Introducing ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro
The Ryos MK Pro mechanical gaming keyboard was unveiled by ROCCAT during Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013. Shortly afterwards, the keyboard has gone on sale at various countries except Malaysia. One year has passed since the Ryos MK Pro starts shipping and finally the keyboard has reached our hands at Tech-Critter.
ROCCAT has 4 choices of Cherry MX switches available for Ryos MK Pro. The unit we got in house comes with Cherry MX Red, light-linear-non-clicky switch. Read on to know more about this keyboard.
SRP for ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro is MYR555.
- Per-key illuminated mechanical keyboard with 113 keys
- Advanced anti-ghosting with N-key rollover
- Choice of four CHERRY MX key switches
- 3 programmable thumbster keys (T1 – T3)
- 5 programmable macro keys (M1 – M5)
- 94 other programmable keys
- 1000 hz polling rate, 1 ms response time
- 1.8 m rear-exit braided cable
- 1 x audio in, 1 x audio out, 2 x USB 2.0 ports
Front of the box shows the keyboard along with key features information.
More information of the keyboard at the back of the box, of course with multiple languages.
Taking out the inner box.
Sleek and classy design.
Open box reveals the keyboard with keyboard cover.
Kudos to ROCCAT for providing great protection around the keyboard.
What you get in the box:
- ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro
- Keyboard cover
- User guide
The cable is braided and extremely thick.
Closer look at the cable attaching point.
Front view of the keyboard.
Mind you this keyboard takes up quite a lot of desktop estate. especially the keyboard chassis is designed to include the wrist rest.
Not a fan of glossy surface as it gets smudged easily, but still it is better than making the whole chassis glossy.
Closer look at the special dotted design at the top of the chassis.
…and the design covers the whole key area of the keyboard.
Main typing area.
As you can see, the modifier layout is non-standard. With inconsistent size among the CTRL, Win and ALT keys, you will face difficulties to find aftermarket key caps.
F key row also doubles as shortcut functions where you can use the FN combination to take control of your media functions as well as basic Windows functions.
Number pad and controls section.
The LED indicators are located above the arrow keys instead of the regular top right section.
5 macro keys at the left. Not as much as those offer 15 or 18 dedicated macro keys, but ROCCAT offers Easy-Shift[+] which you can assign secondary functions to literally any keys on the keyboard. This means while you’re holding the Easy-Shift[+] key, your keyboard turns into a giant macro keyboard.
There’s extra 3 thumb macro keys strategically positioned below the space-bar. This is not the first time we encounter such design as quite a few other manufacturers also agrees with the same design idea – fully utilizing our thumb.
Key feedback however is not as responsive as the Cherry MX switches because under the 3 thumb keys are micro-switches which usually used on mouse.
The Cherry MX Red switch. Keep in mind that Ryos MK Pro also comes with other variant of switches as well (Blue, Brown & Black).
Each of the keys are illuminated.
For large keys such as spacebar, shift and enter uses the wire stabilizers (Costar style). Compared with Chery Corp stabilizers, the wired stabilizers retains the original feel of the Cherry MX switches though you might need extra effort in removing the key caps.
The audio jack is located at the top left of the keyboard.
There is a design flaw where the ports are located too near to each other. If your headphone or microphone jack is a little too big, you might face trouble when trying to plug in both at the same time.
Same applies to the USB hub at the top left. Both ports are located dangerously near to each other, which translates if your USB device has slightly “fat” body design, you can’t plug in other device to the other port.
I’m sure that ROCCAT designed the USB hub so that users can easily reach for the USB port without the need of reaching over to the back of the system unit. But I do hope ROCCAT takes extra precaution in these minor details as it does affect the overall user experience.
First thing to notice under the keyboard is the large pieces of rubber feet.
There are cable routes for your headphones or other wired devices. Still, ROCCAT could’ve improve the cable rails with nubs so that the cable can stay still in the rail, else the cable itself won’t stay still under the keyboard.
