Overall and Final Verdict
I knew both SK models would be portable going in, but beyond that, I wasn’t really sure on what to expect with the overall experience. What I found is that a lot of what I loved about the MasterKeys Pro boards is all still here with the SK lineup. You get relatively high control over the RGB lighting right from the keyboard with no software needed. Same with macro recording controls that you can do on the fly in game, again with no software. The software isn’t all that bad as well. But the biggest feature is just how thin and portable these keyboards are. The SK630 gives you a nice balance between the ultra-portable 60% boards and the full sized SK650. But with no bezels, even the full sized SK650 is small enough to toss around. The big takeaway is that you end up with a proper mechanical switch in a form factor that normally is going to only be available in membrane designs or a weird mechanical laptop switch that doesn’t feel right. You still have a long throw. All that is missing is a tactile version for fans like me who love a nice brown or clear switch.
That’s not to say that the SK650 and SK630 are without issues. The nearly flat profile of the keycaps has been a big sticking point for me. I know they help make it more portable, but I would prefer something closer to what Cherry did on the Cherry MX Board 3.0. making shorter keycaps, but not losing some of the shape. The other complaint I had, and I haven’t talked about it much is these boards weigh almost nothing. It's petty, but I like my mechanical keyboards to feel like they could hurt someone. With no weight to them, the first impression they give is cheap. But I don’t think that is actually the case. In fact, I would bet that Cooler Master went out of their way to make these boards weigh less for portability, not to skimp on materials. Hell, they even include a proper carrying bag, something you wouldn’t normally get.
Overall I like what Cooler Master has going here. They might even make it into our LAN bags! Portability is what you are buying with the SK lineup and you can even get a full-sized board to take along with your laptop day to day and get you a proper mechanical switch. As for pricing, well the SK630 is selling for $119.99 and the SK650 is $139.99. I think $20 might be a little much for the number pad. But both are cheaper than the MSRP for Corsairs MX Low Profile keyboards and really it is still in line with keyboards from all of the big brands. Of course, if portability isn’t your focus, the MasterKeys Pro L can be picked up even cheaper. But overall, I think the pricing is about where you would expect it to be. I think they will be most popular with people who transport their keyboard often like gamers who play on their laptop, LAN goers, and people who take their keyboard to and from work. They even provide a free bag as well!
Live Pricing: HERE
Live Pricing: HERE
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