Cooler Master CK720 mechanical keyboard
“For just $100, the Cooler Master CK720 is the best value for a customizable, compact keyboard.”
Top notch hardware customization options
Many customization programs
Sturdy and space-saving design
Includes size disc
Great gaming performance
Alt text on keycaps is not backlit
Nice chunky design
There are those who prefer to keep things simple when it comes to keyboards. They just prefer a well-designed, no-frills keyboard that gets the job done.
Then, there are those who want maximum customization with the ability to make every part of their keyboard an expression of their creativity and personality. If the latter describes you, the Cooler Master CK720 is a mechanical keyboard that deserves serious consideration.
The CK720 is a refreshingly compact, yet powerful 65% keyboard. It’s not necessarily a thin keyboard and it weighs about 2 pounds so it’s kinda chunky. However, I think this imparts a certain quality that you can be sure will last a long time.
Cooler Master expects users to fully customize this to their hearts’ content, so there’s a removable metal top plate to allow you to completely disassemble the keyboard if you like. Cooler Master says they will sell other colors of the top panels if you don’t like the default colors. There is a lever on the side that allows you to pull it out and expose the mechanisms below.
At the bottom are two-step supports to allow you to control the angle if you prefer your keyboards on a slope. The kickstands can be adjusted from 5°, 8° and 10°.
Although this is only a wired keyboard, at least it comes with a detachable USB Type C to Type A cable. Cooler Master will also launch a braided coiled cable as well in different colours.
Despite being compact, it still has some quality of life features like a volume tweak that can be customized to other functions (more on that in a bit). The Delete, Page Up, and Page Down keys are on the side, though it’s a pity the Cooler Master can’t fit a dedicated Home key.
If you love keyboard shortcuts, this keyboard has plenty of them. Almost every key has some alternate functions that you can access by holding down the function key (with the Cooler Master logo) and pressing the respective key. Cooler Master calls it its “On-the-fly” system and also allows you to adjust settings such as backlighting and RGB lighting modes, and even record macros without having to use the Masterplus software.
The CK720 is a powerful keyboard that saves a lot of space on your desk.
The CK720 is compatible with both Mac and PC devices and includes a dedicated key to switch between Windows and macOS layouts.
Speaking of lighting, the main drawback of the keyboard is that the alternate functions are not illuminated. The letters and other symbols above the keys light up, but the alt symbols on the front of each key do not. This means if you’re playing in a dark or dimly lit room, you won’t be able to see the alternate job unless you’ve saved it.
This gaming keyboard, of course, packs a heavy dose of per-key RGB lighting that can be customized with different colors and effects like many of its competitors like Razer and Logitech.
Despite this, overall the CK720 is a solid keyboard that saves a ton of space on your desk.
Customization and software
The real star of the offer is the sheer on-click customization. That’s why you bought this keyboard. Not only can you replace every single key cap, you can also replace all keys. Whether you use Cherry, Gateron, or Boba switches, they will all work on the CK720. The CK720 comes with durable PBT double-shot keycaps, but you can easily swap them out for something from Drop or other keyboard manufacturers.
Full customization is why you should buy this keyboard.
Mechanical keyboards with hot-swap switches are becoming more popular thanks to keyboards like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II and Corsair K70 Pro Mini.
Obviously, the CK720 comes with a tool that doubles as a key puller and key puller. Like the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless, any 3-pin MX-compatible adapter will work in the CK720. One upside to using any keys/switches is that because your keyboard can switch between Mac and Windows layouts, you can purchase Mac-specific switches.
Like the hardware, Masterplus software also allows for more customization for those who want to make the CK720 truly theirs. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Masterplus is only available on Windows. A Cooler Master rep told me that the team is working on new software that will be compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Masterplus allows you to customize all RGB lighting on a per-key basis and apply effects such as rainbow wave or “crosshairs”. Additionally, you can remap any of the keys and create custom macros that you can save to profiles.
The turntable toggles the volume up and down and mutes if you press it by default. However, Masterplus allows you to set it to other profiles that control media playback, brightness, and LED/lighting modes.
The CK720 comes with Kailh Box V2 switches. My review unit has the tactile versions though and it comes with eight Cherry MX Green switches that have a heavy click action. As I’ve said in other reviews, I tend to use 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 seems to agree with me. The CK720 has two separate silicone pads to dampen the sound and absorb the force of your keystrokes. In fact, typing on the CK720 was pleasantly subdued and I could definitely see this being used in a quiet office environment.
Write performance for virtual brown keys is generally good. I was able to write long extensions without any errors. Traveling with the keyboard was just right for me and I didn’t find myself having to constantly readjust my hand.
In terms of gaming performance, I didn’t encounter major issues either. CK720 has a polling rate of 1000Hz and a response time of 1ms. This allowed me to practice quick reflexes and movement Modern Warfare II. The keyboard works natively with Xbox Series X and PS5 for console owners who prefer to use a keyboard and mouse.
Wired to play
If you are an avid fan of mechanical keyboard and like to customize every key cap and key, this is the keyboard for you. At just $100, this is an outstanding value given the level of customization available. Other keyboards offer the ability to swap key switches, but not for $100.
Note my initial caveat, though. If you simply want a simple keyboard that works and don’t plan on swapping out keycaps or switches, this might be overkill. You’ll find much cheaper mechanical keyboards that will get the job done.
However, the CK720’s overall performance is great and could be something worth looking into if you want a compact keyboard, you won’t get the full value if you don’t already customize it.
There are other options, of course, like the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless that allows you to stay untethered to your computer. However, the Pro Mini Wireless costs about $80, and since it’s 60% keyboard, you lose out on some utility keys.
If you don’t mind a wired connection, the Cooler Master CK720 is hard to beat.