What’s the Mad Catz Strike four?
The Mad Catz Strike four – stylised as ‘S.T.R.I.Ok.E. four’ – is Mad Catz’s newest flagship mannequin of the famed Strike sequence of mechanical keyboards. It’s the larger brother of the less expensive Strike 2, and comes full with Cherry MX Purple RGB keyswitches.
Priced at round £130, the Strike four sits in a mid-range worth bracket for mainstream mechanical keyboards, together with the likes of the Razer Blackwidow 2019.
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Design and construct – The Mad Catz Strike four appears to be like each premium and flashy
The Strike four is offered in a incredible method, choosing a ‘skeleton’ open-housed design. The 16.eight million RGB color radiating from the backlight look all of the extra seen due to the skeleton design, which appears to be like nice when synced with all these RGB followers and RAM inside your gaming PC.
Lock lights are within the typical top-right location you’ll discover on most keyboards, however Mad Catz has been good with its design. Versus having the fairly frankly ineffective ‘Scroll Lock’ mild in its typical place, it has been changed with a ‘W’ lock mild, designed to indicate the Home windows keys being locked or unlocked, which ought to make life loads simpler for players.
The Strike four comes with a steel top-plate, versus the plastics and metal-feel plastics some producers supply – like that on the Alienware AW768, for instance. Having a correct steel plate makes the keyboard loads sturdier, minimizes physique flex and feels premium.
One other main win are the doubleshot keycaps and plastics. Seeing two-shot moulded keycaps on a gaming keyboard such because the Strike four is fairly uncommon, reminiscent of the times when keyboards had been a lot better constructed and lasted loads longer. In a method, the Strike four might be seen as a throwback.
The benefit of getting two-shot moulded keycaps means there is no such thing as a printing or laser-etching wanted within the manufacturing course of, that means letters won’t ever fade or put on off. In contrast to printing, doubleshot keycaps are made when two layers of plastic are moulded into each other, which makes for a extra premium really feel, particularly contemplating the legends can’t be felt beneath finger.
Sadly, there aren’t any further macro keys, that are arguably must-haves within the trendy market, particularly with the scope of the competitors. And whereas there are multimedia keys current, it’s important to maintain down the Fn key to activate them, which is a ache when rival keyboards boast devoted keys for pausing and fast-forwarding by means of media.
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Efficiency – The Mad Catz Strike four keys are completely good for gaming
The Strike four boasts Cherry’s MX Purple RGB keyswitches with clear plastic housings, permitting the RGB backlighting to shine by means of.
MX Reds are linear switches, that means they don’t have any tactile suggestions, in contrast to the MX Brown’s ‘bump’ or the MX Blue’s loud ‘click on’ which can be harking back to older keyboards with both buckling spring or ALPS switches. There’s the usual 2mm actuation level and full 4mm journey, that means there’s nothing fancy right here, not that you just’d want it.
The actuation power of those MX Reds is 45cN, that means they’re mild and straightforward to push down which is right for gaming. Certainly, in a number of runs on CS:GO, and even attempting out Assetto Corsa, the Reds labored like a dream, particularly with the typo-detecting N-Key Rollover and anti-ghosting, permitting me to take out terrorists and run Ferrari F40s up the Goodwood Hill Climb with larger ease.
The MX Reds switches are perfect for gaming, though aggressive players could favor MX Velocity Silvers switches. With a better actuation level of 1.2mm, requiring even much less effort to push keys down, Silvers have a tendency to provide individuals a aggressive benefit. That being mentioned, the Reds do the job completely on the Strike four.
For basic day-to-day typing, some individuals could discover the Purple switches a little bit too mild, however that’s private choice actually.
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Software program and backlighting – The Mad Catz Strike four backlight gives a shocking 16.eight million colors
Mad Catz’s devoted software program for the Strike four is straightforward sufficient to arrange. The ZIP file set up is small, in contrast to that of Razer’s 300MB Synapse software program. The software program must be simple sufficient to make use of, permitting you to program each single key to a set checklist of system capabilities, or supplying you with the power to arrange your personal macro keys. Granted, there aren’t any devoted macros right here, however one plus level is that you may create them fairly simply.
Nonetheless, some customers could discover the software program too easy, and one downside I’ve discovered is you possibly can’t program the lighting for particular person keys. For backlighting, it’s a helpful checklist of preset capabilities. What’s extra, the backlighting feels low-cost on this open-housed design, whereas in sometimes ‘closed’ keyboards it could possibly look cleaner and slicker.
That mentioned, the lights shine by means of the keycaps properly and the scope of color offered is superb. Different producers may study a lesson in backlighting by going with clear plastic housing switches, versus these with small LED mounted atop a black plastic-housed change.
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Ought to I purchase the Mad Catz Strike four?
For those who’re searching for a sturdy and well-made keyboard from a reputation you recognise, full with a number of the greatest keyswitches in the marketplace, look no additional than the Mad Catz Strike four.
The Mad Catz Strike four boasts incredible building, fast keyswitches and intutive software program, all for an important worth.