Today I will be reviewing the Coolermaster Masterkeys Pro L RGB mechanical keyboard. But is this a gaming keyboard that you should buy? Lets start with what you get with the keyboard in the box.

In the box

Included with the Pro L you get the keyboard, the instruction manual as well as a keycap puller and that is all.

in-the-box

Design and Build

Coolermaster have made a little slogan for this keyboard and that is “No Gimmicks, just quality” but does the Pro L deliver that?

slogan

Well design wise, yes. Coolermaster have kept things clean and minimal. I really appreciate that as I prefer it when gaming keyboards cater to those of us who like a more subtle approach to peripherals. This is also a full size layout, now if you don’t like a full size then they offer they Pro M and Pro S versions. But I do like a full sized keyboard and I do spreadsheet work, so having the gull numpad helps. But again if you don’t need that, look at the smaller variants. Dimension wise it measures in at 439.23 x 130.32 x 41.94mm, so make sure you have the space before making a purchase.

overall-design

The only hint that you’d even get that its a Coolermaster product is the branded Windows keycaps. Again this is much appreciated as sometimes companies can make the branding a little to bold and ‘look at me’. But not here.

cm-win-key

The main body is covered in a smooth matt black finish and it looks smart. It does a decent job at hiding finger print marks too. It does a nice job of keeping things looking clean and again its welcomed. Its made from a solid feeling plastic, but has a metal plate inside to help increase rigidity and reduce flex. This works very well and there is no flex at all when typing. Its only when you try to make it flex that it does a little, but you don’t really do that with a keyboard anyways. But its all testament to Coolermasters build quality standards, which are good. I experienced this when I reviewed the MasterPulse headset and I was amazed at how well it was made for the price.

finish

Onto the keys now and these on my unit are Cherry MX brown. I’ll cover more on how they perform later on in the gaming and typing sections of the review. Back onto the keys now and I like them, the slight convex to them looks great fits in with the style of the keyboard. They are also backlit. It’s really nice, has no hot spots and the letters are fully filled out. I also like that the caps lock, scroll lock and num lock remain unlit unless activated. This is handy as then you know when they are on or off. The keys are again plastic and feel very good quality and my only slight complaint is that finger print marks show up quite easily. But they are really easy to wipe clean, so its not a major issue at all.

keys

Under the keys is a white backplate, the reason why Coolermaster have gone for white is because it helps distribute the RGB light more evenly than a black finish. This in my opinion creates a nicer RGB effect.

under-keys

The underside of the keyboard is well thought out too, there is a three way channel that helps you route the cable. This is great as you can manage it to either side or in front of the keyboard, depending on which side your PC is located. Also under here the slot to house the cable, the cable is removable which is a bonus as you could swap it if it does so happen to break.

underside

The underside also houses the rubber feet, these aren’t the biggest but they do a good job of preventing the keyboard from slipping around, even during some intense gaming.

feet

Under the keyboard you’ll also find your height adjust of which there are two levels. One is flat the other slightly raised. Now I prefer it flat, but how you have it will be down to your personal preference.

Finally onto the cable its 1.5m and braided. The braid quality is great and I’ve only noticed a few minor stray strands. But as a whole its solid and feels very robust. So I’m confident it should last a long time.

cable

Software and RGB

The software that you can download here allows you to tweak the colours and customise the keyboard to your individual tastes. So you can colour match to your PC or go all out rainbow RGB. There are 14 different options to choose from, these give you different effects and patterns to make the keyboard light up in different ways. I keep mine on Yellow as it matches my White and Yellow PC build, but again this can be configured to whatever you want.

my-profile

You can also save up to four different profiles which can be changed on the fly via the P1 through to p4 keys. This means you can quickly change your profile without having to load up the software.

prof-keys

These profiles can save your chosen effect or profile for a favourite game of yours.  If you really want to get into the whole make it unique you can even customize each individual key.

your-own

If I had to pick a real favourite it would be the system status eq, this changes the lights according to what you are listening to at the time. It looks so cool and works great.

eq-eff

Here is a video demoing a few of the effects in action.

