Most of my time with the CK720 was spent at my main PC at home. This is where I do all of my gaming and general PC-related work. As far as the feel of the keyboard goes, the plastic base, paired up with the removable aluminum top plate, is quite sturdy. I never noticed any flexing with the keyboard body and I wasn’t really able to flex it at all when holding it in my hands. As I expected, the PBT keycaps, paired up with the pre-lubed Kailh Box V2 switches, felt and sounded amazing. Since I have the CK721 as well, I can go back and forth between the two, and while the CK721 did sound pretty good in its configuration with TTC Red switches and ABS keycaps, there is a definite improvement in quality with the CK720. The interior dampening that has been added to the CK720 in the form of two silicone dampening pads even further improves the typing experience with this keyboard – it’s great having that solid, deep typing sound as opposed to a much louder experience that you might find on a keyboard without these quality-of-life enhancements. Of course, with the PBT keycaps, you don’t have to worry about them showing signs of use in the form of oily looking keys. That is one of the drawbacks of ABS keycaps, along with overall wear over time.
In my gaming use of the CK720, I found that it took me a little bit of time to adjust to the tactile motion and feel of the Kailh Box V2 Brown switches, as my primary keyboard is configured with Cherry Red switches and ABS keycaps. The OEM keycap profile also served as a familiar layout, and key spacing did not affect my gaming at all. The CK720 was able to slot right in and get me up and gaming with no noticeable differences in feel outside of the slightly different keycap feel compared to my standard keyboard. This was great, as it proved that the CK720 was up to the task of gaming without compromises.
When used in a more day-to-day use-case scenario, the CK720 once again faired well. While I wouldn’t want to use this size of keyboard all of the time at work, due to the lack of a 10-key, my time spent typing e-mails, chatting with friends, and creating documentation was quite enjoyable. The Brown switches and their tactile feedback really help you to feel when you have made a keypress, as that very noticeable “bump” is quite different than that of a linear switch like a Red. I think this feedback helps you to be more accurate, as you are really sure when you have fully provided enough input to go on to the next keystroke.
Below is a small audio sample of typing at around 69 words per minute. You will notice that the spacebar makes a distinctly different sound than the rest of the keys. This sound, while not bad by any means, does introduce a different tone to the keyboard. Checkout for yourself below.
When I found out that Cooler Master had offered to send the CK720, I was at first not really that excited. At first I figured it was a slight variation of the CK721, but once I looked into it, I was really excited to test it out. Cooler Master set out to jump into the world of enthusiast-type mechanical keyboards, and I think they have done a pretty good job with their first effort. I think the true stars of this show are the two silicone rubber dampening pads and the pre-lubed Kailh Box V2 switches. Besides much more expensive keyboards I own, this is the first keyboard from a traditionally gaming-centric brand that looks, sounds, and feels great. Add in the customizable control dial, and the added flexibility it provides your workflow, and the CK720 becomes even more impressive. Throw in the hot-swappable Kailh switches that allow for the pass-through of the PCB’s LEDs, and you have an almost infinite number of lighting possibilities, while the removable top plate can quickly change the look of the CK720 with a quick swap.
Cooler Master has really impressed me with their first foray into the enthusiast keyboard game, the CK720. They have produced a keyboard with many of the same features you find on boutique and artisan boards at a fraction of the cost. The short list of hot-swappable switches, PBT keycaps, silicone dampening pads is what will make the CK720 a success, and I’m glad that Cooler Master has taken this path, and I’m excited to see what else they might come out with in the future. The CK720 is available with our configuration at our favorite online retailer for $99.99, which earns it a 9 out of 10 and the Good Value Award.
- Solid Build Quality
- Swappable Aluminum Top Plate
- Silicone Dampening Pads
- Typing Feels and Sounds Great
- Pre-lubed, Hot-Swappable Kailh Box V2 Switches
- Customizable Control Dial
- Aluminum Top Plate Harder To Remove Than It Should Be
- Small USB Type-C Opening
- Rubber Cable – Would Like To See Braided