Know Your Type: Five Mechanical Gaming Keyboards Compared

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Roccat Ryos MK Pro Perfomance

As previously stated, the version of the Ryos MK Pro we received uses Cherry MX Brown key switches, though Blue, Red, and Black are also available, depending on your preference. The use of different key switches throughout this roundup makes a true apples-to-apples comparison impossible, so as far as the typing experience goes, we're evaluating each one on its own merits, keeping personal bias outside of the equation. Having spent considerable time playing with different key switches, we're familiar with the characteristics of each one.

Roccat Ryos MK Pro Key Switches

The image above is plucked from Roccat's website and briefly describes the differences between each of the four Cherry MX flavors you have to choose from. You'll notice that the actuation force on the Ryos MK Pro's Cherry MX Brown key switches is slightly lower than the Cherry MX Blue that Razer's Green switches are likely based off of. The bigger difference is noise -- there's no intentional "click" noise that registers, though these switches do provide tactile feedback.

What you end up with is a keyboard that's relatively quiet, but not silent. Anyone in the same room will be aware that you're typing away on the Ryos MK Pro, which produces a lighter tapping noise versus loud clicks, but the noise comes from bottoming out the keycaps against the switches. The switches themselves are silent.

Software


Roccat Ryos MK Pro Software

The software that accompanies the Ryos MK Pro is brimming with customizations. It's also a bit overwhelming at first glance. Once you play around with the settings and familiarize yourself with the layout, it's far less intimidating, though we wouldn't describe it as particularly intuitive -- nerds will love it while others will question why some of the settings couldn't have been more straightforward.

Regardless, there's an awesome amount of customization, especially when you factor in the Easy-Shift[+] function. By holding down the designated Easy-Shift[+] key -- by default it's set to the Caps Lock key -- you can assign secondary functions to keys. Whether or not you can remember all your settings is another matter, but if you can, the Easy-Shift[+] function doubles up your arsenal.

Performance



Once again, we have a keyboard that would look out of place in a professional setting, even with the backlight disabled. Then again, working stiffs aren't part of the target audience here -- the Ryos MK Pro is for gamers, and in that regard, Roccat's top-tier plank is flush with features. We especially like having access to three thumb buttons below the spacebar, which are thoughtfully low-profile in design to avoid accidental presses.

There are also five other dedicated macro keys, and while we've seen gaming boards that offer more, the Easy-Shift[+] function effectively doubles things up by allowing you to assign dual functions to each key -- in other words, you can assign 16 macro functions to a total of eight dedicated keys. Gamers really have little to complain about here, save for the desk space the Ryos MK Pro takes up.

As a productivity keyboard, the Ryos MK Pro's click action is light and responsive, while the curved keycaps are comfortable to type on. Daily typists would be hard pressed to find a comparable membrane keyboard, though take note that the typing experience isn't dead silent.

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