Roccat Ryos MK Pro mechanical keyboard review: Clickity clack, don't switch back!

Gear & Gadgets Screenshot - Roccat Ryos MK

I have a confession to make: I've never used a mechanical keyboard. I know... how have I played PC games all these years and not tried a mechanical keyboard. But that all changed when I got the Roccat Ryos MK Pro. After already reviewing the Roccat Isku FX gaming keyboard, I was eager to see what all the hype around mechanical keyboards were about.

And so, I entered the world of Cherry MX switches. The Ryos MK Pro comes with Red, Black, Brown and Blue switches – so depending on your preference, Roccat has you covered. I had to have it explained to me, but each color switch determines the required amount of force to press the key. Browns, for instance, requires less force, are quieter and offer a tactile bump when you press them. The bump is noticeable, but satisfying. Not only is the sound of the mechanical keys pleasant to my ears, but the tactile feel of the switches lets me feel the responsiveness of each key stroke. If you're new to mechanical keyboards like I was, the sound and feel takes a little getting used to, but after a day or two, you won't want it any other way.

The Ryos MK Pro offers comfort, a great layout and lots of features. It has a sturdy build; no matter how hard you game, or whatever else you decide to do on your keyboard, a wide build and rubber grips on the bottom surface makes sure this thing isn't going anywhere. The power of the Ryos MK Pro, literally, is packaged in a braided cable that looks like it would survive a nuclear attack. Available on the sides of the keyboard are spots to plug in your mic and headphones, as well as a USB hub with two USB slots. Another nifty feature that someone actually pointed out to me was that the bottom of the keyboard has grooves that allows cables – for a mouse, headset, etc. – to be tucked into it.

The Ryos provides comfort as well as functionality. The wrist rest is really large and comfortable, making long gaming sessions more pleasant. The layout of the keyboard features a full numerical pad on the right hand side, as well as five M buttons that are great for macros. The three T buttons below the space bar also offer three extra keys to re-map, but I found them most useful for switching profiles. The keys themselves are quality, and the numbers and letters won't rub away over time.

Ryos

A big feature of most Roccat peripherals is lighting. For instance, the Isku FX keyboard and Kone XTD mouse offers virtually any color for you to choose from. The Ryos MK Pro only lets you light the keys in blue, but multiple ways to light the keys. You can choose which keys you want lit up. You can choose the whole keyboard to be lit, just WASD, or for when I'm playing League of Legends, I have QWERDF lit up. There's also a couple of ways the keys light up when pressed: there's a fade option, where anytime you press a key it will light up for a second or two before fading to black; another option is a ripple effect, where the whole keyboard lights up rippling outward from the key you press. Heck, you can even have your keyboard lit up like a mana bar, where less of the keyboard will be lit as you lose mana.

All of these functions and options can be tweaked to your preferences in the Ryos driver software. In order to unlock the full potential of the Roccat Ryos MK Pro, you'll need this software, otherwise, you're just getting the basics. It really is great software with a lot of possibilities. Unfortunately for someone like me that uses multiple Roccat products, there isn't one piece of software that lets me adjust my mouse and keyboard all-in-one. It's its own software for each.

The Roccat Ryos MK Pro is expensive, even for a mechanical keyboard. There's no way around that fact. That said, the Ryos MK Pro is smooth sailing whether you're typing or gaming. It is made with quality and care and really caters to each gamer's needs. More colors would have been nice, but you're getting a ton of functionality and utility with this keyboard. Not to mention, you're still getting staples of Roccat peripherals, like Easy-Shift keys, N-Key rollover for anti-ghosting, and a 32-bit ARM processor with 2MB of flash memory to store your macros. There's a ton here, just for a price. If you're like me and it's your first mechanical keyboard, you'll never want to not use mechanical again.


Technical Specifications
  • 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

If you want to compare the prices and features of different keyboards in Roccat's Ryos MK line, the following chart really helps:

Roccat Ryos MK price chart

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ. He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email at LLiebl@GameZone.com

 
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Lance Liebl Gamer, Disney enthusiast, opinionated sports fan, movie buff, and a father of two. You can follow Lance on Twitter @Lance_GZ.
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