Aimpad’s analog input on the Cooler Master MK850 keyboard

Forget, for a moment, what the Cooler Master MK850 looks like. Forget about its RGB lighting, its brushed metal top, its many keys and buttons, and the software that comes with it, because none of those things make it a keyboard of consequence. The only thing we really care about is whether or not the MK850 can deliver on the tantalizing promise of analog keyboard input for gaming. 

That promise first emerged when we had a long and deep look at the Aimpad R5, a prototype keyboard bearing Aimpad‘s analog sensing technology. If you haven’t read that article, stop now and go do it. Seriously. Because after the R5 experience, we know what we want. Combined with the resources of Cooler Master, is Aimpad’s analog input ready to “just work” on a polished, mature-feeling platform?

Analog versus digital

In short, here’s what analog input is all about: Aside from the Aimpad-empowered MK850 and the Wooting One, all mechanical keyboards on the market right now employ digital input—which is to say, binary input. When you press a key, it sends a simple on or off message. This makes sense when you’re typing, of course; you either want a character to appear on a page, or you don’t. But in gaming, it’s preferable to have more control.

PC gamers have long grown used to the idea that they’re working with digital input. You press W to move that way, D to move that way, and so on. But as console gamers are well aware, using analog sticks for movement gives you a lovely amount of more nuanced control. 

Put as simply as possible: When you want to move in a PC game, you press a key and go. If you want to change your speed, you have to use a modifier, like pressing down left Shift to sprint. You can’t creep slowly, walk, jog, and sprint using a single keypress. But if that W key was analog, you could. If you press down a tiny bit, you slink along; if you press a little further, you walk; and if you bottom out the keypress, you’re running. Now apply that capability to things like racing and flying games, and imagine how much more control you have over the action. That’s what analog keyboard input gets you.

Aimpad uses the action of a mechanical switch to create analog input. The technology is proprietary, but basically, it shoots a beam of light from the surface of the PCB into the switch housing. When you press the key, the switch stem descends, and the sensor measures the amount of reflected light and translates that to analog input. When you’re typing, you can simply toggle analog mode off. Without Aimpad, in fact, the MK850 would still be a perfectly fine mechanical gaming keyboard. 

The road to here

The Cooler Master MK850 is the first shipping keyboard bearing Aimpad’s analog sensing technology, and just the second of its analog kind after the Wooting One. The fact that this keyboard exists at all is big deal. Aimpad is a tiny upstart outfit that makes a weird technology that precious few people even knew was possible. It was hard enough to get keyboard enthusiasts and a couple of journalists (including Colton Westrate and yours truly) excited about Aimpad; it was quite another to convince a larger keyboard maker like Cooler Master to put it into a product. 

Credit where credit is due: Cooler Master deserves a hat tip for taking a risk on Aimpad. Too many companies play it too safe with things like this, largely because there’s no guarantee of success (read: ROI). But sometimes you just roll the dice on something that seems too good to pass up. We don’t know what sort of support (or lack thereof) there is for Aimpad within CM’s ranks, but in any case, those hurdles have been cleared such that the MK850 was born. 

Partnering with established keyboard makers was always part and parcel of the Aimpad plan. The company never wanted to build its own keyboard, and its technology  doesn’t need any special switches. In fact, both the Aimpad R5 prototype and the version of the MK850 I’m typing on right this moment use unmodified Cherry MX Red switches. (In the case of the MK850, it’s Cherry MX RGB Red.) The patented Aimpad goodness is in and around the PCB, so although an enterprising keyboard maker definitely needs to specially design the internals of a keyboard to implement this analog tech, the other bits—layout, chassis, cable, switches, keycaps, and so on—are all off-the-shelf.  

This is in contrast to Wooting, which has taken the opposite approach. The Dutch company builds its own keyboards. Everything “Wooting” is analog, and its version of analog sensing requires the special construction found in Flaretech’s switches. Because only eight keys on the MK850 have analog capabilities (more on that later), Wooting is still the only company that has made a shipping keyboard that is fully analog.

For what it’s worth, neither approach is inherently better or worse. That two such different strategies have emerged side by side is to the benefit to this brand-new, tiny market. 

 

Button, button, what are the buttons?

Aside from the analog part, the particulars of the MK850 will sound familiar: RGB lighting, a full-size layout, multiple dedicated media buttons, a bank of extra macro keys, a metallic top plate, and a detachable wrist rest. Etcetera. Let’s have a look at how Cooler Master laid out the MK850 and implemented analog controls.

