Mad Catz Strike 3 Keyboard Wont Replace Your Significant Other ... or Will It?

WRITTEN BY: Josh Smith

In the Mad Catz “STRIKE” keyboard family of hardware, the STRIKE 7 (pardon the dead image links) is clearly “The Favorite”. If we were to dabble in anthropomorphism, you could say that the STRIKE 7 is the older, more beloved sister, earning a PHD early, becoming massively successful in her field. That said, when introduced to the the STRIKE 3 you realize that it doesn’t have the same number of features and doesn’t offer the same benefits as its older sibling. That said, there’s something about the STRIKE 3 that turns you on. It’s slimmer, offers some meaningful benefits and, if given the opportunity to push her buttons, you’ll find she’s simply sexier. If I could get just five minutes alone with her I’d...

I’m sorry, sometimes my imagination runs away with itself.

The STRIKE 3 is beautiful though, offering a glimmering red sheen (or white or black) that immediately draws the eyes to it. Surprisingly, even in dusty conditions the keyboard doesn’t seem to attract much and when it does, a simple wipe is enough to remove the thin layer of surface dust that may have formed. In addition to the beautiful exterior, the backlighting is also on par with what you’d expect from the STRIKE family, allowing for magnificent hues to shine through to further accentuate the keys and the vivacious curves of the hardware.

And the software, ohhhh the software. It’s not that it does anything particularly well -- it’s not going to give you a back rub after a long day or talk dirty to you at the most inappropriate times -- but it doesn’t get in your way, either. With a simple download and install, you’re able to customize your keyboard shortcuts with only a basic understanding of ‘puters. It’s your M-and-C-keys that get programmed, and with twelve of them across the top and near the arrow pad, that’s a lot of customization. Even more so when you realize there are three different “modes,” meaning your twelve programmable keys just became 36.

And of those 36 programmable keys, users will find a multitude of options. One option might include media player controls, allowing for easy playing or pausing of your favorite movie. Another could be programmable macros for certain games like League of Legends or DotA 2, where timing and skill-chaining is a factor to winning. Or, if you prefer to have a nice clean desktop, you can even program each key to open a different program or application.

See? I told you the STRIKE 3 knew how to work it, but there is a drawback. Because the keys are static, with no particular identifiers beyond simple labels, it’s easy to get confused on which set of buttons are active and what the buttons actually do. Without creating a button guide you’re forced to continuously open the software to determine what, exactly, you’re using. But let’s face it, you’d be willing to do anything for her...

em>IT. You’ll do anything for IT. It’s not a woman. No. That’d be silly.

While it’s still the youngest and smallest version of the STRIKE family, the STRIKE 3 is still a mean piece of hardware. At only $99.99, it’s a fraction of the price of it’s older siblings, but still contributes enough to your relationship that it’s worth spending your time with it. I’m not saying that it will replace your girlfriend or offer you any intimate moments, but I’m not saying that it won’t, either.

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