Cooler Master CK720 65% Gaming Keyboard Review

A Closer Look & Performance

This is such a nice keyboard from the moment you take it out of the box, but we’ll get to that in a moment. The stock cable is nice enough, a soft rubber-coated Type-C cable, and it’s nice and long too, with those custom purple inserts on the header too.

…but it’s not quite as fantastic as this double-sleeved coiled cable.

It looks neon, it’s so vibrant with that blue-over-purple aesthetic, truly a wonder to see in person.

It comes with an XLR breakaway in the middle, which screws into the main cable that goes to your computer. Why? Actually, I don’t really know, but it looks neat.

As you can see, the keyboard looks pretty epic, and the default Cooler Master purple is the stock RGB setting, so it matches up with the cable really nicely too; such a nice attention to detail.

Just to be clear, I have something behind the keyboard holding it up, it doesn’t stand like this on its own. It’s quite a heavy keyboard too, but if you’re a long-time fan of Cooler Master keyboards, you’ll know they’re typically heavier than other brands anyway, and well-known for being somewhat overbuilt.

the CK720 is available in a few configurations, with US, UK or TC layouts, all of which come with a set of high-quality PBT doubleshot keycaps, which won’t suffer the awful shininess that ABS caps suffer from after extended use. The darker version of the keyboard comes with black keys, while the lighter silver version comes with white keycaps.

The CK720 is really robust, and it uses a durable aluminium top plate, which can be removed via a hidden lever on the left side of the keyboard under a little plastic cover. Why? So you can customise it! You could paint it, laser engrave it, or apply vinyl, it’s really up to you. For me personally? I’m happy with the luxurious stock finish.

The keyboard is 65% so it’s pretty minimal on the surface. However, it uses a lot of FN-Shift features (the button left of the the right Ctrl key, to use secondary functions on each of the keys.

There’s also a dedicated delete, page up and page down key, which is handy. Of course, this layout isn’t for everyone, the loss of a numberpad alone can be a deal breaker. However, there are a lot of keyboard lovers out there who just love tiny keyboards, and who am I to argue with what they want?

I do love a good dial control though, and there’s a gorgeous one here made from aluminium, it has a nice tactile bump when turned and can be clicked in too, allowing you to control and mute your volume, change RGB profiles, adjust brightness levels, skip songs and more.

One of the most surprising aspects of this keyboard is how slim it is. It sits pretty low, and it has a nice slim bezel too. It’s more surprising based on the weight of the keyboard though, it’s as heavy as some robust full-size keyboards. This is due to a thick silicone padding on the PCB and a filled-in bottom plate, as it takes all the hollowness out of the keyboard. That means when you smash your finger down on a key, all you hear is the clickity-clack of that switch. Some keyboards are so hollow typing sounds like you are typing on a steelpan drum.

The keyboard is certainly unique looking due to its size, with the arrow keys pushed to the left to slim it down, and obviously, trimmed off the number pad as well as the F-keys to give it that 65% layout. It can take some getting used to, but if you’re a gamer, and do little else, you could likely trim down to about 10% of the keys and still be fine anyway.

I do like that the keyboard has a secondary level though, so ZXCV has profiles, QWERTYUAS have lighting features, DFGHJ is the macro engine, and then there are F-keys, media keys and more. Every switch is pulling double duty, but also, can be programmed via the software and the on-the-fly macro engine.

The underside is pretty blank, just some tiny rubber feet. Normally, big feet are needed to prevent sliding around, but honestly, it’s heavy enough that it never became an issue, it stays where you put it.

The feet are neat though, with a smaller inner kickstand.

As well as a larger outer kickstand, giving you three levels of angle adjustment.

The included software is decent enough, but if you brave the Fn-Shift features, of which there are many, it’s hardly needed. You can set per-key RGB levels by dialling in the levels here, and even then, select from a plethora of effects, brightness, direction and speed settings.

The RGB is nice too, with good colours that aren’t overly bright. Many keyboards are overly bright or shine in a way that flashes your eye while working at night. This keyboard is more subdued and toned down, but has enough RGB to make it look clear to read and nice to look at, without the distraction.

The switches are pretty fantastic though, they’re the Kailh White Box Switch, it’s a clicky switch but it doesn’t feel like an MX Blue. It’s a smoother switch, with a lighter action and a click that’s somewhat tonally similar to a nice quality mouse switch. Crispy and smooth at the same time, it’s very pleasing to the touch and to the ear.

There’s a special key cap and switch removal tool included in the box too, so you can easily maintain things or make some changes.

The switches are MX compatible with caps, but they have a special box design that stops the caps from having any wobble, leading to a more positive typing experience.

The switches aren’t soldered in either, they’re fully hot-swappable, so you just put the tweezers on each side and give them a light pull.

Cooler Master has bundled in 8 x Cherry Green Switches, which are very strong click switches, but honestly, any 3-pin switch will drop in just fine, so go nuts, order yourself a bunch on Amazon, they’re pretty cheap to get a few test switches.

Overall the typing action is stunning, the Kailh White switches are stunning, and they’re all pre-lubricated at the factory meaning they’re silky smooth and the click is so clean and pleasing. For gaming, it’s an absolute beast of a keyboard, very responsive and it gives you good feedback while you click away. For work, I found myself suddenly aware of how much I use the F-Keys, and while I can cope without a numberpad, I’d likely be pulling my hair by the time I was doing a full day of GPU benchmarking and typing in numbers all day.

However, for sheer aesthetic and gaming performance, Cooler Master scores strongly here.

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's, I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

Disqus Comments Loading...

Recent Posts

Corsair Icue LS100 Smart Lighting Strip Starter Kit

Immersive ambient lighting: Extend your PC's RGB lighting, illuminate your environment with diffused colors and…

1 day ago

Mercusys AXE5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Bluetooth

Unstoppable Tri-Band Speed — Speeds up to 2402 Mbps (6 GHz) + 2402 Mbps (5…

1 day ago

MERCUSYS 10-Port 10/100Mbps Desktop Switch

10 Ports: 10× 10/100 Mbps RJ45 ports with 8 PoE+ ports, Works with IEEE 802.3af/at compliant…

1 day ago

TP-Link AV1000 Gigabit Passthrough Powerline

Easily Extend Fast, Reliable Wi-Fi to Every Room- The AV1000 Gigabit Powerline ac Wi-Fi Extender…

1 day ago

SteelSeries Rival 600 – Gaming Mouse

Exclusive TrueMove3 12,000 CPI, 350 IPS optical 1 to 1 tracking esports sensor One of…

1 day ago

Elgato Wave Mic Arm Premium Broadcasting Boom Arm

Streamlined Design: internal springs and integrated cable channels. Fully Adjustable: ball head and swivel base.…

1 day ago