December 7, 2022

Cooler Master is a brand that is renowned for its Cooling and Power supply lineup. Recently though (as in for the last 5 years or more), they have decided to dabble into other things like keyboards and mice. What we have in our hands today is one of their latest keyboards: the CK 550 V2.

The CK 550V2 is the successor to the earlier CK 550 from CoolerMaster. Not much has changed over its predecessor but a few changes are noticeable; for example, the V2 comes with a wrist rest and is a tad cheaper.

Look and feel of the CK 550 V2

The CK 550 V2 is a standard 104 keys keyboard with an ANSI layout. The keyboard has an open plate design, which means the keys aren’t recessed into the body. This fully exposes the LEDs and is much easier to maintain and clean. The keyboard has a gunmetal brushed plate on the body and the base is plastic.

In terms of weight, the keyboard has heft but it’s not something groundbreaking. The cable on the CK550 V2 is attached to the body itself and it isn’t a braided cable which makes it questionable since long usage will wear it down. Given the fact that this keyboard is geared towards people just starting up in their mechanical keyboard journey, they will probably not mind too much.

CK 550 V2 Specification
PRODUCT NUMBER CK-550-GKTR1-** (RED SWITCH),
CK-550-GKTL1-** (BLUE SWITCH),
CK-550-GKTM1-** (BROWN SWITCH)
KEYBOARD SWITCH TYPE TTC MECHANICAL SWITCH (RED/BLUE/BROWN)
KEYBOARD MATERIAL PLASTIC, ALUMINUM
KEYBOARD COLOR GUNMETAL BLACK
KEYBOARD KEYCAPS PART OF ASIA/US LAYOUT: ABS DOUBLE-INJECTION KEYCAPS,
OTHER LAYOUTS: ABS PAINTING & LASER-ENGRAVED KEYCAPS
KEYBOARD LED COLOR RGB
KEYBOARD POLLING RATE 1000HZ
KEYBOARD RESPONSE RATE 1MS / 1000HZ
KEYBOARD MCU 32BIT ARM CORTEX M3
KEYBOARD ON-BOARD MEMORY 512 KB
ON-THE-FLY SYSTEM YES,FOR MULTI-MEDIA, MACRO RECORDING AND LIGHTING CONTROL
MULTIMEDIA KEYS THROUGH FN
SMART CABLE MANAGER N/A   
WRIST REST YES   
KEYBOARD CABLE FIXED RUBBERIZED 1.8M
SOFTWARE SUPPORT COOLER MASTER MASTERPLUS+
KEYBOARD CONNECTOR CABLE USB 2.0
KEYBOARD CABLE LENGTH 1.8 METERS
KEYBOARD DIMENSIONS (L X W X H) 460 X 135 X 41 MM
KEYBOARD WEIGHT 908G (WITHOUT CABLE)
KEYBOARD WARRANTY 2 YEARS
KEYBOARD TYPE MECHANICAL

The CK550 V2 is a full-sized keyboard and the only thing matters are the switch it comes with. The V2 comes with Switches from TTC or Trantek Electronics Co, a company that does a lot of OEM work and is around since 1998. On the outset, TTC keys are not liked by the “serious enthusiast” crowd mostly for the reason that they are not as robust as Cherry MX keys. However, a cursory look at the specs and one can see that price is not the only consideration why CoolerMaster chose these switches. TTC is having a steady increasing following in the keyboard community and adaption of TTC by big names will only help the cause.

We weren’t exactly sure which series of TTC mechanical was used in the CK 550V2, it was either the K series or the L series (we are leaning towards the L series). The key has a tactile sensation and not so silent sound, with a noticeable bump with each press. The LED is embedded into the key which makes the keyboard unsuitable for hot-swapping of keys. The LEDs are decently bright in color and give off pretty much correct shades.

The keyboard is controlled by the Master Plus + software. Cooler Master decked out the software with every option they could pack in the price range. This resulted in bulky yet smooth-running software with lots of options under the hood. The software has everything for every kind of user from the RGB Affectionando to the Macro Masters and the random key mapper. Overall, a very good package.

Experience

The CK 550 V2 went through the same gauntlet that every other keyboard goes through in TechARX. I use the keyboard as my daily driver for a fortnight. The typical usage scenario consists of long periods of writing (around 100+ pages) which includes typing out the review and copious amount of legal drafting, a moderate amount of gaming, and casual internet usage. This one, however, saw a little less action including decent hours of typing various articles and a generous amount of overwatch and destiny on it. While I am not the greatest supporter of Blue Switches, I am getting warmed up to it.

The CK 550 V2 is not here to win crowns, nor the company is attempting to make it win crowns. The software is sufficient to complement the overall package and which is really commendable given the fact other companies usually “forget” to optimize the software. If you look at the switch, it is the same old traditional stem-based blue switch but with a lower actuation force than the Cherry MX. Typing feels a bit hollow than the usual open case style keyboard; because it has a plastic base.

Conclusion

The CK 550 V2 is a more than decent package backed by a very experienced company and good hardware. My main concern was the TTC switches since they are usually average. However, CoolerMaster didn’t make the wrong choice with the selection, TTC switches are used by many companies out there, and in my experience, the switches in themselves are not as bad as some make them look. What especially makes the keyboard stands out is the software, it’s properly baked and the customizing experience is miles ahead of the keyboards in the same range in my humble opinion.

CK 550 V2 is a decent keyboard ticking all the right boxes and the overall package makes it an extremely good choice for a beginner.

A silver from Us.