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Fnatic miniSTREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Fnatic miniSTREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The Fnatic miniSTREAK is one of the best TKL keyboards we have ever used, find out the numerous reasons why you should pick it up here.

@chad_sebring
Chad Sebring
Published Tue, Aug 14 2018 10:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Fnatic

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Our only foray into Fnatic keyboards up until today has been with the RUSH G1 Silent keyboard. In that designs, we saw a typical keyboard design with sharp corners, a two-piece plastic frame, and while there were some standalone features other keyboards may not offer when compared against the masses of other options, it is hard to separate the RUSH from all of the others. The reason we bring all of this up is that with the newest keyboard to hit the desk for testing, that oversized chunkiness has been tossed out the door in favor of a sleeker, lighter, and more portable solution.

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VIEW GALLERY - 33 IMAGES

Opting this time for exposed switches and an exposed steel plate has allowed Fnatic to make one of the thinnest mechanical keyboards we have ever held in our hands. Not only that, but rather than square corners, all aspects of the frame have been rounded, bolstering looks, but also done for comfort. Fnatic has also included a three position wrist rest with a metal lower section, and a leather pad on to, again to add as much comfort as possible. Fnatic knows that not everyone games from their home PC and this keyboard is designed to be lightweight for ease of travel, and also comes with a detachable cable, which sports a USB Type-C connection.

While many of the keyboards we regularly see as quite similar in design, what you are about to see in the miniSTREAK from Fnatic breaks all of the rules. It encompassed all of the things we addressed above, but on top of that, we also can customize the keyboard with the Fnatic OP software, and one thing left out of the name of this product is the inclusion of RGB LED backlighting. For those tired of the massive, oversized, and clunky keyboard designs, Fnatic is offering a TKL keyboard perfect for those on the go, and even more perfect for those that are looking for comfort, even if you never travel once with the miniSTREAK RGB TKL mechanical gaming keyboard.

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In the chart found on the Fnatic product site, we do see that the STREAK and the miniSTREAK share a specifications chart. For now, we will look to the right side of the chart, as that is what pertains to what we have. As mentioned, this is a Ten-Keyless keyboard, which means the number pad has been removed. The keyboard is 360mm wide, it is 142mm deep, and it is 36mm thick. The included wrist rest is 360mm wide, it is 52.5mm deep, and it is 19mm thick. All told the keyboard is very light, weighing in at just 704 grams, without the cable included.

Fnatic uses an NXP processor with 8MB of onboard memory, and this is also used to control the 16.8 million colors of RGB backlighting. The polling rate is set to a default of 1000Hz, the rubberized cable is 2.2 meters in length, and the miniSTREAK is backed with a two-year warranty. As far as switches are concerned, all options are Cherry MX. You have the choice of reds, browns, silent reds, and the blues that we have in ours. The last bits we see on the chart are mentions of the detachable cable, that there is a Function lock, and touches on the LED nameplate, but more on that later.

When looking to buy the miniSTREAK, not many hits show up on Google. We found that the keyboard can be purchased at Fnatic Shop with a price set at $99.99. We also saw a listing at BestBuy where the price has dropped $10, bringing it to a total of $89.99 (not including shipping). One other hint at the keyboard was found on Amazon, but we can only see the review page, as when we click the product link, we get an error. However, we were able to see the price with the reviews, and if they are in stock at Amazon, the cost there is only $69.99. With what is provided in the miniSTREAK from Fnatic, we feel that $99.99 is not out of the realm of reality. However, it does appear that if you are willing to do some legwork and wait it out, much better deals can be had too.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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On the front of the box, Fnatic keeps things simple with the white and black backdrop. On it, we find the company name to the left, and the product name to the right, with a life-sized image of the miniSTREAK, illuminated, in the center of the panel.

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At the left of this side panel, we see a large sticker which tells us what keyboard is inside, followed with the Fnatic logo. To the right, we locate the specifications and descriptions of the optional switches. At the right end of the panel, we see a pair of stickers, one to note the type of switches on this keyboard, and the other tells of the layout.

