Keyboard Review: Corsair Strafe RGB (Silent)
I bought the Corsair Strafe RGB (Silent) keyboard…twice!
Last week, I was playing as Moira in Overwatch and in the heat of battle, I was trying to L-Shift away from an enemy – when the L-Shift key on my 4-year-old Razer Blackwidow Keyboard went flying across my desk.
It was time for a new keyboard!
About 6 months ago, I bought the Corsair Strafe RGB (Cherry MX Silent Switches) for one of my minions; an 11yr old pro-Roblox and Starcraft 2 world champion (in training) as a sort of test run, to see how it held up in extreme (11yr old) conditions.
At that moment the 50% off discounted price (around Christmastime) played a small part in my decision to replace his previous Corsair Keyboard – the Corsair Raptor K30 Performance Gaming Keyboard – which had also lasted a little over 3.5 years.
I should mention at this point, that biologists would have been thrilled to study the new bacteria that surely evolved from the combination of melted chocolate ice-cream and congealed pizza sauce that had taken up residence in that old keyboard – and heroically it was still completely functional.
Why buy a silent mechanical keyboard?
Part of my reason in choosing a ‘silent’ switch over any other (for myself)- was that I noticed when live streaming – that my keystrokes on my old keyboard would be picked up by my recording microphone and sounded irritating.
I really wanted a mechanical keyboard again, this time with less clackety-clack and more cluddity-thud, but without sacrificing the whole reason for buying a mechanical keyboard in the first place – which is the tactile confirmation that you have in fact pressed the key that you intended to.
You can’t be facing down a Mythic Raid boss in World of Warcraft and wonder whether or not you did press that life-saving personal defensive.
So I went ahead and ordered a second Corsair Strafe RGB (Silent) for myself!
I used the following rating criteria for this review:
- How it Looks 90% 90%
The Corsair Strafe RGB (Silent) looks good. It looks damn good actually.
Underneath the keycaps is a white base – which emphasizes the RGB colour – even in daylight, so you don’t need to be in a darkened room to appreciate the rainbow under your fingertips!
The rating of 90% for looks is just a personal one. Unless something looks like a zuuped up Starship Enterprise, it’s probably not going to get a 100% on aesthetics for me – but it’s close.
- How it Feels 90% 90%
The silent switches of the Corsair Strafe RGB (Silent) take a little getting used to – if you are used to a louder mechanical keyboard.
The key pressing – is still mechanical – and not ‘rubbery’ which you might have expected from a silent switch.
They are not completely silent either – so you can’t sleep through it – but at least the sound won’t carry through the house.
The purchase included a second set of WASD and WDREFQ which are grey and textured (instead of the smooth black finish of the other keys). They aren’t fitted as standard – but they provide a handy tool to remove the standard black keys. I chose to customize my WASD with the grey keys and I’m pleased with the look and feel.
The only negative point I have about the keyboard is the included optional wrist rest. It’s made of hard plastic. I’ve left it in the box and continue to use my Kensington Duo Gel – Ergnomic Wrist Rest (red/black) instead.
- Ease of Installation 99% 99%
I rated this 99 out of 100 for one reason only;
…there are two usb connections – and I saw no explanation for this in any of the documentation.
I plugged both in and it worked immediately.
The RGB backlighting defaults to red – with white lighting behind the W A S D keys – so you need to download the iCUE software to get your rainbow on.
- RGB Controls 100% 100%
The iCUE software from Corsair will manage any Corsair devices you have with RGB options (on its list) – and I just googled ‘Corsair RGB software’ to find it. The instruction booklet did have specifics about it – but as I’d already installed it for the minion 6 months ago, I knew what I was looking for.
My other minion has the Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB Optical MMO Gaming Mouse and uses the iCue software to manage all of its RGB options as well.
It has a straightforward interface and offers the opportunity to store various profiles.
- Variety of RGB Options 100% 100%
I was surprised by the sheer number of options I could use on the RGB lighting.
Of particular interest was the ripple effect you can get when pressing a keystroke.
I’ve settled on a gentle slowly cycling pulsing variety of hues, however the minion has some insane fit-inducing set-up on his, which just goes to show that this keyboard is suitable for everyone in the family.
I can highly recommend this keyboard to someone looking for a robust, mechanical keyboard that won’t sound like Michael Flatley in a spectacular rendition of Lord of the Dance, with some fancy RGB effects for you to enjoy.
A note to Razer users looking to switch – I was concerned that this keyboard would take some getting used to – but aside from a slightly bigger stretch with my left pinky finger to reach the L-shift key – I was 100% up and running on Day 1.
At the time of writing this, they keyboard was selling on Amazon for approximately £79 – which is much lower than buying from Corsair directly – so please check out your buying options below.
This is not a sponsored promotion, however it does contain affiliate links. This is my honest opinion of this keyboard.
Corsair Strafe Silent£79 (at time of writing)
How it looks9.0/10
How it feels9.0/10
Ease of installation9.9/10
Variety of options10.0/10
- Includes spare w,a,s,d and other overused keys - with texture!
- Includes a tool to change key caps
- Plug and Play
- Download official Corsair software to manage the RGB Options
- Wrist Rest is hard plastic 🙁