Design & Build QualityIn terms of the design & build quality Cooler Master have kept it simple and have gone for a minimalist design while keeping the build quality high. It features a brushed aluminium face plate and a plastic back which is enough to ensure the keyboard has no flex in it but is still light at 850g.
A sorely missed feature is that of height adjustment legs on the bottom the keyboard, this coupled with the fact there is no included wrist wrest could be off putting for some people. A quick search did show that the keyboards that included these additional items were pricier than the CK550 but there is no excuse for not including height adjustable legs.
PerformanceThe switch types that the CK550 can be equipped with are the brown, red & blue variants. The Red switches are comparable to Cherry's Red switches and the Brown variants are a hybrid between a Linear & Clicky switch which don't generate the clicky sound but do feature the tactile bump.
The CK550 sample that we have been provided with for this review feature the Gateron Blue switches, which feature a click and a tactile bump when pressed, and we'd like to point out that the clacking will annoy your peers if you're using it in an office.
Our findings of the Gateron Blue switches are consistent with general opinion on the internet, that the switches are very smooth, but they are VERY loud, although they couldn't be heard through our headphones with active noise cancellation. There is a very nice level of resistance to them and we liked them in both typing and gaming scenarios and the quality is so much closer to that of Cherry than other non-cherry mechanical switches.
SoftwareYou can control the RGB lighting, your custom Macros and re-assign keys within Cooler Master's Portal Software, there are a smattering of RGB presets as well as the ability to customise them. Recording and assigning macros to any key was great, and really easy to do. A video demonstration is available in the video below.