Cougar 700K

To date one of my favorite mechanical keyboards has been the Cougar 600K. I've been using it heavily since reviewing it at the start of the year. It would seem like an obvious choice for our affordable mechanical gaming keyboard roundup and but we've passed over it in favor of its bigger brother, the 700K.

When we reviewed the 600K it was noted that for not much more the 700K could be had...

"It's also worth noting that for only $20 more than the $130 600K you could have the 700K, which touts considerably more features and customizations, so that's worth checking out if the 600K is too bland for you."

Today the 700K can be found for around $140 online while the 600K still costs $130, and for that difference we see no reason why gamers wouldn't opt for the more feature rich 700K.

As the most expensive keyboard in our roundup it isn't surprising that the 700K is one of the best equipped. The 700K is similar to the G.Skill KM780 MX in terms of features and even design, therefore we suspect both keyboards are made in the same factory.

The 700K features a macro record button along with three mode or profile buttons just as the KM780 MX does. You also get a LED brightness control button and a window key lock button, just as you do on the KM780 MX. The same dedicated multimedia keys exist as well, though we prefer the KM780 MX's scroll wheel for adjusting volume and the volume level indicator is an awesome feature of the KM780 MX which is missing from the 700K.

The Cougar 700K does have a few advantages of its own however. For example, the 700K is available with either Black, Red, Brown or Blue Cherry MX switches, while the detachable wrist rest features a magnetic attachment for adjusting the height of the left side for easier access to the WASD keys. Users can also quickly change the repeat rate from 1X, 2X, 3X or 4X which is useful for altering how sensitive the keyboard is to having a key held down.

Finally the 700K is also more compact without sacrificing any key space and it is 22% lighter.

Like the KM780 MX the 700K offers a USB passthrough, albeit USB 2.0, along with audio jacks for a gaming headset.

There are six programmable keys, five are found along the left side of the keyboard while the spacebar has been split down the middle with the right side acting as the sixth programmable key. Personally, I really don't like the split spacebar design and found it annoying and difficult to adjust to. Of course this won't be the case for everyone but it's something to be aware of and obviously it can be programmed to act as a spacebar.

The 700K is fully backlit featuring orange LED lights with a 5-step brightness option. The key backlighting looks really nice as Cougar has gone with a large and easy to read font.

Flipping the 700K over reveals a basic underside with no real features other than two small feet. The keyboard can only be adjusted to a single height and although I would have appreciated a little more angle, it works well enough. There isn't any room for routing cables under here so you can't hide that extra-long mouse cable easily.

The 700K features a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor with enough on-board memory to store three profiles. The keyboard also supports a 1000Hz polling rate for a 1ms response time.