Introduction

ROCCAT is a well-known manufacturer of gaming peripherals and equipment with a notable global market presence. The company was founded in 2007 in Germany and today they also have offices in Taiwan and the US. With a strong focus of the company on gaming keyboards, mice, and headsets (with very few exceptions), ROCCAT has built a solid and widespread reputation for a company that is only seven years old.

The company has been very conservative about the products they release, trying to ensure that they are going to excel and survive in the ever-changing market for a long time, rather than just having a flashy release of a product that will be replaced/upgraded every few months. For example, over a year and a half ago we had a look at the Kone XTD and Kone Pure gaming mice, which still are among the best gaming mice ROCCAT offers today and remain excellent nearly two years after their release.

Today we will be looking at the Ryos MK Pro, the best mechanical gaming keyboard ROCCAT currently offers. The major selling points of this keyboard are the per-key lighting, fully programmable layout, thumb keys, and the advanced software. Some of these features are not difficult to find nowadays, but per-key lighting and fully programmable layouts were rather rare when the Ryos MK Pro was released – nearly a year ago, that is. With a retail price of $156 (depending on switch type), it remains one of the most expensive gaming keyboards currently available, forcing it to face tremendous competition from other manufacturers. Can the Ryos MK Pro compete in today's market? We will find out in this capsule review.

Manufacturer's Features and Specifications

  • PER-KEY ILLUMINATION – insane customization possibilities
  • EASY-SHIFT[+] BECOMES EASY KEYBOARD – assign a secondary function to virtually any key
  • N-KEY ROLLOVER – advanced anti-ghosting
  • HIGH-POWERED HARDWARE – two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors + 2MB of flash memory
  • ROCCAT ACHIEVEMENTS DISPLAY – keep track of your vital statistics
  • KEY SWITCHES TO SUIT EVERY GAMER – CHERRY MX key switchs 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 – built-in cable channel and five rubber feet
  • ROCCAT TALK – SET BONUS – get more out of your ROCCAT devices by combining their functions

Packaging and Bundle

The ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro comes in a very large, well-designed cardboard box. The artwork of the box is based on an explanatory picture of the keyboard itself, highlighting its design and most important features, while its size hints the extended proportions of the keyboard. This is most definitely not a compact keyboard!

The ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro Gaming Keyboard
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  • erple2 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    Interesting. I guess the analysis is limited to the software, as the keys (and therefore the feel of typing) are a known quantity at this time.

    Has anyone done a review of the other mechanical switches, namely buckling spring? I can't find (conveniently) any cherry MX switch based keyboards locally to test out the feel compared with my Unicomp keyboard (which I really like, at least for typing and casual gaming - while I like a good fps, I'm too old to be good at twitch fpsing). I don't ming the clackety clack of buckling springs at all.

    Also what the heck is up with wasd?? Why did people migrate to that instead of esdf???! It doesn't make any sense to me to move your hands from home for.. But maybe that's my age.
    Reply
  • Novaguy - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    Re: wasd vs. esdf, i imagine the advantage of wasd includes easier reaching shift and control keys as well as a more neutral left shoulder angle.

    I personally gave up the wasd and now use a logitech g13 and put my keyboard away.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    Well, you can always move the keyboard so ESDF lines up and depending on how nimble your fingers are you then have access to the shift/ctrl keys as well as a bunch of extra letter keys on your pinky side... Basically you have more keys within overall reach.

    I'd love a G13 with mechanical cherry red switches tho... In fact, that would kill my curiosity to try a TKL board. I could keep the Corsair K90 I like with media keys and macro keys for everything else (which I use for Photoshop/LR more than gaming) and just slide it back for gaming.

    I'm surprised Logitech's never built one with all the rage over mechanical switches the last few years.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    Dunno, maybe it's because WASD is a little easier to find by blind feel if you've taken your hand off the keyboard? I started off with WASD but I've used ESDF occasionally on MMOS which require lots of peripheral keys.

    I'm sure there's reviews of buckling spring boards out there since they're still sold and refurbished, could try the geekhack boards... I'm sure there's people using them on the AT/Hard/OCN boards too tho.

    Then there's Topre too... Anyway, if you just wanna test out the feel of cherry switches you can order a little sampler board (like 4-8 keys usually) with various switch types.

    Blues probably give the most feedback and might feel the closest to buckling springs but it's subjective. Best Buy used to carry a Razer board with blues FWIW.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    My local BB only claimed to carry one to the internet. I visited the store twice hoping to get my hands on it; only to only see the usual assortment of cheap Generic/MS/Logitech keyboards. The second time, I verified on BB.com that it was there before leaving work at the end of the day; got to the store couldn't find it; used one of their computers to visit the in store version of their site which said they didn't have it; went home and checked BB.com which again claimed the store had it in stock. Sooner or later I want to visit the store with a copy of bb.com claiming it's in stock loaded on my phone to harass the blueshirts about; but I haven't had any other excuse to go there for a while and don't want to make a special trip just for that. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, January 03, 2015 - link

    Just in case you don't know BB keeps keyboards in two different areas. One has the normal cheap and wireless stuff and then they have the gaming stuff in another area. Reply
  • knightspawn1138 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    I never liked WASD or ESDF. I hated how cramped my fingers got being squished up like that, so I've always had to remap my games to ASDF. I set them up as A=back, S=strafe left, D=strafe right, and F=forward. I find I can use more of the peripheral keys, still have my pinky available for modifier keys (since most games don't have me running or crouching backwards), and my hand never has to leave the home row. And even if I do pick up my hand, I can quickly find home row on keyboards that have a bump on either the D or F keys. And it's just more comfortable for long sessions of gaming.

    But it is a PITA to setup a profile that works well since I have to modify just about every key around ASDF. But, it takes just as long (or longer) to setup my Logitech G13, so I can't complain too much.
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Thursday, January 01, 2015 - link

    Having tried Cherry-based keyboards, I still prefer my 1987 IBM Model M Space Saver.

    Has anyone thought of licensing buckling spring technology?
    Reply
  • erple2 - Friday, January 02, 2015 - link

    Check out the Unicomp store. That's where I bought mine from in about 2010. Pckeyboard dot com. I got the spacesaver USB model. Unicomp wound up buying the license to make the buckling spring from IBM, and made all of their keyboards after about 1987 ish. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, January 03, 2015 - link

    "Also what the heck is up with wasd?? Why did people migrate to that instead of esdf???! It doesn't make any sense to me to move your hands from home for.. But maybe that's my age."

    LOL I was noticing that to the other day and noticed it has made me shift my hands left and now my touch typing is all off since my hands don't rest on the HOME keys a,s,d,f and instead now rest on the Cap lock,a,s,d much of the time. so I end up TyPing likE tHiS a loT. :-)
    Reply

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