Flip up keyboard feet also has rubber feet which only a number of manufacturers offers.
I do noticed there’s an awkward design at the cable routes. I believe that the bottom chassis is first designed to cater the removable USB cable, but turned out it is scrapped.
You can customize the which section to be lighted via the driver software. There are even different settings available such as having the LED lights up for a few seconds after you press a key and so forth.
Too bad that the colour is only limited to ROCCAT’s signature blue.
The keyboard driver software can be downloaded from ROCCAT’s official website.
At the time of writing, the driver version 1.35/1.24/1.24/1.26 will not work on Windows 8.1 and onwards.
I faced the exact issue after I installed the driver on my PC, which runs Windows 8.1 Update. The ROCCAT control panel refuses to run. At first I thought something went wrong the installation, so I proceed to reinstall the driver software. Turns out reinstall won’t fix it, even reboot the PC don’t work. Then I tried on another PC which runs Windows 8, viola, the ROCCAT control panel starts!
Afterwards, I tried on several other PC which runs Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, result:
|Windows 8.1||Not Working|
|Windows 8.1 Update||Not Working|
Hope that ROCCAT would roll out updates as soon as possible because Windows 8.1 has been released for quite some time.
Updating the keyboard’s firmware.
Main Control panel where you can set up most of the keyboard’s functions and features, such as the key settings and lighting settings.
Second tab where you can assign macro functions to each buttons. Above screen is where you can manage the macro functions.
While this page might look the same as the Macro manager page, this is in fact LED macro manager. You can configure the LED lighting effect as a type of macro then assign it to a key.
Your keyboard usage stats.
Lastly the Update/Support panel for getting driver updates and technical support from ROCCAT.
The Ryos MK Pro also supports the Power-Grid application.
ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro
- Keyboard is adequately protected (packaging)
- Keyboard cover
- Cable tie
- Excellent build quality
- Full set of rubber feets
- Comes with 4 types of Cherry MX switches (Red, Brown, Blue, Black)
- N-Key Rollover
- 2x ARM Cortex Processor + 2MB onboard memory
- Easy-Shift[+] feature
- Intuitive driver software
- Innovative Power-Grid and ROCCAT Talk application
- Large keyboard
- Permanently attached wrist rest
- Per-key illumination
- Wired stabilizers (Costar)
- Non-standard modifier layout
- USB ports and Audio ports are located too near to each other
- Not so useful cable routes
- Driver software do not support Windows 8.1 and onwards
When I unboxed the keyboard and played with it for a few minutes, my first impression towards the build quality is generally positive. The overall chassis stability and the feel of the material reeks quality. For instance, the cable is so thick and braided that it could be difficult for properly positioning the cable, but then it is more durable for wear and tear.
The overall typing experience on this keyboard is great. As expected from Cherry MX switches combined with wired stabilizers as well as metal switch plate. With N-key rollover, you basically can press all of the keys at once and they would be registered. That is more than sufficient for all sorts of input activities be it typing or gaming.
Even though there are a few minor design flaws for instance the USB and audio ports but they do not really affect the user experience especially when it depends on the user’s own accessories and we’re cool with it. The major drawback of this keyboard is the driver software itself. At the time of writing of this review, the latest driver software has yet to support Windows 8.1 and onwards. I mean, Windows 8.1 was released back in October 2013, now Windows 8.1 Update has been released as well. Then the driver’s latest update was April 2014, why ROCCAT decide not to make it to support the named OS version. I’m pretty sure they could’ve done so since their other product are working fine on Windows 8.1.
At MYR555, I do find the price is a little steep given that you can find a relatively good quality mechanical keyboard with less than MYR300, still, they just offer basic functionalities when compared to the Ryos MK Pro. It all boils down to the question of what is your requirement for a keyboard that works for you.
We are happy to award the ROCCAT Ryos MK Pro with Tech Critter Gold Award and Recommended Award given that it is such a nicely build keyboard, feature packed as well as innovative software.