ROCCAT’s Top of The Line Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Tested!
ROCCAT is a company devoted to gaming, since day one. They have a full line of products that aims to satisfy every gamer’s needs be it a mouse, a keyboard, a gaming headset and everything in between. They even developed the very first PC gaming oriented mobile application dubbed as the ROCCAT POWER-GRID that enables enhanced gameplay experience to whoever wields it. That said, ROCCAT is indeed one of the companies that devotes its R&D to the gamers, and gamers alone.
But, something is missing. Something that has been here for decades and is regarded as the holy grail of PC input devices, the mechanical keyboard. ROCCAT has been developing membrane based gaming keyboards for years but the company has yet to come up with their very own keyboard featuring mechanical switches. That is already a thing of the past I must say, as ROCCAT recently launched their very first, and much anticipated mechanical gaming keyboard, the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro.
The Ryos is a new line of gaming keyboard from ROCCAT that features the Cherry MX mechanical switches. It is the top of the line SKU of the Ryos Series with Two ARM Cortex processors, and full LED control over every switch. Think of it as the ROCCAT Isku on steriods. We’ve got a lot of things to say with this particular input device so buckle up your seats and enjoy the ride!
FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS: CLICK HERE
- PER-KEY ILLUMINATION
insane customization possibilities
- EASY-SHIFT[+]™ BECOMES EASY KEYBOARD
assign a secondary function to virtually any key
- N-KEY ROLLOVER
means advanced anti-ghosting
- HIGH-POWERED HARDWARE
two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors + 2 MB of flash memory
- ROCCAT™ ACHIEVEMENTS DISPLAY
keep track of your vital statistics
- KEY SWITCHES TO SUIT EVERY GAMER
CHERRY MX key switchs in blue, black, brown, and red
- SMUDGE-PROOF GLOSSY LOOK
killer look – with no fingerprints
- INTEGRATED MEDIA HUB
audio in/out and two USB 2.0 ports
- COMPLETE COMFORT, ROCK SOLID
jumbo-size integrated wrist rest
- CLUTTER-FREE, SUPER-STABLE SUPPORT
in-built cable channel and five rubber feet
- ROCCAT™ TALK® – SET BONUS
get more out of your ROCCAT™ devices
by combining their functions
UNBOXING & BUNDLED ACCESSORIES:
The ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro came in an old fashion ROCCAT packaging that blatantly feeds you with information about the said keyboard. Up front, we’ve got a huge image of the keyboard itself, along with its notable features. Ours came with the Cherry MX Black Switch and ROCCAT kindly provided an info about it at the front.
THe back is full of specifications, along with some info about the keyboard itself. Nothing to worry about on this side of the box.
The keyboard, despite its price, only came with an installation guide. ROCCAT should’ve included a key-cap puller and some niceties here. Good thing it came with a molded keyboard cover to keep dust at bay. But still, bundle could be better.
THE RYOS MK PRO:
Upon unboxing the Ryos MK Pro, we immediately noticed how big it is. Actually, big is an understatement. This thing is GARGANTUAN. We reviewed a couple of gaming keyboards in the past but nothing is comparable to this monstrosity. Do note that ROCCAT had this particular keyboard
The Ryos MK Pro we got here bears the US Layout. Meaning that it has a wider SHIFT key and a BACK SLASH key at the top of the RETURN key, as opposed to the inverted L-Shaped RETURN key of the UK Layout. Notice that the Ryos MK Pro, like its inexpensive siblings (MK & MK Glow), has a non-detachable wrist rest with grooves on both sides. The styling of the Ryos MK Series actually reminds me of the Isku FX, which is cool on its own.
This side of the keyboard features the M-Keys. You could re-map these keys to whatever you want. Every single one of them. This side of the keyboard also houses the clearly labelled Audio Ports. A nice placement I must say since plugging in an audio device on this side will free the other side where your mouse is situated. Details.
The keyboard is angled at a stiff degree which really added a considerable amount of height and bulk altogether. Not a huge complain but ROCCAT should, in the near future, think about something a bit flatter.
The right side of the Ryos MK Pro features a full num-pad key layout. Here we could see that the status LEDs for the Scroll, Numlock, and Capslock are situated above the arrow keys. I dunno why they did it but it is a welcome sight.
Continuing the tour, we have 2x USB2.0 ports on this side of the keyboard. It’s an ideal position, since you don’t have to look for the ports compared to others with the USB hub positioned at the back. Good for wireless gaming devices too since the receiver has an optimal distance between your device.
The key spacing of the Ryos MK Pro conforms to the standards. The keys are cylindrical in nature like most of the keyboards out there, tho. Notice the textured area surrounding the keys? That’s the smudge proof texture. It adds a premium feel to the product I must say, and to be honest, it works!
