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Review: Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2

by Parm Mann on 7 August 2018, 14:00

Tags: Corsair

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadv7p

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Software and Summary

All of Corsair's modern peripherals are governed by a single software utility dubbed iCue. Though Strafe RGB MK.2 will function just fine as a plug-and-play solution, you'll want to install the software for maximum customisation.

RGB lighting is a key focus for many manufacturers, and Corsair does a better job than most at synchronising effects between everything from system memory to mice. The upside for the consumer is that effects can be managed from a single utility, and manufacturers naturally see it as a way to tie users into a given ecosystem.

If you happen to be heavily invested in iCue, the Strafe RGB MK.2 slots in without fuss. Lighting customisation options are plentiful, recording and assigning macros is straightforward, the Windows Lock key can quickly be configured to disable other shortcuts such as Alt+Tab, and three onboard profiles can be cycled using the corresponding hardware button on the top-left corner of the keyboard. It's good to see that all keys can be remapped - even the multimedia controls and volume roller - and the choice of available actions is vast, including application shortcuts, text input, and mouse buttons.

iCue can feel somewhat sparse if you're rocking only one piece of compatible kit, but software is an area in which many peripheral vendors struggle, and after years of refinement Corsair's iCue does a decent job of balancing features and ease of use, making it one of the better solutions available.

Summary

Corsair's Strafe RGB MK.2 is an inviting choice for those who aren't keen on splurging for the top-of-the-range K95. As a mid-range solution, the latest Strafe offers a well-rounded feature set that includes dedicated multimedia controls, a bundled palm rest, USB passthrough, Cherry MX Red or Silent switches, and some of the best lighting effects in the business.

There are a few trade-offs - there's no metal top plate and the underside could use a little extra rubber for stability - but Corsair has ticked most of the relevant boxes. The most significant caveat is that regional pricing can wreak havoc on Corsair's product positioning, and Strafe RGB MK.2 only makes sense if there's a meaningful saving over its aluminium-framed K70 sibling.

The Good
 
The Bad
Cherry MX Silent doesn't make a racket
Dedicated multimedia controls
Excellent RGB lighting
USB passthrough
Mature software utility
 
Plastic top plate
Feet not lined with rubber
Keycap font an acquired taste



Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2

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The Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2 is available to purchase from Scan Computers.

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At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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neah, the key next to the Z ruins it for me, if im playing a shooter im not going to stretch my finger so much for a shorter Shift…
Rejuvination
neah, the key next to the Z ruins it for me, if im playing a shooter im not going to stretch my finger so much for a shorter Shift…

Confused… This looks like a standard UK QWERTY key layout to me. Are you comparing to a US layout?
Rejuvination
neah, the key next to the Z ruins it for me, if im playing a shooter im not going to stretch my finger so much for a shorter Shift…

The keyboard is available with both ANSI and ISO keyboard layouts. If you want to remove the \| key from between the Z and left-shift, buy an ANSI layout (commonly referred to as the US Layout.)
I have the mk1 but nice update for mk2 and lot more expensive