The current choice of keyboards is staggering, so much in fact that it seems every company under the sun has something to offer. Take Cooler Master and their SK653 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, which as its name implies is a full-size and fully featured keyboard that provides both gaming utility and performance for any situation or setting.
Admittedly I’m not as picky about keyboards as I used to be. With so many brands releasing their own flavor of the “ultimate gaming solution” adorned with a slew macro keys and neon lighting it gets to be oversaturating to keep up. Besides, what normal person has the energy to upgrade their peripherals every couple of months anyway? In that respect, I’ll be reviewing the SK653 as a potential replacement in my setup.
Unboxing the SK653 you’re treated to a clean though weighty slate that belongs in a desktop. The low-profile switches are prominent and floating keycaps for easy modification, while a brushed aluminum top plate looks bold yet minimalist. The ergonomics are subtle with the concave keycap indents making up the bulk of the SK653 comfortable design, there are also two hinged adjustable feet made of matte plastic. For reference, the model that was supplied came equipped with TTC linear red switches, which are relatively quiet and still responsive at 45 grams of actuating pressure for both gaming and typing.
Other than that, the quality of the SK653 is solidly built. At 1.62lbs it does feel heavier than expected but is sturdy as a result of its combination of aluminum and hard plastic construction, and the added length needed to fit the number pad. Connectivity is also a perk that uses both Bluetooth 4.0 wireless and USB-C cable for hybrid functionality. You can also use the Bluetooth on both Windows and Mac products, which could be unconventionally useful for Android and iOS users. Speaking of which, there’s a dedicated button you can press with other hotkeys to adjust the lighting, and you can save up to three Bluetooth device profiles directly on the SK653.
Thanks to its full size, the SK653 doesn’t leave anything out for standard keyboard users. I appreciate having the option of the number pad and efficiency that the TTC red switches provide, the keycap placement, it’s tactile, precise and satisfying to press compared to the mushier membrane types often used in lower priced keyboards.
But there are minor complaints if we focus on the wireless performance and battery life, that RGB lighting array will fit nicely on a modern desk or Twitch stream but the most you can expect is roughly 30 hours when untethered from USB-C. If the rainbow lightshow on the keyboard doesn’t impress you or find it distracting it can be turned off with a simple rocker switch on the left side; coincidentally the SK653 lasts about 20% longer without the glowing.
Cooler Master has delivered another attractive typing option with the SK653 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, it gives you many of the aesthetic extras that PC gamers expect without compromising its full-sized footprint. Imagine all the perks of the SK622, and make it usable beyond just raw gaming. For the money it’s certainly worth it.