Cooler Master CK720 Mechanical Keyboard
“For just $100, the Cooler Master CK720 is the best value for compact, customizable keyboards”
Top-notch hardware customization options
Many software customizations
Robust and space-saving design
Includes volume dial
Excellent gaming performance
Alternate text on non-backlit keys
Fairly thick design
Some prefer to keep things simple when it comes to keyboards. They just prefer a no-frills, well-built keyboard that gets the job done.
Then there are those who want maximum customization with the ability to make every part of the keyboard an expression of their creativity and personality. If the latter describes you, the Cooler Master CK720 is a mechanical keyboard worth serious consideration.
The CK720 is a 65% keyboard that’s pleasingly compact, yet sturdy. It’s not necessarily a thin keyboard and weighs around 2 pounds, so it’s a little chunky. However, I think it gives a certain quality that you can be sure will last long enough.
Cooler Master expects users to fully customize this to their liking, so there’s a removable metal top plate to allow you to hide the keyboard completely if you wish. Cooler Master says they will sell other colors for the top plates if you don’t like the default one. There’s a lever on the side that lets you pull it out and expose the mechanics below.
At the bottom are two-stage kickstands to give you angle control if you prefer your keyboards tilted. The crutches are adjustable by 5 degrees, 8 degrees and 10 degrees.
Although it’s only a wired keyboard, it at least comes with a detachable USB Type-C to Type-A cable. Cooler Master will also release a braided coiled cable also in different colors.
Although it’s compact, it still has some quality of life features such as a volume dial that can be customized for other functions (more on that in a bit). Delete, Page Up, and Page Down keys are on the side, though it’s a shame Cooler Master can’t install a dedicated Home key.
If you like keyboard shortcuts, this keyboard has plenty of them. Almost every key has an alternate function that you can access by holding down the function key (with the Cooler Master logo) and pressing the corresponding key. Cooler Master calls it its “on-the-fly” system and also lets you adjust settings like backlight and RGB lighting modes, and even record macros without having to use the Masterplus software.
The CK720 is a sturdy keyboard that saves a ton of space on your desk.
The CK720 is compatible with Mac and PC and includes a dedicated key to switch between Windows and macOS layouts.
Speaking of lighting, the keyboard’s only major flaw is that the alternate functions don’t light up. The letters and other symbols above the keys light up, but the other symbols in front of each key do not. This means that if you’re playing in the dark or in a dimly lit room, you won’t be able to see what the alternate function is unless you have it memorized.
It’s a gaming keyboard so, of course, it has a healthy dose of per-key RGB lighting which is customizable with different colors and effects like many of its competitors like Razer and Logitech.
Despite this, the CK720 is, overall, a sturdy keyboard that saves a ton of space on your desk.
Customization and software
The real star of the show is the pure customization on tap. That’s why you’re buying this keyboard. Not only can you replace every keycap, but you can also replace all switches. Whether you like Cherry, Gateron or Boba switches, they will all work on the CK720. The CK720 comes with durable dual-grip PBT keycaps, but you can easily replace it with something from Drop or other keyboard manufacturers.
Full customization is the reason you buy this keyboard.
Mechanical keyboards with hot-swappable switches are becoming increasingly popular thanks to keyboards like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II and Corsair K70 Pro Mini.
The CK720 obviously comes with a tool that functions as both a key puller and a switch puller. Like the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless, any 3-pin MX-compatible switch will work in the CK720. One of the benefits of using the keys/switches of your choice is that since the keyboard can switch between Mac and Windows layouts, you can purchase Mac-specific keys.
Like the hardware, the Masterplus software also allows for more customization for those who really want to make the CK720 their own. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Masterplus is only available on Windows. The Cooler Master representative told me that the team is working on new software that will be compatible with Windows and Mac.
Masterplus lets you customize all per-key RGB lighting and apply effects such as a rainbow wave or a “crosshair”. Additionally, you can remap any of the keys and create custom macros that you can save to profiles.
The rotary dial toggles the volume up and down and mutes if pressed by default. However, Masterplus allows you to set it to other profiles which control media playback, brightness and LED/lighting modes.
The CK720 comes with Kailh Box V2 switches. My review unit has the tactile versions although it comes with eight Cherry MX Green switches which feature a heavy click action. As I’ve said in other reviews, I tend to prefer linear switches (especially for gaming), but I can be persuaded to use tactile switches if the performance is good enough.
I’ve complained about the sound some keyboards make, and Cooler Master apparently agrees with me. The CK720 has two separate silicone pads to dampen sound and absorb the force of keystrokes. Indeed, typing on the CK720 is pleasantly subdued and I could definitely see this being used in a quiet office environment.
Typing performance for the default brown switches is pretty good overall. I was able to type long stretches without any errors. The keyboard travel was fine for me and I didn’t have to constantly readjust my hands.
When it comes to gaming performance, I also didn’t have any major issues. The CK720 has a polling rate of 1000Hz and a response time of 1ms. This allowed me to practice quick reactions and movements in Modern Warfare II. The keyboard works natively with Xbox Series X and PS5 for console owners who prefer using a keyboard and mouse.
Wired to play
If you are a mechanical keyboard enthusiast and like to modify every key cap and switch, this is the keyboard for you. At just $100, this is exceptional value considering the level of customization available. Other keyboards offer the ability to disable key switches, but not for $100.
Notice my initial caveat, though. If you just want a simple keyboard that works and you don’t plan on changing any keys or switches, this may be overkill. You will find much cheaper mechanical keyboards that will do the job.
That said, the overall performance of the CK720 is fantastic and might be worth looking into if you want a compact keyboard, you just wouldn’t get the full value if you didn’t actually customize it.
There are of course other options, such as the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless which allows you to remain independent of your computer. However, the Pro Mini Wireless costs around $80 more and since it’s a 60% keyboard, you miss out on some utility keys.
If you don’t mind a wired connection, however, the Cooler Master CK720 is hard to beat.
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