Roccat are back on eTeknix once again, this time with the latest and hopefully, their greatest keyboard they’ve ever produced! The new Roccat Ryos MK FX RGB Mechanical Keyboards takes everything we know and love about the already fantastic Ryos range, and gives it a glorious RGB switch upgrade, allowing Roccat to take their already impressive lighting engine to a whole new and far more colourful level.
“The Ryos MK FX offers fully customizable, ROCCAT®-enginereed Per-Key RGB illumination in two convenient modes: preset and custom. This means you can add awesome special effects in 16.8 million colors to your keystrokes, configure your keyboard to highlight your in-game and application key bindings, your modifier keys, your system controls as well as your macro sequences and cool-downs plus much, much more.” – Roccat
Of course, aesthetically pleasing lighting effects are one thing, but the Ryos MK FX is no slouch in other departments and is easily one of the best-equipped keyboards on the market today. With full 16.8 million colour lighting, two 32-bit ARM Cortex processors with 2MB of flash memory ensuring lag-free processing of lighting, macros recording, Cherry MX switches, AlienFX, Roccat Talk, Easy-Shift, dedicated macro keys, thumbster keys, n-key rollover and more.
“Do you pick style or performance when you look for the perfect weapon to add to your gaming arsenal? Do it the ROCCAT way: pick both. Purpose built for hardcore gamers, the Ryos MK FX is the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard on the market. Using all of ROCCAT’s industry expertise and gaming experience, the Ryos MK FX boasts a feature set so comprehensive and a design so eye-watering you’ll be leading the pack by miles – complete with 16.8 million color per-key RGB illumination.” – Roccat
The packaging keeps in theme with all the other Roccat keyboards we’ve seen, but one noticeable difference is the extra aura of colour around the keyboard; very colourful!
A few technical details around the box tell us that we’ve got MX Brown switches, the UK layout and some of the cool features of the board, but since we’ve already discussed these, let’s move on and open up the box!
With the outer slip cover removed, you’ll find a sturdy inner box with a Ryos logo.
Inside that, the Ryos keyboard, protected with a lot of cardboard spacers to keep it safe, as well as a custom plastic top cover and some plastic strips to prevent scratches in transit.
The keyboard comes hard-wired with a thick braided cable and has dual USB headers for extra power, as well as a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for pass-through connectivity.
A Closer Look
The design of the MK FX is classic Roccat, keeping the same oversized design that we’ve come to know and love. There’s an extended chassis at the front edge, providing you with a built-in wrist rest that will help keep your hands comfortable during those long work days and gaming sessions.
Tucked into the wrist rest are those unique thumbster keys. By default, these scroll through lighting profiles, but you can configure them to any key you want, macros, push to talk and anything else you can think of.
down the left side, five dedicated macro keys, perfect for deploying shortcuts and fantastic to use for MMO gaming.
There aren’t any dedicated multimedia keys on the MK FX, but you will find a set of FN-shift functions, with F-1 to F3 giving you control over volume.
F5-F8 give you more functions, allowing you to control your multimedia; these are great for skipping through songs while you’re working and/or gaming.
There’s also a few common app shortcuts, such as my computer and web browser. Finally, F12 has a macro record function for on-the-fly recording.
The keyboard has a really cool pattern that mixes glossy dots with a matte finish background, giving a sort of futuristic carbon look to the keyboard.
A full-size number pad, and good key spacing between the various key groups. The keyboard is quite wide because of this, but shouldn’t prove troublesome for anyone but those with very small desktops.
The front edge of the keyboard is quite slim, and there’s a gentle slope to the thicker rear section, providing you with an easily accessible typing angle. You can increase the height if needed using the flip-up feet on the base of the keyboard. On the rear left side, there’s a pair of audio jacks, allowing you to plug your headphones/microphone directly into the keyboard.
Around the back, just the hard-wired braided cable in the center, but otherwise it’s nice and tidy here.
On the base, you’ll find a few cable routeing channels as well as four large and very grippy rubber pads; one in each corner. There’s also a long wide rubber strip at the front edge, helping provide fantastic grip overall. We mashed at the keys and tried to slide it around on our desktop and it just wouldn’t budget one bit.
There are two durable flip-up feet at the back, which also have small rubber grips, so you’re not losing too much traction by using them.
There was no key cap puller included in the box, which is a shame as they’re an essential maintenance tool for mechanical keyboards. However, we have our own so we got the caps off just fine. Behind the caps, you’ll see the RGB MX Brown switches looking great as always, as well as a glossy white backplate that’s going to help reflect the RGB lighting for some slick underlighting effects.
Hooking up the MK FX is as easy as plug and play. All the major features work right out of the box and there are some nice colours already programmed in for you to enjoy and even the macro recording can be done on-the-fly directly from the keyboard.
