Yesterday we found an excellent deal on a luxurious mechanical keyboard (that’s still available), and today we’ve got a keyboard deal for the more budget conscious. Amazon is selling our favorite budget keyboard on the cheap. The Cooler Master CK522 is just $50 today after you clip the $20 off coupon under the price. That’s a revelation in a world where well-made, fully backlit RGB keyboards usually go for $100 or more.
We loved the Cooler Master CK552, awarding it 4.5 stars and a coveted Editors’ Choice award. It packs vibrant per-key RGB lighting that you usually don’t see in a lower end keyboard. It also has a simple and clean look with an exposed brushed metal backplate. You won’t find any special features such as macro keys, dedicated media keys, or a volume roller. It’s a solid, straightforward mechanical keyboard with all the essential keys and a number pad.
Cooler Master decided not to use Cherry MX switches for this keyboard, opting for Gateron Red switches instead. In our assessment these keys had “the same linear action” and “the same 45 gram force requirement” as Cherry MX Red. We did feel, however, that the Gateron switches were a little smoother.
One area where this keyboard falls short of a typical MX Red keyboard is its noise. We found this keyboard to be particularly loud, which may be a result of the backplate and the keys rather than key itself. If you want a quiet mechanical keyboard, you’ll need to look elsewhere. But other than that, the Cooler Master CK552 is a fantastic low-cost keyboard, and today, it’s got an even more fantastic price than usual.