Fnatic STREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Fnatic STREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Fnatic's STREAK mechanical gaming keyboard gets thoroughly investigated. Should you buy? Let's find out.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Oct 10 2019 1:59 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Fnatic (FC-KB-5060455781980)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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It has been a while since we last looked at a Fnatic keyboard, but in that miniStreak, we found a mechanical keyboard that was so well built, so light, and was a TKL solution, that we had to make it our daily driver. When allowed to have a look at the same thing in a full-sized variant, we took the keyboard without question, as we feel if the TKL is excellent, why should adding thirty-some extra keys to the right side of a keyboard change anything? In many of the features and the way it is laid out, we do not see many changes at all, but the one change is a significant difference, and that is the overall size of the keyboard, and the broader positioning of your hands while gaming.

The list of features to draw you into a keyboard such as this is plentiful! RGB LEDs is likely the most prominent point, but things like multiple profiles, on-the-fly adjustments, multimedia keys, volume scroll wheel, software, and all the while being an exposed frame design. The fact that it is lighter than many other mechanical keyboards is also a plus, especially for those who travel with their peripherals. One of the cooler features of this product is found in what is called a signature plate, which for now displays the Fnatic name. However, it is said that Fnatic has a service to offer gamer tags or whatever you would like to have displayed in text applied to a signature plate, making your STREAK a one-off!

With the fact that we already used and love the miniSTREAK, all the STREAK has to do is perform similarly, and we know the road to follow will be easy. Even though the STREAK is a full 104-key layout, plus a few extra keys here and there, we will not hold that against it. For those that felt the miniSTREAK was a solid contender for your money, but use the number pad too much to eliminate it, Fnatic has you covered! While most of this is a refresh for us, in the time between these two reviews we figure many of you may have forgotten about the fantastic products coming from the labs at Fnatic, and for those who prefer a larger mechanical gaming keyboard, you can now enjoy what we have been using for some time now!

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Within the chart pulled from the STREAK product page, we see the first thing mentioned is its full size, which is a 104-key layout, plus an additional four buttons. From left to right, the STREAK is 440mm in width, from front to back is 141mm in-depth, and with the feet not extended the STREAK is 36mm tall. Also included in the box is a padded palm rest, which is as wide and tall as the keyboard, but is 51mm from the front to the back, but is adjustable to add more distance from the keyboard. All told, without the cable attached, the STREAK weighs in at just 962 grams!

The chart then moves on to the internal bits, where we see mention of an NXP MCU used along with its 8MB of onboard memory for profile and Macro storage. Each switch and the same goes for the extra four buttons and the signature plate, are backed with an individual RGB LED or a panel in the case of the signature plate, allowing for a choice of 16.8 million colors, as well as patterns. The polling rate for the STREAK is set to 1000HZ, and from what we saw in the OP software, it cannot be changed.

The remains of the chart hit on many areas. It starts with the mention of the 2.2-meter long cable that sports USB 2.0 connectors, one for the keyboard functionality, while the other is for the pass-through port. If one was to have an issue, the STREAK is covered by Fnatic for two-years. There are switch options, and red, silent red, blue, or brown switches can be looked for when it comes time to buy, and ours shipped with Cherry MX Blue switches. The additional features at the bottom of the list include a USB pass-through port, a Function Lock, the RGB LED nameplate (signature plate) and a metal volume wheel.

As we look for listings of the STREAK we see that Amazon is still getting the full MSRP of $129.99. We did find a listing for it at Newegg, but it is a third-party seller, and they want heaps of cash for it! As it stands, at nearly $130, the STREAK has a tough hill to climb. At that cost, you can get a ton of features from many manufacturers. However, there is a lot to be said for fell and comfort, as well as design. If like us, you do not prefer the chunky oversized options, and you want the look of exposed metal top plates, the group of possibilities gets smaller. For now, let's say that we feel it has what it takes to overcome the sticker price, but we need to look over things and test it out to see if the STREAK from Fnatic is the next gaming mechanical keyboard you should be on the hunt for!

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

Fnatic Streak - LED Backlit Full RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$129.99$129.99$129.99
* Prices last scanned on 9/21/2020 at 12:14 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The box of the STREAK is made of thick cardboard, and the exterior is shiny where it displays a slightly smaller than life-size image of the keyboard, but the rest of the surface is matte. On the left of the image are the company logo and name, while the right flank of the keyboard has the STREAK product name.

