If you ask both enthusiasts and gamers about the best when it comes to gaming peripherals, you’ll normally hear the name Corsair from them. Over the last few years, the company has released a couple of keyboards, headsets, and mice; and just recently, Corsair updated one of their popular gaming keyboards which is the STRAFE RGB. It adopted the moniker MK.2, thus, making it the STRAFE RGB MK.2.
The Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2 is generally an updated version of their mechanical keyboard with the same name which was released a few years ago. Compared to the also recently updated K-70 RGB MK.2, Corsair included a couple of high-end features to this previously mid-range keyboard, poking it upwards in both features and price.
Today, we’re going to take a look at the improvements that were integrated into the Strafe which is also one of the company’s more economical high-end keyboards. Was Corsair able to address every user’s feedback? Were they able to make some vital changes? Let’s get further into the STRAFE RGB MK.2, how it works, its performance, and if its improvements make it worth purchasing.
Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2 Review – What’s in the Box?
When we got our very first look at the packaging of the STRAFE RGB MK.2, it definitely follows Corsair’s color scheme which features clear graphics of the product, yellow accents, and a black background. On the back portion of the box, you’ll see in-depth details of the STRAFE RGB MK.2’s specifications, as well as its features.
Once you open up the box, you’ll see the keyboard wrapped in a secure plastic bag that is specifically made to keep the STRAFE RGB MK.2 safe from any scratches or damages. Other than the additional keycaps, the STRAFE comes with two other extra sets of keycaps: one is designed for first-person shooter games of FPS, and the other is for multiplayer online battle arena games or MOBA. Corsair also included a keycap removal tool.
Beneath the keyboard, other items that you’ll find include the user manual, software, and a soft touch wrist rest.
Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2 Review – The Best Gets Better
The STRAFE RGB MK.2 from Corsair is an option for people who don’t want to pay a high price for the fully brushed aluminum top-plate on the K-70 RGB MK.2 Thing is, if you’re opting to purchase the STRAFE RGB, you will still get the brushed aluminum style right at the top of the device.
The rest of its body is made of lightly-textured, matte black plastic which is pretty solid and durable so you won’t need to worry about it breaking in any way.
The STRAFE RGB MK.2 is categorized as a full-sized keyboard since it still features the 10-key keypad for your convenience. It also displays the common 105-key arrangement with keyboard-mounted controls just right above the F1 to F4 keys; you can also find these just above the 10-key number pad.
If you check out the bottom part of the keyboard, you’ll see that it has rubber feet to keep the device in place wherever you put it; it also has two feet that raise the keyboard at a different angle, providing you with better typing and gaming angles.
Like every other Corsair keyboard available, the STRAFE RGB MK.2 features a diamond plate textured spacebar and a non-standard sized bottom row. You can choose to link the wrist rest by just snapping it into place and you’re all set..
When it comes to the connections of the keyboard, you will need two USB ports from your computer. One connector will be for the STRAFE RGB MK.2 while the other is for the USB port located at the back of the device. The port is also found next to where the USB cable connects to the keyboard, and this is the USB 2.0 port.
Moving to the top portion of the device, you’ll be able to see all the updates that were made to the MK.2 version of the keyboard. On the top-right portion of the STRAFE RGB MK.2, you will see three buttons that control the profile area, lighting brightness, as well as the Windows Key lockout button.
For the top-left portion of the STRAFE RGB MK.2, you will see the media control keys on the same row as the F keys while the mute button and volume control can be seen just above the media keys.
The main highlight of the Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2 are the Cherry MX Silent keyswitches which keeps the device completely silent; it also features the standard full size form factor with 105 keys, including media keys, Win Lock keys, and back-lit keys. For its dimensions, it measures 168 x 40 x 447 millimeters (W x H x D) and weighs a total of 1.46 kilograms.
The keyboard’s HID report rate is 1000Hz and it also features a full key rollover which prevents ghosting. When it comes to the keyboard’s connectivity, it requires two USB 2.0 Type A ports, and as for its compatibility, the device can be utilized with Windows 7, 8, and 10.
The Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2 is backed by a non-transferable warranty that is good for two years which is a good thing for everyone who makes use of this device.
100% CHERRY – MX MECHANICAL SWITCHES
The Cherry MX Silent key switches provide you with smooth, linear response with definite actuation. This keeps up with your gaming reflexes during clutch situations.
WINDOWS KEY LOCK MODE
Stay focused on what you’re doing and prevent any accidental Context and Windows Menu key presses.
DETACHABLE SOFT TOUCH WRIST REST
To further improve your gameplay while giving you all the comfort that you need, Corsair included their detachable and soft touch wrist rest. This is the perfect device when you have marathon gaming sessions.
FPS + MOBA KEYCAP SETS
The STRAFE RGB MK.2 features contoured and textured keycaps that give you enhanced feel and maximum grip.
100% ANTI-GHOSTING + FULL KEY ROLLOVER
It doesn’t matter how fast your in-game actions and activities are, each press that you make on the STRAFE RGB MK.2 will register accurately and correctly.
