A keyboard that lights up! Now I can play my games in the dark. But thankfully this isn’t the only great feature present here. The Roccat Ryos Mk Pro Gaming Keyboard has made a name for itself as Roccat’s flagship model amongst pro and amateur gamers alike. They have crammed this keyboard full with special functions to make your gaming life easier. They have also included their Roccat Talk function which gives complete compatibility between your Roccat branded keyboard and mouse.

The first thing that definitely stood out to me was the illuminated keys. You have the option to light up the entire keyboard, or limit it to the keys you mostly use on the battlefield. Personally I have my WASD, QWERTY, my F keys, the M keys which we will get to in a minute, and my numberpad lit up so I don’t have to keep looking down to find which key I’m pressing. I know, a pro gamer wouldn’t need to do that, but unfortunately I fall into the casual category. Once these keys have been illuminated you can select the brightness on a scale of 1 – 12. Each key is illuminated individually for complete custom settings. You can even set your macro keys to illuminate. For example, to copy and paste we all know is Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. You can set the Ryos Mk Pro to illumine that C and V key when holding down the Ctrl. There are so many combinations for your macro settings. You can even set the keyboard lighting to be some kind of damage indicator, or as a health bar when playing games. What was great was the equalizer-esque effects when playing my music. Stunning.

Gamers are in two minds on wrist support for keyboards. There is a huge one present here which is great help for extended gaming sessions. Unfortunately it cannot be removed, but I didn’t see this as a problem. It was extremely comfy to use during testing, and with Roccat’s anti-smear coating, there was no need to wipe down the surfaces to keep the Ryos Mk Pro looking fresh. The coating is also on the keyboard keys so fingerprints are kept to a minimum.

The Roccat Ryos Mk Pro Gaming Keyboard features two ARM Cortex processors and 2mb on-board memory to store all of your macros and manage the many lighting settings you may have. Whether this will be an improvement for gamers we are yet to see, but it hasn’t disappointed so far.

The macro key setup was designed with competitive gamers in mind. Looking at the keyboard you will see 5 dedicated macro keys down the side labelled M1 – M5 as well as three keys below the space bar labelled T1 – T3. These can be set up for either a one time action, or used in conjunction with another key on the keyboard to create a macro command. I found the gap between the keyboard and M keys a little too big, and had to really stretch my little finger over, especially with the likes of the M1 key. This probably comes down to the size of my hands and fingers. The T keys are brilliantly placed and takes no effort moving your thumb down to reach them. There are also profiles that you can set up. Using the Shift [+] key, you can literally change the command of any key. For example, if W is your run forward key, if you tap the Shift [+] key you can change your action to something like throw grenade. Letting go of the Shift [+] will return you to running. brilliant in MMO situations of having to fire off several spells at once.

To connect the Roccat Ryos Mk Pro Gaming Keyboard you will need to plug it into two of your USB slots and your audio and microphone jack sockets. The first USB will power the keyboard, the second will power the two USB slots on the side of the keyboard. These have been put here for easy connection of your mouse and maybe a headset. On the left hand side you will find an audio and microphone slot for easy connection of a headset. Again, these slots were probably put here with professional gamers in mind to save them crawling behind a PC to plug in their equipment.

Having the Cherry MX Brown switches on the Roccat Ryos paired with its one-millisecond response time means you are able to go through your macro setup so smoothly when playing a competitive game. Battlefield 4 was game of choice here to put the keyboard to the test and it worked beautifully. It is as if my fingers were gliding through the air instead of thudding the keyboard. I loved it. Gaming had never felt so good.

Being Roccat’s first mechanical keyboard you would maybe expect it to be amateurish with flaws. I found nothing here I didn’t like. It is a great aid to my gaming setup and it’s built like a tank. Very solid. It will be a keyboard that stays with me for a very long time. You can expect to pay around £149.99 for one depending on retailer, but every single penny is worth its large price tag.

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Stef Murphy

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