Over the past year or so, Cougar has been getting itself in to the gaming peripherals market with various offerings. For keyboards, these range from the high-end 700K to the entry-level 200K, with the 500K currently in between. For mice, they include the 700M, 600M, 550M, lower-end 250M, and others.
Today, the company introduced a new series – the 450, which consists of the 450K hybrid mechanical gaming keyboard and the 450M gaming mouse.
The Cougar 450K keyboard is marketed as having "Hybrid Mechanical Switches." Cougar provided us with the following description for these switches: "The hybrid mechanical switches term refers to the system used by 450K, and it refers to a keyboard structure in which the underlying membrane is activated not directly by the keycap pressing on it, but by fixed mechanisms located under each keycap. This provides a tactile feel similar to that of much more expensive mechanical keyboards."
The keyboard's layout is very straightforward: it has a plain 104-key design with various function-features such as media controls and volume levels on some of the standard layout switches.
Gaming-feature wise, the keyboard has 6-key rollover and anti-ghosting, and it communicates with the PC at a 1000 Hz polling rate. Cougar's UIX can be used to set up different profiles, which are stored on the onboard memory. The keyboard also has three-color full backlighting, with yellow, green, and red options. Mind you, this is full-cover lighting, not per-key.
The mouse in this set, the 450M, is an ambidextrous mouse, meaning that it should work effectively for both left- and right-handed individuals. It has the standard buttons, a second set of forward and backward navigation buttons on the right side, and a DPI switch. A shiny plastic top makes the mouse look well-polished (but will inevitably attract fingerprints), and the green accents on the mouse are complemented by the RGB lighting. Connectivity is handled by a braided USB 2.0 cable.
The mouse has a 5000 DPI sensor, 1000 Hz polling rate, and 512 Kb of onboard memory for storing profiles.
We can't help but wonder, though, if these two are part of the same series, why doesn't the keyboard have RGB lighting, and why does the mouse have a secondary color accent while the keyboard doesn't?
Both the 450K and 450M will be available in Europe in December, with U.S. availability following in the first months of 2016. The 450M gaming mouse sits at an MSRP of $49.90, while the keyboard will cost $10 more at $59.90.
Update 24/11/2015, 11:15am PT: Cougar responded with additional details on the mechanical switches and pricing.
Niels Broekhuijsen has been with Tom's Hardware since 2012, and works as a Contributing Editor on the news team. He covers mostly hardware, components, and anything else that strikes his fancy. Outside of work, he likes to travel, cook, and fix things that are broken.
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However, seriously the backspace is one key? I'd much rather have that the typical three key backspace.
Ouch, that would be torture!
I see no need for such a large enter key, that then forces the backspace down to a single key.
That enlarged enter key also looks like an inverted European/UK styled enter key - not a fan of that either. Took me ages to get accustomed to it on my Microsoft x6.