DEDICATED MULTIMEDIA AND VOLUME CONTROLS
You can easily adjust your audio without having to stop and interrupt your gaming experience.
The Corsair iCue software allows macro programming and complete control over your vivid per key RGB backlight with complete and simultaneous system lighting. You can also take the show on the road with the device’s 8MB profile storage.
USB PASS-THROUGH PORT
You will also be able to access extra USB ports if you need this for your headset or mouse.
- Two Years
HID Keyboard Report Rate
- Cherry® MX Silent
- USB 2.0 Type-A
- 104 Keys
Additional colored and textured keycaps
Media Controls YN
Keyboard Type Size
Keyboard Product Family
- Full Key (NKRO), 100% anti-ghosting
- Full Size
- USB 2.0 Type-A
- Dedicated Buttons (Stop, Previous, Play/Pause, Next)
- Included, detachable, with soft touch finish
Keyboard CUE Software
- Supported in CUE 2.x
Keyboard Cable Type
Using the Product
Now, we’re going to talk about the performance of the STRAFE RGB MK.2. The company actually changed a couple of its features and added the requested features to this latest keyboard.
The STRAFE RGB MK.2 fully supports full key rollover and anti-ghosting which means that each key on this keyboard can be pressed on simultaneously; this means that each key on the keyboard can be simultaneously pressed on while having all of these register.
When we first tried using the keyboard, we of course, hit a couple of keys and realized that it was really as quiet as Corsair claims it to be. If you press on the Cherry keys, they barely make any noise which we thought was really cool and interesting.
The keys had a much louder click when we pressed hard on these while typing; however, the keys were still very quiet compared to other Cherry switches that are available.
While we were using the STRAFE RGB MK.2, we can definitely say that this well and its keys are extremely quiet. Using this keyboard for playing gave us a great gaming experience because of the Cherry MX switches that are available. Another thing that we liked about the keyboard is that it was highly responsive; it was very fast and sensitive but not to the point of losing its feedback.
The key spacing was also just right and it was really comfortable for us; we didn’t see ourselves looking for the right keys. The replacement keycaps also made things easier for us since these gave the keys raised edges and textured finish.
The Strafe MK.2 seemed to suit each game we tried playing; it did not favor certain genres, which we really appreciate since other keyboards do not work well in selected types of games. While using this keyboard, we were able to meet every challenge in all of the games we played since it immediately and accurately responded to our actions.
Even though the Strafe MK.2 had a plastic body, its weight was adequate and it never shifted around while we were gaming. Despite this being a full-sized keyboard, the Strafe MK.2 did not appear as an oversized device that takes up our entire desk. Its size was big enough to make any user feel comfortable even after long hours of gaming.
The iCUE Software
The Corsair iCUE software links all your compatible devices in just one interface. This gives you total control over all features such as RGB lighting and effects, to temperature monitoring as well as the fan’s speed.
Utilizing the iCUE software, you will be able to set up three available profiles and even as many profiles stored in your PC. You can easily connect each profile with any game or program that you choose, and you can even set up lighting options for each of these.
Additionally, you can also program macros, as well as assign these to less used keys; or, you can reassign these to perform any mouse, media, or keyboard function. Here’s an example: if you want to hit numerous keys simultaneously, you can create a double-click key or turn the spacebar into an E. This can be done on the iCUE software and in that respect, this specific software is probably one of the most customizable and efficient programs available today.
It is also worth mentioning and noting its eye-catching RGB backlighting; this allows you to set up extremely elaborate patterns which we think is really cool. So if you want to hop right into iCUE, you can easily set interesting and compelling lighting profiles for all your selected games. If not, you can also select a rainbow wave, static color, or a reactive typing style that goes and shoots colors of the rainbow across the keyboard every time you type something.
Corsair continuously produces excellent gaming keyboards in the market and the Strafe MK.2 is not an exception. This newer model is a lot more versatile and user-friendly compared to its predecessors; this is all thanks to the smart enhancements made in this one. Although it’s pricey, you can ensure that you get what you pay for.
We really liked the customization with the Corsair Strafe MK.2 since it allows you to set each of the keys to any color you like. Another great inclusion is the media keys and the Windows lockout key which make the keyboard a true gaming device.
The lighting is perfect, the Cherry MX switches work very well, and we experienced absolute comfort while using the keyboard. We can say that the company’s claims are true; the Strafe MK.2 can be used for long gaming sessions without you experiencing any discomfort.
Overall, the Corsair Strafe MK.2 is a great product especially if you like linear key switches; its user-friendly iCUE software is also something worth notable since it offers a lot of settings that you can adjust and tweak easily.
Out of all gaming keyboards in the market, the Strafe MK.2 is one of the best that we’ve tried, and we highly recommend this product if you want keys that are responsive and completely customizable.
Where to Buy
You can get yourself the awesome Corsair Strafe MK.2 for around $219AUD from your local retailer. For more information head on over to the official product page.