Cougar’s Keyboards Of Many Colors (And Mice, Too)

Like many companies these days, Cougar is expanding its lineup of gaming peripherals, and like seemingly every company, it’s doing so primarily by way of adding colored lights to its new (and old) keyboards. Predictably, Cougar announced an RGB version of its Attack X3 gaming keyboard, but it also introduced multi-colored lighting on three new SKUs, as well. It also has a handful of new mice.

The RGB Update

Whereas the original Attack X3 offered just red or white LED lighting options, the Attack X3 RGB offers 16.8 million colors. Otherwise, the keyboards appear to be nearly identical. You can of course play with the lighting using Cougar’s UIX software, but the company saw fit to include onboard lighting mode controls, too. It will be available with Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown or Black switches.

The original Attack X3 cost $119.99, but it now it’s listed for significantly less on both Amazon and Newegg. Usually that would be an indication that the new RGB model would come in at the same price as the Attach X3 was originally, but the Attack X3 RGB will list for as high as $149.99 (although a Cougar rep told me it could be lower) when it hits the market in Q3 2016.

More Mechanical Options, And Maybe One Fewer

Cougar will be killing off a couple of its existing keyboard SKUs, and for its mechanical lineup, the odd man out will be the Attack X2. It will be replaced by the new Ultimus, a keyboard with Cherry MX switches and multi-colored (but not RGB) lighting. At least in terms of chassis design, it looks as if it will serve as the mechanical version of the Cougar 200K.

The keyboard will have red, green and blue lights, and apparently you can mix (only) those colors to create, for example, purple. Further, lighting is only per-row, meaning that although you can employ different colors, you can only make one row of keys one color, and the next row a different color, and so on. (Note in the below image how Cougar has this Ultimus set for red, green, blue and purple rows.) You can also set all of the keys to a single color and, using onboard controls, enact lighting effects such as wave.

Although it looks like plastic, the Ultimus has a metal backplate. It won’t be silver-colored brushed-metal like the Attack X3, though. 

The Ultimus will cost $79.99 when it hits the market (we don’t have a timeframe yet), but that price tag isn’t for the Cherry MX version; that version of the Ultimus will have Cougar-branded mechanical switches. Cougar has not disclosed anything further about the upcoming Cougar switch, including which switchmaker might be manufacturing the switches nor when it will come to market.

Colors On Non-Mechanical Keyboards

It appears that the Cougar 500K (essentially the non-mechanical version of the 700K) will be phased out, as will the Cougar 300K. The 200K and 450K will be spared the ax, and a trio of newcomers will emerge.

The Deathfire (which is actually already available in some regions) is equipped with Cougar’s “Hybrid Mechanical switch” and features seven-color lighting. In addition to backlighting, the sides are translucent and light up, as well, similar to KBP’s V60 RGB. It’s joined by the new Deathfire EX, which has the same design but eight colors to work with. Both keyboards come as a package deal with a companion mouse.


We don’t have pricing information yet for the Deathfire and Deathfire EX. The former may or may not actually come to the U.S., actually, but expect the latter to arrive in Q4.

Going one more step down the stack is the new Vantar, a device that has a strikingly similar design to the Deathfire keyboards, including the translucent sides, but it employs scissor switches instead of the Hybrid switches (and is therefore thinner). When it’s available in Q3, the Vantar will cost $39.99.

None of these non-mechanical keyboards will use Cougar’s UIX software, which means you can’t do much in the way of configuration, but it also means that there are no drivers to fiddle with. 


VantarVantar


UltimusDeathfireDeathfire EXVantar
TypeFull size
Switches-Cherry MX
-Cougar mechanical switches
Cougar Hybrid MechanicalScissor
LightingMulticolor backlit (red, green, blue, but not full RGB)8-color, backlit7-color, backlit8-color, backlit
Onboard StorageNo
Key RolloverNKRO19KRO26KRO19KRO
PassthroughNo
Cable1.8m
Cougar UIX SoftwareNo
Misc.N/A-Includes combo mouse (ADNS-5050 optical sensor, 3 buttons)-Includes combo mouse (ADNS-5050 optical sensor, 6 buttons, adj. DPI and polling rate switches on underside)N/A
Dimensions180 x 445 x 40 mm (LxWxH)140 x 448 x 43 mm (LxWxH)132 x 438 x 20 mm (LxWxH)
Price$79.99 (Cougar switch)UnknownUnknown, coming Q4$39.99, Q3

Also, Some Mice

For the most part, the top end of Cougar’s mouse lineup remains intact. In fact, Cougar’s big four--the 700M, 700M eSports, 600M, and 600M eSports--are all staying put and will actually be augmented by one more entrant on the higher end in the form of the aggressively-named Revenger.

