Coolermaster Masterkeys Lite Keyboard and Mouse Review
Published: 19th July 2016 | Source: Coolermaster | Price: |
It's difficult to sum up the Coolermaster Masterkeys Lite keyboard and mouse combination without it sounding like we're either being negative about it or damning with faint praise. With any model at this price point there will always be compromises made, and the decision by Coolermaster to label it as the Masterkeys, albeit "Lite", tends to raise expectations to a level that the product simply fails to meet. However, don't misunderstand comparative disappointing niggles as us being down on the Masterkeys Lite. Indeed the easiest way to approach it is to ignore that Masterkeys label and think of it as a mouse and keyboard combo, and compared to those it does well.
The most obvious place to start is with the hybrid membrane keys. Rather than the fully lovely mechanical offerings we're used to, or even the squidgy membrane keys of yore, the Coolermaster Masterkeys Lite keyboard has a combination of the low-cost membrane forming the majority of the tactile response, but with the addition of a tactile dome to try and give back some of the feel that is so lacking in regular rubber keyboards. It's partly successful. It certainly feels nicer than any membrane keyboard we've tried up to now, but we'd be lying if we said it approached the tactile response and crispness of a fully mechanical offering. The keycap support housing goes a long way to providing a solid typing experience, with none of the wobble you might expect from a non-mechanical design. It's the best rubber/membrane feeling keyboard we've used, but you wont confuse it for anything other than a very good example of the type.
The lighting is probably the most disappointing aspect. Whereas with a fully mechanical keyboard you have an LED built under the cap, and the Masterkeys Pro utilises some clever PCB trickery to give searing hues, the Lite keyboard has some pretty uneven lighting. Like a bad monitor the moment you deviate from straight ahead the colours quickly wash out and on our review sample the C key had some issues with colour reproduction. Stick to the main red/green/blue options and everything is fine, it's just a shame it's not up there with even similarly affordable models like the Roccat Isku.
The mouse is very nice. With a 3500DPI sensor it has plenty of responsiveness for all but the most demanding gamers, and the inclusion of the 10 million click Omron switches means that the whole thing feels as crisp as you would expect a mid-range gaming mouse to be. The scroll wheel is rubber coated for enhanced grip during intense gaming sessions, and the lighting is capable of reproducing all the hues that you could realistically expect in a bright, uniform manner. If we had to have some negatives the plastics of the mouse feel a little cheap, and the side buttons aren't as sharp as you would find on higher priced rodents, but it's good enough for a combined mouse and keyboard effort and the better of the two items.
In a world where the superlative is king, where something being "good" is considered to be a slight of the highest order, it's difficult to sum up the Coolermaster Masterkeys Lite without it appearing bad. Firstly you have to ignore that Masterkeys label because quite frankly it is undeserving of that title, particularly given how fantastic the Masterkeys Pro is. It's riding the coattails of a far nicer keyboard which raises expectations to a level it hasn't a chance of meeting given the relative pricing. You have to think of it as a mouse and keyboard combination and compare it to similar items and then it all starts to make more sense. The keys are much nicer than your average non-mechanical keyboard, the build quality is good, the mouse is a nice middle of the road item. You get exactly what you'd expect. It's fine. If you're on a tight budget we highly recommend the Masterkeys Lite keyboard and mouse combination. Like a good HiFi you're better off with separates, but if finances dictate you buy an all-in-one option then you could do much worse than the Coolermaster Masterkeys Lite, and so it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice award.
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