These days Corsair dabbles in everything from keyboards to high speed storage devices, and now even high-end graphics cards. The company has been pushing gaming peripherals for some time now but only recently have we stood up and taken notice.
Its latest mechanical gaming keyboard, the 'Strafe', is a perfect example of why. The Strafe is certainly more of a budget-oriented mechanical gaming keyboard when compared to what Corsair has been working on over the past year or so, but it isn't exactly cheap at $110.
The Strafe features a similar design to Corsair's Vengeance series (which has become "Corsair Gaming") keyboards, but it takes a small step back to basics. It still comes with the Cherry MX mechanical keys, along with the floating key design and aluminum body.
Probably the biggest difference has been made to the keyboards backlighting. Rather than full-fledged RGB backlighting, the board only comes with Red LED-backlighting. Not all keys have to be lit, however, and various effects are available. Corsair offers six standard effects while users can create and share more lighting effects through Corsair's CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software.
In the CUE software, users are also able to assign and adjust macros for all of the keys. Additionally, the keyboard has a 100 percent anti-ghosting algorithm built in, with a 104-key rollover, allowing you to press every key on the board without causing ghosting issues.
The Strafe measures 440mm long, 170mm deep and 40mm thick while it tips the scales at 1.35kg.
Although it is wrapped in plastic it feels like a premium product and the design is certainly sturdy. The Strafe is almost the perfect keyboard as far as I am concerned, the only issue I have with it is the lack of a wrist rest. Without a wrist rest I found the keyboard far too uncomfortable, which means I would have to factor in the cost of a separate wrist rest, decent options appear to only cost between $10 - $15.
Corsair also equipped the Strafe with a USB pass-through port which is nice, though there aren't any audio options. Included in the package are custom textured and contoured keycaps that Corsair says allow for maximum grip and enhanced feel. There are two kits included which are designed for FPS and MOBA games.
There aren't any dedicated multimedia buttons like what we found on the G.Skill KM780 MX for example. There is a dedicated Windows key lock and a brightness control button, but other than that the layout is fairly standard.
Underneath the Strafe there is virtually nothing to speak about. All said there are four small rubber pads for gripping the desk and two small feet that only raise the keyboard up by 8mm.
The Strafe is available with either Red or Brown Cherry MX switches and for testing we got our hands on the Red model.
Overall the Corsair Strafe is a nice looking mechanical keyboard that feels great and features exceptional build quality. Unfortunately, it isn't particularly cheap which makes the limited feature set a little hard to ignore.