Removing the key caps reveals the Cherry MX Black switches with the LED module at the top. To my surprise, ROCCAT added Cherry’s very own key stabilizers for longer keys such as the SHIFT key. This is good, since other manufacturers tends to use cheaper alternatives. The key caps in actuality are made out of translucent White plastic, covered by a Matte Black coating. Looks like laser etched too. Which is expected.
The underside of the keyboard features cable pass-throughs but we find it useless since the braided cable is too thick. The lower end model such as the Ryos MK could use it though. Also, might be useful for your mouse or audio cables. The underside also features large rubber footings and extensions which is rubberized too.
Cables are well braided and features ROCCAT’s very own headers. There is an extra USB cable here for the USB Hub which means that the Hub itself could provided enough power for your mobile devices as opposed to a single USB port implementations. Nicely done.
SOFTWARE & INSTALLATION:
Installing the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro is as easy as 1-2-3. We encountered no problems setting it up, but do note that you should install the software from ROCCAT’s very own website to start using the MK Pro at its fullest. That includes the backlit features of the keyboard. More about that later.
The ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro software, like any other ROCCAT softwares out there is packed with almost anything you could think of. There are 5 main menus to choose from and everything is neatly laid out. That is, if you are already acquainted with ROCCAT’s jam packed UIs. First stop is the MAIN CONTROL menu, where you will find the configuration of the frequently used keys and illumination settings. By default, CAPSLOCK is the EASY-SHIFT key. With that said, you have to install the software if you want to use the function of the CTRL key to its default.
The KEY ASSIGNMENT menu is the place to go if you want to change the function of each individual keys found on the keyboard. There are four zones available, and that includes the main keys of the keyboard. A secondary key function is also provided for the EASY-SHIFT feature which is nice! Additionally, ROCCAT made the initiative to add presets for the popular games and applications thus saving a lot of time. The possibilities of customizing the Ryos MK Pro to suit your needs is endless.
The KEY ILLUMINATION menu is where you need to go in order to maximize the customization of the keyboard’s illumination feature. You could turn the LED on/off for certain keys or by groups, use lighting effects that triggers when you pressed a key, and more.
The last two options are UPDATE/SUPPORT and the R.A.D; short for ROCCAT Achievement Display. It is a novelty feature, where you will receive trophies whenever you made a well, achievement while using the keyboard. You could share it to other ROCCATeers and that’s just about it.
USER EXPERIENCE & CONCLUSION:
Testing the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro for over a week has been a pretty nostalgic experience. This being a mechanical keyboard with the Cherry MX Black switches, made me remember the moment where I started appreciating the mechanical keyboards. The Blacks are linear in nature, as opposed to what I am using right now which is the Blues. Granted, I gave myself plenty of time to get accustomed to the switches again. First and foremost, if you are a heavy typist, you will love the Blacks. They require plenty of force as opposed to the other switches and that said, registering/hitting the wrong key is next to impossible.
Layout wise, it’s pretty basic, with added function buttons at the left most side and below the SPACE BAR. That is good, since you don’t need a considerable amount of time to get accustomed to the Ryos mechanical keyboard family.
Gaming is where this keyboard should shine the most and it does it with confidence. I am heavily playing Battlefield 4 for weeks now, and I honestly improved my gameplay with the Ryos. The EASY-SHIFT feature for example, aided me to set secondary functions to my commonly used keys. For an instance, the Q key is used for spotting in Battlefield 4, and mapping its secondary function to the same spotting key but at a delayed and constant input is a huge life saver whenever you are spotting or even on the run. Think about scoping without pressing the Q key everytime you saw an enemy. Perhaps what I like the most this side of the keyboard are the Thumbster keys. I use them for chat commands, since initially pressing J,K, and L is a chore. There are lotsa things to do with the said keys, the EASY-SHIFT, and I must say that the possibilities are actually endless.
Other apps benefits with the features of the Ryos MK Pro as well. That includes Adobe’s Creative Suite and other office applications but since we’re here, let us talk about the comfort as it affects productivity the most. With a huge palm rest, the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro is sure to provide a comfortable typing experience. Keys are well spaced even though they look stiffly close. We never experienced any wrist numbness so comfort level is really good.
The Ryos MK Pro sure looks like a perfect product, but I still have gripes particularly on the keyboard’s best departments. A good example is how great the illumination is. Hence, ROCCAT should’ve gone for the extra mile by adding multiple color combinations just like the Ryos MK Pro’s membrane counterpart, the Isku FX. Comfort is great I take it but the height of the keyboard adds a considerable amount of bulk. For the price, I kinda thought ROCCAT implemented those things with the MK Pro.
In closing, the Ryos MK Pro is a product that answered our question about ROCCAT’s standing in the industry. We thought that ROCCAT is too late into the mechanical gaming keyboard scene but they leaved us impressed with a keyboard that is full on gaming features and has the looks to back it up. At around 169.99 USD, it sure is expensive, but the features and customization you could do with it is more than its worth.