Cougar 700K Keyboard Review
Published: 22nd December 2014 | Source: Cougar | Price: |
Such is the ubiquitous nature of the Cherry MX switches that the majority of mechanical gaming keyboards live and die on the extras. If you'll forgive a metaphor; if the Cherry MX switches are the steak, it's about the garnish, the side dishes, and how well it's cooked. That isn't to say that you can't go wrong once you've chosen the switches, as many keyboards we've reviewed are either bland or trying too hard to be too much. Some have even been too little.
Cougar have got the balance just right. The design is what grabs your attention and the 700K certainly is a fetching setup. By not going for the black slab look of a 2001 monolith they are already ahead of many models we've tested. The design is trim, without an ounce of wasted space. Key placement is excellent too. The 'on the fly' macro keys are readily to hand, the six G keys are a fingertip away and by utilising dedicated media keys you can make fast adjustments when necessary in the heat of battle.
Speaking of the G keys, the decision to split the spacebar up is a brave one, but it makes perfect sense. Personally I always use whichever thumb is on the hand which last pressed a letter when typing, so the extra thumb key would either require an extraordinary amount of relearning how to touch type, or I would have a dedicated profile just for when I'm writing. It encapsulates the design ethos of the 700K perfectly. The option is there to utilise the G6 key if you wish, but if, like me, old habits die hard then you can just set it to be the space bar and forget about it. The excellent software is as good here as it was with the 700M mouse.
The point of customisation is to enhance the experience and Cougar fulfil every requirement. If you want to make full use of the tools they have given you it's easy to do so. Yet if you just want a keyboard that lights up orange it's just as good being that, without forcing you to work around some wacky design concepts. It's beautifully built with the aluminium in all the right places and plastic where it doesn't matter to cut down on cost and weight without compromising built quality. The lighting is a rich shade of orange and, thanks to some very quick and easy customisation, extremely flexible. You can have anything from 'only the keys used in this game' to none, or all or .. well wherever your imagination takes you. Heck you can even just light up OC3D and be done with it, as we have above.
Everything about the Cougar 700K is done correctly. Great build quality, loads of customisation without forcing to you endure something only good on paper, great software, the longevity of Cherry MX switches, plenty of macro capabilities and places to put them, and it looks great. It's the perfect partner for the Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse and we easily award it our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to Cougar for supplying the 700K for review. Discuss it in the OC3D forums.