First impression: Wow, that’s a lot of keyboard. I suppose I’m not sure what I expected, but the MK850 is…horizontally generous. 

There’s a lot of extra stuff along the top of the keyboard, too. There are two rollers up there, one to control backlighting brightness and one for volume. Next to those are five additional buttons, four of which are media playback controls, and one that toggles the backlighting on or off. This top row feels both like a design afterthought and a thin excuse to put CM’s new dual roller controls on something. (You’ll find them on the upcoming Cooler Master ControlPad, too. Not for nothing, that device is loaded with Aimpad technology, as well.)

Initially, I had a similarly dim impression of the extra M keys and geez, three more buttons on the upper right corner of the MK850, above the numpad. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a keyboard with this many keys, buttons, and rollers, and I generally detest extra googahs that are there for no good reason. But it didn’t take long to see that the M keys and those three buttons exist to give you better analog controls. 

The first of the three buttons toggles Aimpad on or off, and the other two let you dial the “sensitivity” of the analog input up or down. You likely won’t be touching these buttons much. You don’t need to turn Aimpad off to use regular keyboard input, and in practice I found that using the sensitivity +/- buttons within a game creates buggy problems. 

This is the minorest of quibbles, but I think I would actually prefer the on/off toggle to be a two-key press instead of these twin buttons. Same goes for the sensitivity +/- buttons. I know, I know, why two keys instead of the one? Well, you just don’t need to use those buttons all that often. And when you do use them, they’re interruptive anyway, so why not make them all some variation on “Fn + [something]” and skip the unnecessary burden and clutter of creating dedicated buttons?

That whole vertical row of M keys, by contrast, offers important functionality as it pertains to Aimpad, and you’ll be glad to have them available with a single keypress. Reflecting the Aimpad R5 prototype, there are multiple preset modes you can use for different games. 

That includes a “Normal Keyboard Mode” that uses no analog sensing. So if you just want to use the keyboard normally, tap M1. You’ll need it if, for example, you want to type into in-game chat; when engaged in analog mode, the analog keys don’t produce letters. So you would open chat, tap M1 to enter Normal Keyboard Mode, type what you want to say, and then tap another M key to enter the analog mode you want. Technically, Normal Keyboard Mode / M1 is part of Aimpad, so entering this mode is not the same as turning Aimpad off. (Sometimes, you may need to kill Aimpad in the case of a bug or other oddity. For that you need the right-side toggle button.) 

It’s important to note here that only eight keys on the MK850—QWERASDF—are capable of analog input. I’m of two minds about this. Partly, it’s a big letdown. Just those eight? Why not the whole friggin’ keyboard, like Wooting has? But if we’re being honest about the true usefulness of analog input, it’s really all about control and movement in games (and potentially some professional productivity applications). That being the case, do you need more than eight analog keys? Sometimes, yes; I wish, for example, that at least the arrow keys were similarly appointed, because I like to use them for vehicles instead of the mouse. 

The eight-key-only setup, though, is for the most part an acceptable capitulation to practical needs. The cost and complexity of making the whole keyboard analog may have been just a little too much, but also a mite unnecessary. 

Analog aside, the MK850 offers tons of onboard controls. Without software, you can enable up to four profiles, get creative with the backlighting, and go nuts with macros. It’s also worth noting that although the MK850 is in my humble opinion sort of ungainly, its brushed-metal top plate design is fetching. I also like that Cooler Master resisted the urge to go full gamer and instead employed an attractive keycap font. (If only the legends and sublegends were evenly lit.)

 

Into the Portal

Predictably, the MK850 comes with configuration software. Cooler Master’s Portal gives you some solid options for setting things just the way you want them. As with the MM830 mouse, it’s divided into a few sections, although they’re germane to this keyboard: Aimpad, Lighting, Key Mapping, Macros, and Profiles. 

The latter two are self-explanatory. They’re nearly identical to the versions of Portal for the MM830 mouse, so everything we said about that holds true here. It’s pretty intuitive to use the Key Mapping area. Every key is configurable, including the two rollers and adjacent buttons. All you have to do is click the GUI of any key or button, and a little pop-up menu gives you options. You can assign an alpha, modifier, navigation key, numpad key, media control, and more. You can assign a macro to any key, too. 

