Complementing its customizable Cyborg R.A.T. mouse series, Mad Catz has announced a new gaming keyboard with more gimmicks than Billy Mays. The S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 touts a full metal chassis with five interlocking hardware modules -- the main keyboard, a palm rest, a numpad, a "function strip" and a "V.E.N.O.M." touchscreen -- that can be assembled in various configurations (see the video below).
The main keyboard module is said to be more compact than most offerings (as you'd expect without a number pad), but this surely isn't the case with all the separate components attached. Although it uses a membrane design, Mad Catz says it engineered the device to mimic the feel of a mechanical keyboard. It also offers interchangeable rubber-edged WASD and arrow keys as well as full RBG backlighting.
The three-piece height-adjustable palm rest is designed to maximize comfort, but it also has a scroll wheel and an action button to keep your thumb busy. In addition to the obvious, the numpad module contains arrow keys and everything that's typically above them as well as five macro buttons around the up arrow. Meanwhile, the opposite side of the board has a function strip with four more macro buttons.
When you factor in the touchscreen, the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 has 24 programmable keys (72 if you make use of separate modes). The touchscreen is used for customizations like tweaking the backlighting and configuring macros, but Mad Catz has worked with TeamSpeak to integrated their chat application. It also serves as an app launcher (side note: the Half-Life 3 logo appears at 25 seconds into the above clip).
We're probably missing some features, such as the USB ports on the back of the touchscreen, so check out the product page for more details. If the R.A.T. series is any indication, you'll either love or hate the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7's aesthetics, but there's no denying it's unique. Regardless of how you feel, we imagine it won't be easy to justify the device's $300 asking price. Units are shipping now in the US and abroad.
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