Corsair recently released the STRAFE mechanical gaming keyboard, a new keyboard that comes with Cherry MX mechanical key switches, red background lighting, changeable keys, and software for selecting unique effects and brightness on the keys. And for those who really like to go beyond the basic setup, users can take advantage of the software to remap keys and create assignments for macros, text pasting, key-press combinations, shortcuts, timer countdowns, and media controls.
After downloading the software for the keyboard, users are able to choose the brightness level and one of six different effects, such as ripple, wave, and visor. They can also choose the effect for all keys, as well as the W, A, S, D and arrow keys. For my settings, I selected a darker red to represent each key and a brighter red for my W, A, S, D keys. As I play a lot of first-person games using those keys, I figured I would like having more brightness on those keys during play. As mentioned above though, the software does create for a lot of customizable options for those who want to go more in-depth.
The Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard comes with extra keys and a tool that makes switching out keys very simple. There are two sets of extra keys for players to switch, and each key has a unique curve and grip depending on play. These keys can replace the usual keys for first-person shooters or MOBA’s. I play a lot of shooters so I quickly went to switching out the standard W, A, S, D keys with the grip keys. It’s incredibly easy to switch out and I prefer having them on the keyboard. The A and D keys both have curved edges; the A key with a slanted edge on the left side of the key and the D key with the slant on the right side, making it easy for fingers to find, grip, and not “over shoot” when going for that key.
The MOBA keys are designed nicely in a similar fashion for players who are familiar with using those functions. Each have grips and are designed for having a positive effect on the player’s gameplay. The MOBA keys include Q, W, D, F, E and R. I actually decided to place the R grip key on my keyboard as well for when I need to reach for the reload button in shooters. Also, speaking of keys with grips, the standard spacebar key has a grip on it as well.
The STRAFE also comes with a USB port on the top side of the keyboard, providing an alternative place for users to connect items to. The keyboard itself takes up two USB ports, so it’s nice to have that option available right there at your fingertips.
The use of the keyboard really is quite nice when it comes to using it during gameplay. It’s incredibly responsive and feels very good. I will say that it took a minute to get used to the extra height on the keys. To readers that do not own a wrist bar, I would consider looking in to getting one when purchasing this keyboard; it helps a lot for comfort. The STRAFE also has good weight and doesn’t easily move around at all. It’s probably one of the heavier keyboards I’ve used, and I like that.
Overall I am very happy with the Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard. It’s responsive and effective in all the right areas, and it’s a joy to use while running in gunning in all the latest shooters. Red is the only color available for this keyboard, so if that’s not an issue with your setup then by all means give this board a good look for consideration.