Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Gaming Keyboard
It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to name your product after a feature, especially when the word has connotations far beyond the reality of what is possible. Unless this is a sponge keyboard with sponge switches kept in a vacuum then it wont be silent. Mechanical keyboards are pretty noisy beasts at the best of times and Corsair only claim to reduce this noise by a third. To have the confidence to put MX-Silent right there in the product name says much. Does it live up to that claim?
We'll leave you in anticipation for just a moment longer whilst we look at how the rest of it performs.
The first thing that strikes you about the Strafe RGB MX-Silent is the build quality. This is a keyboard that looks extremely classy before you even touch it. The cool brushed aluminium only enhances this feeling of a superior product. It has some heft to it that will keep it from slipping around on your desk in those intense moments, and this is revealed to be more than just weight for weights sake when you attempt to twist it and it resists. We've known a few keyboards that have some flex in them, but this undoubtedly isn't one of them. It might not be quite the tank that the early Vengeance keyboards were, but you could still beat someone to death with it. Not that we'd advise that, but you get the idea.
Once plugged in and the software installed the sheer saturation of the colours is enough to send a synaesthesiac into rapture. The clear switches and white backfill really make the colours pop. We've said a thousand times in our missives how photographs never do justice to the actuality as the only cameras capable of replicating such rich colours are well out of my price range. Yet look at that image at the top of the page. See how clear every colour is, how vibrant, how bright. It's doubly so when you see it in the flesh. It's glorious. Perhaps the most impressive colour offering we've ever seen.
So the build quality is fabulous, the colours are stimulating and the software is good, although not quite as easy to use as we'd like it is well worth persevering with though, the £139.99 price tag at OCUK puts it firmly in the elite class of keyboards so we move on to the million dollar question is now as to whether Corsair's claim of quietness is merely marketing fluff or if the Strafe RGB MX-Silent is deserving of such an appellation?
A hundred times yes. It's almost mind-blowing how quiet this thing is. Usually when a manufacturer makes a claim you can take it with a pinch of salt, halve their bluster and you get somewhat close to the truth. With the Strafe RGB MX-Silent we think Corsair's claim of 30% quieter is under-selling things. This is as quiet as laptop keyboards! No, we're not kidding. No, we're not aggrandising the reality. We were stunned by how quiet this is in use. To the point that when we removed the keycaps for our photographing and testing of the extra ones supplied we expected to find o-rings fitted, but there are none. How silent this must be if you went to that extra effort we can only imagine, but equally only the most serious silence freak would need that extra step. It's great as it is.
We see so much marketing fluff here at OC3D that it's easier to become cynical and we'd be the first to admit that we doubted how much quieter the Corsair Strafe RGB MX-Silent could be when compared to something equipped with linear Cherry MX switch offerings, but our ghast is well and truly flabbered. If you've been holding off getting a mechanical keyboard for the sake of your aural sanity then you can treat yourself and discover what you've been missing.
The Corsair Strafe RGB MX-Silent manages to be a near miraculous product that over-delivers on both the major features. The colours are brilliant and the lack of noise is, if you'll pardon the pun, baffling. Brilliance and a thoroughly deserving winner of both our OC3D Gold Award, and a first for a peripheral, the OC3D Silence Award.