Published on October 30th, 2013 | by Greg0
Mad Catz STRIKE 3: An Enthusiast Gaming Keyboard
The holiday season is fast approaching, and though we try to avoid discussing it too much before Halloween has even arrived, we’re mentioning it obliquely today since we’re starting to see the release of major AAA gaming titles. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was just released, GTA V has been occupying a lot of our time, and the newest console models are about a month away- but PC gamers will have to wait a little bit until they can share the bounty.
In the meantime, PC gamers can enjoy the sort of titles that have long been staples- MMOs and RPGs that are hard to play with any other system, and some FPS and online games that look far better on a high-end gaming computer rig. If you’re the sort of PC gamer with a decent video card and a Steam library to match, then you probably should check out the Mad Catz STRIKE 3 gaming keyboard. It’s a slightly smaller version of it’s cool sister model, the highly configurable but far more pricey STRIKE 5.
Missing some of the bells and whistles, the STRIKE 5 keyboard takes the essential look, feel, and elements of the bigger sibling to bring a scaled-down but still very much gamer-focused experience to your desk. Feature highlights include excellent multi-colored RGB backlighting, 12 programmable macro keys, a removable wrist rest, and a very nice separate number keypad. As with most every Mad Catz product that we’ve tested, part of the draw is the particular style- aggressive and distinctive- as well as their build quality and responsiveness. The STRIKE 5 was no different- over a few lengthy marathon gaming sessions of titles like Rome 2, COH2, and some MOBAs like League of Legends, lag was minimal, key placement excellent, and the keys themselves felt natural with just the right amount of pop (and are double-tap friendly).
For serious MMO players who need a lot of macro functionality or special keys, this might not be the best model. But one function that we loved and should note: the switch to disable the Windows key. Any PC gamer knows the fear or accidentally pressing the key and being bumped out of a game, only to frantically ALT-TAB back in. The STRIKE 3 might be a bit smaller than some brethren, but it’s still quite large- portable, this beast is not. As with any peripheral, we recommend testing them out for a bit first if possible- ergonomics are critical and very personal, and while our testers liked this model, people vary. Speaking of which, the STRIKE 3 varies as well- available in red, black, or white, our cherry model is definitely striking, and runs just under $100 online and in stores.