Cooler Master MasterKeys PBT keyboards are made not to shine

Mechanical gaming keyboards are wonderful, but the make and model of the key switches are only part of a luxurious typing experience. Cooler Master's new MasterKeys S PBT and MasterKeys L PBT keyboards come with keycaps made from polybutylene terepthalate (PBT) plastic rather than the usual acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), perched atop Cherry MX switches in Blue, Brown, Green, Red, and Silver varieties. As gerbils may have already guessed, the MasterKeys S PBT has a tenkeyless layout, while the MasterKeys L is a full-sized affair.

Keyboard fetishists tend to seek out PBT keycaps since they offer a deeper sound signature and doesn't easily become smooth and shiny after prolonged use. PBT can be more brittle than ABS, but Cooler Master has designed its way around that by using 1.5-mm thick plastic, compared to the 0.8-mm ABS used in other keyboards.

Cooler Master endowed the MasterKeys PBT board with more than fancy switches and keycaps, too. The key layouts can be switched between standard, Dvorak, and Workman with a button combination. The manufacturer says all the keyboards' settings can be adjusted without any software thanks to an embedded ARM Cortex SoC. The boards also boast advanced macro and key-binding capabilities, N-key rollover, and anti-ghosting.

The smaller MasterKeys S PBT is available now with Cherry MX Blue, Brown, Red, and Silver switches for $80. The full-size MasterKeys L PBT is available now with Blue, Brown, and Red clickers for $90. Both models come with detachable microUSB cables, keycap pulling tools, and a smattering of optional contrasting red keycaps. Cooler Master didn't say when the varieties with remaining switch options would be available.

Comments closed
    • XTF
    • 3 years ago

    If only they could’ve included a context menu key. 🙁

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 3 years ago

      Agreed. Function keys have no place on desktop keyboards.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      I believe the right side Cooler Master logo key is a context menu key. And if its not… oh well? This keyboard has built in ways for you to reassign but there are numerous ways to switch key function anyway.

    • kmm
    • 3 years ago

    It’s been a while since I bought my Leopold FC200RT and haven’t really kept up with the times. Do these Cooler Master, Corsair, etc. products have decent build quality? $80 or $90 for decently built keyboard with decent PBT caps sounds like a good deal. Or is everything that much cheaper these days? I think you can get Cherry MX (or Kailh equivalent) keyboards for around $60 typically now?

    • Flying Fox
    • 3 years ago

    Now these are ones that I can get behind!

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Well, yeah–that is the usual typing position with a keyboard.

      • tay
      • 3 years ago

      Much improved font as well !!!

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, coolermaster makes some very sturdy and very clean keyboards.

      I started on a tenkeyless Quickfire (Rapid? TK?) with browns. I loved it, but couldn’t resist a similar tenkeyless with greens.

      I never get over how thick and heavy they are.

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