RevengerRevenger


The Revenger is actually quite a departure from the other high-end Cougar mice. Whereas the others all have laser sensors that max out at 8,200 DPI, the Revenger sports an optical PMW3360 sensor that can reach 12,000 DPI. It’s also a six-button mouse as opposed to the rest of the high-end lineup that has eight buttons. The rest of the specs, though, are similar: It’s a right-handed mouse with 1,000 Hz polling rate, 32-bit ARM processor, 512 KB of onboard memory, and RGB lighting (although it has two zones instead of one). Its 1.8-meter cable is rubber (TPE) instead of braided, and it’s 10g lighter than the 700M at 120g but significantly heavier than the 90g 600M. It’s also slightly longer, thinner and taller at 135 x 70 x 45 mm (LxWxH).

The Revenger will cost $69.99 when it comes to market in Q3 2016.

Minos X3Minos X3


It’s the lower half of the mouse product stack that’s experiencing roster churn. The 550M and 450M are getting small updates--the cables are now rubber (TPE) instead of braided, the logo is a little different, and there are new color options. Most notably, the side grips are now rubber-coated instead of hard plastic, which is a welcome change. When the revised mice hit the market in Q3, they’ll cost $49.99 (550M) and $44.90 (450M).

Minos X3Minos X3The 500M and 400M are going away, along with the 250M and 200M. Cougar is replacing some of those with two new mice, the Minos X3 and Minos X1, which follow some of the same nomenclature as its keyboards (eg, the Attack X3).

Both new mice are relatively small and light at 122 x 70 x 40 mm (LxWxH) and 105g (Minos X3) and 100g (Minos X1). The Minos X3 offers a PMW3310DH optical sensor (the same one as the 450M) and adjustable DPI up to 3,200, and it has eight-color backlighting and three lighting zones. The Minos X1 has an ADNS-5050 optical sensor (up to 2,000 DPI) and one-color, two-zone lighting. Both have a rubber (TPE) 1.8-meter cable.

Note that the Minos X3 features a lit ring around its bottom edge that will add a significant touch of flair. There are switches on the bottom to adjust DPI and polling rate. The idea there is simple: Because the mouse has no onboard memory on which to store profiles, you can adjust the switches as you like, and the settings will remain no matter what PC you connect the mouse to.

The Minos X3 and X1 are coming Q3 and will cost $29.99 and $19.99, respectively.

Minos X1Minos X1



700M/600MRevengerMinos X3Minos X1
SensorADNS-9800 laserPMW3360 opticalPMW3310DH opticalADNS-5050 optical
Resolution50-8,200 DPI100-12,000 DPI400/800/1,600/3,200 DPI500/1,000/1,500/2,000 DPI
StyleRight-handed
Processor32-bit ARM
Onboard Memory512 KBNo
Programmable Buttons866 (non-programmable)6 (non-programmable)
LightingFull RGB, partial zonesFull RGB two-zone3-zone, 8 colors2-zone, 1 color
Cougar UIX SoftwareYesNo
Cable1.8 m braided1.8 m TPE
Dimensions127 x 83 x 38 mm (LxWxH) / 125 x 80 x 42 mm (LxWxH)135 x 70 x 45 mm (LxWxH)122 x 70 x 40 mm (LxWxH)
Weight130g / 90g120g105g100g
Price $50-70 / $55-60 (street price)$69.99 (MSRP), Q3$29.99 (MSRP), Q3$19.99 (MSRP, Q3)

Seth Colaner is the News Director at Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • DookieDraws
    Nice looking products, especially those mice.

    Also, I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, I am so happy with how we're able to view larger images on the site now. A hell of a lot better than the way it was! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)
  • Poul Wrist
    When I buy something, if it has LEDs in it, I disable them as fast as possible... I can't imagine why anyone would want a keyboard to glow like that. Or at all, for that matter.