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Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review

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Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard:

Driver software is not included with the Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent keyboard. Windows 7 couldn't find drivers that were compatible when I tested it, and Corsair doesn't include any drivers with the keyboard. Luckily, you can use the On-Screen Keyboard in the Windows Accessibility / Ease of Access program list, if you need to navigate to the Corsair website for drivers due to a lack of alternate keyboards if Windows can't find any generic driver to make the Strafe work for you. Some people don't like that manufacturers are moving away from including software, but you should usually go to the manufacturer for the latest software anyway. There are also environmental and financial savings by not including a driver disk.

After installing the drivers from the Corsair website, the default color scheme for the Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent keyboard is red and white, with some yellow for the Corsair ship logo. Luckily with the CUE software we can change it to our liking. A white strip on each side of the keyboard can light up, helping illuminate nearby items whe it is dark, such as a mouse pad. The only color option is white, but it can also be turned off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon loading the CUE software, users may be prompted to update their firmware. Version 1.33 was recommended for this keyboard. Clicking OK will allow the program to automatically download and flash the latest firmware to the keyboard.

 

 

After updating the firmware, the first page open is Device, under the Settings tab. This page has options to disable device lighting schemes, change keyboard layout, Polling Rate options (by default the Polling Rate is 1000 Hz), and the Firmware and Bootloader versions are shown. A status indicator displays that everything "Works normally". The next page is the Program page. Here users can select the default language for CUE, and check for software updates. Options to start the CUE software on system startup, default to Standard Lighting mode, Enable 16.8m color mode (requires FW 1.20 or higher), Automatically create application profiles stored on device, and Enable SDK are here. On-Screen-Display settings are here, which by default are disabled by setting transparency to 0%, with options for size, preview, invert text/graphics color, timer names, and more. Media players that are supported are listed, with priority given to those higher on the list. Users can add, edit, and remove media players, while controlling their priority.

 

 

The last page in the Settings tab is Support. Here users can click a button for Online Support and to view the User Manual. There are links to submit a Support Form and read the FAQ. More links are listed under Technical Support, including a link to the Technical Support, and another for the Discussion Forum. Users can view any error logs. Another link for Email Support is given before the System Information is read out. Clicking Advanced Report will give an in-depth list of system properties and hardware, with options to copy the information or to save to a file.

 

 

The Lighting tab lets users create, import, and export lighting effects. Four basic effects are given at the left to be customized – Solid, Gradient, Ripple, and Wave. These features are all to be used under the Profiles->Lighting->Advanced Settings screen and are for advanced lighting creations. It is easier for beginners to start with the Profiles->Lighting page, using one of the premade effects along with customizing any of the keys a user would like to. Users can select multiple keys by combining either dragging the mouse and/or holding CTRL, making it much faster to change multiple keys when compared to some other competitors' RGB software.

 

 

After starting the CUE software, the keyboard changed from the red and white color scheme to a spiraling rainbow effect. The picture doesn't do the keyboard justice; the colors were very vivid and had great range. Using the software, users can change the specific settings of the included lighting effects. Depending on the effect, users can typically adjust colors, speeds, and directions of the effects. In testing the keyboard's ability to reproduce colors, it did well and also didn't wash out when very different colors were used near each other. The large variety of default lighting effects is nice, plus users can go to the Corsair website to submit and download lighting schemes provided by other users!

 

 

 

The last tab is the Actions Editor. This brings up a multitude of options ranging from Macro options to Media Controls. Users can create new Actions or Import/Export their own creations or those from other users. The first page is Macro, where you can write your own macros, and then nam them and write notes on what they are for or what they do. Options to start the macro on a key press or release are at the top, along with the ability to nest macros by enabling a second macro to follow the prior. A blank window is the empty canvas. Clicking Record will record all input and their delays. Stop will end recording of the macro. Options let you edit the macro recording settings, including recording keyboard events, mouse movement, mouse clicks, mouse wheel scrolls, and whether or not to record delays (from user input). Right-clicking the Macro window will allow users to add, move, or remove events. Clicking "Clear Delays" does exactly that, after a warning asking if you are sure, while "Clear All" lets you start from scratch. Undo will undo any change you made last, including the Clear options. Macro Termination options include: Execute macro uninterrupted; Terminate when pressed again; Allow interruptions and then resume; and Queue next macro while executing. "Action Repeat" allows users to define how to repeat the currently selected action, if at all. Options include toggling between On and Off, running while a key is pressed down, no repeat, and repeat a specific number of times. "Delay Between Action Repeats" could be set with ranges of either a specific constant time or a random time range. Users can have the lighting change when the action starts with one of their lighting creations by selecting it under "Lighting When Start". The "Text Action" can be handy for all sorts of things that you might have to repeatedly type out. As an example, signatures in e-mails can be easily bound, although most clients can now do this automatically. There are tons of uses for this feature, including in gaming, like for spamming guild/clan recruitment messages.

 

 

 

The Keystroke Actions Editor lets users edit key combinations, such as Alt + Tab (switch between open programs), with the same Action Repeat, Delay Between Action Repeats, and Lighting When Start Options. The Shortcut page allows users to create custom shortcuts that can then be accessed by the rest of the program, such as through a macro. The first four options all link to the default system program that matches the description, or users can choose to run a custom command or add a path to an executable program file.

 

 

The DPI page can customize mouse settings, with two options – one for regular use and one for sniping. Very useful feature for FPS shooters or any game where you might want to be able to lower mouse speed by lowering DPI. The timer page allows users to run timers for a specified time. Options include playing a sound file, setting a repeat amount and delay, ramping up volume, changing the lighting scheme, and executing an action. This could be used with any of the other actions listed. The next Actions page is for the mouse. Users can create mouse actions to refer to in other actions. The options available are standard for a five-key mouse with a scroll wheel – Left Click, Left Double Click, Middle Click, Right Click, Forward, Backward, and Scroll Up, Down, Right, and Left. The last Action page is for Media Controls. Here users can create entries for Play, Play/Pause, Stop, Previous Track, Next Track, Volume +, Volume -, and Mute. Again, these controls can be tied into the other actions, and all actions have access to the "Lighting When Start" option to help signify when in use!

 

 

 

With everything set up, it is time to take a look at the Specifications and Features of the Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent!




  1. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Introduction
  2. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Software
  4. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Specifications & Features
  5. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Testing & Results
  6. Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Keyboard: Conclusion
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