Cooler Master CK720 review: CM’s excellent enthusiast entry

Throwing its hat in the enthusiast ring

Cooler Master CK720 on a blue mat
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

The Cooler Master CK720 may be CM’s first crack at enthusiast-level mechanical keyboards, but it’s a fantastic one with smooth and stable keys, a great feel and sound, and plenty of customizations. There are some needed refinements, but this 65% keyboard is an impressive first attempt.


  • +

    Amazing sound, satisfying feel

  • +

    Smooth and stable keys

  • +

    Hot-swappable and highly customizable

  • +

    Compact form, plenty of shortcuts


  • -

    Top plate is tricky to remove

  • -

    Somewhat pricey

  • -

    Not many accessories available yet

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Cooler Master CK720: Two-minute review

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the top gaming keyboard manufacturers really need to throw their hats in the keyboard modding ring. They have been but the going was slow, with Razer releasing its Razer PBT keycap upgrade sets and coiled cables back in 2020, Roccat just rolling out the first keyboard in its popular Vulcan line with removable keycaps in 2022, and HyperX only launching its customized keycaps this year.

Luckily, some of the best gaming keyboard brands are starting to pick up the pace, especially with the release of the Cooler Master CK720, CM’s first foray into the hot-swappable, mod-friendly enthusiast keyboard game. It isn’t the first one to get there, with the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless hitting the shelves a few months earlier. 

However, it is a promising early attempt that makes me look forward to what comes next. And, I probably would rate it as one of the best mechanical keyboards for beginners who want to get into keyboard modding

Cooler Master CK720 on a blue mat

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

This is a 65% keyboard, which in my opinion is the perfect compromise. It keeps some of the vital dedicated keys – like the arrow keys – while maintaining a small footprint that’s ideal for smaller or nomadic setups. And, while it isn’t the lightest I’ve tested, it won’t be a struggle lugging it around in your backpack if you want to bring it to the office, even if that office is at a resort in Hawaii.

Though it's a mostly simple-looking keyboard, many of the Cooler Master CK720’s parts are customizable or replaceable. It’s hot-swappable, meaning you can pull out the existing switches with a switch puller and replace them with other switches. 

Naturally, its PBT doubleshot keycaps, available in black and white, are removable and replaceable as well; so is its cable so you can switch it out to your favorite coiled cable as I did. In fact, so is its top plate, although removing that one – you have to pull a small, hidden lever to loosen and remove it – can be such a pain it’s almost not worth it. Cooler Master currently does not sell top plates in different colors and designs anyway.

Remove the top plate, however, and you’ll be able to access the rest of the keyboard parts. Not that you’d want to as CM has taken pains to make it a well-built board. It’s fitted with the brand’s new pre-lubed stabilizers as well as two separate silicone dampening pads (one on the PCB and one on the bottom cover).

There’s a three-way multi-function knob, also known as a rotary encoder, at the top right corner that works with media controls by default but whose functions can be remapped on the MasterPlus software. You can use it to cycle through RGB lighting effects, as navigation keys, to access macros, and more.

While we’re on the subject, installing MasterPlus opens the keyboard up to a whole world of customizations. Being a mini keyboard, it already comes with on-the-fly shortcuts, but the software just gives you a whole lot more control over your per-key lighting, remapping, and macros. I highly recommend downloading it.

Without it, the Cooler Master CK720 is already an incredible gaming keyboard. Its standard 1,000Hz polling rate was more than enough to keep up with games like Cyberpunk 2077 and battling rot monsters and bosses in Kena: Bridge of Spirits during my testing. Plus, I didn’t experience any latency due to its wired connectivity.

Cooler Master CK720 on a blue mat

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

As great as it is for gaming, it’s also an incredible keyboard for productivity. In fact, as far as enjoying a satisfying typing experience, this is one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used. That’s thanks in part to the Kailh Box V2 red switches it’s fitted with (both white and brown switch variants are also available) as well as due to the stabilizers inside. As a result, those keys not only deliver that satisfying linear feel, but are also very smooth and stable.

Mech keys, especially clicky ones, tend to be loud, but the addition of the two dampening pads here are somewhat successful at minimizing the noise. While I have used much quieter keyboards, the CK720 isn’t too bad either. I just wish that my linear red version delivered a more thocky sound, but what I’m getting is something between that and a clacky sound. That’s not a deal-breakers per se, but if you’re more discerning about your keyboard’s sound profile, you’ll want to do a sound test first.

