As always, the best way to test a keyboard performance is to put it through real world testing for a reasonable duration. This allows you to discover any kinks in the system, useful features and overall comfort levels. Typically this consists of gaming and general use testing.
The STRAFE keyboard was very easy to use, even straight out the box as it is pretty much plug and play, although you can spend hours fine-tuning the keyboard using the supplied software to make it suit you to the T. So now the testing!
I’m an avid gamer, so in my spare time I love to put in a few hours of solid gaming across numerous genres, however to get the best feel of the keyboard I stick with the main 3; FPS, RTS and MOBA. For FPS the keyboard is fantastic – especially with the contoured key caps on. They make it very easy to locate the keys and offer some comfort over many hours of use. The Cherry MX switches provide the necessary performance for the lightning fast reactions you need and the LED backlighting is great when gaming in low light. The anti ghosting attribute the STRAFE has, meant I could mash several keys at a time – which is common when flying a jet in BF4.
RTS was a whole different ballgame with this keyboard. At first I thought it might be a bit too simple in design to provide me with an advantage, however after playing around with the Corsair Utility Engine software I was able to create some useful macros, which meant I could select many units at a press of a single key. I could also use the different profiles for different RTS games like Supreme Commander 2 and StarCraft 2.
For MOBA, again I found the additional contoured keys ideal for locating the correct keys quickly without looking, providing me with that edge over what I was like before. The macros also became handy, as like the child-that-I-am when gaming online, I was able to create some pretty good taunts for my enemies.
For general use the keyboard was as expected – typing on it was good, but not the best for me as I much prefer MX brown switches, however this is purely subjective as everyone has their own preference. The media keys are a bit of pain to use as you have to press the Fn key to use them, so I quickly fiddled with the CUE software and set them up as straight key presses – and even added a few more for opening up various programs such as iTunes.
I did miss a palm rest however, as I much prefer using one. This isn’t too much of an issue though, as you can easily get third party ones cheaply.