ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Product: ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Provided By: ROCCAT
Price: ~$159.99 at time of publication

Introduction:

For the last month, I’ve been using a new keyboard on my workstation and then dragging it over to my test machine to do a little gaming. They keyboard that has made countless trips back and forth is the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro keyboard and I’m pounding this keyboard as much as I can in order to find a flaw with it and if I can wear it out in a month or so. A while back we took a look at the Ryos MK Glow and this would be the big brother to that keyboard as it has a couple more features and some software enhancements to make it stand out.

ROCCAT makes a few gaming keyboards that cover the entire spectrum of price and features. The ROCCAT Ryos series is currently their high-end series and even this series has a couple degrees of awesome. Things start with the very nice, yet basic Ryos MK Glow and then take a step up to the MK Pro that we are looking at today. The basic difference between the two models include different MX Switch options, custom lighting, audio ports and USB ports in the MK Pro. As far as performance and quality, both are created in almost exactly the same way – the MK Pro just has a few features that may or may not be needed for your gaming experience.

If you currently own a Ryos MK Glow keyboard, there is really little need to upgrade to the Ryos MK Pro, but if you are sitting with an old Saitek Eclipse II keyboard (like me), this keyboard offers a lot of features that are worth getting excited about. 

Box Front Box Back

 

First Look:

The box that the Ryos MK Pro comes in is about 50% larger than the box my new ThinkPad T540p laptop shipped in and it weighs about the same. The ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro is a very heavy keyboard that won’t move around on your desk – even if you had Teflon mouse feet on it. This keyboard weighs about 1.6Kg (3.5lbs) and is a monster measuring in at 23.4 cm x 50.8 cm. If you have a small desk or a keyboard tray that you’ll be using your keyboard on, make sure it will support this mechanical beast.

In The Box

The overall design of the keyboard is nice and straightforward. While it does have a few dedicated Macro keys (M1-M5 on the left side and T1-T3 below the spacebar), these are well laid out and are exactly where you need them. Other gaming keyboards I’ve used have a ton of extra buttons and while sometimes a dedicated button is nice, I really don’t need another 30 keys that are out of reach for quickly tapping in game to activate my macro.  The volume buttons and media player keys run double-duty with the Function keys. These can be activated by using the Easy-Shift [+] key. The said Easy-Shift [+] key actually replaces the Caps Lock key and the only way to get Caps Lock functionality is to install the software.

This keyboard is built like a tank, so before we get further into the review, let’s take a look at the specifications and features on the next page and find out what makes it the beast that it is.


Features:

The following information has been taken from the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro product page and posted here for your viewing pleasure. Take a look at some of the information we've compiled below. If you want all the details, make sure you check out the product page for more.

 

The most advanced, most customizable mechanical keyboard ever – NOBODY comes close! Introducing the illuminated ROCCAT™ Ryos MK Pro mechanical gaming keyboard. With an eye-watering number of configuration options and your choice of CHERRY MX key switch in four colors, you can break out – and unleash the gaming beast within.

ADD LIGHT TO YOUR ARSENAL
The Ryos MK Pro offers totally customizable, ROCCAT™-engineered per-key illumination in two convenient modes: smart and manual. This means you can add awesome special effects to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your macro sequences and cool downs, your system controls, and much, much more. The included software development kit ensures that only your imagination is the limit.
 
 
 
KEY CONFIGURATIONS TO SUIT EVERY GAME
With the Ryos MK Pro, Easy-Shift [+]™ becomes the completely remappable easy keyboard. Together with the Easy-Shift [+]™ and FN keys, you can assign a secondary key function to virtually every key on the keyboard, to suit every game and key configuration. Add to this the fact that you can store over 500 macros in the keyboard’s flash memory and you’ve got an insanely customizable, fast-acting piece of gaming hardware on your hands.
 
FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS WITH N-KEY ROLLOVER
The Ryos MK Pro features ultra-advanced anti-ghosting with n-key rollover. This means that no matter how frenzied your intense gaming sessions get, your keyboard will always register every keystroke – and never let you down.
 
M-Keys Keys
 
 
POWERFUL PROCESSING THAT PACKS A PUNCH
Owing to its whopping 32-bit ARM Cortex processor, the Ryos MK Pro comes out swinging. Since the MCU is so powerful, not one of the keyboard’s advanced features sacrifices an ounce of performance. And with 2 MB of flash memory to store your configurations, your keyboard will executive all of your keystrokes and macros in real time, without any delay.
 
KEEP TRACK WITH ROCCAT™ ACHIEVEMENTS DISPLAY
With ROCCAT™ R.A.D. you’ll never miss a trick. Monitor your skills with at-a-glance overviews of important statistics, win awards when you hit crucial milestones – and then show friends on Facebook and other social media how excellent you are.
 
