Simply put, Corsair did a phenomenal job with the STRAFE RGB keyboard, and the MX Silent switches gives the keyboard a slightly more elegant touch. There is no need to modify your keycaps with rubber O-rings to silence the loud clicking of a Red switch, rather the new silent switches take care of that for you and do a very good job.
Those disliking the “clickity-clack” of mechanical keyboards will probably appreciate the MX Silent switches – I know I do – and Corsair is the exclusive manufacturer utilizing them currently. Since I have no way of comparing the noise level via a sound meter, I would have to say it’s a tad quieter than your traditional quiet membrane keyboards. A very common one that I’ve got a lot of mileage under is something like this Dell keyboard, found at a lot of businesses or homes.
It took no time to appreciate the quality of the fully mechanical STRAFE RGB. The keyboard is solid, keystrokes feel extremely smooth and precise, and the lighting is just awesome. It has a bit of heft to it, which does help build a sense of quality. Featuring a full 104-key rollover, you don’t have to worry about keypresses not being accepted.
The per-key illumination is beyond awesome, because not only can you assign one of 16.8 million color choices, but you can have some wicked-cool effects behind your keys. Check out Corsair’s website and forums for lighting profiles that will work with the STRAFE; you will be impressed with what some people can do.
If you liked what you saw today, you can get your very own STRAFE RGB featuring Cherry MX Silent switches at Best Buy for $159.99 or Corsair’s online store for $159.99 with free shipping. If you don’t care about the noise level, you can purchase the STRAFE RGB with MX Red switches for $149.99 on Amazon or MX Brown switches for $149.99 as well. You will receive a full 2-year warranty on your keyboard, with a guaranteed 50 million keypresses per switch, so there should be very little concern with your new investment.
We’ve recently looked at a competing RGB keyboard and the STRAFE RGB definitely has some pretty tough and lesser expensive competition out in the wild. What Corsair has riding behind them is the fact that they’re using Cherry MX switches, which a large chunk of people will tend to know and trust vs. house brand knock-off switches.
I think if I had to nitpick about a few things with this keyboard, it would have to start with the fact that this keyboard doesn’t have a braided cable, rather it’s just standard rubber. For the current cost of this keyboard, one has almost come to expect nicer looking cables. Regarding the wrist rest, while it feels great thanks to its soft touch feel, but it is a bit flimsy and could use a little bulking up to stiffen it. I occasionally found it wiggling around while typing, albeit only slightly. Lastly, I’m not sure how many others are out there, but I’m not a WASD gamer, rather I’m an ESDF gamer – it feels more natural and you have access to more keys. With that said, I found that the FPS caps were useless to me, even when trying to utilize the MOBA keycaps since the contour was incorrect.
When it comes to lighting, the only flaw that I found is with the secondary key functions, such as your !, @, #, etc. symbols. With the LED being at the top of the switch, the illumination is weak at the bottom of the switch where these functions are listed. I can’t say that Corsair will be alone in this flaw, though, as this is going to be a common issue among many different backlit keyboards. Next, I would have liked to see Corsair allow the ability to change the color of the white side accents, instead of just on or off. Don’t get me wrong, I really dig the white accent, but I think others may want to change it to red, blue, or manly pink for example. Lastly along the lines of the lighting, I wish the keyboard’s lighting had a timeout period that it would turn the lighting off. I tend to walk away from my computer for hours at a time or just lock it when I go to bed, so I have to make sure I turn off the lighting manually. Thankfully adding a timeout period should be a simple software update, so perhaps Corsair will make this change down the road.
It was really tough finding anything seriously wrong with this keyboard, as I find all of the aforementioned pretty minor flaws.
While the price tag is a tad high, which you do tend to find with Corsair’s RGB keyboards, I think Corsair has a hit on their hands, which is why I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this keyboard to my family, friends, or you.
Legit Bottom Line: Corsair’s STRAFE RGB with Cherry MX Silent switches is a remarkable keyboard that’s fully customizable. I feel this keyboard is almost perfect and is a true gamer’s dream.