Cooler Master has just released their new MasterKeys Pro series of mechanical keyboards for the Singapore market. These keyboards are tuned for full customization and are said to have the brightest LEDs and great mechanical experience for users. As hardworking software developers in the day and avid PC gamers at night, the team at The Tech Revolutionist is going to give our opinions on the Cooler Master Pro S, and find out if it meets the needs of both productivity and extreme gaming.
The MasterKeys Pro mechanical keyboard comes with Cherry MX switches which are tried and tested to perform well under different circumstances. To best suit our usage, we had the Cherry MX red switches for our test. The MasterKeys Pro is available in Cherry MX Blue, Brown and Red keys. The keyboard is also available in full-sized and in ten-keyless alternatives. We have the MasterKeys Pro S for review, which is the ten-keyless version.
Built for the Software Developer
The MasterKeys Pro S keyboard is suited to the needs of a Software Developer. Software Developers, who are advanced users in their own domains, focuses much of their interaction with the computer via the keyboard. They spend most of their time writing codes and designing software and a good keyboard is fundamental for their productivity. Here are the 4 main reasons why the MasterKeys Pro S keyboard suits this consumer base well. Of course, I would like to stress that review is done from a personal point of view, and stereotypes the typical Software Developer. These views do not reflect the opinions of all Software Developers, and every individual has his/her own preference, regardless of their occupation.
As a typical software developer, I prefer to have things in right place. Rather having flashy designs and unwanted buttons on the keyboard, I would much prefer a traditional keyboard layout that looks simple, but is in fact equipped with specialized features. The MasterKeys Pro series of keyboard does exactly that. It has an standard keyboard layout and does not feature any other specialized keys. In order to access the features on the keyboard, users have to press on the FN button and customize their keyboard accordingly. This decreases the overall footprint of the keyboard, "keeping it stupid and simple", which is a much talked about principle in Human Computer Interaction.
Full Customization Options for RGB LED Lighting
Advanced users loves to have customization options to their gear. With full customization options for RGB LED Lighting for the MasterKeys Pro S, software developers can optimize the lighting of the keyboard to suit their preference. There are multiple customization options available, ranging from the intensity of individual Red, Green and Blue colours on the keys. They can also change the LED effects on the keyboard, if they find the usual fully lid option to be too distracting for their work. We have done up a video to show the different on-the-fly LED customization options and effects on the keyboard, so that you can have a better understanding of the options available before your purchase.
Moreover, there is a more flexible option to change the preferred lighting options. Users can install the Cooler Master GUI software to specify the colour for the individual keys on the keyboard.
The MasterKeys Pro series is made to be with various built in customization options, as mentioned above. If these features are not sufficient, the expert users can download the MasterKeys Pro Software Development Kit (SDK) and develop on top of the provided lighting features. Cooler Master aims to bring the SDK to users at COMPUTEX 2016. We will be providing first hand information about the SDK when we are at the end of the month.
Of course, for other users who do not want to meddle too much with the internal software of the keyboard, they can simply do without the GUI software that is also provided with the keyboard and rely solely on the on-the-fly keys. Users who wants to create their own custom light effects can do so on the provided GUI software, and share it with their friends.
Built for the Gamers
Gamers will appreciate the features that are mentioned above that appears to be beneficial to software developers. The customization options available on the lighting of the keyboard can enhance the gamer's experience largely. Mechanical switches also provides the best possible keyboard experiences for gamers. Furthermore, below are two additional features that are fundamental to the ultimate gaming experience.
On-the-fly Macro and Profile Support
The use of on-the-fly macro is important to gamers who requires a specific combination of keys to perform a certain action. Macros can be recorded solely on the keyboard itself, without the need for any software. Gamers can simply select one of the four profiles available to save the macro. He/She can then press FN and F11 to start the recording of the macro and save it within the selected profile. This is all made possible thanks to the on-board ARM Cortex M3 processor on the keyboard that processes all the possible customizations and save them into the keyboard's own memory.
100% anti-ghosting and NKRO features
The MasterKeys Pro series also supports anti-ghosting technologies. The keyboard ensures that every single key that is pressed on the keyboard is recorded accordingly, regardless of the number of keys pressed at the same time. This technology is exclusive to MasterKeys Pro series, and is developed by them.
The technology works by combining N-key and 6-key rollover together. If more than six keys are pressed simultaneously, the technology automatically switches from 6-key rollover to N-key rollover. No matter how intense a gaming session gets such hardware and software features on the Cooler Master S keyboard is sure to handle it. This also explain why the MasterKeys Pro keyboard is made for the most professional gamers out in the industry.
ConclusionThe MasterKeys Pro series of keyboard has got what it takes to be the best keyboard out in the market. With its highly customizable lighting options and simplistic design, we are sure that it is going to be a hit with both Software Developers and Gamers. With an ARM Cortex M3 processor on-board, the MasterKeys Pro is equipped with the best hardware possible. This opens itself up to a new generation of "smart keyboards" that is possibly done with the SDK coming later in the month. We are definitely looking forward to the possibilities of what the SDK brings, and would be delighted to understand more about the technology and share it with our readers when available.
The MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S are now available for purchase at the suggested retail price of SGD 269 and SGD 209 respectively.
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