Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 Review: Taking Gaming Further

Corsair gaming keyboards routinely attract the attention of the gaming community, thanks to their practical yet sleek design. The Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 is no exception to this as it packs quality materials and added features. I was curious to check if this keyboard delivers as promised.

Highly Customizable, Amazing Performance

Corsair gaming keyboards routinely attract the attention of the gaming community, thanks to their practical yet sleek design. The Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 is no exception to this as it packs quality materials and added features. I was curious to check if this keyboard delivers as promised.

CORSAIR STRAFE RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • CHERRY MX RGB mechanical key switches with gold contacts deliver the ultimate performance and competitive advantage of mechanical keys
  • 8MB Onboard profile storage with lighting and hardware macro playback to take your gaming profiles with you
  • Per-key RGB backlighting deliver dynamic and vibrant lighting effects with virtually unlimited customization
  • Dedicated multimedia and volume controls to adjust your audio without interrupting your game
  • USB pass-through port provides convenient access to an additional USB port for your mouse or headset

Ergonomics and Design 

Corsair has done an excellent job in designing a low-key yet sophisticated gaming keyboard. The boxy design with solid edges evokes the image of a high-end sports car. Made of high-quality materials, it spells sturdiness and longevity. Although it is not a spill-proof keyboard, it can handle a decent amount of abuse.

If you are planning to bring this keyboard to your office, it will turn some heads. The matte black color scheme looks very professional, and the textured space bar is a nice addition.

The detachable wrist rest will appeal to those who are into healthy gaming and care about alleviating their wrist strain. After all,  good ergonomics means safer gaming– you may also like the fact that the wrist rest is textured. The USB Pass-through port is another thoughtful choice of Corsair; it makes plugging in your other devices super convenient.

Layout wise, this is your standard full-size keyboard. Everything is here like the dedicated media buttons and a volume scroll bar. You can also find a Windows Keylock, a button for adjusting the backlight brightness, and a button for cycling backlighting profiles.

Keys and Switches 

Many gamers are particular about what the keycaps should feel like. Surprisingly, though the Strafe Mk.2 feels a bit plastic, you can feel the soft-touch material that covers the keycaps. The only downside to this nice feature is that it doesn’t handle grease well.

Corsair also included extra gray-topped, textured keycaps into the package, which will definitely be appreciated by FPS and MOBA fans. During testing, while using the FPS keycaps for WASD, I noticed that they are angled differently. They kept my fingers from sliding off, which I’m sure you will find super convenient too. I was able to move with ease during my PUBG matches.

You have the choice of picking between Cherry MX Red and Cherry MX Silent Red keys if you prefer to lessen the typing noise. Both are equally comfortable. Though it would have been better if they had thrown in some Browns and Blues in the mix too.

Corsair’s choice to go with the MX Red and Silent Red keys is the right choice as they deliver a smooth and linear response and a precise actuation. Without a doubt, these key switches are built to keep up with fast keypresses, especially for situations when you are under pressure.

The switches are quite reliable as they have very minimal wobble than what you’re used to from Cherry. And the Cherry MX Silent delivers a noticeably quieter clack compared to the MX Red.

Performance and Gaming 

One of the most important factors to check when buying a gaming keyboard aside from the switches is to know how it will fare in gaming. Impressively, the performance of the Strafe Mk.2 is highly rated.

I purposely tested this keyboard with different genres, and it delivered up to par. The n-key rollover and anti-ghosting came in handy during fast-paced games like Overwatch and League of Legends. Even though I was executing cancel animations at LOL, the keyboard kept up with the rapid presses. The keys felt tactile, sharp, and crisp, and it handled RTS, and 3rd person RPG quite well.

The media keys were also super convenient. I appreciated how easily I could control my playlist while doing other tasks. The keys and the scroll wheel were built well and worked smoothly.

Software and Lighting 

The Strafe Mk.2 is fully supported by the Corsair Utility Engine (iCUE). Although this software is indeed loaded with customization and personalization possibilities, it is not exactly user-friendly. However, a big letdown of the Strafe Mk.2 is that it takes extensive tweaking before you can make the iCUE execute your settings.

Nevertheless, once you’ve passed the software’s learning curve, you can have fun playing with the lighting and the key programming. Using the iCUE, you can set up up to three profiles thanks to its 8MB onboard memory and as many profiles as you like on your computer.

Even more, you can link each profile with a favorite game or program. And I love the fact that I can set up lighting options for each game, now imagine playing Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm with that awesome purple!

Of course, macros can be programmed and assigned to lesser-used keys. You can also reassign key functions, for example, for mouse or media commands. Overall the iCUE will let you do whatever you want. That is why, despite its quirks,  it is undeniably one of the most customizable software out there.

As per the lighting, Strafe Mk.2’s RGB is as amazing as expected from Cherry switches. It has a clear light on the upper half of keycaps and a fragmentary effect for the lower half, making it quite appealing.

Final Verdict 

I can safely say that the Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2 is one of the most efficient and beautiful keyboards out there. From the keyboard’s genuine Cherry MX keys to its sleek design and layout, down to its ingeniously discrete media keys. If you fancy a mechanical keyboard that will last you through your next decade or so of gaming, and you’re ready to spend a bit more, then the Corsair Strafe Mk.2 is an obvious pick.

CORSAIR STRAFE RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • CHERRY MX RGB mechanical key switches with gold contacts deliver the ultimate performance and competitive advantage of mechanical keys
  • 8MB Onboard profile storage with lighting and hardware macro playback to take your gaming profiles with you
  • Per-key RGB backlighting deliver dynamic and vibrant lighting effects with virtually unlimited customization
  • Dedicated multimedia and volume controls to adjust your audio without interrupting your game
  • USB pass-through port provides convenient access to an additional USB port for your mouse or headset
Tracy has been working for RealGear since the first day it went online. She reads every e-sports related newspaper and website. She is a huge Twitch.tv fan and a gamer with a soft spot for Lineage 2, WoW, and Guild Wars 1 and 2. She says she does not suffer from PvP insanity, she enjoys every minute of it. Tracy defines herself as a person who’d spend two hours customizing a character rather than indulging in an activity that would not be as nearly rewarding as playing games and testing hardware.

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