Advertisement
Advertisement

Corsair STRAFE Silent RGB review

Tom Morgan
10 Nov 2015
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Corsair Strafe RGB Silent - hero
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
135
inc VAT

Mechanical keys but none of the noise - the STRAFE Silent RGB is a brilliant keyboard that keeps the peace

Advertisement

Specifications

Keyboard shape: Standard, Number pad: Yes, Connection: USB, Warranty: Two years RTB

Corsair’s latest gaming keyboard builds on the legacy established by the excellent K70 RGB, which introduced per-key backlighting for some truly stunning desktop light shows. Unlike other mechanical keyboards, however, the Strafe RGB won’t make a racket when you type; it’s the first keyboard to use Cherry’s new MX Silent key switch.

The Switch

Effectively a redesigned Cherry MX Red switch, each MX Silent key has the same linear action, moving straight up and down without any additional tactile feedback. The light 45 Centinewtons (Cn) activation force allows for more rapid actuation, and each key is rated for 50 million keystrokes. They have an ever-so-slightly shorter travel (3.7mm versus 4mm for the standard MX Red) but in everyday use I didn’t notice.

Corsair Strafe RGB Silent - keyboard

You certainly notice the noise difference though. While not completely silent, typing becomes comparable to a membrane keyboard, with none of the clattering associated with bottoming out a traditional mechanical switch.

There was much debate in the office over whether there were any differences in how each key felt to press compared to a standard Cherry MX switch. Some said the Strafe felt squishier than other keyboards, but that was primarily because they were used to Brown or Blue switches with a physical actuation point. Others that use Red switches found it harder to tell the difference, with the consensus suggesting the Silent keys felt like they had slightly more resistance, but it’s only a slight difference.

Corsair Strafe RGB Silent - brightness adjust

The Keyboard

Corsair has made a few cost-cutting moves to launch the Strafe RGB Silent at a lower price than the phenomenally successful K70 RGB – namely ditching the metal back plate in favour of a plastic one, and using an Fn key to double the function keys up as multimedia shortcuts rather than include dedicated multimedia buttons.

That’s not to say the Strafe doesn’t have some advantages over the K70 though. You still get a comfortable wrist rest, full 104-key rollover, and a USB pass-through port – something missing from the Kxx series keyboards. It makes it much easier to connect a USB flash drive when your PC is stashed under a desk.

You also get two sets of contoured, textured key caps and a key cap puller tool. One set replaces the W, A, S and D keys for FPS gaming, while the other swaps out the Q, W, E, R, D and F keys for MOBAs. MMO gamers will appreciate the ability to customise every single key on the board, or set up complicated macros with just a few clicks in the software suite.

The textured finish has also been applied to the space bar, helping distinguish it from the rest of the bottom row keys – important, because of the non-standard layout. The Windows key and Menu key are smaller than usual to make room for the Fn key, but the difference is so slight that it didn’t affect me when typing or gaming.

Corsair Strafe RGB Silent - Fn key

Read more

Reviews