For the RGB I have to say that its starting to grow on me and I’m actually beginning to like it, especially when its done right and Coolermaster have done it right. The colours are quite accurate, vibrant and just about the ideal brightness.

Everyday use and Gaming

Using the keyboard everyday is a nice experience, the Cherry MX brown switches are fast becoming my preffered switch. They aren’t too loud, but still retain that nice mechanical noise. They’re also responsive, quick, well spaced and have a nice travel distance. Typing word documents is a breeze and easily one of if not the nicest typing experience that I’ve had. I’ve used Cherry MX blue, red, memchanical switches, gatoron and the cheaper variants of the mechanical switch and these are my favourite to date. The key spacing is great and I rarely make typos when fast paced typing a document or email. So if you do more than just game then, its great for that too.

mx-browns

So I’ve established that if you write emails and docs a lot on your PC this keyboard is more than capable. However if I were to be a little critical I would have liked an additional wrist rest or the option to buy an add on one. It would have made the keyboard even more comfortable and nicer to use. That’s not saying its uncomfortable, because it isn’t, but coming from a keyboard with a wrist rest its a bit of an adjustment.

Below is a typing sample and if you like knowing what how its going to sound, then this should be just what you’re after. Personally I like how they sound and they really aren’t the loudest of keys out there. So this would be good if you’re a Twitch or YouTube game streamer.

But how is it for gaming? Here are a few specs for those of you that like knowing whats inside your tech.

  • 1000Hz Polling rate
  • 1ms response time
  • 32bit ARM Cortex M3 MCU
  • 512KB on board memory
  • USB 2.0

Well for gaming its great, like I mentioned its really responsive and there appears to be minimal delay between what I’m doing on the keyboard and it happening on the screen. If anything my display is too slow (7ms) and its the display that is the slowest part of the equation. The keyboard is more than quick enough. So I thought to make things fair I tried it on my brothers 144Hz 1ms gaming monitor and my theory was correct, its my monitor that is causing the delay. Again its minute, but when switching from my 60hz 7ms monitor, it is noticeable. The games I tested the keyboard on were PUBG, Overwatch, Grid 2, WOT and Rise of the tomb raider and honestly the experience was great. It felt fluid and again I know I’ve said it already, but its quick and responsive. This again was on the 144Hz monitor. On my monitor it felt like it was trying to keep up and not the keyboard being slow.

So if you have a quick monitor, this can certainly keep pace. If you have a slower monitor, you’ll still probably see a benefit, unless you have a quick keyboard already.

gaming

Is this the best out there? Well its the best I’ve ever used, the closest I’ve ever tried that can compare is the QPad MK50 with Black MX switches and this feels fare quicker and more responsive than did. I think that these keys feel less heavy and they feel quicker to travel than the switches on the Mk50. They felt a little heavier in comparison. But back to the Pro L and its the best keyboard I’ve ever used for both gaming and productivity, but is it the best at the price, I can’t say as this is the only one I’ve tried. If I ever obtain a similarly priced keyboard I’ll be sure to do a comparison.

Another little bonus is key lighting, I have touched on this earlier, but I didn’t mention that you can customise the keys individually to suit the game you are playing. Whether its a MOBA, FPS you can colour map the keys so only those are highlighted. Now it didn’t give me a massive advantage, but it sure does help finding the keys a lot easier, especially in the evenings and at night.

Summary

So for anywhere between £90 and £110 its a great all round keyboard, its really quick, responsive, looks nice, is well made, has nice RGB lighting, great software and is well built. Its just a good all rounder whether you solely game on it, or do a bit of work too. My only slight criticism is the lack of a wrist rest and that is pretty much it. But as a whole the Pro L lives up to Coolermasters no gimmicks, just quality promise as its not full of unnecessary features and it hits all the right notes where it should.

So if you’re looking for a decently priced but great all rounder then this should be on your list.

Get one here

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/coolermaster-masterkeys-pro-l-rgb

US: www.amazon.com/coolermaster-masterkeys-pro-l-rgb

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Weston

Hey I’m Weston and I’d definitely say that I’m a technology enthusiast. I’ve been in the tech space a while and I really love pretty much anything tech or tech related.

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