Cooler Master CK720: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost?  $115.99 / £93.07 / AU$172.67 
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Cooler Master CK720’s price tag is about on par with many enthusiast mech keyboards in its class. It’ll set you back $115.99 / £93.07 / AU$172.67, which is probably more than most people would pay for a keyboard but is just about what most enthusiasts would spend on a new keyboard to add to their collection.

In the best mini gaming keyboards realm, however, it’s actually cheaper than the competition. The wireless Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed, for example, is an eye-watering $199.99 / £189.99 / AU$329.95 while the wired Roccat Vulcan II Mini will set you back $149.99 / £129.99 / AU$259.95. Both have a mini layout; unlike the CK720, neither is hot-swappable.

The CK720 is now readily available in the US, the UK, and Australia.

  •  Value: 4.5 / 5 

Cooler Master CK720: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Layout: 65%
Switch: Kailh Box V2 red, white, brown switches
Programmable keys: Yes
Dimensions: 334 x 118 x 37 mm (13.15 x 4.65 x 1.46 inches)
RGB or backlighting: Yes, customizable

Should you buy the Cooler Master CK720?

Cooler Master CK720 on a blue mat

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
ValueIt costs about the same as other mech boards, but it’s cheaper then most of the top mini gaming keyboards.4.5 / 5
DesignIt’s compact, hot-swappable, and mod-friendly. It’s also well-built, even though the top plate is a little tricky to remove.4.5 / 5
PerformanceBecause of its combination of switches, stabilizers and dampeners, this is a pretty smooth and stable keyboard that’s satisfying to use for work and gaming.4.5 / 5
Average ratingThe Cooler Master CK720 could use some minor refinements, but it’s an impressive first attempt.4.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a mini gaming keyboard for less
Top mini gaming keyboards are much more expensive. With the Cooler Master CK720, you’re getting the same level of performance for less.

You’re starting to get into keyboard modding
If you want to step into the enthusiast keyboard world but need to do so with a trusted brand, this hot-swappable keyboard from Cooler Master is a great start.

Don't buy it if...

You’re a master modder
Experienced modders might want a more premium board to build their next keyboard. This one’s best for beginners.

You want a keyboard with more pizazz
While you can mod and spruce it up, your starting board is a little on the plainer side. The only thing that’s fancy here is the top plate, which has a more metallic finish.

Cooler Master CK720: Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Cooler Master CK720Corsair K70 Pro Mini WirelessRazer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed
Price:$115.99 / £93.07 / AU$172.67$179.99 / £169.99 / AU$299.00$199.99 / £189.99 / AU$329.95
Switch:Kailh Box V2 red, white, brown switches Cherry MX SPEED SilverRazer mechanical switches
Programmable keys:YesYesYes
Dimensions:334 x 118 x 37 mm (13.15 x 4.65 x 1.46 inches)239 x 108 x 39 mm (9.41 x 4.29 x 1.57 inches)319 x 131 x 41 mm (12.55 x 5.15 x 1.61 inches)
RGB or backlighting: Yes, customizableYes, customizableYes, customizable

Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless
Offering a ridiculous amount of customizability options, this 60% keyboard delivers phenomenal performance in a compact package. This keyboard is a dream for someone wanting a truly personalized experience.

Read our full Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless review


Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed
The sweet spot for gaming and working, this keyboard oozes style, quality and performance. It is beautifully made, striking to look at and has the performance a serious gamer will crave.

Read our full Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini review

How I tested the Cooler Master CK720

  • Spent a few weeks testing it
  • Used it mostly for gaming and work
  • Tested its features and performance as well as did some modding

I tested the Cooler Master CK720 for a few weeks, using it as my gaming keyboard and my main keyboard for work. I tested it with games like Cyberpunk 2077, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, and Hogwarts Legacy. I also used it to compose emails and write articles.

I made sure to mod it to see how easy it is to customize, removing the keycaps and switches as well as top plate and replacing the former two with keycaps and switches from my collection.

As a keyboard enthusiast, I own a small collection of mechanical keyboards, many of them hot-swappable and I customize when I find the time. I’ve also been testing keyboards, from productivity ones to gaming options, for years now, even before I joined the TechRadar Editorial team.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is the former Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.