It was a day like any other. As I was scrolling through my email one productive morning, I spotted a very enticing-looking email from Cooler Master. Cooler Master has been producing a variety of computer equipment and accessories since 1992. In fact, you might know them from their extremely popular Hyper 212 Evo CPU cooler.
Upon closer inspection of said email, it was an invitation to review their wireless SK622 60% gaming keyboard and MM720 lightweight gaming mouse! “What an opportunity!” I thought to myself. I’m always a fan of checking out new tech so I gladly accepted their offer and eagerly awaited the arrival of my favorite postal service worker. After spending almost a week typing and testing the peripherals in various FPS games, here’s what I thought of their performance.
Photo credit: Gabriel Ionica
The build quality on the keyboard is really nice and the whole thing feels very solid. It’s not the heaviest keyboard, but you wouldn’t want a portable keyboard like this to be too heavy. Regarding the keycaps, this keyboard comes with TTC Red Low Profile Linear Mechanical switches that are meant to feel like the Cherry MX Red Low Profile switches. They have a much deeper sound when pressed, which is the complete opposite of the very clicky GAMDIAS Blue mechanical switches of my GAMDIAS Hermes M5. If you prefer a smoother and quieter feel to your keyboard, then this is the one for you. Personally, I like hearing that click with every keystroke, so the Red switches aren’t up my alley.
The SK622 can be used in either wired or Bluetooth 4.0 mode for that wireless gaming experience. The Bluetooth connection is very stable and played nice with my Bluetooth receiver as soon as I flipped the switch to “on,” so no complaints on that front. The keyboard can be used in either Windows or Mac mode so Apple users will feel at home with this one too.
One of the features that Cooler Master very proudly boasts on their website is the inclusion of a 32-bit ARM Cortex processor for “consistent precision and performance.” While this certainly sounds impressive, it’s also included on my previously mentioned $50 Hermes M5 so it’s nothing super unique. Nice to have, but not unique. As you’d expect from a gaming keyboard, it has several RGB lighting effects, per-key backlighting and macros that you can record straight to the keyboard without the need of the Cooler Master software.
Photo credit: Gabriel Ionica
Oh boy what an interesting little mouse! Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I would like to mention that it comes with extra mouse “feet” in the box should the attached ones wear out with time. Nicely done Cooler Master!
When you first pick it up, the MM720 feels very light and cheap, BUT that’s not necessarily a bad thing. At just 49 grams (1.7 oz), it takes less effort to slide across a mouse pad and might be easier on some people’s wrists. The honeycomb pattern cut into the mouse not only saves on the weight, but it makes it look more unique and provides a nice outlet for the RGB lighting underneath to shine through. Cooler Master even says it’s sprayed with dust and water-resistant coating that makes it IP58 dust and water-resistant. Per their recommendation, “you can dunk this bad boy in water to clean it off.”
The LK optical microswitches make a satisfying click when pressed and are rated for over 70 million clicks, so I don’t expect these to go out anytime soon. The two side buttons share a similar microswitch that is just as satisfying to press over and over again as the two main mouse buttons.
The mouse’s 16,000 DPI PixArt PMW3389 sensor was flawless in my testing -- it worked the way a gaming-oriented sensor should. That sensor is further aided by the >95% pure PTFE feet on the bottom, a type of feet that are usually added by mouse modders to replace the stock feet.
The cable is also interesting. Cooler Master calls it an “ultraweave cable,” and it basically feels like someone draped a bag over the wire. Think of those braided mouse cables, but “looser” around the wire. It feels very nice in your hand and glided over my desk-wide mousepad easier than some braided cables I’ve had on mice in the past.
The DPI can be adjusted either via software or the physical button on the bottom of the mouse to adjust the sensitivity from a snail’s pace of 400 DPI all the way to a blisteringly fast 16,000 DPI. Even though the MasterPlus software isn’t required to change the DPI or lighting modes on either the keyboard or mouse, it makes things a lot easier to adjust. Personally, I’d definitely recommend using it over trying to remember the button combinations needed to change those settings on the fly. Another point to note is that the software won’t recognize the keyboard unless it’s used in wired mode, which is pretty annoying.
