Cooler Master have taken the wraps off their antidote to the rainbow-obsessed peripherals of the last few years, introducing the MasterKeys Pro L and M gaming keyboards.
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The new boards offer pretty much all the gaming goodness you’d expect from a modern keyboard. There’s the standard macro-y fun, all stored onboard and accessible without the need to install software, with separate profiles to store your custom macro controls and lighting designs.
Despite the fact Cooler Master are using white LEDs across the board, you can still use the sort of whizzy lighting effects which have accompanied the RGB LED craze. There are responsive effects (turn off if you don’t want people copying your passwords) as well as breathing and wave effects too, and if you’ve got some C++ skills you can also download the SDK and code your own lighting effects.
Though all macros and effects can be turned off if you just want a simple, bright, keyboard to work on. And that’s where Cooler Master’s new boards shine brightest - the white LEDs they’ve used in both the MasterKeys Pro L and M deliver a clearer, brighter white than standard RGB LEDs are capable of producing. That gives the keys crisper backlighting than you would otherwise see; great for visibility when working in the daylight.
The Pro L is a full-size board, with a simple, subtle design surrounding the keys. This is no vast Roccat keyboard with acres of plastic real-estate here. The Pro M is a 90% scale version, using a similar design, but eschewing the 13 keys usually set between the numpad and the main keys. That means you still get all the gaming control the numpad gives, but the width of the board is greatly reduced. Both the Pro L and Pro M are available with your choice of brown, blue and red Cherry MX switches, depending on how clicky or crunchy you want your mechanical switches.
I do miss the dedicated media controls of the Logitech or Corsair keyboards, however, with the MasterKeys Pros requiring some digital gymnastics to hold a Fn button while accessing secondary keyboard functions.
But there’s good news for Mac gamers though: Cooler Master have designed the MasterKeys Pro with you in mind, offering both N-key and 6-key rollover options for the PC gamers and backwards Mac OSX software respectively. So facerolling is totally possible, no matter which gaming school you belong to.
Both the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L and M are available from today.