As we are all aware, a keyboard is an integral part of any device especially a gaming pc and with the vast amount of hi tech and low tech ones on the market the choice is endless, Mad Catz who have a reputation for innovative accessories recently sent me out their new entry level keyboard called the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 and to be honest it wasn`t half bad.
The S.T.R.I.K.E 3 comes in a variety of colours red, black or white and the styling is similar to the other S.T.R.I.K.E keyboards just without all the attachments and gadgets.
Layout is the usual QWERTY type keyboard with the addition of 12 macro buttons (7 at the top left and 5 sitting around the arrow keys). F5 through to F12 is the additional controls used for volume, stop, play, mute, and brightness.
There are two legs fitted to the base for tilting the angle and a number of rubber feet to avoid slipping and with the added bonus of being able to attach the wrist rest it certainly ticks all the boxes, build quality is solid and for the price is pretty spot on.
Connection is via a gold plated USB and a braided 2m cable.
Now most gaming keyboards these days tend to go down the road of mechanical keys and I must admit that is my preference, yet the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 as with all the Mad Catz keyboards have gone with the membrane style keys which allegedly can provide 5 times the lifespan of ordinary keys.
With 7 key anti ghosting and a backlight that can be assigned to different profiles it does have plenty of nice
OK so is it any good you ask? Well to be honest it’s not that bad, like I have said I personally prefer the mechanical keyboards for gaming and I found I had to use a little bit more force on this keyboard than on a mechanical one, but after a while you do get used to it and the S.T.R.I.K.E 3 performs well.
There is a windows key lock which is a great idea because there is nothing more annoying than hitting that key when you’re in the middle of an intense moment on a game.
As with most Mad Catz products you have to download the drivers and software which is very simple and easy to use allowing the user to assign commands, pre-set or custom ones, to customisable buttons, with even the option to set the colour for each mode.
The S.T.R.I.K.E 3 is very much an entry level keyboard so don`t expect it to be gadget laden like the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 or S.T.R.I.K.E 7 yet it looks good, performs well as a normal keyboard and does alright when used for gaming (experienced gamers might want to go for the more expensive models).
The S.T.R.I.K.E 3 keyboard isn`t the greatest out there for gaming yet as an entry level keyboard it is good value for money, its robust well-built and has just enough features to make it worth using, if you are an experienced gamer then you are not going to be into this, but newbies who want to take a step up from the £10 keyboard they have been using for the past 5 years, will find this a revelation and a great introduction to programming macros and using a proper purpose built gaming keyboard.
• S.T.R.I.K.E 3 Keyboard
• Manufacturer: Mad Catz
• Price: £89.99 (price varies according to retailer)
• Website: www.madcatz.com
• Usability: 4/5
• Comfort: 5/5
• Value for money 4/5
• Overall: 3.5/5