It was about a year ago when we had our first look at a retail implementation of the Aimpad analog control technology in the Cooler Master MK850 with hybrid keyboard/Xbox controller functionality on eight keys. Things worked relatively well, but the software experience was barely out of beta at the time, and some games did not like the quick switching from keyboard input to game pad input. More importantly, eight keys were not really enough to experience the controller functionality well, and Cooler Master was promising a better Aimpad experience sooner rather than later. It took a long time, including a Kickstarter campaign that is still fulfilling backers at the time of writing, but their ControlPad is finally a thing! Thanks again to Cooler Master for sending along a review sample to TechPowerUp.
The Cooler Master ControlPad is a 24-key pad that aims to cut down the fat when it comes to specialized functionality, be it for gaming or with applications such as Adobe Photoshop. The form factor is not new with many companies offering a version with gaming in mind especially, but the ControlPad with Aimpad analog control is a whole other beast if it works as intended. Cooler Master promises all 24 keys to have analog control for customization, which makes it a legitimate replacement for a standalone controller, but at the same time is a standalone accessory still as it does not replace an entire keyboard. Oh, there is per-key RGB lighting too, just in case you were wondering. Let's go over the product in detail, beginning with a look at the specifications below.
|Cooler Master ControlPad|
|Layout:||24-key form factor keypad|
|Material:||ABS plastic case and keycaps, anodized aluminium frame|
|Weight:||0.58 kg/1.28 lbs.|
|Wrist Rest:||Yes, included|
|Anti-ghosting:||Full N-Key rollover USB|
|Media Keys:||Available as a layered function|
|Switch Type:||Choice of Gateron or Cherry MX linear RGB switch|
|Backlighting:||Yes, 16.8 M per-key RGB lighting|