Cooler Learn MasterKeys L PBT Keyboard Review: A No-Nonsense Mech

Regardless of proof to the opposite, a mechanical gaming keyboard does not want to have dazzling glowing LED lighting. Cooler Master’s MasterKeys L PBT favors design and style around compound, getting rid of the mild present and incorporating some attractive thick keycaps to generate an superb sub $a hundred keyboard.

Identified for its computer system circumstances, electrical power provides and cooling alternatives, Cooler Learn is also a big title in computer system peripherals. Mice, headsets, keyboards—it’s a company that truly desires to have its title all around your gaming Computer system, inside and out.

The company has finished specially nicely in the mechanical keyboard scene, wherever several mainstream mechanical keyboard producers (Razer, Logitech) are regularly dumped on. The MasterKeys collection is nicely-regarded, and mentions of the company’s superior-stop, hybrid capacitive Novatouch keyboards are accompanied by the sounds of singing angels from on superior.

Most boards in the MasterKeys line element LED lighting and thinner Abs (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) keycaps to allow the mild to shine via. The freshly-introduced MasterKeys PBT boards, offered in both of those whole-sizing (L) and tenkeyless (M), do not have lights. Rather they element one.5mm thick keycaps manufactured of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate), a pricier plastic that’s quite resistant to wear and shine.

The MasterKeys PBT boards also element a 32bit ARM Cortex processor to assist in precision and functionality. Macro commands can be programmed immediately on the keyboard employing a special established of shortcuts. No exterior software program is needed. And for admirers of substitute layouts, the MasterKeys can be switched from common Qwerty to Dvorak or Workman as nicely as diverse functioning system-specific layouts on the fly.

The MasterKeys L PBT keyboard I tested arrived packaged with a removable USB cable, a important puller and a established of purple substitute caps for the Q, W, E, R, A, S, D keys.

Cooler Learn MasterKeys L PBT Specs:

  • Switches: Cherry MX Brown, Blue, Silver or Inexperienced (Examined)
  • Keycaps: one.5MM Thick PBT
  • Backlighting: None
  • Product: Plastic / Metallic
  • Polling Charge: one thousand Hz
  • Repeat Charge: 1x / 2x / 4x / 8x
  • Reaction Charge: 1ms
  • Rollover: N-Critical and six-Critical
  • MCU: 32bit ARM Cortex M0
  • On board Memory: 512KB
  • On-the-fly system: Macro, Repeat Charge, Earn Lock
  • Cable: Detachable with Micro-USB
  • Connector Cable: Braided USB two.
  • Cable Length: one.five Meters
  • Dimensions: 440 * 137 * 28 mm
  • Product Pounds (without having cable): 1140 g
  • Guarantee: two several years
  • Price tag: $89.ninety nine

What’s Great About It

PBT Keycaps: How big a deal are PBT keycaps? Big adequate that Cooler Learn place them suitable in the title of the board. Thick and durable, the keycaps on the MasterKeys L PBT give typing and gaming on the keyboard a greater all round reaction than one particular would get with less costly Abs caps.

Another oft-ignored reward of PBT keycaps is the way it variations the seem of typing.

It is good things.

Gentle-Mannered: Understated. That’s a good term for the MasterKeys L PBT. It is not just the deficiency of LED lighting. The board is an unassuming black rectangle with black and white keys. Apart from a couple of shortcut sub-legends on some of the keys and the OS keys changed with Cooler Learn logos, this is rather substantially a gaming keyboard in a enterprise fit.

Wonderful Switch Collection: Like its lighted cousins, the MasterKeys PBT options a range of Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches, which includes tactile browns, clicky blues, linear reds, silver pace switches and my present-day favourite, significant clicky MX greens.

Greens demand a bit far more power to actuate and remind me a bit of IBM’s traditional buckling spring system.

On-The-Fly Macros: Relatively than count on software program to generate macros for widespread gaming or place of work cases, the MasterKeys L PBT lets people to generate them immediately on the board.

What’s Not So Great

Not The Sturdiest: Create from a combination of plastic shell around steel plate, the MasterKeys L PBT has pretty a bit of flex to it. And when the matte black plastic seems pleasant, the board has a somewhat cheap really feel all round. Not unforeseen in an $89 keyboard.

Fading Legends: PBT keycaps are sturdy and durable, but their wear resistance depends a good deal on how the legends are used to the keys. The quantities and letters have a elevated really feel to them, and elevated legends can be worn down. I have been playing a good deal of Last Fantasy XIV recently, and following considerably less than a week in use the still left Change and Handle keys have pale to in close proximity to nothingness.

There’s pretty a good deal of shine on the important faces as nicely, which is not wonderful considering I have on my been employing the board for a couple of months.

PBT is a big buzzword in mechanical keyboard circles, with several instantly equating the pricier plastic with top quality. But there’s a scale to PBT top quality. One particular can buy a cheapy established of coloured Tai-Hao caps for $40, or they can shell out $two hundred and up on a established from GMK or Signature Plastics. Cooler Master’s PBT is substantially closer to the low stop than the superior.


One particular way to deal with fading and shine is to acquire the offending keys away and change them with greater ones. The MasterKeys L PBT accepts common MX-appropriate keycaps, and the structure is so simple that just about just about anything will do.

Side-printed legends under no circumstances die.

Last Feelings

You really don’t have to have the important lights on to have a good time with a mechanical keyboard, oh no. There’s a put for flashing RGBs, and there’s a put for low-important elegance. The Cooler Learn MasterKeys L PBT presents a style of the latter at a somewhat low price. You can use the income you conserve to investigate substitute PBT keycaps when these start off to fade.

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