The Lighting area gives you numerous effects to choose from, including Static, Rainbow Wave, Breathing, Reactive, and others that sound familiar. There are a few other ones like Crosshair, Rain, Game Snake (it does what you think it does), Fireball, and even multi-layer and multi-zone options. You can also adjust the direction of effects, their speed, and the brightness. You can create custom colors, too. It’s about as robust a spate of lighting options as you could want. 

However, I didn’t like that the M1 key stays white and lit no matter what, nor that the Caps Lock key stays off unless you actually press it. Both kind of through dirt on the otherwise smooth look.

The Aimpad section seems like it should be big and complicated, but it’s not. It’s refreshingly simple. There are three M keys you can select, and this would be a good time to talk about what they all do. 

The five M keys’ responsibilities are as follows:

M1 = Normal Keyboard Mode

M2 = FPS Mode

M3 = Driving and Flying Mode

M4 = Advanced Flying Mode

M5 = Speed Mode 

We discussed Normal Keyboard Mode above. FPS Mode gives you analog control on the WASD keys. Driving and Flying Mode puts the left and right movement controls on A and D, and what would be RT and LT on a gamepad on W and S, respectively. Advanced Flying Mode has WASD set for up/down/left/right analog stick, while Q and E give you LT and RT. Speed Mode simply gives QWERASDF a high actuation point that’s adjustable. 

Even though each mode has set assignments, you can add gamepad functions to any of the remaining free keys. For example, because FPS Mode uses only WASD, that leaves Q, E, and R open for other bindings. In the Aimpad area, you can also adjust the sensitivity of the keypress, in eight stages on a notched slider. 

Note, by the way, that in Speed Mode, you can actually change the actuation point of the switch using the physical sensitivity +/- buttons. It’s a feature that’s somewhat buried amidst all of these other things, but it’s kind of a big deal. You could make a keyboard with just that as a premier feature, and it would entice people to buy.

 

Gameplay

For all the MK850’s glitz, it’s the least important part about this keyboard. Cooler Master could have slapped this all on a piece of plywood for all I care, so long as Aimpad’s analog sensing works like it should. And that, more than the keyboard itself, is what we’re interested in for now.

I recall that upon my first go-around with Aimpad, I had some issues getting it to work in some games. Partially, that may have been because the prototype keyboard itself was finicky. Now, with a polished, professional version of Aimpad in hand…it’s still a little finicky. 

Although the MK850 (and the Aimpad part of it) is technically plug-and-play, Cooler Master recommends downloading Portal first. Once you have that, the next question is which games Aimpad supports. There’s a full list on Aimpad’s site that indicates which titles work best with Aimpad, which are “fully supported,” and which are partially supported, with little notes here and there for context. The big disclaimer is that if a game is not on the list, that doesn’t mean it’s not supported. 

The inverse is also true: Just because it’s on the list doesn’t mean that it will work with Aimpad when you try it. We definitely had some issues at times. When you run into trouble, there are a couple of fixes you can try, such as making sure the MK850 is plugged in before any other peripheral so the system recognizes it as “Player 1.” CM suggests using Aimpad’s AXCT tool to check that. If you’re on a pre-Windows 10 system, you’ll need to install the Xbox 360 Controller Driver to get anything to work. 

CM also recommends calibrating the MK850 the first time you plug it in, and then again any other time you toggle Aimpad on or off using that aforementioned button on the upper right of the keyboard. This bit feels a little frustrating; you want something like this to just work out of the box. Given that CM suggests doing so every time you toggle Aimpad off and on (not hitting the M1 key mind you, actually shutting it off), it seems like a pain in the neck. 

This little passage from the MK850’s page feels extremely analog, and not a good way:

We recommend to not calibrate until after the keyboard has been plugged in for at least 5 minutes. The LEDs “warm” up over time, so if someone calibrates the keyboard right after plugging it in then you will likely have to recalibrate it again because the values will shift.  

That’s right folks. You have to let your flashy new keyboard warm up before you can calibrate it. We digress. 

The calibration process is simple and fast, though. You press and hold the Fn + the “-” keys for five seconds. The UIOPJKL; keys will light up in some combination of green and red. Those eight keys correspond to the eight analog keys (QWERASDF). If any of the UIOPJKL; keys are red, press and hold the corresponding QWERASDF key for a few seconds until you see the light switch from red to green. Do this for every key in each of the M2, M3, M4, and M5 modes. And then calibration is complete. 

