Over the past several years, keyboard customization has become a far more widespread practice. Browsing YouTube or TikTok, it’s not uncommon to see a video of someone sharing their newest one-of-a-kind keyboard. No doubt this has a lot of gamers wanting to break into the hobby.
There are a few barriers, though. For one thing, there’s a learning curve to customization: some specialized tools are required, and some study of how-to videos or articles is needed unless you’re comfortable destroying everything you purchased. You can have someone else do it, but this is an expensive option — many times more so than the most premium mechanical keyboards on the market.
That’s what made it so exciting when I received the Cooler Master CK720 — the organization’s first mechanical keyboard intended for customization at an enthusiast level, but also designed for keyboard collectors and builders.
Cooler Master’s Peripheral General Manager, Dennis Liu, explained it best, stating “The CK720 is our answer to a niche segment of the hobby that we’ve seen explode in recent years. Although gaming keyboards remain an essential offering of our company, we couldn’t ignore the outpouring of feedback from our fans who wanted our signature quality in a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard.”
On its own, the keyboard sounds great — there’s great silicone padding, and it boasts Kailh Box V2 switches. Typing with them is different from most of the mechanical keyboards that I’ve used, but this is not a problem at all. The switches are excellent: smooth to the touch, tactile in action, with a subtle but satisfying sound. Of course, many people like something with more thock, but for those that want the enjoyment of a mechanical keyboard without being overly loud, this is a perfect choice.
What is great about the CK720, though, is its easy options for customization. Included in the box are eight 8 Cherry MX switches, along with a tool kit to swap out the keycaps and switches. While I have owned many mechanical keyboards, this was my first instance ever trying to customize one. I was a little intimidated at first. However, once I got a hold of the toolkit, I realized it would be a lot easier than expected.
Cooler Master makes it as simple as possible in changing out your keyboard. There’s no screwdrivers or soldering required — customization is as easy as snapping together some LEGO bricks. According to Liu, the “wanted to make sure the CK720 is a great stepping stone into the hobby”. They surely succeeded on that front. Removing keycaps is super simple, with the tool provided extremely reliable in this task. The told to remove the switches takes a bit mor precision, but it is far easier than conventional means.
With the Cherry MX switches, the level of thock is taken to infinity. It sounds great. Honestly, the only complaint I can give this board is that I wish the entire board consisted of Cherry MX switches. That is a personal preference, though.
Overall, the Cooler Master CK720 is a fantastic board. It is versatile enough to meet the demands of keyboard customizers, while being simple enough to allow newcomers a smooth entry into the hobby. And even on its own, ignoring the customization, it’s simply a great keyboard,
Final verdict: 8/10
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.