Cougar Deathfire EX Mouse and Keyboard Combo Review
The Cougar Deathfire EX provides fantastic value for money if you're looking to either get your first mouse and keyboard or upgrading from a boring basic that was included with your PC purchase.
The mouse is the simpler of the two, with great lighting options, a decent sensor, the always desirable Omron switches and good build quality. We've tested a lot of mice at the cheaper end of the price spectrum and the Cougar mouse included with the Deathfire EX is one of the most impressive. It fits comfortably in the hand, the plastics feel more premium than they have any right to for this price, and the textured side panels provide plenty of grip. Whilst we don't think the side buttons are Omron equipped they also don't feel cheap or squishy, and the lighting is, as you can see from our photographs, fantastic.
The keyboard is good too, but more a matter of your personal taste.
Design wise there are no complaints. It has a small footprint so that it doesn't take up acres of desk space. There are plenty of key combinations to either adjust the lighting or change the F-keys into media keys. You can even swap the arrow keys and WASD keys, should the mood take you. Lighting is identical to that we found on the Vantar, with a good selection of options and a few of the main colours keeping all but the most demanding user satisfied. We don't quite understand - as we didn't with the Vantar - why the Cougar brand identity colour of orange isn't one of the options available, and when we discovered that the mouse did come with the Cougar orange it was even more perplexing. Similarly the colour order of the mouse and the keyboard are different too. If you use the combination to go to the next one after red on the keyboard, and then change the mouse to match, you have to cycle through a lot of colours on the mouse to find the matching shade. Obviously this is more of a problem for those of us attempting to photograph all the possible combinations than it is for the average user who'll just apply their favourite colour and leave it alone, but it does give you the impression that the two peripherals weren't designed to be a matching pair.
Keyboard switches are where the personal taste comes in. Cougar advertise these as a hybrid membrane style switch, and whilst we wouldn't say that it has a feel that goes above and beyond a membrane keyboard, it is at least a very good membrane keyboard. Some of them can be very squishy and horrible, like putting your finger in some pudding, but the Deathfire EX have a crispness to them. You wouldn't confuse them for proper mechanical switches, but neither is it like attempting to type on a water bed.
At this price the obvious main selling point is the exceptionally bright and colourful lighting. The keyboard and mouse are nice enough to use, but having very flashy RGB lighting at your fingertips for such an affordable entry price is enough to ensure that the Deathfire EX should fly off the shelves, and it wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.