Sure there are elegant and feature equipped expensive keyboards and mice out there, but what if your budget is really tight, what options are available then?
Thermaltake and their TTeSports brand are well known in the industry for supplying gaming grade equipment and components to consumers, their range is vast on both product and price. Today on my desk I have a rarity, a budget keyboard and mouse combo set, so let’s see what Thermaltake have manage to put together with their Challenger Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo.
Thermaltake Challenger Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Specifications & Features
|Shape||Ergonomic Shaped Design|
|No. of Buttons||6|
|USB cable length||1.8M|
|SWITCH LIFESPAN||10 Million|
|Dimension||123.4 x 65.4 x 39 mm|
|LED COLOR||Blue / Pink / Red / Purple|
|LIGHTING EFFECT||Off / Pulse|
Mouse Sensor Spec.
|DPI||Up to 2400 DPI|
|Default DPI||800, 1200, 1600, 2400|
|No. of Macro Keys||NO|
|No. of Game Profiles||NO|
|Dimension||470 x 180 x 33 mm|
|Anti-Ghosting Keys||YES / 24 KEY Rollover (USB)|
|Polling Rate||125 HZ|
|Back-Light||Mix Color (RGB)|
|USB Cable Detachable||NO|
|Cable Length||1.5 M|
Thermaltake Challenger Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Closer Look
We are initially greeted by a nice large box sporting logos and naming, along with overhead pictures of both products themselves along with some specification highlights.
On the bottom of the box we have further images along with some more specification highlights.
The box doesn’t contain any extras just the keyboard, mouse and a manual. Packaging wise Thermaltake have done a pretty good job, I would like some of the plastic bags to be replaced with another material but there isn’t any extraneous useless packaging included.
Examining the keyboard, we see that it has a slightly older design going back to basic mechanical keyboards from a few years ago, nothing too fancy, the plastic casing is sufficient and the red TTeSports logo stands out.
Looking underneath we have two legs supporting the keyboard, these are hard plastic with no rubber feet so Thermaltake are relying on two plastic very slightly rubbery feet at the front where a very small amount of grip is available to stop the keyboard from sliding around. This case, or at least the base of it, must be used for other keyboards as there is a cable routing section at the rear, but as we can see the cable is fixed to the right hand side of the keyboard.
The typing profile is angled a little low for me, I would have liked more height at the back. The fixed wrist rest is quite short and probably won’t offer much assistance. The plastic casing looks quite cheap here without the textured surface.
The rear of the keyboard shows how low the supporting feet are, I will certainly have to spend a lot of time getting used to the new posture or prop this keyboard up to type on it properly.
So onto the mouse and we have quite a sizeable unit included in this combo set. Quite often sets arrive with smaller mice which can be a challenge for palm users. Thermaltake have missed a trick here, this mouse should be ambidextrous but is missing the other two buttons on the right hand side, a shame really as they would add so much value for so little effort.
Underneath the mouse we have some OK teflon pads for glide control, regulatory stickers and a centre mounted sensor.
Left hand side of the mouse we see the forward and back buttons which are actually quite well placed, and a decent arch on the shell. There is texturing on the left grip but it is just the same hard plastic as the rest of the mouse.
The right hand side also only has plastic grip and as mentioned misses out on buttons to give the mouse appeal to left handers.
Looking from the front we get a good view of the scroll wheel which does have a rubber tyre on it, looking pretty good with light bumps so its not just a smooth scroll. Behind that we have the DPI selector with the four DPI settings, 800, 1200, 1600, 2400 these do actually cater for a lot of uses and are pretty good all rounders.
Powered on we get RGB glowing at us, the fixed colours on the keyboard actually look quite pleasant with some effects available to reduce light or lighting modes. The mouse has some lighting modes too which are all selectable using a combination of buttons. The keyboard has membrane switches and features N-Key rollover to stop errors when multiple keys are pressed especially in games.
The Thermaltake Challenger Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Review: The Verdict
The build quality on this set is not too bad, they feel solid enough for some serious use and don’t feel like they would give out easily. The design isn’t anything to write home about but it’s sufficient and better than most other products in this price range.
Keyboard General Use
The typing angle is of concern to me so I had to prop the keyboard up to use it. Once in place, typing and general app usage was quite pleasant, while membranes will always feel ‘mushy’ to me I found accuracy and key travel to be fairly level and consistent.
Playing games with the keyboard was a breeze, keypress accuracy is fine and the feel over time wasn’t problematic. The space bar is however a little loud. FPS games work well as do strategy and building games.
Mouse General Use
Using the available DPI settings, the mouse is surprisingly good to use, the comfortable shape was only let down by the materials used for construction. The buttons are well placed and have a satisfying actuation to them. I had no problem engaging in day to day tasks with this mouse.
Again during gaming the mouse surprised me with it’s pretty good sensor accuracy and enabling FPS play without too much hassle. Not as good as a more premium mouse but in this price range this could even be a winner without the keyboard.
- Good Mouse Sensor and DPI settings
- Mouse size and shape comfortable to use
- The Price
- Materials used in construction are a little cheap
- Keyboard Angle is too shallow
- The mouse would have benefited from two additional buttons for left handed use
Well what a pleasant surprise I had with this combo set, at the time of writing this set retails at around £20, yes £20! I struggle to find anything remotely as good for this money, it is almost in a class of it’s own.
Yes, I had some niggles but those are things that are important to my comfort and usage, but if you are on a tight budget I can highly recommend this set for the ridiculously low price. The fact that the mouse is a good ergonomic shape is a big plus, in fact I would expect mice of around the same quality to be around the same price as this entire kit. Not only are Thermaltake going to take away our Value Award but I am going to pop a Play3r Silver Award alongside it because functionality is great.
Thanks to Thermaltake for sending a sample of the Challenger Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo in for review.