I wish getting Aimpad to work like I wanted it to was easier. Some games, like Team Fortress 2, didn’t work at all. Others, like Overwatch, worked perfectly the first time out, while still others force you to think hard about how to make key assignments before you can have any fun. For example, games like Trackmania Turbo and Star Wars Battlefront demand some remapping from things like mouse controls and arrow keys. This where it would be nice to have analog arrow keys to work with. Honestly, it feels a little bit like a crapshoot at times, and that’s disappointing.

When the analog input works, though, it’s wonderful—but subtly so. If you’re expecting a dramatic, lightning-bolt change in how your games feel, you’ll be disappointed. But in the gaming world, small changes can be a big deal. We’ve leapt from 60 Hz refresh rates to 144 Hz to VRR. We obsess over details like mouse acceleration. We can’t bear to game on keyboard switches that are 15 gf heavier or lighter than our preferred weight. And so on and so forth. 

So, yes, the difference in feel in a game with analog keyboard input switched on or off is slight, but you will absolutely notice it. Maybe not so much at first, but when you revert back to digital input, you’ll see what you were missing out on. 

I’ve said this in print before, but the best comparison I can think of is when Blu-ray became a thing. I was unconvinced by the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray at first; DVD was amazing compared to VHS. How much better could Blu-ray be? The first time I watched a Blu-ray, I could see that it was very nice, but it wasn’t until I went back and watched a DVD that I realized how much better it was. After that, I never wanted to watch a DVD again. So it is with analog keyboards versus standard ones. 

Instead of tap-tap-tapping all the time to perform what are frankly herky-jerky movements, you can move more gracefully, with intuitively variable speed. If you’re like me, you’ll also notice a change in the way you game. With digital input, I often just kind of smash down each key to move. But when I have analog capabilities under my fingertips, I stop being so heavy-fingered. I bottom-out the keys less and less, often hovering somewhere in the middle of the travel to make my person or vehicle obey my will just a tiny bit more smoothly than I could before. 

 

Conclusion

It’s rare that I gush about any product, but part of me wants to open the floodgates for the Cooler Master MK850. It’s by no means a perfect product—it’s kind of garish, with too many extra buttons for no reason, and there are still a couple usability issues—but if you’re a gamer who’s been eagerly waiting for analog to go more mainstream, it’s an exciting product.

But unless you’re eager to tinker and patiently map out key bindings, the MK850 might drive you a little nuts. There are some games for which Aimpad just won’t work, or will only partially work. You’ll find bugs and glitches. You’ll wait for firmware and software updates. You’ll be frustrated at times. 

Even if you’re up for all that, you might wish for some differences. I would absolutely prefer heavier switches, for instance. Cherry MX Blacks are much heavier than Reds, and I believe that extra resistance would deliver a stronger feelings of control. Apparently the darker switches absorb too much of the IR light and wreck the controls (talk about subtle differences, yeesh), but in this age of switch proliferation, there’s a multitude of switches of all colors, weights, and styles that should work just fine with Aimpad. But Cooler Master is in charge of the actual products, and the company likely doesn’t want to change the variable of offering a non-Cherry switch while bringing out such a brave new feature as Aimpad. 

I’m also not so enamored of the gamery aesthetic of the MK850. To each their own, of course, but there’s no reason for all the angles, and extra lighting, and tedious extra buttons. More is not more, necessarily. But Cooler Master has gamers in mind, and for whatever reason, there’s a certain look that “gaming” keyboards must have.   

It’s also important to be clear that for as exciting as it is to get analog keyboard input on a real product from a big-name company, Aimpad has a ways to go. It’s still just a bit too unpolished for average gamers to fall in love with it without caveats.  

But Cooler Master has certainly improved upon the R5 with the MK850, and maybe it can continue improving upon what it’s done with Aimpad. Regardless, the company absolutely deserves acclaim for having the guts to try something weird that had no guarantee of working, let alone of succeeding financially. There’s too often a crippling sameness among the approximately 80 bazillion mechanical keyboards you can buy these days, too many keyboard makers are playing it too safe. 

I’m on record as saying that analog keyboard input is a game-changer, pun intended, and although the Cooler Master MK850 hasn’t brought the technology to the promised land, it’s a bold and exciting step closer. 

