We have seen what the Ryos MK Pro brought to the world of gaming and keyboards. The design was atypical; it used angles, thicker sections around the keys in the frame, a microdot printing to offer shine as well as being somewhat finger proof at the same time, along with all the things like Thumbster buttons, ROCCAT Talk, and excellent software. The Ryos MK Pro took the mechanical keyboard to a whole new level. While it is a tad rich for some pockets, the lighting schemes and the things that the keyboard could do would make you the envy of anyone who sees it.
For those who are more in the grouping of "there is no need for backlighting," ROCCAT also has a solution for you. Since most typists and gamers spend little time actually looking at the keys, or the keyboard will sit on the desk and not get much attention from the effects that are fun to watch, why pay for something you had no intention to use? Well, ROCCAT saw that segment in the market as well as a middle ground. For those that want lighting but not the full on package, they offer those users the Ryos MK Glow. For the users that see no need at all for that lighting, we have that exact solution for you today.
The Ryos MK in the vanilla form that we have received is not some super stripped down version of either of the previous solutions. This time, the lighting options have been removed from all but the Lock lights and the Thumbster buttons in this design. That does not mean that you cannot have a bit of color added, though, and ROCCAT took the steel plate that the switches and PCB are mounted to and painted it to allow a fair bit of color to be added and easily seen through the spacing of the keycaps.
We still get the full keyboard functionality of the original design along with the same software to take full control of these keys or even take on functionality from the mouse. Really anything you desire can be found within this design, other than, of course, the full LED backlighting that the rest of the Ryos MK series of keyboards has.
The chart that ROCCAT has provided starts off with many of the key features of what makes the Ryos MK series of keyboards stand above the rest of the competition from a features and multi-functionality standpoint as well as being a very rugged device. The features include the Easy-Shift[+] system that offers a second layer for most, but not all, of the keys. It offers N-Key Rollover and anti-ghosting support. And with no mention of its limitations, we can record 10 keys at once, and without more fingers, why test more?
It has a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor onboard, keeps track of usage in the software, uses Cherry MX based switches in many layouts to suit the various markets, but there is no mention on optional choices for the switch type other then the blacks used in this sample. We already covered the micro-dot surfaces, the rugged design, and ROCCAT Talk, but we have not covered the cable management grooves offered under it.
On the more technical side of the chart, they do tell us that this is a 113 key layout and again cover the N-key Rollover and Cherry MX switches. It then tells us that we have three Thumbster keys to use as well as five Macro keys to the left side. Over the rest of the keyboard, using the Easy-Shift[+] button, the total of keys usable moves to 207. We also see that this Ryos MK comes with 1.8 meters of cable, but this time it is plain black rubber without a braided covering. The last bit they discuss is the polling rate of the keyboard at 1ms so that it can recognize all the keystrokes you can produce and not lag behind or plain miss keystrokes all together.
Finding any of these three keyboards is rather easy to do, and we found them in our fist stop at Amazon.com. There we see that the MK Pro is in the range of $170 and the Mk Glow is some $30 less than that. When it comes to the Ryos MK that we are about to see in this review, it can be had for less than $100 US dollars. That is before we add in any shipping costs, but at this price point, it can stand pretty tall amongst the other solutions out there in mechanical keyboards.
We have some six or so reviews worth of time on this, and we have also spent loads of hours with ROCCAT products in the past and have a good idea of what to look for. There is a certain level that their customers have come to expect. On paper, the lighting is the only thing that is removed in this version, so we still expect the same rugged design and the same software depth.
Stick it out as we test out mouse functionality through a keyboard, try to find an extra 94 functions to apply to the second layer, and tell you how we feel about the time we spent with the Ryos MK from ROCCAT.
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