chips-computers | Post
  • Phil (Mr Chips) Griffiths

The Masterkeys Pro L RGB Review

Updated: Jan 9, 2018

Today we are reviewing the MasterKeys Pro L RGB by Cooler Master



This is what Cooler Master has to say about the Keyboard

Elevate your game with the MasterKeys line of gaming keyboards and focus on what really matters: no-nonsense performance in a straightforward package. Get the most out of your skills and don’t get distracted by bright lights and flashing logos. Choose accuracy, precision, and performance like the pros.


With Hassle free software or on the fly adjustments, adjust the keyboard to your needs however you choose. All this rounded up in a quality and solid frame featuring Cherry MX Brown switches with RGB lighting to take your gaming to the next level.



This is what Cooler Master has to say about the Keyboard

Elevate your game with the MasterKeys line of gaming keyboards and focus on what really matters: no-nonsense performance in a straightforward package. Get the most out of your skills and don’t get distracted by bright lights and flashing logos. Choose accuracy, precision, and performance like the pros.


With Hassle free software or on the fly adjustments, adjust the keyboard to your needs however you choose. All this rounded up in a quality and solid frame featuring Cherry MX Brown switches with RGB lighting to take your gaming to the next level.


Basic Tech Specs

Switch Type CHERRY MX Brown, Material Plastic / Metal

Color Black

LED Colour RGB  16.7 Million Colours

Response Rate 1ms

On board Memory 512KB

On-the-fly system Macro Record and Lighting

CableDetachable with Micro-USB

Connector CableUSB 2.0

Cable Length1.5 Meters

Dimensions 439.23 x 130.32 x 41.95 mm

Product Weight (without cable)1090 g

Warranty 2 years


The Packaging

The packaging of the product has a small footprint.  It's only slightly bigger than the product and may make the product look smaller than it is. The packaging is mostly dark grey and white writing, with a picture of the keyboard doing a wave/rainbow effect. It tells you 90% of what you need to know on the front of the box. **including layout type (UK/US/EU) and the type of switches the keys have. 

In basics, it stands out without taking up much room and looks like a premium product.


The Unboxing and Extras.

When opening the packaging, you will find the keyboard in a black protective bag/sleeve, the basic manual, a braided USB cable which you have to plug it into the keyboard and device you want to use, and a key remover.  The keyboard in the sleeve is a nice touch, it makes one feel as though they are getting quality straight away.  The braided USB cable is also a very nice touch, considering most just do a plastic coated wire from the keyboard.  I'm not sure why a key remover was needed, as you have no replacement keys included (even though Universal ones are available (see below)). I found this part to be a little misleading.  There is also no wrist rest nor dedicated macro keys to the left of the keyboard. 


Statement from CoolerMaster Regarding Key Remover "Most Cherry Keyboards will have this included in the box (or should have it) as Cherry keycaps are to some extent universal. This allows people to buy custom keycaps for their keyboards and our key removal tool helps in the process. Our keyboards all have a standard layout so pretty much any set of custom keycaps will work."



 The Features

The lack of "extra" features extends to the overall key setup. You'll find the normal range of QWERTY keys, arrow keys, a number pad, and not much else. Much like a laptop keyboard, the MasterKeys Pro L utilises the function key (Cooler Master logo on the key) to access media controls on the fly. Volume control, for example, is manipulated by tapping the Home/Page Up/Page Down key array. But the other function keys are where the MasterKeys Pro L becomes useful in terms of RGB lighting and customisation.


Holding the Function key and F1 through F3, for example, you can change the red, blue, and green colour range and intensity of those colours for the LEDs that live under the board's switches. Pressing F5 in the same manner cycles through a number of lighting modes, including static colours, wave animations, and ripple effects.  It is easier to control if downloading the keyboard software from Coolermaster's website.

You can also record macros through the function keys and the P1-P4 Keys on the keyboard. There is no dedicated macro keys on the side of the keyboard like a lot do at this price range.


The keyboard is one of the strongest built keyboards we have ever seen.  I can see this product not having to be replaced anytime soon due to excessive gaming because of its durability.  One thing that Coolermaster seems to do right with all its products is the build quality.


The Software

The software has to be downloaded from Coolermaster, it's a 13mb download and easy to install. It automatically installed the latest firmware version for the keyboard but neglected to say what it had changed in the new version. 

The software does not scale well with resolutions above HD.  The software does all the main things you need to do but like changing the RGB modes and setting up some basic profiles. But it does not excel.  It's as if a hardware programmer designed this instead of a software programmer.


Gaming

Cherry MX Brown switches are excellent for gaming, and this is one area where the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L stands out. It's a very well-functioning mechanical keyboard. The keys felt very responsive during gaming  The key caps and switches feel great with shooters, and while the MasterKeys Pro L is a full-size keyboard, its key spacing feels fast and efficient. The lack of a wrist-rest is a bit of an annoyance, but it's possible to alleviate that with an aftermarket purchase.


The Conclusion

Overall, the MasterKeys Pro L RGB is an amazing keyboard to use but is let down with the lack of extras. If you're the type of gamer who is just looking for a super simple Cherry MX keyboard and don't want to hassle with software, this is the keyboard for you.  You will not be disappointed.  The keys are pretty great overall and the build quality is among the best.


Stand out Point

Build quality--Very Strong.


The Pros

16.7 Million RGB Colours

Vivid lighting

Proper mechanical cherry keys

Cable length

Top-class performance

....

The Cons


Software leaves a little to be desired No USB or Audio passthrough

The Annoyances


Extras, No Wrist/palm rest or extra keys

Would we Recommend it = Yes


If all you want is a fast, responsive keyboard and are not bothered about extras, then this keyboard is for you!

We award the MasterKeys Pro L RGB our GOLD Award



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