Corsair may have diversified into the peripherals market a couple of years ago but they currently are one of the most active gaming peripheral developers. The company does well enough in that segment of the market that they recently founded their own gaming brand, Corsair Gaming. Although the company owes much of their success on the first Vengeance keyboards and mice, it is their recent RGB-series that has given them a significant advantage as a talking point among gamers and keyboard enthusiasts. As a precursor to this piece, we had a thorough review of the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard when it first came out nearly a year ago, as well as a quick look on all of their RGB keyboards and two of their newest gaming mice some months ago.

The Corsair STRAFE

Although the K65/K70/K95 RGB keyboards are outstanding products, they all share a common flaw - their retail price. Having a fully mechanical keyboard with exclusive Cherry MX RGB switches is an expensive endeavor and, even though their capabilities and performance are excelling, these models are just too expensive for many users and they ultimately paid an early adopter premium as a result. This is especially true for users that do not need or care for programmable RGB per-key backlighting. As a result Corsair is today throwing another card on the table by releasing the STRAFE, a mechanical gaming keyboard that may be limited to red backlighting but supposedly lacks no practical features over the RGB models. The truly interesting part however is that the STRAFE has an MSRP of just $110, nearly half the MSRP of the K70 RGB ($200).

Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Key features and specifications

  • Cherry MX switches (Red or Brown)
  • Per Key Backlight (Red)
  • Fully Programmable (Corsair Utility Engine compatible)
  • USB Port
  • Textured and contoured keycaps
  • Gaming Circuitry (Anti-Ghosting)
  • Easy Access Media

Packaging & Bundle

Corsair supplies the STRAFE in a well-designed, thick cardboard box. The artwork is based on a picture of the keyboard itself and has a black/yellow color theme, which is the "signature" livery of the Corsair Gaming brand. Alongside with the keyboard, Corsair supplies a very basic manual, a keycap removal tool and two sets of gaming keycaps. The first set is supposed to be for FPS gamers and the second for MOBA gamers. Both sets are contoured and textured. Two keycaps, the W and the D, exist in both sets but have different contours as a result.


The Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
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  • gamemavin - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    "The STRAFE actually features one thing that none of the top tier Corsair keyboards has - an USB port. The pass-through USB port is found at the rear of the keyboard, near the thick cable."

    My Cherry MX Red K70 has a USB port in the same spot - at the rear of the keyboard to the right of the thick cable...
  • E.Fyll - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    Key words here are "top tier". The standard K70 is a very well made keyboard but it is not even programmable. The K70 RGB falls into the "top tier" classification.
  • Coup27 - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    I am not sure I entirely agree with the definition of "top tier" meaning it is simply programmable. I could not care less if my keyboard was programmable I would rather it be well made, look nice and feel nice to type on. If it met all of this I would still consider it top tier, just meeting a different set of criteria.

    Either way, I actually do own a K70 and while I do really like it I think the aluminium top plate is a bit of a case of style over substance. Yes it looks lovely, but press down on it anywhere on the keyboard and the plastic chassis will creak quite badly. There is no creaking during typing, but that's not really the point. Surely Corsair could have made the whole chassis frame out of aluminium and then we would have a keyboard!
  • Flunk - Thursday, July 16, 2015 - link

    Programmable keys are pretty pointless, it's mostly a software feature that can be replicated easily using 3rd party software.
  • Impulses - Saturday, July 18, 2015 - link

    Well, the programming can be saved to the keyboard no? Some will value that... Because they use it on multiple machines, or don't like the software running, or whatever.
  • ntuxn00 - Saturday, July 18, 2015 - link

    So, you're telling me that a gimmick is what decides what's top tier and what's not?
  • ntuxn00 - Saturday, July 18, 2015 - link

    In no way, shape, or form is it being programmable necessary for a keyboard to be of high quality and revered as top-tier. What you're telling me is that the Scuf controller is top tier.. That a programmable macro is top-tier.. NO
  • Dorek - Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - link

    That's a ludicrously stupid criteria.
  • Eidigean - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    "an USB port" - Sorry, I can't resist. Anyone else having trouble saying this phrase? Yes the general rule is use "an" when the next word begins with a vowel, like "an apple". But we're not saying "an OOH-ESS-BEE port" we're saying "a YOU-ESS-BEE port" so use "a" not "an". Thanks! </soapbox>
  • Coup27 - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - link

    Whether to use a or an before a vowel is determined by the pronunciation and not by the spelling, as many people wrongly assume.

    People should also use "an SSD" instead of "a SSD".

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