Recently we unboxed the Cooler Master CK350 Outemu blue switches, an entry level full size mechanical keyboard from Cooler Master, and today we have here the Cooler Master CK530 RGB with Gateron brown switches. Cooler Master aims to provide budget mechanical keyboards without sacrificing its quality thus using different switches aside from Cherry MX to cut down its cost.
UNBOXING AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS
UNBOXING AND ACCESSORIES
The Cooler Master CK530 has the same purple box of the CK350 with a cut-out window for you to be able to test the switches and also a picture of the item inside. Upon opening the box, you will see the keyboard itself covered with an anti-dust plastic cover, a wired keycap puller and a manual.
Switches: Gateron Brown/Red/Blue
Material: Plastic, Aluminum
Color: Gunmetal Grey
LED Color: RGB
Polling Rate: 1000Hz
Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
Keyboard MCU: 32bit ARM Cortex M3
Onboard memory: 512KB
On-the-fly System: Yes, for Multi-media, Macro Recording and Lighting Control
Multimedia Keys: Through FN key
Cable: Non-Removable Rubberized 1.8m
Software: Yes, through Portal
Dimensions: 380(L) x 135(W) x 40(H) mm
Weight: 749g / 1.65lbs (without cable)
Warranty: 2 years
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
Cooler Master CK530 is a standard tenkeyless keyboard (no
USER EXPERIENCE AND CONCLUSION
SWITCHES AND STABS
The Cooler Master CK530 has 3 variants as well just like the CK350 but has Gateron switches, which is superior
The stabs are factory lubed and the other keys
The keycaps are made of ABS material with UV coating on top so the legends will fade in time due to daily use. I was hoping that the keycaps from the Coolermaster CK530 are double-shot plastic since the price is around the 4,000 pesos.
SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND OTHER FEATURES
The lighting of the Coolermaster CK530 is exceptional and unparalleled. It has 17 different lighting modes via the CM Portal App to control and customize your keyboard. You can also change the lighting and macro recording via on-the-fly thru FN key. The LED illuminates well because of the aluminum plate which radiates the lights more vibrant compared to other keyboards with plastic top case. The keyboard lights are still bright even if your room lights are off.
The software (CM Portal) is very user-friendly. You can download one here. The first page is for the lighting control and you can set your preferred lighting mode, per key illumination and it has 17 preset modes to choose from. At the second page, you can personally set multiple macros at the same time. For the third page, it is specifically for keymapping purposes. Lastly you can import/export your profile up to 4.
CONCLUSION AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The Coolermaster CK530 is a great contender in the mid tier price point of around 80$ or 4000 pesos. Having a brushed aluminum top plate and weighs around 750g, it feels sturdy and premium with minimal flex on the board. As for the switches, Coolermaster decided to choose Gateron instead of Cherry MX to cut down the cost and make the CK530 affordable but it’s still excellent and on par with Cherry. The CK530 didn’t fall short for its lighting features having on-the-fly control and a software to customize your per-key lighting, Coolermaster made sure that this board is surely a bang-for-the-buck and performs well enough for gaming and typing purposes. We are awarding the Coolermaster CK530 our performance award and silver award.
- Gateron switches (on par with Cherry)
- Full RGB and vibrant LEDs
- Standard Layout (most aftermarket keycaps will fit)
- Offers 3 different switch variants (blue, red, brown)
- On-the-fly lighting control and software customization thru CM Portal App
- Subtle branding in front, minimalist look/design
- Factory lubed stabs
- 2 yrs warranty from Coolermaster
- 4-pin LED, hard to remove when replacing faulty switches
- Thin ABS UV coated keycaps
- Non-removable, non-braided USB cable