Cooler Master CK550 Mechanical Keyboard Review

  1. About the Cooler Master CK550...
  2. Keyboard and Utility Impressions
  3. End-User Experience and Conclusion
  4. Online Purchase Links


Disclosure: The The CK550 mechanical keyboard is loaned by Cooler Master.

The overcrowded peripherals market that sells out everything eventually…

There are way too many mechanical keyboard manufacturers with way too many switch options to suit your needs, budget, requirement, etc. Just when you thought the choices are obvious, you get analog keyboards like Wooting One, Wooting Two and even a project Cooler Master had raised funds for since it feels its requirements is a micro-niche. Eventually, a niche product seeps into the mainstream- like how mechanical switches did. Sometimes, THE best keyboard might just be get lost somewhere, even if it is from a mainstream manufacturer. Everybody makes so many peripherals simply because they are able to sell it out. Headset market is equally ridiculous. Might as well wear those RGB headsets and use it to signal left or right turns when riding a bicycle!

Now THAT is a novel RGB wireless headphone feature!

About the CK550 and Gateron browns…

This is the Cooler Master CK550 mechanical keyboard. A clean, simple name for a full-size keyboard with Gateron switch options, despite its ‘GAMING’ nomenclature. Like many manufacturers, Cooler Master is exploring other switch options. It did with the Novatouch TKL. Despite the ‘gaming’ tag on the CK550, this has a clean layout with full functions and no added features. Love it or hate it, PC gamers buy mechanical keyboards for gaming.

Packaging and Contents

 

The keycap puller has a shorter handle with a ring, making it easier to yank out the keycaps. These Gateron are not modular, unlike the GMMK tenkeyless keyboard.

Specification/Features

Model NumberCK-550-GKGM1-** (Brown Switch)
CK-550-GKGL1-** (Blue Switch)
CK-550-GKGR1-** (Red Switch)
Product Name
CK550
Switch Type
Gateron
Material
Plastic / Aluminum
Color
Gunmetal Black
LED Color
RGB
Polling Rate
1000 Hz
Response Rate
1ms / 1000Hz
MCU
32bit ARM Cortex M3
Onboard Memory
512KB
On-the-fly system
Yes, for Multi-media, Macro Recording and Lighting Control
Multi-media Keys
Through FN
Cable
Fixed Rubberized 1.8m
Software Support
Yes, through Portal
Connector Cable
USB 2.0
Cable Length
1.8m
Dimensions
460*135*41 mm (L*W*H)
Product Weight (without cable)
850 g
Warranty
2 years

The Masterkeys Pro L‘s official weight is 1090 grams while the CK550 is 850 grams light. The difference in weight is very clear when you carry them each. It uses the 32-bit controller for on-the-fly RGB and other controllers with onboard memory to record macro options. The keyboard’s aluminium can be seen as a top plate, below the keys just like the HyperX FPS Alloy FPS Pro. Such plating does not add any rigidity to the keyboard. It does look nice over Alloy Pro’s all-black finish.

Keyboard Design and Overview

Apart from the choice of the mechanical switch, the main difference is aesthetics. There’s a horizontal aluminium finish plate under the keys with rounded edges on both sides and edged corners on the Z-Axis much like CM’s logo. The cable is also permanently attached to the keyboard. The frameless design helps to give the keys that ‘floating’ look but for me personally its just much easier to clean.

You’ll also notice the edges of the keyboards protrudes outwards, much like GALAX’s Xanova Magnetar RGB mechanical keyboard. There are no additional switches dedicated for any function. There are media and other controls tethered to the keyboard’s layout.

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2 comments
  1. You should review a keyboard according to how much it costs. This is why this keyboard is cheap because corners have been cut.

    1. Pricing is fine. Gaterons are considered to be equal or better than Cherry MX depending on the user’s experience and preference. I only wish for this keyboard to have a detachable USB cable. Mechanical keyboards like these last very long, so if something dies eventually depending on the wear and tear, a detachable cable makes it easy to replace a bad cable with a new one.

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