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While the other pair of panels offers just the logo and the name of the product, this is the one other side panel with information. While Fnatic is essentially bragging here, it is hard not to appreciate the number of wins they have supported eSports players to achieve. One of them is REKKLES, who offers his opinion on the miniSTREAK.

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The back of the box delivers the story of what Fnatic is all about and then introduces you to the features of the miniSTREAK. With a partial image of the keyboard offered in the bottom-left corner, it leaves room for Fnatic to hit on the RGB lighting, Competition Mode, Comfort, and quality, its portability, and a few more offerings on the right side.

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Unlike many boxes, the MiniStreak can be seen by cutting a few temper proof stickers, then lifting the top of the box off the rest. Inside of the box, we can see the keyboard straight away. In the yellow box at the back, you will find the cable, but the literature and wrist rest are located under the keyboard.

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The wrist rest uses tabs to lock into the keyboard, but the rest is two-piece construction. The frame of the rest is made of metal, and the leather padded top section can be adjusted in three locations. Not only does the leather offer comfort, but being able to change the angle of the rest also adds another layer of customization in the level of comfort.

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The cable is rubberized, and the end that plugs into the PC is easy to distinguish against other devices. The smaller end uses a USB Type-C connector on it, and we also see a rubber strap for the cable, which makes it easy to wind up and throw it in a bag to take along with you.

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The quick guide offers six pages to go over the specifications, how to use the dual-layered key functions, connecting the keyboard, as well as explain how the wrist rest works. This is repeated many times over in various languages to cover all the markets Fnatic products are available. We also received three stickers with our miniSTREAK keyboard, and they can be placed anywhere you see fit to use them.

Fnatic miniSTREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Our first look at the miniSTREAK is from the left side of the keyboard. We can see the exposed switches, mounted to the aluminum top plate which has been curved to meet the plastic lower section. The lower section is also curved, but in the thin flat part of the frame, Fnatic paints the word STREAK on it.

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With the entire keyboard in view, we see that some of the keys have dual-functions, the aluminum plate is painted a shade of blue, and that in this design, and the number pad is missing. The font used is easy to read, and the command keys have full descriptions rather than abbreviations.

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F1 through F4 keys are used to select the profiles on-the-fly. Both on the keyboard and in software we top out with four profiles, so no matter how it is programmed when it comes to swapping them, this is all you need.

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F5 will switch between eight predefined lighting modes, and F6 will change through six levels of LED intensity, and can also turn them off. F7 will reduce the volume for you, and pressing F8 will increase it.

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Using the Function key and F9 will open all of the programs and windows at once across the desktop to switch between tasks much more accessible. We then move back into more multimedia functions where the F10 moves to the previous track, F11 is the play/pause button, and F12 will select the next track.

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Above some of the command keys at the right, we see three more buttons. There is one to mute the microphone, the one with the Fnatic logo to put the keyboard into Competition mode, and the last of them mutes the volume. As for the lock LEDs, there are above the arrows and have one white LED for the Caps lock, and another for the scroll lock.

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The right end of the miniSTREAK is identical to what we saw on the left. More exposed switches at this end, the STREAK name painted in white, but this time we have extended the feet to show the increased ergonomic angle that the keycaps are at now.

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Under the keyboard, we see that Fnatic uses two stout rubber pads at the back, and long thin feet at the front to secure the keyboard on the desk. In the center, there is a product sticker, where just behind it is the connectivity point with a wire management trail offered to keep the cable in place without stress on the connection.

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Since the cable uses USB 2.0 to USB Type-C, it only makes sense to see the USB Type-C connection in the large round indention. The large indent helps to get your fingers in there to install and remove the cable without much hassle.

