Cougar Attack X3 RGB Speed Review


Cougar Attack X3 RGB Speed Review


Products like the Cougar Attack X3 are always difficult to sum up, as so much of their base features are built upon the bedrock of the Cherry MX switches, and they are so good that it's almost impossible to create a bad keyboard from them. Equally 'so much of what a keyboard is' is set in stone that there is little room for a designer to really get their game on and blow our minds with something outré.

Designing out of the box is something Cougar are very good at, as their range of mice and our recent review of the Phontum S show, but the Attack X3 Speedy doesn't really have much room for manoeuvre. Looking at the Attack X3 in it's most basic form, it ticks an awful lot of the boxes that you would hope to find on a modern mechanical keyboard. Although it is available with a variety of Cherry MX switches, our review sample came equipped with the Speed variants which have the same 45cN actuation pressure everyone loves from their Red switches, but actuates a mere 1.2mm down rather than the 2mm of their standard switches. So often we hear of people who believe a mechanical keyboard is slower to type on than the laptop/scissor switch style, but whilst it might have a lot of travel you only need the top bit.

Build quality is good, especially considering the sub-£100 price tag. We're particularly big fans of the font design on the key caps which are crisp, clear, modern and really let the excellent lighting show through. It's a little bit of a shame that the lock indicators are resolutely white, but that's still fairly common and hasn't yet, like RGB has, become a standard feature. We'd definitely have preferred a wrist rest that had rests on both sides, as the single FPS side is great when you're gaming and no use at all when typing. Sure you can remove it, but then it isn't a wrist rest anymore.

The main area that Cougar have control of, and the one area that they really need to upgrade, is the software. A few years ago the major manufacturers had a general agreement that they will combine all their peripheral control software into a single, user-friendly, package. Cougar have eschewed this path and require an individual package for each of their peripherals. Whilst the one for their mice is a bit more like the one you would expect, the software pack for the Attack X3 isn't quite as user-friendly as we'd like with a few elements either obfusctated or missing. Like all software packages once you get the hang of it things fall into place quite well, but we have a preference for software you can get up and doing with using the minimum of fuss. However, software is an easy fix with a redesign and the underlying hardware of the Cougar Attack X3 is good enough that it isn't a deal breaker. Just be aware there is a learning curve and lighting doesn't work across multiple Cougar devices.

All in all the Cougar Attack X3 RGB Speed is a good quality keyboard at an affordable price, let down slightly by its software. If you accept that the control package is a little bit esoteric then you'll be left with a pleasant experience enhanced by the swift typing experience of the Cherry MX Speed switches. The underlying hardware is still great enough that once it's set up you'll get years of enjoyment and that is enough to win our OC3D Gamers Choice award.

Cougar Attack X3 RGB Speed Review  

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