Cooler Master Masterkeys MK750 Gaming Keyboard Review

Jonny Weston Jan 22, 2018

  1. Jonny Weston

    Jonny Weston
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    Cooler Master has launched a new flagship gaming keyboard; the MasterKeys MK750 (See it on Amazon) / (See it on Amazon UK), and the result is a decent step up from the rather mediocre MasterKeys Pro L. As a high-end keyboard it has all the trappings you'd expect, including a selection of Cherry MX switches, RGB lighting, a comfy wrist rest, dedicated media keys, and swappable keycaps. I took this new keyboard for a test drive to see how it stacks up to the best gaming keyboards around in this increasingly crowded market.

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    Design and Features


    Like previous MasterKeys keyboards, the MK750 is small and streamlined. While this is a full-size keyboard with a number pad, there’s not a huge row of macro keys on the left-hand side like some of its competitors. The edges stick close to the keys on all sides, meaning the MK750 fits nicely on a desk—even below a large monitor with protruding stand legs. Unfortunately, there’s no USB passthrough, but there is a pleasingly thin, braided removable cable with a USB-C connector where it attaches to the keyboard.

    The deck on the MK750 is made with anodized aluminum, but I would have preferred a brushed or lighter color face that showed it off a bit more. The matte black finish gives it the appearance of plastic. And at $150, the MK750 should look like a high-end keyboard, but it certainly feels like a high-end keyboard at least. The key setup is a large improvement from prior MasterKeys efforts though. The keycaps float above the Cherry MX switches, allowing the LEDs to really put on a great light show. It’s easy to see why this floating design is becoming so popular with modern keyboards, because the lighting on the MK750 is bright and excellent.

    Key spacing is fairly standard for a mechanical board of this size and typing feels natural. There is a handy set of dedicated media keys resting just above the numpad on the MK750 and I liked the fact these buttons are recessed to avoid accidental presses. But it’s surprising Cooler Master still hasn’t added a dedicated volume wheel or even standalone volume buttons on the MK750. Frankly, this is almost becoming a necessity on higher-end keyboards and its exclusion is a misstep.

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    Another new feature, and one that at this point all but required, is a magnetized, padded wrist rest, but it’s lacking in a few ways. Placing my fingers on the home row, my wrists actually extended past the rest, so for me it's just a bit too short. The result wasn’t necessarily uncomfortable, per se, but compared to an excellent wrist rest like the one found on the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, the MK750's doesn’t hold up very well.

    [​IMG]

    More bizarre, however, is how the wrist rest actually conceals a lighting feature on the MK750. Cooler Master has placed light bars on the sides and front edge of the MK750, and they look great. Color movement plays nicely on the desktop with an ambient glow, especially from the bottom angle. But as soon as you attach the wrist rest, the bottom light bar is completely hidden. There’s no discernible glow and since this light bar is the only one actually facing towards you, the effect is somewhat nullified. You could rectify this by placing the rest a bit away from the board, but then the magnets keep snapping it back together. Overall, it feels like the wrist rest on the MK750 is more a hindrance than a benefit.

    Sine there are no dedicated macro keys, Cooler Master has opted for “on-the-fly” macro and lighting controls on this model. Using the Function key, you’re able to use a series of key presses to record/use macros and change lighting effects. Personally, I found the process a bit frustrating, but the system is still vastly improved over the MasterKeys Pro L. Namely, because you can also use the arrow keys to change the speed of light transitions or the direction of light flow. This works really, really well and is easily the most effective way I’ve seen this function implemented on any keyboard. I also enjoyed the ability to add/subtract red, blue, and green hues from the lighting scheme by simply tapping F1 through F3.

    Software


    Cooler Master has released an updated version of its keyboard software for use with the MK750, and while it’s still a bit simple in terms of features, this is one area where the company's streamlined design works. There’s per-key illumination options as well as presets, or you can build your own lighting designs, and it's all fairly easy to set up.

    More importantly, configuring macros is much improved. Prior versions of the software were a mess in regards to setting up macros and you were left with the daunting task of doing so through keypresses. Now, the setup is straightforward, and recording macros—including delays between presses—is pleasantly simple. There’s also a separate tab for remapping keys, and even a profile library for saving your configurations or trading setups with friends.

    Gaming


    The unit Cooler Master sent me for review utilized Cherry MX Blue switches, but Red and Brown switches are also available. Personally, I don’t find the Blue variety to be the best for gaming—that distinction lies with Cherry MX Red or Speed switches. Cherry MX Blue switches have a more tactile, “clicky” feel and response. Actuation is a bit slower, so it’s not really ideal for playing a twitchy first-person shooter like Overwatch. Regardless, I did find the build quality of the keycaps and their response to the switch housing to be excellent. I’ve experienced some wobbly keycaps on other Cooler Master keyboards, but the MK750 is solid and performed very well.

    There’s also an included set of “double shot” purple-tinted replacement keycaps for the WASD keys and their surrounding keys. Double shot keys use a unique process where the keycaps are actually molded twice and thereby the key icons are actually set into the mold as opposed to laser etched onto the surface. This means super durable keycaps that are less prone to fading; a sweet feature for the keys gamers use so often. I didn’t care for the Barney-purple color of them too much, though.

    Purchasing Guide


    The Cooler Master MasterKeys MK750 recently launched with an MSRP of $149.99, and it's holding to exactly that price for the time being:

    The Verdict
    Cooler Master has made admirable strides over its prior mechanical keyboards with the MasterKeys MK750. The build quality is good, plus additions like media keys and floating keycaps are a welcome change. But for just a bit more cash you could buy a far superior keyboard like the Corsair K95 or Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2.

    Source: IGN.com
     

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