Cooler Master's peripherals division has announced plans to single-handedly bring back the late 90s with the launch of a new keyboard constructed from translucent plastic: the MasterKeys Pro L RGB Crystal Edition.
Based, as the name implies, on the company's MasterKeys Pro L platform, the Crystal Edition is immediately recognisable as a special edition: the entirety of the keyboard's exterior, including every one of the blank keycaps, is made from a frosted, translucent plastic, evoking shades of the 90s when devices like the Game Boy Clear and Palm IIIe Special Edition ruled the roost. Cooler Master's reasoning: the promise that the per-key RGB LED lighting will be more easily visible and 'let your custom illuminations radiate brighter than ever before while the frosted coating protects from glare.
Lighting is, unsurprisingly, one of the keyboard's main selling points. The RGB lighting system features cutouts in the keyboard's PCB, which Cooler Master claims allows for the use of bigger and brighter LEDs while still using genuine Cherry MX RGB switches. The built-in processor supports a range of custom lighting modes, including ripple, wave, breathing, and snake animations, along with an audio-linked equaliser.
The processor, too, is being positioned by Cooler Master as something unique. While most programmable keyboards feature the ARM Cortex-M0 or Cortex-M0+ embedded processor, Cooler Master's latest uses a more powerful Cortex-M3 running at 72MHz. Around 25 percent faster clock-for-clock, the company claims the extra performance speeds loading and execution of custom macros.
The keyboard has launched in Cherry MX RGB Blue, Red, and Brown switch types - clicky, light-linear, and tactile respectively - priced at €179.95 on Cooler Master's official web store
(around £162 including taxes). Thus far, the company has only confirmed a US ANSI layout.