Mad Catz has been making PC gaming peripherals for a few years now. For the longest time they have been at the top of the class making everything from headsets to mice to keyboards. Their most ambitious device to date is the S.T.R.I.K.E. 7 modular keyboard.
This keyboard is hands down one of the best I’ve ever played with, not to mention durable. The Modular setup has its quirks, but on the whole, being able to move the number pad (plus macro keys) away from the side of the main board really helps when limited desk space is an issue. Having another set of macro buttons that can attach to either the left side of the keyboard, or either side of the number pad works out pretty well. The wrist/hand rests are detachable, switchable and one is also an input for flight simulators with throttle control and firing button, all configurable.
The attachable touch screen has its several functions in and of itself. Being able to program the entire keyboard from this interface is useful, including macros, lighting and modes. The programmable LED backlit keys are great when you’re playing in the dark, as well as being programmable to three separate modes for each macro scheme. However, the device is missing a key function, or button if you will. With its tendency to freeze, there is a distinct lack of a reset button, forcing the user to either a) Unplug the power and USB connection and reboot it, or b) uninstall/reinstall the firmware every time. This can be quite the headache.
Another issue is the power connection. An A/C Adapter that has a midline connection to the USB seems pretty neat, and the wires themselves look cool, but the connection for the power to the main USB is tenuous, to say the least. Bumping this, or the USB itself, can cause the keyboard and/or touch screen to turn off, reboot or go to the blank white screen that needs a reboot anyway.
This keyboard also comes with extra specialized wires to help with your configuration, and extra keys with letterings, arrows, and rubber arrows for your preferred WASD gaming setup. But like all keyboards, if you’re a heavy gamer like me, that paint is going to wear off and that rubber is going to crumble with extensive gaming.