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Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L keyboard and mouse review

Testing the Cooler Master Masterkey Lite mouse and keyboard combo is a little different from the average peripheral review, in that I will be putting both of them through their paces, but I will break down each of them individually.

For the keyboard I will consider how it plays during games, what it is like to type on, how comfortable it is to use and how good some of its extra features are. With the mouse, I will focus on gaming ability, but also consider general usage for photo editing and web browsing, as well as its lighting and additional functions.

The keyboard

While Cooler Master might talk up these “memchanical,” switches of the Master Key Lite, it must be said that it is in reality a 100 per cent membrane board. The switches support Cherry MX keycaps and each switch is separated with a clear surround so looks very much like a mechanical and should be protected from spill damage because of it, but the feel is all membrane.

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The keys have a squishy, stiff feel to them and do not respond as quickly as Mechanical switches do. Although Cooler Master touts a tactile feel to them, it is not very apparent and often feels more comfortable to bottom the key out to make sure.

That said, I did not notice much of a difference between the Masterkey Lite keyboard and many high-end gaming boards – I am just too much of a mid-level gamer to really be able to take advantage. I never found myself mis-pressing keys, or found them not following through when pressed with sufficient pressure, which is a good sign.

The way the keys are segmented makes this board feel a little more accurate than your average membrane board, but not a lot better. It does not feel particularly precise, but whether in FPS titles, fast paced MOBAs or something more relaxing, I found the Masterkey Lite a pretty capable gaming keyboard.

It does not have any back-end software, so there are no tweaks to be made there. There are no macro keys either – this is quite a barebones board. However you can adjust the repeat speed if you wish, which is a nice addition, though not something I have ever made much use of.

In terms of typing, I did not enjoy my time with the Masterkey Lite to the same extent as I did when gaming. While the switches are perhaps a little improved over a classic membrane board, I really do not like to type on them. They feel spongy and inaccurate and though you can feel the actuation, it is not very obvious.

Often I found myself driving the switches extra hard to bottom them out for confirmation, but that becomes very tiring on the wrists and fingers very quickly.

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It is adequate for sure and if you are not a regular typist, this is probably not as big a deal as it is for me. For quickly tapping out a message to friends, it works fine and if you have never used a mechanical you will have no problems with it.

That said, I certainly would not recommend it for regular typists or mechanical fans, even on a budget.

The only other point to mention with the keyboard is the lighting. Cooler master has done a great job there. The range of colours is fully RGB and you can adjust it all using the function keys on the board itself in a very simple manner.

Lighting coverage is very strong too, with the central LEDS, white undercoat and clear plastic switch housings going a long way to make the keys light up in a uniform fashion. However they face a new problem because of their height. Because of the extra layers needed in a membrane board, some of the keys farthest from you lose some of their lustre around the edges, as the angle of the translucent keys just does not send the light in your direction.

The escape key for example looks dull compared to the rest.

The mouse

Although the Masterkey Lite gaming mouse is hardly set to win any style awards, it is a fairly capable gaming mouse. Throughout my testing of it in a variety of FPS, MOBA, RTS and RPG titles, I found it to have a decent sensitivity range, strong accuracy and it was fairly comfortable over long periods.

Thanks to the Teflon mouse feet it moves smoothly over a variety of surfaces and can even work just on your desk surface if you want, which is a surprise for an optical sensor.

I found DPI changing on the fly a adequate but not perfect, since it has a sensitivity cycle button rather than an up/down selector. However it is possible and since there are only a handful of settings that was not too problematic.

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Those who like their mouse to do a lot of jobs for them will be disappointed with the lack of many side buttons, but you cannot remap these ones any way.

Personally I missed rubber side grips. Anyone who has read a few of my peripheral reviews knows that when the game gets tense, my hands start sweating, which can be problematic without adequate grip. I never found myself slipping off of the Masterkey Lite mouse, to its credit, but I would still like something better than hard plastic to grip on to – even if just to move the moisture away from my hand.

In general use I found the mouse equally capable. Nothing really to shout about but nothing very negative to say either. The scroll wheel can be noisy, but it is sturdy and rubber coated for extra grip.

The lighting on the mouse is fine, but a little obnoxiously bright at certain angles. I do like that even on an economy-level mouse though, Cooler Master included a cable protector to stop it shearing off after months or years of use.

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