A keyboard is a keyboard is a keyboard. Isn’t it? With the Strafe, Corsair begs to differ.
Being from a non-gamer background, I haven’t been into the Razer mice, or keyboards setup for MMOs and RPGs, I use them for old fashioned typing. So I have to admit I was sceptical of this keyboard when it arrived, I had no idea why Cherry switches would make my life infinitely better, and that selective background lighting could change the way I worked.
Yet the Strafe has some interesting features, and yes is a joy to use. On first sight it’s a gamer’s wet dream, with a double USB connector to ensure your headset was always available, so threatening that 14 year old in Hickville, Tennessee was easy, and the keyboard lighting allowed you to see your Doritos and Mountain Dew whilst uplighting your neckbeard.
Jesting aside, the keyboard is a dream to use. Cherry MX keys are mechanical switches that give you positive feedback, and I can see why they’re coming back in fashion. You know you’ve hit a key with the Cherry switch, and a lot of mistakes in typing are around not properly hitting the keys, or hitting the key to the side. I can see its similarity with gaming, where the difference between hitting the right key and its neighbour can be catastrophic. The Strafe comes with FPS and MOBA replacement keys for the most important gaming keys. These are grey textured contoured keys, giving you instant feedback that you’re on the right key.
According to the blurb it has 104-Key rollover with 100% anti-ghosting, important I’m sure to those who know what they mean.
The Strafe comes with an accompanying application allowing you to re-assign or remap any key using macros, text, timers or mouse buttons. I’ve yet to explore these capabilities, yet in some applications I can see their strength, especially in Photoshop, with one button undo or redo programmable.
With gamification occurring more and more in business, and more employees being gamers, I imagine that these will find their way into a lot of businesses, and be used for the odd game across the network!
As a non-gamer, I can’t give too much gaming feedback which has seemed to dominate the reviews, however its use of mechanical switches has made me see these keyboards in a new light, and it has replaced my non mechanical keyboard plugged into the desktop. You can’t really give a better result then that to show its strengths.