Review

One Keyboard to Rule Them All

T

he Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Keyboard is like no other keyboard on the planet. Upon receiving this hardware beast for review I was instantly taken aback by the size of the box it was delivered in. I was expecting a long flat box to which I have become accustomed to seeing keyboards packaged. Instead, this thing was inside a massive box that was as tall and wide as it was long. And for good reason: the S.T.R.I.K.E 7 Keyboard is a heavy duty, modular keyboard that requires assembly by the user.  This is no plastic keyboard either. It’s made of metal, people. Metal!  This is quality hardware at its finest.

The Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Keyboard comes in several modular pieces, giving gamers the ultimate in customizability and portability.  The right-hand keypad is a separate component from the main keyboard and the included, and very cool, V.E.N.O.M. digital LCD touch screen display, and wrist rests can be attached to either the main keyboard or the number pad.  This customizability goes beyond just this modular build, however. The typical open spaces found above the cursor keys are now filled with five extra keys numbered C1 through C5 along with an extra set of four keys, numbered M1 through M4 that can be attached to the left side of either the number pad or the main keyboard.  Additionally, the left hand wrist wrest has another button and a scroll wheel bringing the additional button count to a whopping 12.  That’s not including the 12 additional macro commands players can customize right on the touchscreen display attached to the keyboard.  In all, this incredible keyboard boasts an incredible 24 programmable keys and buttons in each of three simultaneous modes bringing this customizability to a staggering 72 possible commands.  If hardcore gamers ever complained about not having enough customizability in their keyboards, there should be no complaints left once they get their hands on a S.T.R.I.K.E. 7.

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The customizability of this keyboard isn’t the only great feature found here.  It includes an LCD touch screen display that can be mounted either above the number pad, or on the left side of the main keyboard.  This touch screen display contains 12 several widgets for gamers and users alike to utilize.  These widget include such things as:

  • Program-specific volume control
  • Custom macro button layout
  • Quicklaunch of programs/games/apps
  • Journal for making game specific notes
  • Teamspeak
  • Backlighting Adjustment
  • Clock / Timer
  • Window Key Locking
  • Media Controls

On top of all of these amazing features, almost too many for one person to ever utilize, this keyboard also feels good under the fingers. The keys are perfectly weighted to give enough tactile feedback without too much effort to press them.  The S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Keyboard keys emit a satisfying ‘click’ that so many love about the old-school IBM keyboards, but maintain the ease of use found in today’s modern thin keyboards found on a Mac or a Microsoft Surface Touch Cover.  This may be a keyboard built for gaming, but it has been designed to be the perfect keyboard for every day use as well.  Get your hands on this thing and you’ll never want to use another keyboard again.

The only draw back that some gamers will feel about this amazing piece of hardware is the price. At a CAD$329 price tag, this is going to be outside a lot of gamers’ budgets.  Having now used this keyboard for a few weeks, this price is well worth the quality, ease of use, and shear customizability.  This is a gamer’s dream keyboard for the ultimate online pwnage.  If you can get past the hefty cost of ownership, this is one piece of hardware  you will never want to give up.  Ever.

The Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 Keyboard has so much flexibility built into it that no one could ever complain that there is something they can’t do with this keyboard. With the included software, players can customize 12 physical keys across three modes in each profile. The additional V.E.N.O.M. Touch Screen display adds some wonderful utilities including a launcher and another set of customizable macro buttons making this the ultimate gaming  keyboard.  This is the one keyboard to rule them all.



About the Author

Sean
Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.