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Something we feel all keyboard manufacturers should do in this day and age has been done to the miniSTREAK. We love when the adjustable feet, at the back, flip out to the sides. Having things this way means that the grip offered from the rubberized ends of the feet will not collapse the feet when adjusting the keyboard across the desk.

Inside the miniSTREAK

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The keycaps are standard issue. They are molded with white plastic on the `inside, and each of them is painted black, leaving the legends clear for the backlit feature to work.

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Under the caps, we see that the keyboard is filled with Cherry MX Blue switches. There are tactile with a click heard from each press. We can also see that the torsion bars are built-in, and use dummy switches to support the larger keycaps.

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Opening the keyboard requires you to remove a dozen or so screws from the top plate, and then the keyboard can be split apart. We had to be careful due to the ribbon cables and the USB jumper cable. What we can see is many supports in the lower half of the frame, which supports the PCB, and removes all forms of vibration as well.

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Moving in closer to the PCB, we find that the cleaning process after doing a superb job on the soldering is done very well. There are no signs of flux left on the PCB, which alludes to the high quality of Fnatic keyboards, inside and out.

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Fnatic opts to use an MCU made by NXP, as was stated in the specifications. From what we can make out of the model number, this is the LPC11U37F/50. This is part of the 50MHz, 32-bit, ARM Cortex M0 family, and has all the grunt needed to store the profile data, take care of the communication to the PC, and deliver the rest of the features Fnatic built into this keyboard.

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There are many lighting modes to pick through, but we are showing the miniSTREAK rainbow mode that it is set to display out of the box. The colors are bright and do flood the steel plate a bit, especially when the ambient room lighting is low. While the lock LEDs stay white, all of the extra small buttons at the top are illuminated the same color as the keys next to them.

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One more feature of the miniSTREAK is this Fnatic nameplate. It is magnetically attached to the keyboard, and soon, Fnatic plans to offer optional plates with other names and words, even potentially gamer tags. Of course, with a 3D printer, some stencils, magnets, and a can of black paint, it can be done at home too.

Fnatic OP Software

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Once the Fnatic OP software is downloaded and installed, you are brought to the home page first. This is where you can select the keyboard that is connected for customizations, but you can also click on more boxes to be delivered to Fnatic to read up on other products they offer as well.

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Once the miniSTREAK is selected, or by clicking the keyboard icon to the left, we get into the main menu. The profile tab is where you must go before you do any programming or customizations. Once a profile, one of four, is chosen, you can go on with what you came here to do.

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The lighting tab is where you go to address the way the RGB LEDs illuminate. There are the same eight modes seen here that the F5 key will run through. If the menu on the right is collapsed, you have options of animation speed, the direction the pattern flows, or if you go into the color editor, you can set static colors via sliders as well as an RGB scale.

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If you want to remap keys, add Macros, launch an application, or open a file, the key bindings menu is where it's at. All you need to do is select a key on the keyboard on the left, and once done you go to the top-right and choose if it is just that key press or if you use the Function key with it. Once that is set, you can continue to change it with one of the options below.

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When a button is selected, and you click on the macro tab, you then have to click on a new macro tab to bring up what we see here. At the top, you can name the Macro you are creating. Once that is done, click start recording and enter the combination of keys, and they will show up in the window, commands at the left in order of use, and to the right, it will record the time between actions as well. You can add steps to the end of a Macro, but we see no way to edit in any way beyond that.

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Competition Mode is where you can press the Fnatic logo key on the keyboard and enable or disable whatever keys you want to. This is done so that while gaming, there is no way accidental key presses will be registered, especially those that make take you out of the game, or in any way detract from getting the task at hand accomplished without any interruptions. Color selection is across all keys, but those that are disabled are dark like the Windows key is, and those left working are still illuminated, here only. When activated, all keys on the keyboard are illuminated regardless of functionality.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM & PUBG

The Fnatic miniSTREAK is a keyboard that fits right in our wheelhouse. We love TKL keyboards, not just due to the compact nature of them, but it also allows the mouse to sit closer to the keyboard, putting less stress on the neck and shoulders. The various profiles allowed us to set things up for individual games, but we are limited to only four profiles at a time.

