Joined on 03/30/20
A truly beautiful, high-quality keyboard.
Pros: - Chiclet!!! - Beautiful - Excellent build quality - Great switches (feel) - Great software
Cons: Chiclet keyboards are typically meant to sit very flat on the desk, however, I would have liked a little rear height (tilt) adjustment or flip out legs just because I'm a bad a sloucher and when slouching, having a little rear elevation helps my typing angle. Not a big deal.
Overall Review: First of all, I'm not usually a CM fan and wouldn't have expected this product from CM. However, I think they did an excellent job with this keyboard! I am a touch typer and programmer. I type very fast but am also prone to making a lot of mistakes. Many years ago I noticed that when I typed on my Mac computers, my mistakes were far fewer. I figured this was because of the chiclet design having a clear distinction between each key. Since then I have tried to use a chiclet keyboard whenever possible. I had been using a Logitech K310 which IMO is a great cheap chiclet keyboard. However, I started having problems with the Logitech's space bar not registering and I really wanted a backlit keyboard for late-night programming. I didn't expect chiclet keyboards to be so hard to find, but I did see this one which was more expensive than what I was really looking to pay, but I really needed a new keyboard so I thought I'd try it. Here are a few observations: SWITCHES Most importantly, the mechanism is great. It uses linear switches that have a very consistent resistance all the way through. There is no "break"; it is one smooth press. It registers the press with very little press depth so if you are typing quickly and fail to press a key all the way down, it will still register. Since the keys are linear, they are fairly quiet. BUILD This keyboard is definitely the highest quality keyboard I've owned. It's solid and heavy. The deck is brushed metal. The keycaps are nice and tight; no wobble. The cable is braided and high quality. It can be detached from the keyboard and uses a standard USB C end on the keyboard side so it can be easily replaced if needed, without replacing the keyboard. SOFTWARE The software (running Windows 10 Pro) for this keyboard is really good. It is called Cooler Master Portal and it allows you to customize the lighting (more later), keymaps, and record macros very easily. It also allows you to have multiple profiles with different lighting, keymaps, and macros under each profile. You can change profiles on the fly using a shortcut on the keyboard without opening the software. The keyboard has many built-in shortcuts for managing the keyboard's features and functionality, as well as common media and volume shortcuts. One shortcut that I really like is the keyboard lock shortcut. I have a cat that loves to sit on my desk when I walk away. If I step away from my desk I can easily use the shortcut to lock the keyboard so that while I'm gone my cat isn't writing a program to take over the world (or just messing up whatever I was working on). LIGHTING - LEDs - RGB TL;DR - The lighting, options, effects, etc are all great. There are no dark spots and each key is individually and independently lit. Long version: This is an interesting topic for me. Generally, I really don't care about the RGB features on components. I never buy RGB fans or cases, and when I buy a component (like my motherboard) which happens to have RGB features, I turn them off. Just personal preference. With this keyboard, I knew it had RGB features, but all I really cared about what having backlit keys. I was fully planning on having the backlight color be plain white and have no effects. However... Once I was in the software and playing around, I found it quite neat. Some of the color combinations are really stunning. Each key is independently lit and with the software, you can do some really cool effects. Make sure you scroll down in the effects list in the software because initially I only saw about 5 effects until I realized it was a scrolling list with about 25 effects. I am currently using "Ripple" and like it a lot. The RGB backlighting and effects are not gaudy or tacky IMO. I actually find it quite polished. This is the most surprising experience for me. I'm not going to run off and enable RGB on my motherboard, but this keyboard adds just enough fun to my desk. SUMMARY If you like chiclet keyboards, just buy it. You'll be happy you did. PS: If you don't need the numpad, CM makes the SK630 which is slightly cheaper and doesn't have a numpad. I use the numpad all the time so it won't work for me, but it might for you! Also, the SK651 and SK631 are the equivalent keyboards with Bluetooth capability.