Mad Catz launches STRIKE7 keyboard

Adam Oxford

Purveyors of positively potty peripherals, Mad Catz, have finally got around to designing a keyboard which will go along with the uniquely bonkers look of their RAT mice . Just like the mice, the STRIKE7 keyboard is highly customisable, with a modular construction that lets you split bits off and put them where you want them.

If you want, you can split it in half to remove the number pad and program nine different macro keys on the fly. The most interesting thing, however, is the detachable touchscreen: a tiny colour LCD which displays system data, a list of current macro commands and details from third party applications like TeamSpeak.

It's an impressive looking piece of kit, and apparently goes on sale today. The LCD looks to be sligthly more use than the one on top end Logitech keyboards, mostly because it has quick launchers for desktop programs and an interesting journaling feature too.

There is, however, one apparent drawback: just like its Logitech rivals, the backlit keys are membrane based rather than mechanical.

That's interesting, because I must be the only gamer on the planet who doesn't love MadCatz' RAT mouse designs - I find them over engineered and not as customisable as they first appear. In the same way I'm tempted to be cautious about the STRIKE7 keyboard because cleverness and expensive extras like a touchscreen shouldn't come at the expense of solid feeling keys and longevity. Especially as the launch price is $299.

But then, everyone else loves the RAT, so what do I know? Not a lot right now, but since the STRIKE7 is available immediately I'm hoping to be able to try one out soon.

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