The Cooler Master CK720 Keyboard is a 65% keyboard with a knob. It lacks a number pad and physical Function keys but has a row of dedicated arrow keys and a programmable dial. The main selling point of the CK720 is customization, starting with the hot-swappable keys. It has all the hallmarks of endgame-quality keyboards, including Kailh Box V2 switches for an enthusiast-level typing feel. Kailh Box V2 switches are mechanical switches that are known for their durability and reliability on the number of actuations at 80 million keypresses.
The CK720 is tactile with a satisfying click when keys are pressed. It feels comfortable to type with and the keyboard cable is detachable with a USB-C connector. The keys are very responsive, easy to press, and accurate. The hot-swappable switches allow for complete customization and replacement of specific keys with a different feeling switch if needed.
The keyboard comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable, a key/switch puller, a warranty card, and instructions on how to remove the aluminum plate. The configuration software currently only works on Windows 10 and 11 machines which is an issue if you’re using Mac OS or Linux, however, it does come with what seems to be Apple symbols for command and option, so I do believe they want to support the Mac. The software can be connected through Parallels Desktop on a Mac, allowing for customization and saved settings, then switched back to the Mac where it will retain the settings.
My unit had the clicky keys which provide a distinctive ‘thunk’ feeling on your fingers as you type, perfect for gaming. The keyboard is very compact, without a numeric keypad or function keys, but it comes with a knob for volume and several modes, including volume/mute, play/pause, brightness adjustment, and LED mode cycling. There are a few extra keys, including a Delete button, Page Up, and Page Down button, and 4 full-size direction keys in an inverse T configuration. As a Mac user who frequently makes use of the ‘tilde’ key in order to switch windows within the app, I found the lack of that key annoying, but not a deal breaker.
It feels very solid and sturdy, weighing in at almost 2 lbs, with a satisfying texture and good quality plastics used. The lighting effects on the keyboard are cool, but not very bright compared to other keyboards, even at its brightest setting.
The MasterPlus software allows for per-key lighting customization, key reassignment, macro programming, and profile setup, allowing for specific settings for gaming mode or even specific games. Once programmed in the Windows environment, the keyboard remembers its settings when switched to the Mac environment.
I initially tested this keyboard on a MacBook Pro M1. MasterPlus software only works on Windows 10 and 11 machines, which can be inconvenient for Mac users. While I was able to connect the keyboard through Parallels Desktop and configure it using the software, the lack of native Mac support was a bit annoying. On the positive side, the settings I did make stuck when switched back to Mac mode.
MasterPlus software can be difficult to launch and run on some machines. In my experience, it took several attempts to get the software to run, and it would occasionally crash or freeze during use. I initially chalked this up to the fact that I’m running an ARM version of Windows on a Mac using emulation software, but after installing it on a two year old Dell XPS 13, it would not even launch. It would get as far as the startup screen, then it would freeze. I’ve checked forums and it seems other users are experiencing the same issues.
So, while I know that it does launch on Windows (since it did in emulation), I have not yet been able to launch it and run it on a Windows PC. When it did launch, a few of the gripes I have include the window size could not be changed and it defaulted to full screen and my screen is big. Also, the image representing the keyboard software was blurry. While minor (the fact it wouldn’t run is more major), if Cooler Master wants to get into the enthusiasts space, they will need to be at least on par with other keyboard vendors on the hardware and software front.
Despite these issues, many users have been able to successfully use and customize their Cooler Master keyboard using the software. It’s worth noting that the software is regularly updated, and some of these issues may be resolved in future updates.
Other competing keyboards in this class offer similar features. One example is the Ducky One 2 Mini RGB keyboard, which is also a compact keyboard with a minimalist design. The Ducky One 2 Mini RGB keyboard also offers hot-swappable switches, per-key RGB lighting customization, and macro programming. However, the Ducky One 2 Mini RGB keyboard does not come with a knob for volume and has a fixed cable.
Another competing keyboard is the Razer Huntsman Mini keyboard, which is a compact keyboard with optical switches that offer faster response times. The Razer Huntsman Mini keyboard also offers per-key RGB lighting customization and macro programming, but it does not come with hot-swappable switches or a knob for volume.
Overall, while it’s not perfect, the Cooler Master CK720 keyboard is a great option for enthusiasts and gamers and others who are looking for a tactile and clicky typing experience with the added customization options of hot-swappable switches. The lack of software for the Mac despite key graphics suggesting Mac support, the buggy MasterPlus software take it down a notch, but I would still recommend this keyboard.
The Cooler Master CK720 keyboard is priced at around $135 Canadian dollars, which is about $100 US dollars. This price level puts it in line with competing units with the Ducky One 2 priced around $139, while the Razer Huntsman Mini is at $159. Check your local distributor for wholesale prices.