Cougar 600K Keyboard Review
Published: 23rd February 2015 | Source: Cougar | Price: |
A couple of months ago our offices were graced with the Cougar 700K, a high-end gaming keyboard that surprised us with its build quality, feature set, and customisation capabilities. We were so used to Cougar being a manufacturer of power supplies that such a great keyboard was a shock. Normally when a manufacturer branches out their first offerings are tentative 'toes in the water' whilst they discover what works best. Some have even been known to just rebrand existing keyboards. Not so Cougar.
When the 600K arrived this week we had a better idea of what to expect. It's a slightly stripped-down version of the 700K, retaining nearly everything barring a few items we'll highlight as we go.
Packaging for the 600K is excellent. The features are well laid out, the front of the box has a clear image of how the 600K looks and the keyboard itself is very tightly packed in high density foam.
Out of the box the 600K looks identical to the 700K, with the only obvious difference being the lack of macro keys on the left hand side. Otherwise everything is all-present and correct, from the dedicated media keys at the top right to the one press key-repeat speed adjusters on the top left. Round the back of the keyboard is a USB port for insertion of whatever you desire. Helpful if you're at a LAN and don't want to fumble around the back of your tower.
Quite often when a keyboard has a variety of extra functions they are as alternatives to the regular keys, requiring the pressing of a Fn button along with the particular one you desire. The 600K has a far sweeter system of dedicated keys, allowing you to lock the Windows key, adjust the lighting, or simply control your media with just the one button.
Under the keys we find two different types of Cherry MX switch. The WASD and Arrow keys have LEDs, whilst the others are all non-LED versions. Good for cost saving.
So often as you move down the models of a range of products the features included drop off alarmingly. The Cougar 600K is the antithesis of this ethos, to the point that nearly everything we said in our conclusion of the Cougar 700K holds true here.
In fact as far as we can ascertain the changes are as follows; There are no dedicated macro keys on the left hand side of the keyboard. Only the WASD and Arrow keys have lighting. The space bar isn't split into two keys.
Otherwise everything else is here. It's amazing build quality, combining world renowned Cherry MX switches with an aluminium top and some high quality keycaps. The additional keys, so often the downfall of a gaming keyboard when the Cherry MX ones feel so crisp, have a wonderful tactile feel and are not a let down in the slightest.
If you looked at the Cougar 700K and found yourself yearning for it, but the price was a little beyond your reach, then the 600K should be all you desire. All of the main elements are there, with the parts that have been removed ones which are, given a choice, the easiest to live without. Our only real complaints are the wrist rest, which we still feel needs to either be a rest or not, rather than the FPS only way it is at the moment, and the decision to only light the FPS keys. If you're using Cherry MX switches already then the price differential between them and the LED variant isn't enormous. Equally anyone looking for replacement keycaps will have to take into account needing 8 transparent ones. However, we understand that Cougar are by no means alone in taking this decision.
So it's built like a tank, glorious to type on and has separate media keys for a very reasonable price. If you're not a slave to the big brand names you'd be foolish to overlook the Cougar 600K and it wins our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to Cougar for supplying the 600K for review. Discuss it in the OC3D Forums.