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On this long and short side of the box, we start with a sticker at the left containing the name, model number, and compliance information. There is a Fnatic Gear logo, specifications, a bit about the switch choices, and at the right end, we see the type of included switches and the layout of the keyboard.

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One of the smallest ends of the box shows off the Fnatic prowess, with their dare to win strategy. Seven years as number one in Counter-Strike, three major winners at Counter-Strike, and five LCS champions in League of Legends. At the bottom, there is a snippet from JW, a professional CS:GO player, who says his life depends on this keyboard, and yours should too!

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The second long but short side of the box is entirely white, except for the Fnatic name and logo next to the fact that they have been a professional e-Sports team since 2004.

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The last of the sides offers the Fnatic logo in orange, and the backdrop is split between white and black as a carryover from the front panel design.

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The back of the box starts with a bit about Fnatic, where they discuss making winning products, the skill to do so is on you, and a bit about the STREAK. There are two vies of the keyboard, one showing the signature plate at the top, while the larger image is used to point out the RGB LEDs. Competition mode, use of anodized aluminum, dedicated multimedia keys and Function Lock, and a shortlist of features at the end to close the deal.

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Once the tamper-proof stickers are cut, the top of the box will lift off, exposing the STREAK for your viewing pleasure. The combination of a tightly fitting lid and a thin layer of dense foam under the keyboard have protected it well. The yellow section of cardboard at the back houses the cable, and to find the palm rest and literature, lift the keyboard out of the box, as they are both under it.

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The palm rest is a two-part design that allows for three distances from the leading edge of the keyboard. The metal section clips into grooves and holes in the keyboard, while the padded, dimpled, leather-like material sits on a plastic frame which lies in the slots of the metal component.

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Under the keyboard, but above the palm rest, there is the black box at the top left, nestled into a section of the packaging. Inside of it you will find a multi-lingual guide as to the functionality of the dual-purpose and dedicated keys found on the STREAK. For those that like stickers, you get three, and they can be applied to anything you feel can use the Fnatic name or logo.

Fnatic STREAK Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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It is easy to tell from the left side of the keyboard, which product we are looking at, as it is painted there in white letters! As to the frame, it is a two-part design where the aluminum top plate is shaped to match the lower plastic section for a smooth transition. To the right of STREAK, we can see a curve in the plastic, which rounds over the edges where it is handled most.

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The left two-thirds of the keyboard is all in order, and the font on the cylindrical-shaped keys is easy to read. We love the play of the blue against the black, and we also see double duty of the F-keys, and to the left is a tiny Function Lock button between the Escape and F1 keys.

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Moving in for a closer look, we swing up to the F-keys. The first set of four allows the user to press and hold the Function button, and if one of these four is pressed while holding it, you can cycle through the first four programmable keys.

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Two more programmable keys are found on the F5 and F6 keys for a total of six, which can be customized to do just about anything. F7 can be held, and using the arrow keys, cycle through LED modes. F8 is used for intensity of the RGB LEDs and offers o, 25, 50, 100% brightness, will double click on 100%, and the next click is back to off.

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F9 offers a Windows 10 feature of a Timeline version of desktop activities. F10 starts the multimedia keys, with the back one track button. F11 is used for pause and play of a track, and F12 will advance one track.

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The right third of the keyboard offers all of the commands, even a silhouette of a person, which is used to cycle through the four profiles. The lock indicator LEDs are between the command keys and the arrows leaving the number pad on the right, with an additional set of arrows. However, if you look above, you will find a microphone mute button, Competition mode / on-the-fly Macro record button, the standard volume mute button, and a metal wheel to raise and lower the PC volume.

STREAK Continued

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The right end of the keyboard is nearly identical in view to the left side. The STREAK name is painted on near the back, the shape and design are the same, but the angle of attack has increased for all of the keys above due to the extension of the optional feet below.

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What we see here is the signature plate, which now has the Fnatic name and logo on it. It is made of plastic and held in place with magnets. Some could 3D print replacements for this and glue some magnets to it, but it is said on the product page that Fnatic intended a service be created where customers could custom order these plates.