Even though it is not mentioned, we found the miniSTREAK to come with NKRO support as well as anti-ghosting, which is huge when it comes to gaming keyboards. We favor Cherry MX Blue switches, we love the satisfying clicks they make, and we also like an actuation point so that fingers resting on other keys are not accidentally pressed. Movement of the characters is what we expected to see, and the ability to remap keys and customize actions of keys all play into making for a great gaming experience.

Windows and Productivity

When it comes to writing reviews, the MiniStreak also did well for us. Fewer typos are being made since it is not nearly as easy to accidentally press a surrounding key, and our speed has picked back up as well, after moving away from the MX Reds we used last. The multimedia keys come in handy, as you do not have to reach for the mouse and adjust things on the screen, you only push a button or two, and it's done. We do tend to put the keyboard in our lap and relax with our feet up while typing, and the MiniSTREAK is perfect for this too. The keyboard is light, and it is small, so it fits between the arms of the chair. Another thing we liked, is that not only do the rounded edges look good for styling when it comes time to lift the keyboard and move it, but it also has a terrific feel in hand. This goes for desktop adjustments as well.

Final Thoughts

Fnatic hit us right in the feels with this one. It was almost as if we had called up Fnatic and was like, hey guys, I want the coolest TKL mechanical keyboard you all can come up with. Make it light, easily portable, compact, stylish; oh, and don't forget the RGB LEDs. Considering what we saw initially from Fnatic, this is a complete departure, taking Fnatic keyboards to an entirely new level of awesomeness. Painting the aluminum top plat blue is sleek looking, without being boring.

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The keys with dual functionality are user-friendly, and additional buttons like the Function lock and the Competitive Mode button make it so that when gaming, accidents cannot happen, and you find yourself out of the game and dead by the time you return. As light and compact as this keyboard is, do not let it sway you into thinking it is of low-quality. The reality is quite the opposite, and in all aspects of the build, components used, and in the finished product. It will only take but a few minutes of use to know you have a top-tier product under your fingers.

Additionally, Fnatic added that leather wrist rest, and on its own is something many users like to have to help raise the wrists into better alignment with the taller keycaps. Fnatic does not stop there though. This rest has the ability that the leather pad is removable from the lower metal frame. Doing so allows the rest to ride on one of three ridges in the metal frame, to deliver optional positioning for the individual user.

Being one of the first to offer a detachable cable with a USB Type-C connection may seem like not such a big deal, but for those who have had to play the flip the cable game to connect them to conventional keyboard will know how nice it is just to make an attempt once and be done with it. The wire management trail removes stress for the connectivity point, and we do not miss the braided cloth covering many other keyboards come with. On top of all of this, we still need to mention the Fnatic OP software. While not the perfect answer to everyone's desires, it hits on all of the major points of control and customization, which is something that many gamers love about mechanical gaming keyboards.

While we did see hints of a spectacular price point at Amazon, where the miniSTREAK was shown to cost just $69.99, without current stock, we cannot count it as fact. The link to BestBuy is legit, and saving ten dollars off the MSRP is saving money, and that money could go towards something else. For the vast majority of customers, you will be looking at listing much closer to the MSRP of $99.99, and even so, we do not see how anyone will feel they have gotten a raw deal once they get a chance to unbox and use the miniSTREAK mechanical Gaming Keyboard from Fnatic. Whether using it as the daily driver for work or using it for hours of gaming, we can find no reason, other than a desperate need for a number pad, to consider buying anything else.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

TweakTown award
Performance100%
Quality100%
Features98%
Value95%
Overall98%

The Bottom Line: Being lightweight, compact, full of features, completely portable, affordable, and being one of the best TKL keyboards we have ever used, are all great reasons why you too should own the miniSTREAK from Fnatic!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

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CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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