“Swarm is the software incarnation of ROCCAT’s future ready philosophy. It’ll cover you for all relevant gaming platforms and devices. It’s the next-gen system that keeps on top all games, apps and ROCCAT products in one place. Computer side it’s a veritable gaming command HQ, smartphone side it’s a convenient app for an extension of the computer software. Full control at your fingertips.” – Roccat
Of course, if you want to get the absolute most out of it, you’ll want to download the software and that’s when the real fun starts. You can apply hundreds of macros, sync up commands and lighting with other Roccat products, control various aspects and get stats on your mobile and more.
The RGB lighting is certainly impressive, giving every key a colourful under glow and nice and clear lettering. Of course, you can tweak the colour till your heart is content, changing effects, per key combinations and layouts. The possibilities are endless here. For the sake of telling you what you can already see, let’s talk about the core performance of the keyboard as we flip through a few images of the lighting!
Gaming on this keyboard is quite simply amazing, although to have expected anything less would be crazy. It’s a premium grade keyboard and features those lovely Cherry MX Brown switches. If you’ve ever used MX Brown before, then you know almost exactly what you’re going to get here in terms of typing response. The only subtle differences I can pick out are that the keyboard is very rigid and quite heavy, this means that there’s less rattle or clank to the keys overall, and while MX Brown aren’t exactly noisy, they seem a little quieter here and the keys don’t bottom out on the chassis, so you don’t get as much of a “clack” from the key cap when you hit them hard.
The macro engine, thumbster keys, dedicated macro keys and the Easy Shift function open up a huge amount of possibilities for key combinations. For simulation gaming and MMORPG style gaming, you’ll no doubt want a lot of commands at your fingertips and this keyboard certainly delivers that. Recording and storing macros directly to the keyboard couldn’t be easier and with the Easy Shift function (a custom shift that can be set to any key), you unlock a second tier of functions for every key on the keyboard, giving you even more options to play around with.
The relatively flat design of the keyboard, as well as the built-in wrist rest, feels a little strange at first, but after a long gaming session, you can certainly feel less strain in your wrists thanks to the comfortable ergonomics. This does mean the keyboard is quite large, but the oversize chassis and comfortable key spacing have clear benefits in the long run; just make sure you’ve got enough room on your desktop for it.
While it is tuned to be a high-performance, feature-packed gaming keyboard, this is still just a great quality mechanical keyboard all-round, so using it all day, every day for work and gaming is not a problem. The ability to save multiple profiles directly to the keyboard means you’re only a button press away from your League of Legends lighting and macro setup, to something a little more refined and functional when you need to be the master of Microsoft Office.
Finally, we can round off with two quick videos which show off some of the more advanced lighting effects and features.
The Roccat Ryos MK FX Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is currently available from Kustom PCs for around £150, which isn’t especially cheap, but this isn’t your everyday mechanical keyboard. When it comes to this level of features and performance, you have to expect a premium price tag and the MK FX is on par with the best of the best in the peripheral market. It’s about the same price as other flagship keyboards, such as the Blackwidow from Razer, G910 from Logitech and Shine 5 from Ducky and a few others.
Equipped with the best hardware and features on the gaming market today, the MK FX is no slouch. The mechanical switches are always a great place to start, but it’s the little touches that set this keyboard apart from the competition. The Swarm software engine is without a doubt the most comprehensive, customisable and accessible of any similar products on the market, allowing quick and easy adjustment to virtually every aspect of the performance, and more features than you’re likely to use in their entirety. Tweaking the lighting, macros, button configuration and so much more couldn’t be any easier. Add to that the extra macro keys, EasyShift functionality and you’re on your way to a Swiss army knife type setup that keeps everything at your fingertips.
With a full bank of premium grade mechanical gaming switches from Cherry, that are sure to last for many years to come, a durable chassis and thick braided cables, there’s no doubt that the build quality is likely to outlast a few system upgrades and keep you happy for a very long time. It’s quite a big keyboard, but while that can be a downside for some, the fact that it incorporates its own wrist rest is a big advantage. The thick rubber grips on the base are easily the grippiest and most durable we’ve seen too, there’s virtually no chance of this thing sliding around your desktop when you’re raging at the keys in a game of League of Legends.
It is expensive, but when you look at the level of features and performance on offer here, it’s certainly one of the most competitive premium grade gaming keyboards on the market today. There may be a fair few high-end RGB keyboards on the market right now, and almost all of them have been amazing, but the overall design and ergonomics of the Ryos just stands out for me that little bit more, although your personal taste may differ.
- Great build quality
- Comprehensive and easy to use software
- RGB lighting with great effects
- Braided cable with headset pass-through
- Built-in wrist rest
- Dedicated macro keys and EasyShift function
- Nice aesthetics
- Could be a little large for some people’s desktops
“The MK FX is easily the greatest Ryos series keyboard Roccat has produced to date. Equipped with all the latest features, flawless high-end performance and exceptional build quality, which make it one of the best high-end gaming keyboards money can buy.”
Thank you Roccat for providing us with this sample.