ASUS ExpertBook B9

While we just reviewed the MasterKeys Pro L RGB not too long ago here, there’s another spin-off variant of that magnificent keyboard – the version with white LEDs. Now, I do know for a fact that there are people who don’t like RGB lights – like me, for example. That’s why the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs exist. In a lot of ways, this keyboard is different with its RGB brother. Here is the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs.

Unboxing

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Acer Nitro 5

The box design of both the RGB and white LEDs version don’t have much difference, other than the highlight in its white LEDs, obviously.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Opening the box reveals the same contents too. Keyboard wrapped in a fabric sleeve, user manual tucked underneath the keyboard, and all other accessories are placed at the small little compartment above the keyboard.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Again, you’ll get the keycap wire puller – which is a really nice change than the usual el cheapo plastic keycap pullers.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Design

Taking in the exact same dimensions and design of the case from its RGB brother. The MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs still has UV-coated plastic material across the top housing of the case, and has a white backplate for better LED glow.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

This time around, it uses the classic Cherry MX Brown switch with blade opaque case. That’s the switch that I personally know, love, and use personally. And again, same cable routes at the back.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Also, since it uses the classical black-cased Cherry MX brown switches, it will require DIP LED switches instead of surface-mounted ones. This is because the case is not transparent like its RGB switch brethren, and thus will require the LED to be moved above the switch itself.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

However, Cooler Master did say that it has something called the Intelligent White LEDs. How intelligent are they, anyway? More on this later.

[nextpage title=”Typing experience, features, and differences between White LEDs and RGB version”]

Typing experience

Again, I am someone who uses the classic Cherry MX Brown mechanical keyboard as my daily driver. Again, mechanical keyboards are very subjective. Try the switch that suits you best – and get that. I can personally vouch for Cherry MX switches as the in-between and best-of-both-worlds between a tactile and clicky MX Blue switch and linearity of the MX reds. A combination of gaming- and typing-oriented switch results in the MX Brown.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Anyway, the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs have the same thickness, and no wrist rest was included again. So make sure you are comfortable this height, or just get a padded leatherette wrist rest. They’re not expensive at all – but little difficult to find in Malaysia.

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Keycaps are the same too – it’s still the same thickness, same material, same flaws, and it gets greasy easily too. I’ve just swiped across the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs’ keycap for a brief moment – and this happened.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Not really a big deal, but it’s something to really take note of. Clean the keycaps periodically, and you’ll be fine.

While on the subject of these keycaps, its printed legends have been tweaked a little to suit the non-RGB nature of the White LEDs version of the MasterKeys Pro L. It makes sense, because the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs version doesn’t need any software – and it leads nicely into the next segment of this review.

Features

So how exactly does the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs do its thing – you know, being all flashy? Good question – firstly, the CM portal will not help you at all, as there is no software controls for the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs. I did use the CM Portal to update the firmware on the keyboard, though.

Even without software controls, navigating through the lighting effects on the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs is simple, actually. All you need is the small little handy dandy user manual to start with.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

If the user manual is not your thing, then read up on the keycap’s legends. Hitting Fn and all the keys from F1 to F12 and the specials keys do something specific. These special ranges from turning LEDs on/off, adjusting brightness, changing cycle modes, repeat rate, some miscellaneous functions, and multimedia controls.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Pretty neat suite of keys too, and Cooler Master still accommodated the 4 profile key switches on the top right corner.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L
Even the arrow keys have different functions here.

Since the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs don’t have a software to begin with, there is not much to nitpick about compared to its RGB sibling. However, since they’re pretty similar to each often, I do wish that Cooler Master offers a software for both the keyboards with custom macro keys that can be recorded via the CM Portal and its component drivers themselves. Another thing – full key remapping is useful – especially if the Fn key will be replaced with something else. Ducky is best with DIP switch.

Differences between MasterKeys Pro L RGB & White LEDs

Between the RGB and White LEDs variant – which one should you choose? This is a very valid question, as I have highlighted the two main difference between the two keyboards. So let’s reiterate them again.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L
You are in control of what you choose – remember that.

There are two things that you need to know – and firstly is the Cherry MX switch difference. Though they’re both genuine Cherry MX switches, RGB variant comes with the genuine Cherry MX RGB variant of switches (the one with translucent switch casing, obviously), but the White LEDs version comes with the genuine classic Cherry MX switches – the one with an opaque black switch casing. I’ve highlighted the different between Cherry MX RGB Brown and classic Cherry MX Brown before, and the typing experience is significantly different. Cooler Master sent me both the RGB and White LEDs in Brown switches too, so I can really tell you that it’s not a “defective unit” issue.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Secondly, the LEDs themselves. RGB variants come with surface-mounted LEDs, whereas the White LED version uses DIP LEDs. You can replace DIP LEDs with relative ease, so you can truly Make It Yours (Cooler Master’s Master series tagline, wink wink) by soldering your own single-coloured LEDs. I’ve done something similar to my own mechanical keyboard, which you can click here to check out the full details.

I like the classic Brown switches – just because I’ve got accustomed to it. Your taste might be different, which I why I can only tell you about the keyboard itself, but not the switch. Again, do try it on your own and determine which suits you best.

[nextpage title=”Conclusion”]

Wrapping up the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs review

As for the price of the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs, it retails for RM 388, which is a significant price difference from its RGB sibling. With this price at hand, it’s actually cheaper than the Ducky One with LEDs. However, the Ducky One series has a DIP switch at the back to control where the Fn key goes – which is a huge plus since I’d like to have my Menu key back.

Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L

Again, everything is up to personal preference – and if the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs suit your needs and aesthetics – this is a great keyboard, just like its RGB sibling.

You can click here to find the deal for the MasterKeys Pro L White LEDs here!
Alternatively, click here to have a look at the Store Uni and their exclusive deals for the MasterKeys series of keyboards!


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