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Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
UK price (as reviewed):
MSRP £79.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): MSRP TBC

Last March, we had a look at the Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L and MasterKeys Pro S, and they took our Exceptional award. Now, almost a year later, Cooler Master has taken customer feedback and created the MasterKeys S White LED. This new version, as the name suggests, is very similar, but instead of RGB LEDs it has a white backlight. Now, we know what you're thinking: 'RGB can make white, so what is the point?' But RGB LEDs need to use all three colours (red, green, and blue) to make the white, which usually makes it a little 'muddy' or gives it a hint of one of the three colours. With the MasterKeys Pro S White LED, Cooler Master aims to give you a pure white backlight. Cooler Master is also releasing the MasterKeys Pro M and L with white LEDs, so you can use one of the other sizes if you don't wish to use the TKL version we have.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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Inside the box, we have a keycap puller, a 1.5 m cable, the keyboard inside a protective sleeve, and a little booklet to help you with all of the functions. We like to see protective covers with keyboards; it just gives a little more of a premium finish to the packaging and does a better job of protecting the board than the usual plastic bags.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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The keyboard itself has a very nice, simple design with no "gamer style" features, which is fine by us. There is no wasted space and the keycaps are nice and standard. The font on the keycaps is equally as simple, again something which is preferable for us, though obviously this is more of a personal preference than anything. The build quality of this keyboard is excellent, and the metal mid-plate makes it very sturdy and ensures that there is no flexing.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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The MaskerKeys Pro S White LED is made to be used without software, so all the controls are done with the FN key combined wtih other keys. This doesn't really hold you back, though, as you can still use media keys, record macros, set lighting effects, and change repeat rates. You can also set up to four different profiles, allowing for a good amount of customisation. Getting used to using hardware solutions for everything is a bit tricky, especially for things like macro recording where it would be far easier to see the macro to edit it.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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Cooler Master has used Cherry MX switches with its MasterKeys Pro range, and we are not going to argue with that; they are considered to be amongst the best mechanical switches available and for good reason. They are responsive, have a good lifespan, and have a large range ensuring that there is a switch for everyone.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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One thing that annoys me personally is that the cable has a right-angled connector. This is perfectly fine if your USB connector is going to your left, but if your computer is on your right-hand side it starts to look unsightly. This isn't just about aesthetics either; the cable has to be bent back on itself, putting strain on both the connector and the cable.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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Luckily, Cooler Master has used a mini-USB connector on the MasterKeys Pro S White LED, so you can easily swap the cable. Having the connector on the far right of the keyboard with a left-facing 90-degree cable seems somewhat strange, though, and it means that if your computer is on your left, you lose a lot of cable length.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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If we flip the keyboard over, we can see that there are four rubber feet to ensure that the keyboard doesn't slip or slide. This also means that you won't scratch your desk. There are also two flip-out feet that ensure that you can angle the keyboard to give a better typing experience for those who prefer it.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro S White LED Review
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This is what this keyboard is all about, though: the pure white LEDs. Okay, so our photo does give them a bit of a blue tint, but we guarantee that this is down to our photo rather than the LEDs. The MasterKeys Pro S White LEDs are super bright and very white - so bright, in fact, that we found ourselves turning them down a little with the dimming options. White LEDs are very simplistic and really do suit the style of keyboard, and after seeing so much RGB lately it is refreshing to see

There's a whole host of different lighting effects including wave and ripple; these just dance around your keyboard without you having to do anything. There are also active effects such as cross mode which are responsive to key presses. There are far more lighting modes, including the classic game of Snake! Brightness, speed, and direction can all be changed, and if backlights are not your thing, the LEDs can be turned off entirely.

Conclusion

Although we may have outlined some negatives in the above review, these are all personal opinions and don't really reflect on the product as a whole. The MasterKeys Pro series has consistently been fantastic. There isn't a software suite, and there are a few niggles about the cable, but other than that it is perfect. The build quality is fantastic: It doesn't bend or flex at all, and it feels sturdy enough to last for years. The white LED option comes from users wanting a pure white rather than the colour you get when setting an RGB keyboard to white, so there is most certainly a market for the product. If you are looking for a simplistic keyboard that is feature-rich without the need for software, it is pretty hard to think of any other keyboard that comes close to Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro series, and if you want a white LED, then this could well be the board for you, especially with a fair price tag of £80.
Overall 90%
bittech-exceptional Award

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