KEY SWITCHES TO SUIT EVERY GAMER
The Ryos MK Pro comes locked and loaded in the four most popular key switch colors – blue, black, brown, and red – meaning you can pick the key switches that suit YOU. With durable CHERRY MX key switches that last up to an incredible 50 MILLION keystrokes and laser-etched, UV-coated keycaps, wear and tear will be the least of your concerns.
 
INTEGRATED MEDIA HUB AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Thanks to its integrated media hub, the Ryos MK Pro offers extreme gaming convenience. With two USB 2.0 ports and audio in/out pass-through, you’ll be able to plug in your headset and mouse and get gaming in an instant. And you won’t have to worry about a mess of cables, since the Ryos MK Pro comes with a built-in cable channel underneath the keyboard.
 
Media Hub USB Hub
 
 
SMUDGE-PROOF GLOSSY LOOK
Featuring an innovative, ROCCAT™-pioneered micro-dotted surface, the Ryos MK Pro gives you that sought-after sleek and glossy look, with no fingerprint left behind. Since the micro-dots on the surface are ultra-polished, your keyboard will resist all smudges, all the while keeping up appearances with a durable, classy finish.
 
COMPLETE COMFORT, ROCK SOLID
The optimally-sized Ryos MK Pro provides total stability and comfort for hardcore gamers. Since the jumbo-size wrist rest is completely integrated, you can count on your keyboard giving you the sturdy support you need in the heat of the battle. And owning to its generous size, your wrists will be sitting pretty even during prolonged gaming sessions – with no muscle strain or fatigue.
 
CLUTTER-FREE, SUPER-STABLE SUPPORT
Underneath the Ryos MK Pro is a perfectly-positioned set of five rubberized keyboard and two retractable stabilizers – meaning your keyboard will stay where you put it. And with its neat, finely-braided cable and convenient cable channel, you can admire your keyboard’s aesthetics without any mess of wires getting in your way.

 

Specifications:

  • 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 switches 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

 

Technical Details:

  • Per-key illuminated mechanical keyboard with 113 keys
  • Advanced anti-ghosting with N-key rollover
  • Choice of four CHERRY MX key switches
  • 3 programmable thumbster keys (T1 – T3)
  • 5 programmable macro keys (M1 – M5)
  • 94 other programmable keys
  • 1000 hz polling rate, 1 ms response time
  • 1.8 m rear-exit braided cable
  • 1 x audio in, 1 x audio out, 2 x USB 2.0 ports

 

On the next page, we’ll install this keyboard and take a look at the software to find out what makes this version “Pro”.


Installation and Software:

This keyboard is an interesting unit. It has so many different options for lighting, macros and more that I could write a couple thousand words about this alone. I will save you some of the boredom though and briefly take you through the installation and setup process. The keyboard itself doesn’t require drivers for basic plug-and-play connectivity, but if you want to customize things and control lighting, macros and more, you’ll need to head on over to the ROCCAT site and grab the latest drivers. Included in the driver package is a firmware update for the keyboard itself. This fixes some issues that may have cropped up since the last release.

Profile

Once the software is installed, you have a few tabs to check out. The “Main Control” tab lets you configure things like the purpose of the “FN” key, “Caps Lock” key and allows you to enable or disable a few different keys. You can enable (or disable) Left Windows Key, Right Windows Key, Application Key, Tab Key, and Left Shift Key. You can disable these globally or choose one of five individual profiles to assign these changes to. In this tab you’ll also find the illumination brightness, and be able to control illumination dimmers, audible feedback when performing certain tasks and even perform a rest on the drivers if you mess something up really bad.

Main Tab

Main Tab

Key Assignment

Key Assignment

 

The “Key Assignment” tab has enough stuff to talk about for a whole day. We’ll keep it short however. Here you can set macros for the specific “M” keys or the “T” keys below the spacebar. Each of these keys can have two functions thanks to the “Easy-Shift [+]” function. The nifty thing is that if you are using other ROCCAT peripherals, you can assign this “Easy-Shift [+] globally to your mouse as well – or you can use a button on your mouse to activate the “shift” on your keyboard. This is thanks to the ROCCAT™ TALK® functionality.
 
Macros can be assigned and customized to be a set of keystrokes – complete with timers between the presses as well as actual game timers, LED Macros (we’ll cover that in a minute), multimedia keys, profile switching and even Windows tasks. There is almost no limit to what macros can be assigned – and these can be assigned to almost any key on the keyboard – not just the dedicated Macro keys.
 

