Author Topic: CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L  (Read 7718 times)

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Offline frydaja

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  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Pilsen, Czechia
  • "It's my last keyboard, I swear"
CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L
« on: Thu, 31 January 2019, 16:37:04 »
The model I have is a SGK-3040-KKMF1-US, it doesn’t include a mouse (and thus is cheaper – about 35 dollars incl. 21% VAT), but it’s not available everywhere. The combo set costs about 55-60 dollars.

The box:
Classic CM design, the only thing inside is a keyboard and its manual (includes keyboard shortcuts for media and backlight).

Build quality:
It’s really not flimsy – it weighs quite a lot for a rubberdome (900g, only beaten by my old Compaq, which weighs 1.2kg). There’s a metal backplate inside, but it’s free-floating, so it only increases weight, it doesn’t increase the structural integrity of the keyboard.
But I have complaints – first, the case is painted. And the paint comes off really easily, if you carry it around in a bag, the paint will rub off the corners. So if you’re looking for a portable keyboard – it’s not this one. Second, the keyboard bends in the middle. I blame the backplate.

Switches:
Of course the „memchanical“ thing is marketing gibberish, the switches are dome-with-slider. But it’s quite nice typing feel, I like it.

It has a very soft feel when bottoming out, but the long travel doesn’t make it mushy. The tactility is also very soft and faint, but during typing you won’t notice it that much. It’s definitely one of the „weaker“ rubber dome keyboards I have. It’s also quite stiffer than the RT101 (the other keyboard I use often). But there’s some variance between the individual keys – for ex. the D key feels quite a bit snappier than the others.
I imagine this is what Topre feels like. Just more consistent and with the bottoming out in the middle.

Backlight:
6-zoned RGB backlight. There are some disco modes, fade and one color. You can adjust the color. The fading is well done. You have around 5 intensities for each color (Red, Green, Blue) and F1 key has color presets. White looks a little blueish to me, but otherwise the backlighting is quite accurate.
Fun fact: turning off the keycaps makes the keycaps look like blanks, or grey-on-black.

Keycaps:
They’re thin, have no texture. But at least they’re doubleshot, so they’ll last. Since I already know what PBT keycaps feel like, the texture (or lack of it) is bothering me. But they’re MX mount, so you can swap them for any other MX mount keycaps.

Keycap compatibility:
It’s 100% compatible, even the stabilizers – the little legs on the side that hold the wire are removable. I’ve tried to swap keys from my Force K81 and I didn’t encounter a single problem. Those keycaps are 1mm thick, so I don’t know if there’s a problem with stabilizers (they look and work similar to Costar stabs, but the wire is not bent inwards)

Sound:
It’s quieter than a board with MX Reds, but louder than your average rubber dome. The slider hitting the housing lets out a plastic tick. Thicker keycaps will most likely absorb the noise; bigger keys sound deeper.

Multimedia keys:
The best I’ve ever seen on a keyboard, because you can actually access them with one hand. Instead of FN + F-keys, the multimedia keys are scattered across the navpad.

Disassembly:
There are cca 12 screws on the top case that holding the keyboard. Then there are 2 screws holding the membrane to the case and three little screws holding the controller board. The domes and the membrane sheets are glued together. The sliders fall through the rear, so flip the board when you’re taking off the top case. The housings for the sliders are all snapped to the case.

Summary:
For the price, it’s either good or a mixed bag. Doubleshot keycaps that lack any texture; RGB backlight; keyfeel that’s quite tactile, very smooth but may feel spongy to some; compatibility with Cherry MX keycaps (even the stabilizers). I’d say this is a good board if you want a cheap backlit keyboard but hate MX Browns. That is, if you live in Europe or somewhere where they sell the individual keyboard. The value a bit plummets when you have to buy the set, but even at that price point, it's still unique.
Anne Pro 2 w/ Kailh Box Browns | CM Storm Quickfire TK Stealth w/ MX Browns | Unknown Chinese keyboard w/ Outemu Reds | Compaq-branded NMB RT101 | Gigabyte Force K81 w/Kailh Reds

Offline flurryvelvet

  • Posts: 81
Re: CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 14 February 2019, 10:02:34 »
Well, I bet that mecha-membrane keyboard is better than that hideous Razer Ornata

Offline frydaja

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  • Posts: 92
  • Location: Pilsen, Czechia
  • "It's my last keyboard, I swear"
Re: CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 14 February 2019, 15:59:12 »
Well, I bet that mecha-membrane keyboard is better than that hideous Razer Ornata

Given that I've tried the Ornata in the store today - yes. Especially for the price. Ornata Chroma costs 100$ here. Lite L is softwareless, quieter, better built, has smoother and deeper travel, doubleshot keycaps etc. and is easier to disassemble. Lite L can be disassembled by unscrewing 12 screws on the top case and flipping the keyboard. Dunno about Ornata, but I guess there are hidden screws somewhere.

And the Ornata case is just cheap. While I prefer plastic over metal, the plastic on Ornata feels the same, maybe even rougher as the plastic on this thing:
Anne Pro 2 w/ Kailh Box Browns | CM Storm Quickfire TK Stealth w/ MX Browns | Unknown Chinese keyboard w/ Outemu Reds | Compaq-branded NMB RT101 | Gigabyte Force K81 w/Kailh Reds

Offline Enigma644

  • Posts: 2
Re: CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 21 April 2024, 19:19:40 »
Disassembly:
There are cca 12 screws on the top case that holding the keyboard. Then there are 2 screws holding the membrane to the case and three little screws holding the controller board. The domes and the membrane sheets are glued together. The sliders fall through the rear, so flip the board when you’re taking off the top case. The housings for the sliders are all snapped to the case.

I have this keyboard (UK variant) and my NumLock LED has died after many years of working perfectly.
I'm not 100% sure how to open it up to get at the numpad PCB, so I can replace it. Do I need to pull all the keycaps and undo the 12 screws I can see under them? There are no screws on the rear, but I do note that there is a screwdriver sized slot cut out of the front two feet pads. Do I also need to pry it open there?

Offline Enigma644

  • Posts: 2
Re: CoolerMaster Masterkeys Lite L
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 29 April 2024, 11:53:43 »
To answer my own question, see attached image;
15 screws under the key caps hold the front and back together.