FIRST EXPERIENCE with a Cooler Master Keyboard - Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro M White (Cherry MX Brown) Review

Before we get to the meat of the review, here's a couple pictures of the keyboard...
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This is also my first experience with a TenKey (92 key) layout on a keyboard.

★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

  • Hardware
    • Build quality is solid
    • Key caps and switches (Cherry MX Brown) feel good
    • Sound is fairly dampened even without o-rings (which is great for a work environment)
  • Size
    • Reminiscent of a TKL keyboard (just barely wider than TKL due to 1 extra column of keys
  • Driverless
    • Every piece of functionality can be controlled via the keyboard. No need for any software to setup and configure macros, lighting, functions, etc…
  • Numpad/Navigation Cluster Combo
    • At work I'm a frequent user of the navigation cluster and the numpad so this is fairly annoying to deal with toggling numlock on and off all the time. 
  • Quite a few things buried under the FN key
    • I could get used to it but it reminds me of the Anne pro where a lot of the functions I utilize on a regular basis are buried underneath "something" in order to use them

Other Thoughts
I have no issue with Cooler Master or their hardware for this keyboard. It really boils down to the layout and the fact that it just doesn't work well enough for my needs. The keys I commonly use require more "effort" than I would like to gain access to so that is what ultimately turns me away from this keyboard.

This keyboard is in a similar situation that the Anne Pro was for me. The hardware is good, the keys feel good, the switches feel good but the usability for my situation just doesn't quite line up with how I want it to be. I'm a frequent user of the navigation cluster (arrow keys, home, pgup, etc…) and having that buried under the number cluster and requiring me to constantly disable num lck is a fairly major annoyance. For work I've come to prefer a full size keyboard but at home I'm mostly fine with a TKL or smaller keyboard.

I like the fact that this keyboard has a number cluster unlike a TKL so when I do need to input a lot of numbers it makes it faster and easier. However, again, the compromise is now I have the navigation cluster keys buried under the numpad. Having those "out of position" and buried in the numpad is a turn off for me because I like to have both available at the same time without having to constantly toggle.

I didn't really touch much of the other functionality of the keyboard such as macros, lighting effects or anything like that. I basically just wanted to be able to see if this layout would work and my friend/co-worker had this keyboard on hand and graciously was able to let me try it out. I spent about a grand total of 3 hours with this keyboard before I switched back to my trusty Logitech G710+.

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