Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E 5 Gaming Keyboard Review

Lucky me not only did i get my hands on the MadCatz S.T.R.I.K.E 7  they also sent me the S.T.R.I.K.E 5, and it is just as amazing as it’s big brother the S.T.R.I.K.E 7. Since both Keyborads share pretty much the same design and features I went ahead and listed some of the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 features below that separate it from the S.T.R.I.K.E 7. I then go on with my thoughts of the S.T.R.I.K.E 5.

 

Flexible Hardware Configuration

 The S.T.R.I.K.E.5 has been designed to complement the range of Mad Catz R.A.T. mice, G.L.I.D.E. gaming surfaces and F.R.E.Q. professional gaming headsets.

The S.T.R.I.K.E.5 has been designed to offer gamers unprecedented control over their gaming environment, through the detachable modular design, unique E.Y.E. colour OLED display and host of programmable features.

The fully modular design allows gamers to detach sections of the S.T.R.I.K.E.5 keyboard and arrange as they see fit, even allowing the gamer to only use the sections of the keyboard vital to their game of choice.

Designed for the professional or competitive gamer, the S.T.R.I.K.E.5 is ideal for LAN tournaments, allowing gamers to only transport the sections of the keyboard they require.  Should the gamer only wish to take the main keyboard section, then they will still have access to the all important ‘cursor key functionality’, thanks to the Fn key, which when held, allows the  ‘WASD’ keys (The keys most natural to hand to the majority of gamers) to function as the cursor keys.

Other important keys not found on the main section of the keyboard such as ‘Page Up/Down’ are also available through the use of the Fn key, where they can be accessed via the function keys of the main keyboard.

Should gamers have a dedicated computer desk featuring a separate keyboard tray situated underneath the desk, using the S.T.R.I.K.E.5 without the Numberpad section attached could prove extremely useful.

On such a desk, there is often just enough room to fit a gaming mouse next to a keyboard but often the gamer is left with an extremely limited space with which to manoeuvre the mouse.  With the S.T.R.I.K.E.5 configured without the Numberpad module attached, gamers dramatically increase the available real estate with which to manoeuvre their mouse.  When playing in such a configuration, the Numberpad module can still be attached via the cables included but repositioned on the top layer of the desk, in front of the gamers monitor.

Command Module with E.Y.E. Colour OLED Display

 The S.T.R.I.K.E.5 command module hosts additional command buttons and the E.Y.E OLED display. The E.Y.E. display allows quick and easy access to functions that a hardcore gamer requires.  Examples of such features include:

 

  • Main System Volume control
  • Microphone Volume control
  • Quicklaunch of programs/games/apps
  • Backlighting Brightness control
  • Clock / Timer

 

The command module itself contains controls for:

  • Up to 9 user definable macro buttons.
  • Three mode buttons to triple the number of assignable commands per game profile.
  • Windows Key lock on/off
  • Backlighting on/off
  • Media Controls
  • Audio pass-through ports for headsets and microphones.

System Volume and Microphone Control

 Most keyboards have volume controls. What sets the S.T.R.I.K.E.5 apart is the level of control and the visual feedback the display provides.

The E.Y.E display provides a visual and numerical readout of your current volume levels. This allows you to tune your headset or speakers to the right level for you, whilst you’re gaming. This is also true of your microphone. So if your team can’t hear you barking orders, then crank it up!

 

Quicklaunch of Programs/Games/Apps

 Gamers can cycle through up to 12 programs, folders or even websites which will load with a quick tap of the appropriate button on the command module.

Backlight Brightness Control

As with the volume controls, having the backlight brightness on the E.Y.E display allows the user an extra level of control in setting their hardware up.

 

Countdown Timers

The E.Y.E. display can support up to three countdown timers running simultaneously. These are great for time dependent in-game actions, allowing the gamer to keep track of armor and weapon respawn times.

Review

Coming into this review just covering the S.T.R.I.K.E 7 not that long ago I knew I was going to be pretty hard on the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 heck I’m writing this review on the S.T.R.I.K.E 7. But to my surprise it was pretty much the same keyboard! (minus the V.E.N.O.M. touchscreen and the extra USB ports). If you read my S.T.R.I.K.E 7 review you saw how much i raved about the amazing design, functionality and engineering that went into that keyboard and now I got another model in front of me that’s just as great.

Just like the S.T.R.I.K.E 7 you are able to fully customize the layout, backlight, quicklaunch programs games,etc. which is what us gamers want. Set up is a breeze, very comfortable to use, all keys and buttons are super responsive and light up great for playing at night or in the dark.

So what’s the really big difference between the two you ask? well for one it’s the price the S.T.R.I.K.E 7 is $299 and the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 is $199 that’s really it other than of course the V.E.N.O.M. touchscreen. Yes its freaking amazing, since I’ve been using it I sometimes wonder how I ever used a keyboard without one.

But if touchscreens isn’t your thing and you’re looking for a great gaming keyboard i highly recommend the S.T.R.I.K.E 5, you won’t be disappointed.

The S.T.R.I.K.E 5 is available now $199 at the Mad Catz online store.

I give the S.T.R.I.K.E 5 a 9 out of 10.  – Mad Catz does it again, another amazing keyboard and a must buy.