The aspect that images really did not help with has to be the lighting. At stock, the 700K comes with the ability to run without LEDs, and the first option is to use the keyboard with the LEDS moving in an EQ-like pattern. The next option has the keyboard lighting up a row at a time in fast succession, and repeats a rolling motion. The next option is like Knight Rider, with three columns lit at once as they flash left to right, and back again, repeating forever. The last preset option is full illumination. Of course, all of these options can be applied to both modes of lighting. To take it even further, if you have the time, you can set individual keys or groups of keys to flash, turn off, or whatever makes you happy to see under your fingers.
Of course, that same UIX software that allows for that LED control also affords the same level of controls to all other aspects. Whether programming Macros, setting profiles, or remapping the keyboard, the options allow you total control in the finest level of detail. Also, if you have other Cougar devices, you can take advantage of the Fusion system, and send keyboard functions to a mouse or headset, or the other way around. Everything you need is right there out in the open, and if you get confused or screw something up, either hold the function key and the M-button corresponding to the profile to clear it, or go to software management, select it, and clear it. So, go ahead and play around with it, because you can always get back to your starting point to try it all again.
While black Cherry MX switches are not our favorite, we did notice a slight speed boost from our normal use of blues or greens, although there were a few more errors, as we find multiple key strokes more common. The fact that the six-key and NKRO support works so well does not help either, as it is sure not to miss a single press of any key to its actuation point. The only thing about the 700K that has us pausing every once in a while is the feel of the space bar. While we typically only use the side of the key anyway, the fact it is split changes the feel entirely, and is just one of the things that will take a little more time to adjust to, but it is in no way a deal breaker.
The 700K has all the power it needs, the components are top-tier, and you can definitely see where we got the idea that this is a melding of the best of the best when it comes to a mechanical keyboard in the $150 range. The 700K looks like a love child of the K90 and a G710+, and appears to operate under the supervision of ROCCAT as its software nanny.
Not only it is completely functional and a pleasure to use, but just when you think you have figured it all out, you realize there is still more that the software and the 700K can do to aesthetically spice up your day. To top it off, you still have a great functioning keyboard underneath it all. While the competing keyboards are very good at what they do, we feel that Cougar holding back a bit has definitely given them the advantage, as this 700K mechanical keyboard outpaces the competition, yet is unique enough to not be confused with any of them.
PRICING: You can find the Cougar 700K for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Cougar 700K (BLACK switches) retails for $141.42 at Amazon, and the Cougar 700K (RED switches) retails for $149.99 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||99%|
|Bundle and Packaging||98%|
|Value for Money||99%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||99%|
The Bottom Line: Its built like a brick outhouse, the software is pretty intense with what it offers, the orange LED is unique, and for the cost, we simply can find no reason not to own the Cougar 700K.
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