Overall and Final Verdict
So when the Masterkeys Pro S came in I was really expecting it to be an exact clone of the Masterkeys Pro L. With that I was expecting this to be a boring look through at the same features once again. Lucky for me we found out that it still has some of the features of the Rapid-I meaning that beyond the missing number pad the Pro S isn’t exactly the same. This gave me a little more to talk about. But really though even with those differences all of the pros and cons of the Masterkeys Pro L can be found on the Pro S. Like the Pro L the Pro S doesn’t require software to record macros or to program your RGB backlighting, Cooler Master does however still provide software and it does give you even more flexibility on the lighting. The full RGB backlighting itself is a big feature, being able to set your lighting to perfectly match your PC is great and on top of that Cooler Master gives almost endless different lighting effects to spice things up with as well. While the case is different than the Pro L the Pro S still has the same clean look with thin bezels and a flat black finish. The smaller TKL form factor is also a nice feature for anyone looking to regain some desktop space or for a LAN keyboard. You don’t even loose things like the four profile keys that were above the numberpad on the Pro L as those have just moved to the Fn layer.
There are a few downsides as well. The biggest for me was just how noisy the stabilizers were. I know on the Pro L after about 3 weeks of use they did quiet down but I just wish they wouldn’t be so loud out of the hole. The number row legends have a bit of an issue as well, with the numbers placed up on top the backlighting doesn’t get to them as well causing them to be a little dimmer than the symbols on the Shift layer. I would love to see an easier way to control the backlight brightness without having to resort to the software, currently you just have to go back through and reset each RGB color to a lower brightness setting and hopefully you still get the same color. I also wasn’t a big fan of the right angled USB cord, with the plug being on the back of the keyboard for the Pro S this had the cord doing a big curve across my desk to plug in over on the right.
Now there were even more pros that I couldn’t fit into the Final Verdicts four rows. For example, with having a standard bottom row I was able to completely swap out the keycaps on the Masterkeys Pro S to give my keyboard a completely different look. Its details like this that move this up to my favorite TKL keyboard. Much like the Pro L (that I’m now using at my desk full time) the Pro S is my go too TKL for things like when I have my LAN rig hooked up at home and other situations that I don’t need a numberpad.