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Cooler Master launches a pair of mechanical keyboards with PBT keycaps

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At a quick glance, you might be hard pressed to tell the difference between Cooler Master's new MasterKeys L (opens in new tab) and MasterKeys S (opens in new tab) mechanical keyboards, and the rest of its MasterKeys lineup. What separates these latest planks apart is that Cooler Master switched over to using PBT keycaps.

That may sound like a minor thing, but one of the benefits of PBT keycaps versus more commonly found ABS keycaps is that they're more resistant to wear and tear. One of the most frustrating things about ABS keycaps is they become shiny over time. I've seen this occur on numerous mechanical keyboards with ABS keycaps, even the Das Keyboard Professional 4, my daily driver until I swapped it out for a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate.

PBT keycaps are not without their downsides, either. The biggest drawback is they're comparatively brittle and can be prone to breakage. To combat that, Cooler Master went with keycaps that are 1.5mm thick, which is nearly twice as thick as a standard ABS keycap.

Built to withstand even the fastest of fingers, the keycaps on these boards are injection molded, double laser-etched, and fiber reinforced. They are resistant to solvents, mechanically strong and do not 'shine' like traditional ABS keycaps tend to do over time," Cooler Master says. "With these, you won’t have to worry about wear and tear due to sweaty fingers."

Outside of PBT keycaps. the full-size MasterKeys L and tenkeyless MasterKeys S both use Cherry MX Red switches that are quiet and tactile. Both also feature a minimalistic bezel design.

Cooler Master includes a set of seven extra red red keycaps to replace the traditional set of gaming keys  (WASD and surrounding Q, A, E, and R keys). Otherwise, it's short on gaming features—there are no dedicated macro keys, though you can switch on-the-fly from QWERTY, Dvorak, or Workrman, if you want to.

The MasterKeys S PBT ($80 / £80) and MasterKeys L PBT ($90 / £100) will be available at the end of June.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).