For a generation, TVs have been in the background – in more ways than one – of household entertainment.
Roccat Ryos MK Pro
A mechanical keyboard experience at a price.
- Carries over the sturdy and comfortable Isku FX design.
- Mechanical keys are a significant improvement over membrane.
- Retains non-removable wrist rest and Easy Shift [+] key from Isku FX.
- RGB LEDs replaced with blue ones.
- High price
The addition of mechanic keys helps elevate the Ryos MK Pro over its Isku FX predecessor. Some of the design changes, as well as the high price, limit its appeal somewhat.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
When we looked at Roccat’s Isku FX, we liked the robust design and customisation of the gaming keyboard. However, the fact it was membrane-based meant it was unable to directly compete with upper range mechanical keyboards like the Gigabyte Aivia Osmium. Its low price also kept it out of the premium keyboard category.
Roccat aims to change that with the Ryos MK Pro, which carries over the design elements of the Isku FX and replaces the membrane with mechanical keys. The Isku FX stood out for its affordability, but the addition of mechanical keys to the Ryos MK Pro has essentially doubled the price. Mechanical keyboards typically come at a premium, so the questions becomes whether the Ryos MK Pro is worth the added cost.
A familiar experience
The Ryos MK Pro comes with Cherry MX switches that are common in gaming keyboards. There is a variety of Cherry MX switches to choose from, ranging from a stiff to loose feel, but for this review we tested the Ryos MK Pro with black switches. Which type of switch you will choose will depend on your preference, and the black switches are the stiffest out of the Cherry MX range.
Mechanical keys have an image of being loud and distracting, though Cherry MX switches are reasonably efficient in subduing noise. Key presses are still audible — significantly so over the membrane-based Isku FX — though not as loud as traditional keyboard used to be. The tactile feel of mechanical keys makes up for it, to the point where it becomes difficult to go back to a membrane-based keyboard.
At a casual glance, the Ryos MK Pro may look like a carbon copy of the Isku FX. It has the same angular design with a non-removable wrist rest sporting the Roccat logo. The three thumb buttons under the spacebar also make the transition intact, though they are shaped slightly differently.
The Ryos MK Pro differs in that is has headphone and microphone jacks on the left corner of the keyboard, as well as a pair of USB ports on the right. Thus, the Ryos MK Pro benefits from the added convenience of being able to directly connect headphones and peripherals to the keyboard instead of the PC. The cheaper priced Isku FX left this type of handy connectivity out, but this is a standard feature on top range mechanical keyboards.
Features new and old
A key feature of the Isku FX was the customisation it offered, particularly when it came to illuminating the keys. The keyboard’s RGB LEDs are capable of displaying one of 16.8 million colours, though this functionality has not been carried over to the new keyboard. Instead, the Ryos MK Pro’s keys are illuminated with blue LEDs.
The choice of colour may have been limited to blue, but the actual illumination is highly customisable. Keys can be set to blink at regular intervals, or can be configured to light up when keys are pressed. The illumination of every key can be controlled, ensuring the keyboard lights up just as you want.
In addition to controlling the keyboard’s lighting, the bundled software can be used to program shortcuts and functions for gameplay. The Caps Lock key is replaced with an Easy Shift [+] key as in the Isku FX, which enables preset functions to be switched on the fly. This is a function limited to Roccat keyboards, so users familiar with dedicated macro keys will need to retrain themselves to get the most of this keyboard.
The strengths of the Ryos MK Pro are in line with the Isku FX, in that it has a robust and pleasant feel. This is helped by the attached wrist rest, which adds weight and sturdiness to the keyboard, ensuring it stays in place during frantic use. However, this design decision also means users who prefer using keyboards without a wrist rest or prefer a third party one may not appreciate the lack of flexibility.
If you liked the design of the Isku FX but passed up on it because of its membrane-based design, then the Ryos MK Pro deserves a second look. Design quirks aside, it is a solid keyboard that is well suited for gaming. However, the high retail price will limit its appeal to a small, dedicated audience.
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