Roccat Ryos MK

There are three versions of the Ryos MK: the standard MK version, the MK Glow and the MK Pro.

The base model Ryos MK doesn't feature any LED backlit keys, but as you might expect, the MK Glow does and this is its only upgrade. The MK Pro takes things one step further by offering per-key illumination along with a full range of Cherry MX switch options as well as USB and audio passthrough.

The Ryos MK has an MSRP of just $75 while the MK Glow is considerably more expensive at $144 -- that's a lot more to pay for some blue lighting. Then we have the MK Pro which costs around $150.

This makes the Ryos MK one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards to be featured in our roundup and yet it is one of the more impressive looking products.

For me, a keyboard really needs a wrist rest, mechanical keyboards especially because they are quite bulky by nature and therefore sit much higher than a membrane keyboard.

Therefore the fact that the Roccat Ryos MK comes with a non-detachable wrist rest is a positive for me. The Ryos MK feels more solid than a keyboard with a detachable wrist rest and it makes moving it around much easier as well.

Roccat doesn't advertise the single piece design though we feel they should. It means that the keyboard measures 508mm long and 234mm deep while weighing 1.6kg.

The Ryos MK is available exclusively with Cherry MX Black switches, these are linear switches like the Red's. The Black switches are one of the oldest Cherry switches still being used today as they were introduced back in 1984.

Black switches feature a medium to high actuation force, at 60 cN making them the stiffest of the four most common Cherry switches. The Black switches have been popular among gamers as the high weighting can prevent accidental key presses. The stronger spring also means that they rebound faster, meaning they can be actuated quite quickly given enough force.

Roccat has garnished the Cherry MX Black switches in UV-coated keycaps featuring bold lettering. The key caps look and feel quite nice though keep in mind they are very basic and aren't overly thick.

Making it seem as though you have more keys to play with is Roccat's "Easy-Shift[+]" technology. This feature allows gamers to assign a secondary function to any and every key which can be accessed by holding down the Shift[+] key which resides directly above the standard Shift key.

In addition to the Easy-Shift[+] function the Ryos MK also features five programmable macro keys along the left side of the board and three thumbster keys. What the heck are "thumbster keys" you ask? Roccat has come up with a means of making your thumbs useful for something else other than mashing the spacebar.

The thumbster keys are placed below the space bar and provide macro options that can be executed using your thumbs. This is a cool idea and the implementation is great. The flat key design means that the thumbster keys won't be hit unintentionally while they are still easy to target with your thumbs.

Construction-wise the Ryos MK is made entirely from plastic which is fine given the affordable price tag. That said the design looks nice and the build quality is excellent as the Ryos MK feels very sturdy.

Underneath there are five large rubberized feet which keep the Ryos MK firmly planted on your desk. There are also two small feet that help elevate the rear of the keyboard which I found makes it easier to use.

Roccat has also included a number of groves in the underside of the Ryos MK which helps with cable management for the keyboard itself and your mouse, a nice touch indeed. It would have been awesome if a USB passthrough was included for your mouse but we can't take points away from Roccat given the price.

It's worth mentioning that there aren't any dedicated multimedia keys or a volume control wheel for example.

The Ryos MK features a 1000Hz polling rate for a 1ms response time thanks to its 32-bit ARM Cortex processor. There is also 2MB of flash memory for storing profiles which is useful as it is one less thing you have to worry about when formatting or attending LAN parties.