One of the few names synonymous with quality PC parts has been Cooler Master. Known for their excellent cases, fans and more, Cooler Master has also been stepping up their game in the peripherals department. With multiple different keyboards to fit any use case, Cooler Master is establishing itself as one of the go-to companies for gaming keyboard needs alongside the Corsair and Razers of the world. Earlier this year, we reviewed the Cooler Master SK650 Low Profile Keyboard. Cooler Master has since announced a limited edition to this unique gaming keyboard, but is it truly any different than what has been released already? How does it stack up compared to other Cooler Master keyboards, as well as the competition? And what about that sweet, sweet RGB? Here is our review of the Cooler Master SK650 White Limited Edition Keyboard.
- Switch type: Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Switch
- Material: Brushed Aluminum, Plastic
- Color: Silver, White
- LED Color: RGB
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz
- Keyboard Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
- Keyboard: 32bit ARM Cortex M3
- On Board Memory: 512KB
- On the Fly System: Yes, for Multi-media, Macro Recording and Lighting Control
- Multimedia Keys: Through Function Key (FN)
- Cable: USB Type-C Detachable & Braided
- Software: Cooler Master Portal
- Keyboard Connector Cable: USB Type-C (KB side), USB 2.0 Type A (Computer Side)
- Cable Length: 1.8m, Braided and Removable
- Dimensions: 430 x 125 x 25 mm
- Weight: 629g / 1.387 lbs (without cable)
- MSRP: $159
At first glance, the SK650 White is absolutely beautiful to look at. The sleek, minimalistic design of the keyboard evokes the design seen with Apple products, which is partly the point. The low profile, chiclet style keyboard is squarely aimed at those who are looking for a chiclet style keyboard that feels right at home with their Apple devices. The vibrant white keycaps set upon the brushed silver aluminum evokes a striking look with any set up. Add in the RGB throughout the board and anyone looking for an eye-catching device as part of their set-up need look no further.
The SK650 is aimed at those who prefer the compact, low-profile chiclet style keyboards, which means if you’re going into this keyboard expected raised keycaps or even a raised keyboard, you’ll be sorely disappointed. This does take a bit to get used to, especially if you’ve been using a standard mechanical keyboard or, like me, have been using a light-switch based keyboard for quite a while.
Even though the SK650 White is low-profile, it utilizes Cherry MX Low Profile switches to great effect. These incredible switches make the transition to the SK650 a bit easier as each press of a key feels solid. The distance that each switch must travel has also been reduced - from 4.0mm to 3.2mm, which makes the SK650 White feel much more responsive even compared to a standard MX Red switch. One of my main gripes of standard low profile chiclet style keyboards is the loss of precision versus a standard mechanical keyboard. The inclusion of the Cherry MX switches on the standard SK650 and again the White Limited Edition model solves that problem, and while it took me a bit to get used to it, I do find myself rather enjoying using the keyboard as my main tool while working and gaming now.
This is aided, I believe by the contoured keycaps of the SK650. These keycaps make the ergonomics a bit easier to deal with, especially if you’re like me and are transitioning from an elevated keyboard with a wrist rest. I still feel fatigued after a while when in long writing or gaming sessions, but I’m sure with time that will end as I get more and more used to the style. In fact if you’re like me, you might need to keep using a wrist rest to help be more comfortable when using the keyboard. I know the design of the chiclet typically doesn’t include a wrist rest, but it would have been a nice inclusion for those who still need one.
The SK650 White Keyboard also sports the same great on-the-fly RGB tools each of the Cooler Master RGB keyboards have, and they are just as convenient as ever to use. Being able to change the colors of the RGB, the style, speed and mode without installing any software is a dream and I wish more keyboards would do it as well as Cooler Master does. If you want even more control you can download the Cooler Master Portal software, but I’ve honestly never really felt the need to use it across the four Cooler Master keyboards I’ve tested and used since January.
The main question to ask when looking at the SK650 White Limited Edition keyboard is this: Does the sleek new keyboard do enough to differentiate it from the standard SK650? At the moment, the only real difference between the two is simply down to the color of the keyboard. Both are low-profile using Cherry MX RGB switches. The feel of the keyboards are identical, both feeling solid to use overall, as well as the SK630 Tenkeyless variant. So why the extra $20 added to the MSRP? I feel like that is purely an aesthetic difference, especially as the Silver/White variant is a limited edition version meant to evoke a certain style aesthetic over the standard low-profile model aimed squarely at gamers. However, I truly feel the extra cost is justified purely based on the look - it is, simply put, the best looking RGB keyboard I’ve ever used. Final Thoughts
While I don’t think there is any real performance difference compared to the already popular standard SK650, the SK650 White Limited Edition keyboard, and I’ll admit at first I really disliked the feel of the low-profile switches, after a week or so with the SK650 White keyboard I’ve found myself as a convert to the style. It’s sleek, elegant design really allows the RGB colors to pop in a way I’ve not really seen in other RGB keyboards before. Additionally, the contoured keys really do help key the keyboard feeling comfortable, even to someone not really used to the chiclet style design. Above all, the switches feel solid and precise, and while it took a bit to get used to the faster actuation of the switches thanks to the shorter travel distance, the Cherry MX Low Profile switches continue to prove why they are the gold standard in the industry. The increase to $159 MSRP over the standard $139 MSRP might seem like too much for what amounts to really nothing more of an aesthetic difference, for me and those who put a premium on not just functionality but look, the $20 isn’t too much more to pay. In the end, the SK650 White Limited Edition keyboard is another step in the right direction for Cooler Master: It’s solid, it performs and it looks great. I don’t see myself really moving from the SK650 White Limited Edition keyboard anytime soon.
- Absolutely stunning to look at
- Low profile switches feel precise and solid
- On-the-fly-controls continue to set Cooler Master apart from other makers
- Takes some getting used to
- No wrist rest for those who need one
The review product was provided by the manufacturer.