What we like most about mechanical gaming keyboards is the solid and clear keystroke feel. The mechanical switches that provide this are of various kinds. The differences in sound and feel offer options for users with different tastes and budgets.
Considering the prices in the mechanical keyboard market, the CK350 falls into the entry-mid level category, which we can call affordable. Of course, there are some design differences to stand out from the competitors and draw attention. We’ll also take a closer look at these pros and cons in our review.
The CK350 model is sold at an average price of 400 TL. The product has both mechanical keys and adjustable RGB lighting at this price. But before the review, it will be necessary to pass a summary for those who are going to use a mechanical keyboard for the first time.
What is a mechanical keyboard? How is it different from a membrane keyboard? For answers to these questions, you can watch another video of ours, linked below:
CM Storm Trigger Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
To put it briefly, the fast and clear pressing feeling provided by mechanical keys, as well as the degree of pressure we feel under our fingers, take the user experience far beyond membrane keyboards. This quality, clarity and responsiveness make gamers prefer mechanical keyboards. The longevity of mechanical keys is also a big plus for not only gamers but also every computer user who writes a lot on the keyboard.
Cooler Master has improved itself in player equipment especially in the last 5 years. It offers users keyboards with high-end Cherry MX mechanical switches, as well as better membrane keyboards with mechanical feel, at very affordable prices. MasterKeys Lite is a very famous model of this type. There are also Devastator 2 and Devastator 3 models with membrane keys. At the time of the review, the Devastator 2 kit was available at a discount for 200 TL, the MasterKeys Lite RGB for 270 TL and the high-end MK750 mechanical keyboard for 750 TL.
Cooler Master’s keyboard family gets a new and affordable model with the CK350 model. This model, which provides much clearer feedback and much longer key life compared to classical membrane keyboards, is easier to access for mechanical keyboard lovers and the material quality is good for its price.
In front of us is a minimalist case with no excess corners on the edge. Anodized aluminum or in other words anodized material is used. It has a metal upper body coating that does not stain easily and is resistant to rust. This build looks pretty good overall.
At the bottom there are three channels that we can pass the cable through. Suitable for left, center or right positioning and keeping cables tidy. The keyboard, which is 1100 grams, sits firmly on the table. It has a good grip on the surface with its openable lift feet and bottom rubber shoes. The keyboard uses a USB Type-A connection. The thickness and durability of the 1.8 meter cable is good.
We see that the covers of the keys are made of solid plastic and have a good paint quality. The keycaps on CM keyboards are usually pretty solid.
Turkish keys and lighting
CK350 models with Turkish key layout are sold in Turkey. It is important to present the Turkish key sequence. Sometimes the stickers that we encounter on some products look weak aesthetically. The lettering on the lettering of the keys is large and legible, and the typography is good.
Transparent inscriptions make the RGB light under the plastic cover look comfortable. The lighting is very successful, you can quickly switch between modes with key combinations. The 13 different effect options offered will be satisfying for RGB lovers. The brightness level and effect transition speed can also be easily changed with keyboard shortcuts.
Lifting and removing the key covers is very easy. They don’t go all the way down to the keyboard base for the light to reflect easily from the sides, they stand a little higher. This building is also aesthetically pleasing. The light diffusion on the anodized aluminum base at the bottom is also nice. The power of the LEDs is quite good.
Despite offering a full keypad, a compact design is ensured by dividing the keyboard area only into keys, not margins. This compact design makes life especially easy when desk space is limited. Keyboard dimensions are 440 mm long, 140 mm wide and 45 mm high.
material and price
The material and workmanship of the keyboard can be said to be at a high level. When you use it side by side with models sold at much higher prices, it is not inferior to its more expensive competitors in terms of both appearance and experience.
So how come the price is 400 TL despite this quality, it doesn’t go higher? The reason is very simple, firstly, the switches used are Outemu, not Cherry MX. Almost every cheap or affordable mechanical keyboard uses switches from Outemu.
Outemu is a Chinese company, and many parties had problems with the first switches it produced. Seeing the dynamism in the player equipment market in the market, many companies established their own brands in a short time and filled the market with cheap keyboards with Outemu switches.
