressure on the body. Extra backlashes are not noticed.
The keyboard is heavy (1090 grams) and does not ride on the table. And thanks to the full-size form factor and minimalist design, you quickly get used to it.
The Cooler Master device is easy to disconnect from the wire, wipe the dust or remove the crumbs after dinner under the TV series. But easily soiled plastic quickly collects prints on the case. Only the deep black color of the model saves, otherwise it would have to be wiped every hour.
The keyboard is sharpened for manual backlighting and feels like a multifunctional toy for the few who like to tinker with the settings. For the rest, its functionality is overloaded, and without 100 grams of alcohol, it happens here and you can’t figure it out.
Anti-ghosting is a permanently active NKRO mode for all keys, although the description mentions the combination of NKRO and 6KRO. How it actually works is unclear. There is no manual mode switching option.
The Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB is a decent mechanical keyboard for gamers with spectacular and feature-packed RGB lighting and slim add-ons for fans. It is very convenient to play with these peripherals, but for printing texts it is better to choose another device.
The keyboard received a strict design and full-size keys. It is immediately convenient to work on it, but it will be problematic for users who are accustomed to the membrane to do it for a long time without a wrist rest. It is quite quiet and compact, so it can easily fit on any table, and at the same time it will not interfere with colleagues or household members during stormy mixes or monthly rush jobs.