Cooler Master’s Masterkeys Pro M isn’t new on the market but it’s offers all that a trend-appreciating gamer could possibly need. It features a sleek, compact design with an affordable price to support it. With white backlighting, it’s sure to satisfy enthusiast gamers not sold on the RGB craze.
To help you understand where I’m coming from with this review, some background information is in order. Having used no less than one hundred different keyboards, mainly due to employment, I have never personally owned a mechanical keyboard. Instead, I’ve habitually opted for the quietest keyboard I can find. I was deaf for the first 23 years of my life which means I don’t have the natural sound filters most learn at the earliest stages of life. Skills like being able to consistently differentiate between volumes, sound distance and tones. I now have implants, but I live in a permanent state of hypervigilance as a result of not being able to turn sound off without these important filters people take for granted.
My keyboard typing style, therefore, has often been referred to as Godzilla-stomping-loud for others around me, while on my end (unless I intently focus) a pin drop is as loud as a slamming door. For me, every sound raises to the same level for me to hear it. With these factors in mind anything in our home that creates noise requires extra consideration: sound quality input is of utmost importance, but the sound I’m outputting continues to be an ongoing learning curve for me.
Mechanical keyboards are naturally loud, but the Masterkeys Pro M White is the first mechanical keyboard I want to own. That’s big.
- MSRP: $134.64
- Switch Type: Cherry MX Brown
- LED Color: White
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Repeat Rate: 1x / 2x / 4x / 8x
- Response Rate: 1ms
- MCU: 32bit ARM Cortex M0
- Onboard Memory: 512KB
- On-the-fly-system: Macro Record and Lighting
- LED and Macro Programmability: Built-in and SDK capability
- Cable Length: 4.9 ft (1.5 m)
- Cable Quality: Detachable and braided with a gold plated connector
- Dimensions: 38.01 x14.38 x4.24 cm/14.96 x5.66 x1.67’
- Product Weight: (without cable) 1025g
- Warranty: 2 Years
Even before unboxing the Masterkeys Pro M, I was surprised how heavy it was, reassuring me that its inner metal plate that would handle my “monster-thump typing.” I’m currently using a lighter, non-mechanical keyboard that often moves when I’m rapid fire typing. The extra weight was something I didn’t realize I needed so much until now. Along with the keyboard you also get a detachable, braided and gold plated USB cable ensuring longevity, a handy keycap puller, and documentation - with further helpful information on the box itself. Yes, I looked for a disc to install software or a handy website link, panicking at first that there wasn’t any but this is where the Masterkey’s magic begins.
The size of the Masterkeys Pro M White is fantastic if you have less room on your desk or smaller hands. You’ll notice straight away that number pad functions double up to allow this size. I initially thought this might be a hindrance but, after testing in multiple games, I quickly noticed I do not really use the number pad, so having to access them by engaging the number lock is no problem at all. Once I understood how the FN key provides access to all of the secondary features, it became as fun as gaming itself to navigate and use this keyboard. With lighting, I loved finding out what kind of effects I could create.
Last week I also invested in new glasses. Long sighted in one eye, short sighted in the other. I’ve experienced still LED lighting on a keyboard but not moving which I assumed would be uncomfortable for my eyes. I was able to test this confidently with the latest prescriptions discovering that the crisp white LED designed specifically for this keyboard not only looks classy but is soothing on my eyes especially when I slow each mode down and moderate the level of brightness.
Even more exciting for those who appreciate shiny details is the fact that Cooler Master now also offer a software development kit (SDK). If you have some basic C++ knowledge you can access the code behind LED lighting and design your own profiles. You can also use what others have publically shared opening this keyboard door to even more options.
The more I became familiar with this keyboard, the more I was reminded that times have changed and there are now better options for gamers who have medical, as well as personal and design needs when computers are central to their home and lifestyle. Cooler Master have delivered a user friendly, aesthetically pleasing keyboard. Labeling the Pro M the keyboard for the “Serious Professional,” they’ve come up with a perfect description. The Cherry MX Brown switches still make noise but not as loudly as some I have experienced. The keys make noise in a way that's actually pleasant. Am I really saying that?
I have used this keyboard non-stop for the past two weeks, accomplishing all my writing and gaming tasks with no headaches or complaint from the household which is the biggest miracle of all! What is also very pleasing is how much more comfortable typing is. It’s like going from a pair of worn out old shoes to brand new Nike Airs but for your fingers and it’s finally made me get serious about comfort while at my pc. Cherry switches are luxurious, making you feel more professional no matter what task you are achieving at your computer. If you are on the fence about “going mechanical” this may be the keyboard for you.
- Cherry MX Brown mechanical keys
- Small footprint and clean LED design
- LED backlighting with five levels of brightness and SDK
- Multiple lighting modes
- Sturdy frame
- Quality value for money
- Easy to use macro and profile support
- Doubling up of key functions is confusing initially
- No wrist rest
The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.