Comments closed
    • liquidsquid
    • 4 months ago

    If when I get pissed off during my projects, will these analog keyboards register my smashing of keys and go ALL CAPS? Bold if even more pounding?

    • NovusBogus
    • 4 months ago

    Interesting. I’m perilously close to embarking on a custom keypad adventure; perhaps I should further investigate this analog foolishness to see if any of it is worth integrating.

      • fr8train
      • 4 months ago

      You can’t–the tech isn’t something you can get your hands on. Aimpad is proprietary, and for now exclusive to CM. I’m not sure the status of Wooting’s tech in terms of legality, but given that it requires Flaretech switches and some PCB magic, it’s effectively proprietary, at least.

      If it’s a keypad you want, CM has an Aimpadded one forthcoming…

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 4 months ago

    If nothing else, this thing is a winner just for having dedicated, purposeful extra keys. Extra points for the ability to control the LED’s without needing software or a Fn + some-other-key-that-I-need-to-take-my-eyes-off-the-monitor-and-hunt-for-it key. I can’t stand it when a keyboard maker adds tons of macro keys but still makes me use Fn keys to do multimedia or turn off the RGB.

    • oldog
    • 4 months ago

    Umm. Buy a cheap X Box One controller or better yet an Elite one?

      • SlappedSilly
      • 4 months ago

      I had a lot of fun playing Portal (or was it Portal2) with a controller (DS4) in my left hand and mouse in my right. I somehow got that work, and the young console gamer in me was delighted.

      Then a few days later it inexplicably stopped working, and no amount of configuration, frustration, or whining returned that joy to me.

    • cygnus1
    • 4 months ago

    Is it just me or does anyone else find it ridiculously difficult to justify any keyboard being over $100? Really difficult for me to reconcile a keyboard costing 10 to 20 times what a basic version costs… like a car that’s $200k…

      • shaq_mobile
      • 4 months ago

      Yeah I’m with you. Something about keyboards over 100 are a weird turnoff for me. That’s the main reason I got my k70. It was the only mechanical for below 100 at the time.

      This is a neat idea, I’ve certainly wanted for it many times before. I just don’t think it’s worth the price yet. Fwiw anything in unreal has potential for this to work, depending on how the controls are setup. If they use the standard way, the value of the input is checked every frame and a pressed key has a float value of 1.0.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 4 months ago

      I can understand how some feel that way. The way I look at it is a quality keyboard is something I rarely need to buy again. Personally, I’d rather buy a single high-quality board at $200 than a $100 twice. That said, I don’t think a $200 keyboard is $100 better in most ways. At this price point I think it’s easier to justify the extra cost because it’s a smaller amount. Like an Lexus vs a Toyoda. Is it better? Sure. Is it 25% more costly and thus 25% better? Uhh, that’s debatable and entirely up to you.

      It’s also your one half of your primary input with your computer. As such, I don’t think enough attention is paid to the keyboard. If you are at a keyboard 40 hours a week and an extra $100 makes typing less painful, faster, or in any way less annoying I think that’s a strong reason to justify a higher-priced device.

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 months ago

        I use a Cherry MX Brown TKL, and won’t pay more than $70* for a decent mechanical keyboard. I find most big-brand mechs to be overpriced for what they offer, which is often nothing other than branding, and sometimes, less (off-brand switches, chunky design, poor software).

        I don’t mind paying for quality, but with most OEMs, they’re charging for the name recognition and being ubiquitous enough to show up on a Best Buy shelf. That’s not quality.

        *EDIT: Coincidentally, the [url=https://www.keychron.com/products/keychron-mechanical-keyboard?variant=18433415512153<]Keychron K1 is $74[/url<], and brings a lot to the table. They use non-Cherry switches, but they do so because their custom switches are more stable than Cherry and have a lower profile, allowing the keyboard to be a lot slimmer than even slim mechanical keyboards from other makers. And they don't look like a unicorn barfed all over the keyboard, even with the RGB turned on.

          • cygnus1
          • 4 months ago

          [quote=”Voldenuit”<] And they don't look like a unicorn barfed all over the keyboard, even with the RGB turned on. [/quote<] That right there is a major selling point to me. The gaudiness of most modern gaming keyboards is very off putting to me.

          • fr8train
          • 4 months ago

          Definitely true that sometimes you’re paying for a logo.

