Everything But The Switches: Thermaltake’s Challenger Edge Membrane Gaming Keyboard

At first glance, Thermaltake’s Challenger Edge gaming keyboard ticks many of the boxes enthusiast mechanical keyboard fans desire. It has a black, brushed aluminum backplate. Double-injection keycaps. Corsair-like floating key design. Multi-color lighting. Hubba hubba!

But it’s not a mechanical-switch keyboard. Instead, the Challenger Edge employs membrane switches. At least it’s priced accordingly, at just $39.99.

Really, what Thermaltake has done here is create a keyboard that offers some of the features of a higher-end gaming keyboard for people that 1) don’t care about mechanical switches and/or 2) don’t have $100+ to spring for the real deal. There’s probably a market for that, and Thermaltake is among the few companies (Cougar, Zalman, Razer and Cooler Master also have non-mech gaming keyboards, for example) tapping into it.

In lieu of software, you control all the lighting and media functions with the keys. There’s no onboard memory, so you can’t save anything, though, and you can’t set up macros. Also note that although the release materials boast “RGB,” there are just 8 colors to choose from.

At press time, it does not appear that the Challenger Edge is available for purchase online.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Thermaltake Challenger Edge
Pricing$39.99 MSRP
Model TypeFullsize w/ Numpad
Switch TypeTteSports Membrane (20 mil click lifetime)
Polling Rate125 Hz
Lighting8-color lighting (w/ static, pulse, pulse jumping and spectrum running effects)
Additional PortsNone
Cable Type1.8m USB
Key CapsDouble-injection
Key Rollover-6KRO (only Q, A, Z, W, S, X, E, D, C, B, spacebar and tab) plus directional keys-“Anti-ghosting/ regional”
Dimensions-461.5 x 155 x 38.8 mm-1.26 Kg (w/ cable)
System RequirementsMicrosoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
Misc-F-keys double as media keys-Windows lock, full keyboard lock-Onboard lighting controls

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

  • RedJaron
    There is a market for gaming and programmable keyboards like this, but I think it will come down to software. Macros, programmability, and dynamic profile switching need to be there, I think. Without at least that, ll you've got is a more expensive backlit membrane keyboard.