Cooler Master SK650 Keyboard Review – Low Profile is the New Cool



/ 7 days ago

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A Closer Look and Performance


So here we have it, the SK650 in all its glory. When it comes to low-profile keyboards, it’s certainly dropped down pretty damn low. The aluminium body means the keyboard housing can be pretty thin while retaining its rigidity perfectly. There’s no flex to it, and obviously, that’s a very good thing.

The main body of the keyboard is made from a durable moulded plastic. However, it features a thick brushed aluminium top panel. As you can see, the edges are cut to an angle with rounded corners and a polished surface. The light catches this edge really well, framing the keyboard in light.

While the keycaps are also quite short in design, the MX Low-Profile switches have a much shorter travel also. This feel is somewhere between that of a quality chicklet keyboard on a laptop and Cherry MX Red switches. In fact, very similar in design to Cherry MX Silver/Speed, but with a slighter shorter travel again. This whole setup means thin keyboard, thin switches and short keycaps to retain that low-profile stance.

Custom Caps

The keycap design keeps in theme with the rather squared off keyboard chassis. They’re perfectly flat and have reduced spaces between the keys. However, this also means the surface area of each keycap is increased, making it very easy to type on without hitting the wrong key. I won’t lie, it doesn’t feel like most keyboards, and I did need to adapt to typing on it. However, it’s like typing on a larger version of a laptop keyboard; different to a desktop keyboard, but not completely alienating at the same time.

Ergonomics

Overall, the keyboard is still a standard size, so it doesn’t feel unnatural on your desktop. Nor does it take up more or less space than a typical keyboard would. It does have a pretty slim chassis design though, with very little “keyboard” extending beyond the keys themselves. Of course, that means it may actually be “smaller” than keyboards with chunky frames around them.

There’s no wrist rest included with this one, which is a bit of a big disappointment for me. However, with the keyboard sitting so damn low, you don’t really need one. It is very comfortable overall, but the very flat profile may not be to everyone’s liking given the usual wedge shape of keyboards.

The short travel distance is fantastic for touch typing though. The keys have a good resistance, but can still be struck easily enough with a light press. For those who like to blaze through long emails or frantic APM while playing MOBA games, it’ll certainly prove competitive.

Plus, it’s still packing Cherry MX switches, so you know you’re getting class-leading quality in that respect; gaming or not, they’re great switches.

Added Control

While Cooler Master does provide desktop software for this keyboard, it is completely optional.

There are built-in controls to do everything from on the keyboard its self. Just hit the FN-Shift button, and you can configure all of your RGB lighting profiles, create custom lighting patterns and more from here. Of course, you can also turn the lights off if you so desire.

The built-in macro controls allow you to record them on the fly. Perfect for those single-use macros when you’re farming enemies in an MMO. They’re great for MOBA games too, where you may have a repetitive combination for a certain attack. Personally, I just use them in Photoshop to give me quicker shortcuts to multiple tools.

Multimedia

Another welcome addition has to be these multimedia controls. They’re pretty basic, but if you listen to music while you work and game, they’re darn handy to have. There’s nothing worse than having to tab out of a game to change a song. Of course, that’s even worse if that’s an online match.

Something Missing?

The keyboard is utterly flat when it comes to the low-profile design. This is very weight to me, as I often have a slight angle on my keyboard, as does pretty much any keyboard really. When I went to deploy the kickstands on the back, much to my horror, it didn’t have any. Now, maybe that doesn’t bother you, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re ordering one.

RGB

So, we’ve put the 650 through its paces when it comes to gaming, and it’s an absolute beast. The large flat keys and low profile switches do feel strange at first. However, when you get down to it, they’re light, fast, and ultra-responsive, which is great for fast paced gaming. I’ve been cruising through a few reviews on this too, and it’s very easy going on the ol’ fingers for typing all day.

One thing that does stand out though is the fantastic RGB lighting. I love it on a single colour, and it’s very evenly lit and nice and bright when maxed out. For typing in a darker room at night, it’s very clear. However, as in these images, the lighting is bold and clear even in the day time.

Fn-Shift

Using the built-in customisation options, you can quickly change the set colour of any key to anything you like with just a few keystrokes.

Red, obviously.

Orange.

A weird pale green.

OK, so you get the idea, it’s pretty flexible and easy to toggle through them as you desire.

Get Funky

It has a plethora of built-in effects too, such as the usual rainbow fades and transitions that are pretty awesome to look at. However, I doubt I would use such a distracting light setup on a daily basis.

You can choose and configure various gaming profiles too, such as this one that highlights all your FPS keys.

Or reaction effects too, although these are very distracting too. You can even play a game of Snake on one profile, using the arrow keys to collect the dots on the keyboard. Really cool, totally a waste of time… but yeah, it’s still bloody cool!

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