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Cougar 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

By: Chad Sebring | Keyboards in Peripherals | Posted: Dec 2, 2014 1:10 am
TweakTown Rating: 99%Manufacturer: Cougar

Inside the 700K




By removing the key caps, we confirm our 700K does indeed have Cherry MX black switches mounted directly to the aluminum plate, and, of course, each is LED backlit. For those not familiar with black switches, the action is smooth and quiet like a red switch, just with stiffer springs.




Just like about ninety percent of all backlit keyboards, the caps are first molded in white, and then have an application of black put over them, leaving the icons blank.




Due to some odd locks on the ribbon cables, this is as far as disassembly went. We had to remove about thirty screws, remove the back rail, then the front rail, and then weasel the plate free of the base. Speaking of the base, there is plenty of support for the PCB to rest on it securely.




Not all of the keyboard features mechanical switches. This is the panel found under the Macro Record button and profile switches. These are blue pad style switches that are easy to press, and make just the slightest noise when pressed.




We also find more of the same switches used under the right side paddle switches. In reality, to keep the low profile of all of these keys, there is just no way to incorporate a mechanical switch here.




Digging just a bit deeper, we run into the USB and audio control board. Here, the main two connections at the left allow transmission to the main PCB for both functions, and this is pretty much just a slave PCB, as the controller is on the main section.




Peeking at the bulk of the main PCB, we see that Cougar is on it from the word go. Even if the customer will likely never see this, Cougar fully cleaned the PCB after the soldering process, and left nothing to be seen other than clean solder work.




Here we have the Holtek HT1632C, which has the sole job of being in control of the LED system in this keyboard. With that said, the 700K offers quite few more options than just on and off for their LEDs.




The specifications stated that there is a 32-bit ARM Cortex Mo MCU in this keyboard, and here it is: the NXP LPC11U14F. With this, and the LED driver in control of everything, there is plenty of power to get the job done, and still have 512MB of onboard storage.




Putting it all back together was no simple task, but after replacing many screws, we added some power to the 700K. When first powered, the keyboard is fully illuminated, and we noticed that it went to sleep after a few images, and offered some sort of an EQ-like display of lights, at least until we pressed a key. This is only just the tip of the iceberg though.

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