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Corsair Gaming Strafe Mechanical Keyboard Review

By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Sep 29, 2015 4:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Corsair

Inside the Strafe

 

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As we start to dig around to look at what makes up the Strafe, we see that this version is indeed based on Cherry MX red switches, and each of the switches has its own LED. We can also see, or rather not see the torsion bar, as they are built into this design.

 

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The standard caps on the keyboard are molded in white, and then a coating is sprayed over the top of them leaving the iconography and letters blank to allow the LEDs to pass through them.

 

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Since we were messing around with key caps, while not exactly inside the board, we installed the FPS caps set. They are angled to keep you on the right keys and are also diamond plate textured like the space bar.

 

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Since we tried the FPS set, we figured we may as well go ahead and install the MOBA cap set too. These caps are angled differently but again are gray and textured like the last set.

 

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Back to the tear down where we now have the upper and lower frames in this picture. The lower frame is ribbed to support the steel plate while the top is thin and just snaps in over the rest of the gear to trim things off cleanly.

 

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Randomly choosing a location on the PCB for a quality control image, we find the PCB is free of any residue and the solder points are clean and on point.

 

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In control of the lighting modes, software options, and the features of the Strafe is the NXP LPC11U37F. It is a 32-bit ARM Cortex 0 MCU that is plenty to control this keyboard and also offer onboard memory to take your hard work with you wherever the keyboard goes.

 

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We also ran into this pad switch under the USB pass-through PCB. We found a corresponding hole under the right footwell, where it would be possible to slide a thin wire in as a reset for the keyboard. While there is no documentation we could find about it, this is what we are sticking with for now.

 

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With everything reassembled, we powered up the Strafe and found a bright red glow coming from the plastic strip the separated the top and bottom sections of the frame.

 

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Red is not the best color for a photo booth, but we assure you all of the keys were lit with the glow of the red LEDs. We even activated all three locks to turn on those LEDs, and in a dark room it is easy to see if you accidentally hit the Caps Lock in your periphery.

 

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What we also dug about the Strafe was that when adding in one of the optional keycap sets, you do not have to opt for lighting or the caps. They are molded in white before the black and grey is added, so they allow the LEDs to glow through them as well.

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