However, as a result, the name of Outemu switches, combined with the poor quality of keyboards that were produced to be cheap, became not well known. In fact, the company is not at fault, each manufacturer produces products according to the price demand received. Chinese companies have no problem in providing cheap products even when cheap is requested. However, the high failure rate in cheap products comes at a cost.
So how is the CK350? Although Cooler Master uses Outemu keys here, it has been more selective. The firm has to compete in price and sell affordable products at different price ranges in the market. However, its products and brand have a certain quality bar. It can’t go below that either, as this will result in a long-term loss.
That’s why, despite using Outemu keys, they gave more importance to both the material of the keyboard and quality tests. The result is definitely much better. There is a promise of 50 million keystrokes life, but it is quite difficult to test this in any brand. Of course, Cherry MX is a key brand that has proven its life for many years.
For example, you do not hear the spring sounds heard in Outemu keys in Cherry models. To understand an Outemu switch keyboard, see if you hear a ting ting arc when you press the keys. We heard this clearly, especially in the blue switches.
Of course, a keyboard isn’t just about keys. The weight, quality and electronic circuit inside the case also affect the experience. This model has 1000 Hz Polling Rate, 1 ms/1000 Hz Response Rate, 64 KB internal memory. That’s why the CK350 is a keyboard that deserves its price.
Even the cheapest Outemu keyed keyboards of other brands are sold for around 200 TL. However, we see that most products bought and tried at this price do not leave bright memories in the mechanical switch experience. They don’t offer much other than the short-lived pleasure of getting it cheap.
The best practical example is the difference between the strength of the keyboard lift feet. The CK350’s feet are sturdier than most of its competitors. We both share our own experience and follow user comments on this issue. Always give your feedback Technopat SocialYou can share it with us.
The performance of the switches in the CK350 model is much better than we expected, but you can clearly feel the difference with Cherry MX and Kailh switches. On the other hand, it feels like an era, especially when you switch from a cheap membrane keyboard to the CK350.
CK-350-KKOR1 models have Red Switch, CK-350-KKOL1 models have Blue Switch, that is, red and blue switches. There are also Brown Switch models abroad, but these models are not available in Turkey. Brown keys are less preferred by gamers and more for writing. Cooler Master, on the other hand, brought models with red and blue keys to Turkey, keeping the players in the foreground.
The blue switches make a double sound called “Clicky”. Their feedback, called “tactile feel”, is stronger, they are the models that tell you more about pressing the button. Red switches, on the other hand, make a single sound with “linear”, that is, direct pressing, and they have a faster pressing feel.
FPS gamers usually prefer the red switch. Pressing the blue keys, on the other hand, takes a little more force, which is better and more balanced for those who press the keys with excessive force. Blues take action with 60 grams and reds with 45 grams of pressure. It would be more appropriate for those who frequently press wrong keys to prefer blue rather than red.
Before we publish the review, we also came across a sale that we think is the end of stock right now. Trigger Z model is old but solid and probably had a discount from 600 TL to 490 TL until its stocks ran out. This model does not have RGB lighting and the key layout is not in Turkish. But getting those keys at this price is very attractive. Let’s inform those who accept these minuses. If you are specifically looking for the brown key, it can be called an opportunity product.
Another important shortcoming of the CK350 model is the lack of software support. No auxiliary software comes with this keyboard. Firmware update is being released, it’s even available on the CM site. However, since there is no control software, you have to make all the settings with the keyboard’s own shortcut key combinations.
Also, for the same reason, there is no possibility to record macros and to benefit from these macros programmed in games. Although inexpensive at this time, a keyboard with such rich RGB lighting had to have software support.
Changing RGB lights with keys is easy and convenient, and even comfortable to get used to. You can also save your own lighting profile to the 64 KB internal memory. However, when we come to the macro part, you can clearly feel the lack of utility software. Macro recording option could be put with hot keys as in MasterKeys Pro L model.
All in all, the Cooler Master CK350 is a model that catches up with high-end keyboards in terms of case, materials and lighting. On the other hand, its budget-friendly price makes this model much more accessible. The fact that it comes with Turkish keys is also very important in terms of ease of use.
- High material quality
- RGB lighting
- Reasonable price
- No utility software
- Outemu switches are not as refined as Cherry MX