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The cables exit from the keyboard is left of center from the view when using it. Further to the left, or to the right as we see it in this image, we have the USB 2.0 pass-through port.

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Under the STREAK, we find that it is supported with five feet in total, two smaller ones at either side near the back, and a set of three across the front edge. If you tossed the box and were to run into an issue, there is the product sticker here that divulges that information when needed.

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As we like to see, Fnatic opts for their feet to flip out to the sides of the keyboard. On top of that, Fnatic was sure to cover the ends of the flip-out feet with rubber, so that no matter how you intend to use the STREAK, it should not walk around the desktop on you.

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The cable is a touch longer than most and is fatter than most as well. Using a rubberized cover from stem to stern, we see the pair of wires run together for the majority of the length, separating only in the last foot or so to allow for the bright orange collared connections to be fitted into the PC I/O panel.

Inside the STREAK

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The keycaps are standard fare across most of the industry. White plastic is used to mold the keycaps, and paint is then applied, leaving the legends exposed for light to pass through. Under the caps we see standard cherry stems used, and in the larger ones, we see supporting stems rather than torsion bar clips.

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All of the keys except the four additional small buttons are backed with clear-bodied, blue-stem, Cherry MX switches with a tactile bump for actuation. The RGB LEDs are installed under the PCB, and in doing so makes the entire body glow, so that more than just the legends show illumination.

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After removing seventeen screws, we were able to open the STREAK for a look inside. The lower plate opts for many small tabs to help reduce weight, but they still offer the rigidity of raised sections across the entire width we see in others. There is a small ribbon cable to worry about which powers the signature plate lighting, and we have also removed the USB cable to get it out of the way.

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Choosing a random spot on the keyboard to look more closely at, we appreciate the level of detail and quality control taken here. Solder points are clean and precise. The PCB is clean of dust and any visible remains of flux residue. We have not a single thing to complain about internally!

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At the helm of all control and communication, as well as the onboard storage, we have this MCU from NXP. All we can tell is that it is an LPC1100 model, which are ARM Cortex-M0 models and are 32-bit. With the feature set and software options available, we feel this is plenty of processor to handle the tasks at hand.

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Once we have the STREAK back in one piece, we connected it to see what happens then. In doing so, we are shown a rainbow of colors, moving from the back row of keys forward. Illumination can be changed in various ways, but we would also like to mention that we have the palm rest extended as far forward as it can be placed, which allows those with longer hands a better chance at comfortable usage!

Fnatic OP Software

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After obtaining the software and installing it, this window is what you are greeted with initially. At the home page, you can click on the products shown to learn more about them, and we see that the software is versions 0.0.30, but to do anything meaningful, you need to click on the keyboard icon at the top-left.

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Now we are looking at keyboard customizations, and while initially, the dropdown box is not there, the box is where you will pick a profile to program, with a total of four, and are what the Pause Break key cycles through. Beyond profile selection, you must click on one of the headings across the top.

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Lighting is the first option to set, and for us, we prefer the default rainbow mode, although we did address the direction of color flow and the speed of it. Otherwise, you can select rain, pulse, fade, gradient, reactive, reactive ripple, and even an option for a color editor. In the color picker menu, there are various ways to select the colors, and for modes that move, there are speed and directional options. When done, be sure to save your changes.

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The key bindings section is where Fnatic offers a second layer to the keyboard. In this instance, we selected J, which shows at the top-right that it can be used with the Function key to deliver the remapped function while keeping its original purpose intact. The options are the default function, a Macro, you can launch an application, open a file, or open a link.

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Opting for a Macro in the previously discussed menu section opens a smaller window, the Macro editor. At the top is where one goes to name the Macro and the big orange box that says start recording is the next click to make. At that time, the software will read the clicks and commands, with the time delays being recorded. After the process is completed, there is an option to add to the existing Macro, but little as far as editing it to perfection.

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Competition mode is similar to others, and the Windows lock, but this time rather than eliminating basic keys, you can lock down any key you want, and only allow a specific set of keys to work when the mode is active. To help distinguish its use, you should pick a color that does not match the profile used to do other tasks on the keyboard.

