Mad Catz shipped on Wednesday a keyboard designed for desktop customers looking to enter the more competitive, professional side of PC gaming. Called the S.T.R.I.K.E. 3, it's a new entry-level addition to the popular gaming keyboard series, sporting the same unique key membrane found in the higher end "5" and "7" models, but without the premium features.
"The Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 Gaming Keyboard is an ideal entry into the world of competitive gaming," the company said. "Whether your game of choice is an FPS, RPG, MMO, RTS, MOBA or any other genre, precise key response, customizable backlighting, and programmable macro keys all help give you an advantage over the competition."
The new gaming keyboard features a custom-crafted P.U.L.S.E. key bed that employs a "specially engineered" membrane tuned to provide precise tactile feedback, and supposedly five times the durability of traditional keyboards. Double-tap keys respond to an optimized 60g of actuation force, the company said, and reset at the "perfect level". In other words, these keys are designed to help reduce muscle fatigue during long PC gaming sessions.
The keyboard also features anti-ghosting capabilities for up to seven simultaneous keystrokes, and RGB backlighting with 16 million color variants both through and around the laser-etched, lacquered keys. Custom, extra-bright backlighting colors also provide convenient 'at-a-glance' status indication for each of the keyboard's three modes, the company said.
"The S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 Gaming Keyboard incorporates a dozen programmable macro buttons over three modes to create 36 user-definable commands," Mad Catz said. "Each of the three modes can store your programmed macros, tripling mid-game access to available commands. Once programmed, custom profiles can be published to share with your community and saved for later recall, allowing for a seamless transition to another gaming PC."
The new keyboard also sports an "intuitive" graphical interface to simplify macro programming, integrated shortcut keys for managing the PC's volume, pausing music and so on, and a switch for locking the Windows key during gaming to prevent accidental boots to the desktop.
What's interesting about this keyboard is its overall design, providing a handle easy mobility and a "split" form factor visually separating the letters from the arrow keys and number pad combo – more so than most keyboards – and connected by a rather large palm rest. This could be beneficial to gamers who typically move their character through games using the arrow keys rather than the WASD combo.
The new Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 3 can be purchased from the company here via Gameshark for $99.99 USD. The keyboard arrives in Black, White and Red.