Illumination

Illumination

Macro Recording

Macro Recording

 

When it comes to “Key Illumination”, things get interesting. In this page you have the ability to turn LEDs on individual keys, key zones, feature keys and create custom lighting options and LED macros that can be activated in the previous tab. While there is only a single LED color on this keyboard, you can make the keys “twinkle” after a timeout, “breathe” or just go dark. Key presses can trigger a fade of the LED lights or even a ripple effect where the lights ripple out from each key as you press it. There are so many options in this section, that I encourage you to simply buy the Ryos MK Pro and play around with it yourself. It’s very nifty.

The remaining two tabs cover the R.A.D. statistics and trophies as well as software updating and support. Until I used my first ROCCAT product, I thought the achievements were a little odd for a piece of hardware, but the fact that ROCCAT logs key presses and button clicks on their hardware shows that they expect it will last a long time. It’s pretty interesting to see how many keystrokes you make on a keyboard. 

R.A.D.

R.A.D.

Support

Support

 

The software update and support page is fantastic. I know that sounds odd, but clicking any of these links takes you to the appropriate place on their website and gets you the help you need quickly. You can even click links to go directly to their support forum as well as email support. It’s very clean and it works well.

Connections

 

The keyboard has a couple of USB ports on it that help replace the two USB ports that it may require to power your keyboard plus devices. The cables on this unit is very thick and covered with a nice tight nylon braid so you’ll never have to replace it. The audio jacks on the keyboard seem a little redundant as they keyboard itself will have to be plugged into your audio jacks and these are merely a hardware pass-through. Even if you don’t use the provided audio jacks, the volume control keys are effective in Windows itself. There is no need to use these unless you have a really short cord and you want all your audio and mouse USB connections hooked up to your keyboard.

On the next page, we’ll actually talk about the keyboard as we share our usage and final thoughts.


Testing:

When it comes to testing a keyboard, there really isn’t much more you can do other than use it, and I did. I used this keyboard constantly over the last month and after I figured out how to setup LED macros on one tab and then assign them to a macro key on the other tab, I was in business. The keyboard I received has Cherry MX Blue switches and this is my first keyboard that has these switches. I’ve used Cherry MX Red in the past and I enjoyed those, and I can’t say that I notice too much difference in the overall feel with these switches.

For gaming a solid, clean, decisive key-press is great, but when it comes to touch-typing for BCCHardware, I have been using a ThinkPad keyboard; or another membrane, low-travel keyboard for quite a while so it did take some getting used to when switching to this keyboard for everything. It does have a great feel though and I am a huge fan of the overall feel, weight and stability that having a keyboard that weighs more than a Macbook Pro offers. 

Close

 

I was able to do a fair bit of gaming on this keyboard as well. I played a few different games including some first person shooters (I still like CoD: Black Ops) as well as Titanfall. I had a few macros set up for these and it all worked very well. I then switched over to League of Legends and set up timers for my big cool down spells as well as for the dragon and a few other bits. This helped a rookie like me keep track of in-game action when I was busy trying to dodge enemy ultimate weapons and stay alive.

 

The “T1-T3” keys are in a wonderful position below the space bar and are within thumbs reach and work well in game. I also assigned a couple of macros for my windows profile to paste in a bunch of code for when editing reviews. This keyboard really has a lot to offer for everyone.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

KeyboardAt the end of the day, the Ryos MK Pro has some extra processing power built-in to run the lighting effects, and throws in a couple of USB 2.0 ports and audio jacks for keeping all of your cables in one place. Is it a worthy step up from the Ryos MK Glow? I honestly don’t think so and would rather save my extra money for another accessory or I could even buy a new game for the price difference. True, the MK Pro is a little flashier, but for most serious gamers, their eyes are on the screen rather than their keyboard during a match.

The MK Pro is all about looks and it combines great looks with great quality and a lot of functionality. It is a fantastic keyboard for sure, but I can’t help but think that most people would be completely content with the quality and performance that is the MK Glow. The only real reason I see for buying the Ryos MK Pro over the MK Glow is the fact that you can choose different switch options for your keys.

This is a solid product that definitely deserves more than a cursory glance if you are in the market for an absolutely fantastic gaming keyboard. While it does have more options that you’ll probably use, I do believe that this is the best keyboard I’ve ever used. If anyone has a keyboard that can rival the Ryos MK Pro in terms of flash, substance, quality and performance, I’ve yet to see it.

Pros:
  • Easy to clean
  • Amazing hotkey and macro setup options
  • Simple, clean and easy to use software
  • Won’t slide around on your desk
  • Can be used as a weapon as it is so heavy
  • Lighting effects may be gimmicky, but they are very cool

 

 

Cons:

  • Loud keypresses
  • A fair bit more expensive that the MK Glow for extra lighting/switch options.

 

I’d like to thank ROCCAT for sending the MK Pro our way for a review. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback regarding this review, please head on over and post it at the link below.