Cooler Master's MasterHUB takes a modular approach to control panels — the Stream Deck competitor will launch this summer

Cooler Master MasterHUB in action
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Some might say you can never have enough buttons for controlling your PC. When we stopped by Cooler Master's Computex 2024 booth, it showed us its upcoming MasterHUB, due out this summer. The MasterHUB provides a set of customizable LED keys like those you'd find on an Elgato Stream Deck, with a unique twist. There are multiple components you can buy and snap onto a base that uses magnetic pogo pins to hold your dials, buttons, levers, and screens in place, letting you assemble your ultimate control panel.

At launch, Cooler Master plans to offer five different modules: the 15-key IPS display module (the one that looks like the main part of a Stream Deck), a five-slide fader control, a two-roller scroll module, a three-dial module, and a large LED dial with a customizable display. The first three of these modules plus the required magnetic base will be bundled together and sold as the MasterHUB Stream Kit for $399.

You can also purchase individual parts, though you can't use them unless you buy the $99 magnetic base. You'll be able to customize and control the MasterHUB using Cooler Master's software, which will have built-in function sets for popular programs such as OBS and Photoshop. You can also record custom keyboard macros and remap keys.

Cooler Master MasterHUB

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

While we watched, a Cooler Master rep showed us how the keys could transform into arrow keys so she could use them to control a character in a platformer game. Company reps told us that creators like to use the scroll wheels for scrubbing through videos and that the fader sliders could be good for adjusting lighting in a smart home or even inside of one's PC.

The keys on the 15-key LCD panel feel like snappy laptop keys. They're not super clicky but have some decent feedback. Each one contains a full-color image, which can be a still picture or an animated GIF. These are exactly like the keys we've seen on the Stream Deck and Loupedeck controllers.

Cooler Master has big plans for the MasterHUB as the company was also showing off several other modules that won't be available until later, perhaps as late as 2025. There are three different screens on the way, including a 5-inch touchscreen option.

Cooler Master MasterHUB screens

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

A video demonstrated someone using a mouse to draw a box around of a set of controls in a photo editor, and then just those controls appeared on the MasterHUB screen where the user could adjust them. This functionality would allow you to easily put just the image source section of OBS on its own little screen.

The other two upcoming screens are smaller and made for showing information such as CPU speed, what song is playing, or other details. Cooler Master also told us that there will be different magnetic base sizes. Where the current one can hold around three wide modules or six small square modules, future bases will be larger.

All the modules we saw at the Cooler Master booth appeared to have excellent build quality. Both the standalone screens and the displays on LCD keys were bright and colorful. The dials seemed taut, with just the right amount of feedback as we turned them.

To prop up the MasterHUB, you can either use a magnetic foot that attaches to the bottom, buy an optional stand, or get a magnetic attachment that will allow you to mount it on a mic boom. At Cooler Master's booth, there was a MasterHUB on a free-standing mic stand being used as part of a racing simulator.

Cooler Master MasterHUB in action

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Overall, the MasterHUB seems like an intriguing option for creators and power users, but it's also expensive. The Stream Deck MK.2, which has a 15-LCD key panel and no other controls, costs just $124 these days. At $99 for just the magnetic base, or $399 for the basic starter kit, you're paying quite a premium for the added controls and modularity. We'll see if the MasterHUB is truly worth that premium when it comes out this summer.

Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch is Tom's Hardware's editor-in-chief. When he's not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you'll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.