The Roccat Ryos TKL Pro is a small form-factor mechanical gaming keyboard that combines Roccat’s powerful software and a few extras to create one of the best—albeit also one of the biggest—ten-keyless-keyboards in its class.
Roccat has created an extensive and impressive array of PC gaming peripherals that have repeatedly demonstrated that Roccat can proudly stand among other industry heavyweights such as Razer, Logitech, and SteelSeries.
The Ryos TKL Pro proves it again, and wasted no time in becoming an almost instant favorite and assuming a prominent position on an extra workstation/PC, where it gets almost daily use for work and play.
Features and Design
- Compact, ten-keyless form factor
- 91 total programmable keys
- Available in 4 key switch types: blue, black, brown and red. (Review unit equipped with brown.)
- Per-key illumination (blue)
- 3 dedicated macro buttons
- Can store up to 470 macros in its internal memory
- 2 x 32-bit ARM processors to eliminate potential software driver latency
- 2 MB built-in flash memory
- N-key rollover
- 1000 Hz polling rate, 1 ms response time
- 1.8 m rear-exit braided USB cable
- Dimensions: 23.3 cm X 40.4 cm
- Smudge-proof, glossy look
The Roccat Ryos TKL Pro is a small form factor board, but it is larger than most of the boards in its class because of its non-detachable wrist rest—a feature shared by its bigger brethren such as the Ryos MK Pro and the (non-mechanical) Isku F/X.
On the other hand, the TKL also uses some of the extra space it consumes by providing 3 dedicated macro keys—a relatively rare feature in the 10-keyless form factor. In addition, Roccat’s software, much like Razer’s Synapse software for Razer peripherals, lets you create macros (up to 470 total) and assign them to virtually any key on the keyboard by using the Easy-Shift and FN keys.
Macros and setting are stored in the keyboard’s onboard memory and processed by dual ARM processors, so there’s no software driver/PC processing required. It’s not much (if any) of a real-world advantage in terms of eliminating and noticable, real-world latency, but it makes for good bullet points on the box.
And like other Roccat peripherals, the Roccat software will talk to you and even award achievements. It’s silly but oddly endearing, and believe it or not it can be useful at times, informing you when you’ve changed profiles or walking you through recording a macro. (Don’t worry, you can turn the voice feature off if you like.)
The TKL Pro also provides per-key LED illumination and a range of special effects, adding some fancier lighting options than most of its competitors, although only in blue for the time being. As of this writing, Roccat hasn’t quite caught up (yet) to the mechanical keyboard ‘ultra-color revolution’ as demonstrated by the Logitech G910, Razer Blackwidow Chroma, and Corsair K95 RGB keyboards—but rest assured they will have some very cool things ahead. (Personally, I’m still waiting on the Sova…)
Performance & general use
The Ryos TKL Pro is a great keyboard for gaming or typing, with the performance you’d expect of just about any keyboard backed by Cherry MX brown switches. (Note that the TKL Pro is available in other switch types; the review unit just happened to have Cherry MX Brown switches—my second favorite switch, generally speaking.)
The addition of the 3 ‘Thumbster’ keys (as Roccat calls them) below the spacebar and Roccat’s excellent software give the Roccat Ryos TKL Pro a strong edge over many—if not most—small form factor mechanical keyboards in its class. The Thumbster keys, however, would be better if they were a little bigger and easier to press. They are quite stiff and have a very low profile, but may have been a little ‘over-engineered’ to prevent accidentally triggering them but at a cost to usability.
Roccat delivers another excellent keyboard option to gamers and doesn’t disappoint. If the size of the Ryos TKL Pro isn’t a problem for you. Be sure to weigh its larger-than-average depth because of its wrist rest into your buying decision. Otherwise the Ryos TKL Pro has virtually everything its competitors have and a little more. It also packs a slightly higher price, however, weighing it at around $140 on the (Amazon) street.