Cooler Master CK720 Overview
Just like the CK721, the first thing I noticed once the CK720 was out of the box was just how sleek and subtle this keyboard looks. Available in both Space Gray and Silver White, my review sample is of the white variety, and has that clean aesthetic that is still quite popular. A sparse, sand-blasted aluminum top plate, which is removeable, provides a nice border around the 67 keys and single dial.
The top plate sports a polished edge that adds a touch of flash to an otherwise muted look. Adding to that muted look, the CK720 does not feature any Cooler Master branding on the top, aside from a single keycap (FN) that sports the Cooler Master logo. The CK720 features a pretty standard 65% layout, with a slightly smaller right Shift key, a slightly shifted set of arrow keys, and three navigational keys (DEL, PgUp, and PgDn) along the right side of the keyboard.
In the top right of the keyboard is an aluminum-topped control dial that offers multiple control options depending on your use-case. The control dial can switch between various modes and bindings to give you additional access to controls right at your fingertips, depending on how you are using the CK720. These dial functions can be modified via the MasterPlus+ software, which I will touch on a bit later.
One of the first noticeable improvements with the CK720 is the inclusion of double-shot PBT keycaps. These caps feature the OEM profile and offer multiple legends, including both the semi-transparent top text, as well as printed text on the front of some of the keycaps that offer alternative function options.
As far as switches go, the CK720 is available with three options from Kailh – Red, White, and Brown Box V2 mechanical switches. These switches are pre-lubed at the factory for a silky smooth sound and feel, and feature that box-top design for added keycap stability. Each switch also sports a transparent upper shell to enhance the lighting pass-through from the LEDs on the PCB below.
Another update to this keyboard is that these switches are all swappable, so you have the option to customize the keyboard even further if you would like. Cooler Master even provides eight Cherry MX Green switches, with increased activation pressure required compared to their close cousin, the MX Blue.
Our review sample comes with the Kailh Box V2 Brown switches, which are my second-most favorite switch for overall use, especially with gaming and typing tasks. I really like the smoothness of these switches, as well as the tactile response I get when using them – all without that polarizing clicking sound found in MX Blue style switches.
These switches are rated for 80 million actuations which is quite an improvement over the 50 million found on the CK721’s TTC switches. Some further enhancements to the Box V2 switches is their aforementioned lubrication from the factory, as well as improved dust and moisture protection. A white underlay beneath all of the switches helps the LEDs on the PCB provide additional underglow beneath the keycaps.
And if you really want, you can also swap these switches out for another model, as the CK720 is equipped with hot-swappable switches. Cooler Master even includes eight Cherry MX Green switches that you can try out to get a feel of the different switch types before making a commitment to a full swap-out.
Moving around to the left side of the keyboard, we find a small access door that serves as the access point for the hidden lever that releases the top plate of the CK720. This top plate can be removed for a variety of reasons, including better access when cleaning or swapping out switches, as well as for replacing the top plate with one of a different color. I do want to note that the process of removing this top plate is much harder than you would expect. It is supposed to just slide to the left once you engage the release lever and pop off, but that is not how it ends up working. Instead you have to pry and practically force the top plate off of the base. I know Cooler Master can do better with this, they just haven’t been able to since this issue was present in the CK721 that I previously reviewed.
The right side of the CK720 is about as plain as they come, with no switch for connectivity modes like we saw with the CK721.
The front side of the keyboard is home to a small USB Type-C port that is used along with the included USB cable for connectivity. I did notice that the USB-C opening was quite small, and did not support a few of our USB-C cables, which could prove to be unfortunate if you wanted to use a custom cable with the CK720, which is quite popular. Additionally, I wish Cooler Master would have provided a braided cable like they did with the CK721, as I think that is a better fit for this upgraded keyboard than the standard rubber cable that they did provide.
Taking a look at the bottom side of the keyboard reveals two legs with multiple adjustment options to suit your tilt needs, along with rubber feet to keep the keyboard in place during use. A small Cooler Master logo has been molded into the bottom of the base as well.
While I’m not taking this keyboard apart, I do want to make sure to cover the two silicone dampening pads that Cooler Master has placed between the internal components and the outer body of the KC720. With a plastic base, I was a bit concerned that the CK720 might not sound and feel as solid as I was hoping, but one of the internal silicone pads is placed just on top of this base, and below the internal PCB. This is there to remove any hint of a rattle in that area. A second pad is placed above the PCB, but below the white plastic cover plate, and performs the same function – cut out any potential noises, while also providing a more solid typing feel and sound.