          Er, where do you get that those lowpro switches are “more stable” than Cherry? Lowpro switches are just a totally different animal from standard-height desktop switches in the first place. Also, those Fraly switches are as offbrand as they come. Maybe they’re very nice, I dunno, I haven’t used them. But I’ve yet to use a lowpro keyboard that doesn’t have issues with the switches or stabs or keycaps.

            • Voldenuit
            • 4 months ago

            I haven’t used the Fraly switches but reviews I’ve read say that they’re better than the Cherry low profile switches, or at least the keycaps. They mention that by making the stem in the keycap instead of the switch, they’re both more compact and more stable than the Cherrys.

        • cygnus1
        • 4 months ago

        That makes sense. I actually agree with you quite a bit and even splurged when I bought my current primary keyboard, a Logitech G710+. That $100 line I drew was pretty arbitrary, I feel like the sweet spot for a gaming keyboard is realistically just over that, maybe up to $130ish or thereabout. And you’re definitely right about them lasting longer. I’ve had this G710+ for probably about 6 years, bought it when they were first out. Long enough to have worn out and broken the left ctrl key and had to replace it. Which is actually even cooler now because of cool people making cool replacement key caps for cherry switch keyboards like this: [url=http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/printed-keycap-singles/worm-hole-man-cherry-mx-keycap.html<] the ctrl keys are now a portal dude half way through a portal. [/url<] I don't know, just seeing that $200 price tag for a keyboard pretty much immediately gets a nope from me and I stop reading about them. For me, the features they offer will just never be worth that much of a premium. If the features are worthwhile enough, sales volume would drive the price down to a more reasonable amount, then I might bite.

    • gh32zT
    • 4 months ago

    I bought the Wooting One last week, and I’ve already decided to return it.

    The hardware design is nearly perfect for me – a super clean look, premium feel, excellent backlighting, and a ten keyless layout. They really nailed that part of it.

    But the software is horrible, horrible, horrible. I tried both versions (the original and the new redesign), and neither one could reliably remember my settings. And forgetting the settings means that you drop into a multiplayer match and can’t move. All you can do is go into the game settings and re-bind your movement, or go into the Wooting settings and hope you can make it work. When you’re playing a tracked competitive match, having your keyboard go wonky is just unacceptable.

    The other problem with Wooting the the analog functionality. They don’t have a calibration option that I see, and they have large dead zones at the start of the key movement — nothing registers until you have moved the key maybe 1-2mm. Also, it’s impossible to bottom out the keys and get the full analog effect. You have to change the settings so that the key is set to hit max before the software expects it to. It’s hard to describe, but the end result is that you have dead zones on both ends, and a very narrow range where it is actually sensing analog movement. That makes it hard to make the fine movement adjustments that are the whole point of the keyboard, essentially defeating the purpose.

    The Coolermaster one sounds problematic as well. I can’t imagine constantly turning on/off analog input just to type. And the hardware design looks nowhere near as good as the Wooting.

      • fr8train
      • 4 months ago

      The “dead zone” is simply a limitation inherent to the design of the switch. It can’t start registering the keypress until a certain point in the travel. Not that that makes it better for you, but it’s a…not a feature per se, but also not a bug.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 months ago

    That would work for me if it wasn’t so “horizontally generous”. I’ve switched to TKL for gaming at home and I wouldn’t willingly go back to a gaming keyboard that pushes my mouse an extra 6-8 inches off the right.

    Also (not that it bothers me) I know quite a few southpaws and even some right-handed people use the arrow keys instead of the WASD/ESDF cluster. When you said eight keys my mind assumed ‘WASD and the arrow keys’ before I finished reading that particular paragraph.

      • Voldenuit
      • 4 months ago

      The Aimpad R5 takes the more sensible (for gamers) TKL route, but has the same limitations in that the arrow keys are also not analog. It also seems to be missing the per-app profiles that CoolerMaster has.

      I had been playing Hades alternating between a controller and kb+m; it was great having the aiming precision of the mouse cursor, but being restricted to cardinal movement inputs was severely limiting in that game. I don’t think analog keys would work as well in that game, though, because sometimes it wants you to hold a direction to chord with inputs (dash/aim), and that’s a lot of muscle memory for WASD.

        • drfish
        • 4 months ago

        The R5 prototype had analog arrow keys. I really wish the MK850 did as well. I also find myself wishing for a compact TKL version. As for the software, the R5 didn’t need it IMO. There was nothing I couldn’t do with it that I wanted to with the hardware alone.

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