How the hardware performs
Even though the keyboard is 60% size, the QWERTY keys are all in the relatively same position as my regular Hermes M5 full-size keyboard. I found that the low-profile keys helped me type a bit faster since they were easier to push down. The quieter switches also made my mom very happy since she didn’t have to listen to my loud clacking all day, so that’s a plus.
Although typing is almost the same as on a full-size keyboard, the fact that the keys are a bit closer together than usual to save space led to a few typos at first. Two other victims of the compacting were the Home and End keys. When typing, I’ve gotten used to navigating to either the beginning or the end of a line using those two keys, respectively. As is the case with most smaller keyboards, the function and other miscellaneous keys are activated by first pressing some kind of Fn key. Yes, pressing Fn+Home doesn’t take that much longer, but it’s not instant, and I can see it getting a bit annoying in the long run.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Thanks to the positions of the QWERTY keys, my fingers found themselves right at home in their usual WASD positions. One thing that was an annoyance for me at first was the lack of dedicated function keys. In CS:GO, F3 is the hotkey for Auto-Buy, a quick way to purchase the best weapons for your money and something that I do quite often. Just like with the Home and End keys, pressing Fn+3 took a while to get used to, but I found myself pressing it out of reflex after a few rounds and was quickly back to my Auto-Buying ways.
Once I switched the mouse to 800 DPI, it worked perfectly right out of the box. I was very relieved to see that the sensor was quick enough to pick up AWP flicks and didn’t lag behind like an older MSI mouse I once had. The only thing that felt a bit odd at first was the ring finger rest. Since I have a palm grip, I’m used to my ring finger just hanging out on the side of the mouse, so having a special spot for it was a weird feeling when aiming. Thankfully, like my gripe with the Fn key, I quickly got used to this too.
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Since Valorant just uses the main keys, the keyboard performed just fine with nothing out of the ordinary to report. The mouse needed no adjusting once again and the sensor felt very good with the precise aiming that Valorant requires since it has no spray patterns.
Fortnite was a bit of a mixed bag. While the shooting, moving and driving was just fine, my problem was once again related to that pesky Fn key. The building controls that allow me to select between a wall, a ramp, a roof and a floor are all assigned to F1-F4. If I want to press any of those buttons, I again have to hold down the Fn key beforehand.
This is fine in a game like CS:GO where I just have to buy something at the end of the round, but in Fortnite, building something quickly could make the difference between life and death. Not only do I have to press another key before I can select a structure to build, but the Fn key is on the opposite side from the WASD keys. They could have easily swapped out the left Windows key for the Fn key or just have some kind of Fn Lock key as I’ve seen on other keyboards. Sadly, neither of those options are available here, and I instead had to reassign those functions to ZXCV, which was very annoying and could be a deal-breaker for someone who plays Fortnite more than I do.
The mouse was, once again, perfectly fine.
Apex Legends / Call of Duty: Cold War
I included these two in the same heading as they’re largely the same in terms of keyboard and mouse performance. The keyboard itself was fine as these games don’t require the use of the function keys by default. One aspect that I can see this mouse excelling at here has to do with the very wide range of DPI settings. Since Apex Legends and Cold War are both faster-paced FPS games, some players might want that high DPI to pull off those sick MLG 180 trick shots, which the lightweight nature of the mouse could help with as well.
In all, I think the Cooler Master SK622 and MM720 mouse are very good choices for both gamers and casual users. The low-profile keys of the SK622 make typing a bit faster since they need less force to be actuated, and the quieter switches make for a nicer experience for those around you. In terms of first-person shooters, it performs fairly well as long as you don’t need to use the function keys on a frequent basis. If you do, I’d say look for other options. Another thing I feel a bit iffy about is the price tag. As nice as it is to use, I can’t justify spending $110 for it, which is the Amazon price at the time of writing this. I think $50-$60 would be the right price considering the SK622’s features and build materials.
The mouse was absolutely perfect. The fact that it’s so lightweight combined with the “ultraweave cable” makes it super smooth on the mousepad and a perfect option for FPS games. Not to mention, the 16,000 DPI PixArt PMW3389 sensor can keep up with even the most sudden movements and allows for extreme flexibility in terms of DPI choice. At $49, I think this mouse is a great contender when compared to other mice that offer similar features.
Lead photo credit: Gabriel Ionica