Greetings, l33t gamers. This is, low and behold, MadCatz’s latest keyboard, the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 — I added the tactical part in the title to make it look cooler. Basically, it’s a normal keyboard, however the keys are removable due to customized WASD and arrow keys made available once you open the box. Also, the STRIKE 7 can be configured to separate the numpad, position other parts of the unit, and overall suit the STRIKE 7 to any gaming situation you may have, or even to suit the size of your desk.
But. the best thing about MadCatz’s STRIKE 7 keyboard are the keys and the screen. Every key on the board can be backlit in a variety of colors that can be mixed and switched using the built-in touchscreen, which you can also customize as you fit: that includes making notes, opening apps, setting shortcuts, managing media, controlling sound volume levels, and even team chat for other players. Things also to be appreciated is the lack of it feeling half-baked: MadCatz seems to have put some honest time into the software, so that it actually works, and seems like an actual useful addition to a expensive product.
Why so expensive, you ask? At $300, it’s only for the uber-serious PC gamer, indeed. But I’ve related the high price to the cost of materials (rubber, metal, touchscreen components, and of course, the lighting system) to the level of craftsmanship, which is fantastic.
Otherwise, I’ve been using the STRIKE 7 for a week now, and have com to love the rubberized textures of the keys, plus the metal used on the (removable) palm rests. My only gripe? To sustain the touchscreen and backlit keyboard function, the STRIKE 7 has to actually be plugged into a wall, otherwise just plugging it into a computer’s USB port will only power the basic function of typing, and for $300 for a keyboard with a screen, that’s very much not using it to its full capability.
Should you buy a S.T.R.I.K.E. 7? Only if you can fork over the dough, and don’t mind plugging a keyboard (no matter how advanced) into a wall. Otherwise, the STRIKE 7 is a fantastic keyboard.