Gaming and General Impressions

DOOM & PUBG

DOOM is where we went first to try out the STREAK, and is also where we disable all keys that were not used in DOOM to try out competition mode. In doing so, we did find that with other keys dead, as we stretch to hit the G-key to bring up a weapon of awesomeness, we were able to mash the general area of the keyboard and get the right key to react, as it was the only on there still alive. No matter the game, or even if you fat-finger a key in any sort of arrangement, it is a handy feature to have at hand.

In PUBG, the arrangement of usable keys is closer, so competition mode is needed less for it, but it has the same effect in any game you set it for. Remember too, this is only one profile override option, so it will need to be adjusted depending on the game being played. With heavy hands, we enjoyed using the stiffer Cherry MX blue switches, and while friends on VOIP may not enjoy the clicks, we enjoyed gaming on the STREAK all the same.

Windows and Productivity

With various profiles at our disposal, we were able to set things up to be more productive in other areas as well. Using Macros to do numerous things, setting them to either the six F-keys or dual-layering other keys, we used the mouse less and less as we thought of more things to program. This also goes for gaming as well, not just on the productivity end, but it was here we tested its functionality the most. With multimedia keys at hand, quick access to the mute for either your microphone if someone were to walk in, or a system mute if you hear the dogs barking and are expecting a delivery; all without hands ever leaving the keyboard.

To say the layers and features are handy is a vast understatement. While we do prefer a TKL, when it came to typing, we shift the board over like the number pad did not exist, and typed away on switches we are used to and honestly prefer! All in all, with many hours of use, we feel no vibrations, and with the palm rest in play, the ergonomics comes into play and helps you continue with your tasks, even longer, with less stress to the body.

Final Thoughts

For us, Fnatic has once again done what it has in the past, impress!

From the high-end packaging to the first look of the blue top plate with all of the black keys, popping against the yellow internal packaging, it is all done to impress. Out of the box, it is no less impressive. A lightweight, full-sized keyboard, with a minimalist appeal and all the RGB, LED goodness you can handle! Even though, when it came to building the STREAK, we find a bit of torsional flex at end to end of the keyboard, once set on a desk or in your lap, the keyboard shows no signs of vibrations, and with the palm rest, which is adjustable by the way, it make use time with the STREAK more enjoyable, less stressful, and allowing you to spend more time in-game or typing a thesis, the STREAK can handle both! We also loved the on-the-fly Macro system, ability to swap profiles, change the lighting, and enable competition mode, all without the need for software.

To obtain full control of all of the bells and whistles, it is advised you grab the Fnatic OP software. Not only are various lighting modes available which cannot be obtained with the keyboard alone, but you can also customize the lighting to whatever color you choose. The software allows you to program all of the profiles fully, you can remap the keyboard with a dual-layer, you can access the six F-keys for whatever you use most, and while the Macro editor is not the best in the game, it is plenty to get most users by. Windows Locks are all the rage, and while some allow for specific keys to be eliminated from use, not many will allow the user to pick and choose what to be active and not.

With the competition mode option, you can adjust it to a game, use of a spreadsheet, or disable everything and use it as an added layer of protection from someone typing away at your PC. The software combined with switches everyone will recognize, and a processor cable of powering more than what the STREAK can demand, in all aspects, it seems the STREAK is everything we liked about its little brother, the miniSTREAK.

There are many mechanical keyboards with RGB LEDs in this price range. Most of them have a similar feature set, so we can take that bit out of the equation. With the STREAK it is more about presentation and slick looks once past the fact that they made a reliable well-functioning device on the basic level first. The blue anodized aluminum is something we do not see every day, the signature plate options are cool for those who are into personalizing their gear, and where many leave rough edges on their exposed plate designs, this Streak Keyboard is more elegant and curvy. With each of those, the options in the market dwindle, and for us, it all comes together to make one of the lighter and cleaner looks at what a gaming mechanical keyboard should be.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

Performance

100%

Quality

98%

Features

98%

Value

96%

Overall

98%

The Bottom Line

The STREAK is an attractive and sleek mechanical keyboard with just enough features to get you through the day! Carrying all of the things we loved about the miniSTREAK, it is only natural that we would love the STREAK just as much.

TweakTown award
98%

Fnatic Streak - LED Backlit Full RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$129.99$129.99$129.99
* Prices last scanned on 9/21/2020 at 12:14 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

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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