The mechanical gaming keyboard is quite busy these days, but we’ve seen quite a few fantastic keyboards from Cougar recently and I’m eager to see what their latest has to offer. The Attack X3 features a fully mechanical design, with a choice of four Cherry MX switches, red, brown, blue and black, so finding one that suits your personal preferences should be an easy task.
“The COUGAR Attack X 3 is a pro gamer’s dream, come true. Cherry MX Switches, fully configurable key functions (including macros), strong red backlight and a durable and visually stunning aluminum design. No superfluous buttons or additions, only what true gamers need.”
There’s a whole host of features that will appeal to gamers, starting with a durable and rather stylish brushed aluminium frame, high-end mechanical switches, 10 programmable keys, full backlighting, multimedia keys, NKRO and more.
The box has a nice image of hte keyboard on the front, as well as details of the Cherry MX switches and the latest Cougar UIX software.
Around the back, a much more detailed feature breakdown, covering the various switches available, N-Key rollover, built-in memory and more.
The Attack X3 comes hard-wired with a hard-wired USB cable, which is nice and long, making it easily placed if you have a large desk.
A Closer Look
First impressions of the X3 are very positive, it has a good weight to it and the appearance is certainly very nice. A mixture of matte black keys on a polished and brushed aluminium chassis, with a little bit of black trim at the top and bottom, not only does it look great, it also feels incredibly durable.
The font on the key caps is nice and large, which obviously makes them easier to read, but it also gives a larger percentage of the key cap for the LED lighting to shine through. Right at the top, you’ll find secondary functions on the F-keys, such as the profile memory selectors, and master lighting control.
Here you’ll find polling rate adjustments.
Finally, my personal favourites, the multimedia controls, as well as buttons to toggle between 6K and NK rollover.
There’s a full number pad on this keyboard, but just above it, you’ll also find some volume controls although it should be noted that these are the only non-mechanical switches on the keyboard.
The bottom left Windows key is gone, swapped out for an FN-shift key, allowing you quickly access the secondary functions on the F-keys.
There’s also a Windows lock function, helping you to avoid staring at your desktop wallpaper in the middle of a heated battle on your favourite game; no one likes accidentally minimising their game!
Around the back, a rather simple flat design, not that it matters much, of course, as you rarely see this side. There are two large and durable rubber grips at the front, as well as two durable feet with extra rubber grips. The combination of the weighted design and the rubber grips means the X3 stays firmly in place on your desktop, even when mashing at the keys.
There’s not really much to see around the back, just the central connection point for the USB cable.
The key caps are removable, making maintaining and cleaning the keyboard nice and easy; here you can see the Cherry MX Blue switches.
The Cougar UIX software is certainly one of my favourites, it’s really nicely laid out and it makes it easy to find and tweak the settings you most desire while also being able to control other Cougar products from the same interface.
There are multiple profiles too, which can be stored directly on the keyboard, meaning you don’t always need to use the software if you travel with your keyboard. This is great for tournaments, but it also means you can hot-swap between different work and gaming profiles quickly.
Any key on the X3 can be remapped, making it great for tweaking your gaming setup. Personally, I wouldn’t really need this feature, but I can see it proving handy for people who work with editing software, where key mapping isn’t native to the software they’re using.
Adjustable polling, N-Key and repeat rate, rarely needed, but always nice to have.
The LED lighting is only single colour, but you can tweak the brightness or even add a breathing effect if you so desire.
Overall, this is a really nice keyboard with fantastic build quality. The durable frame helps take some of the vibrations of typing out of the mix, helping this to be one of the quietest MX Blue keyboards I’ve ever used. It’s fast, responsive and an absolute joy to type on. Working or gaming, you’re going to want to keep your fingers typing away, just because it feels so good.
The RGB lighting looks great too, I must admit that I’ve become taken in by the whole RGB craze, but the warm red glows here look great and provide a lovely under glow on the brushed aluminium chassis.
The Cougar Attack X3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is available from most popular retailers on pre-order, with stock coming very soon, in a choice of Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown and Black. The best price we found so far is at Overclockers UK for just £84.95.
Time and time again we’ve seen Cougar deliver fiercely competitive peripherals and I’m happy to say that this trend is continued with the release of the Attack X3. There are a lot of mechanical gaming keyboards on the market, but the X3 is a welcome addition and comes in at a very competitive price, so it should appeal to quite a lot of people.
The build quality on the X3 is fantastic, it’s very durable and has a good weight to it without feeling overbearing. Of course, a lot of that strength and quality comes from a sizable lump of brushed aluminium, which plays no small part in giving the X3 a gorgeous appearance. Even with the backlighting turned off, the keyboard looks great, but the warm red under glow really brings out the textures in the metal work.
Having a choice of four Cherry switches on a new keyboard is quite rare too, so I must commend Cougar on giving their customers so much choice. Personally, I prefer to work on MX Red switches, but given that this is one of the quietest MX Blue keyboards I’ve used, it’s certainly the model I would have to recommend the most, but everyone has their own preference when it comes to switch types.
At just £85, the price is very competitive for a mechanical keyboard, and there are a lot of cool features here that add to the overall value. The UIX software is packed with cool features, such as full-key remapping, macros and the ability to tweak multiple Cougar products from a single interface. There’s a black braided cable, which is nice and durable, removable key-caps for easy cleaning, or to allow custom caps, LED backlighting with brightness adjustment and a range of multimedia shortcuts.
Overall, another solid addition to the Cougar range, and without a doubt one of the best sub-£100 mechanical keyboards I’ve seen this year.
- Excellent build quality
- Gorgeous aesthetics
- LED backlighting
- Aluminium chassis
- Multimedia keys
- On-board storage
- UIX software
- Competitive price
“With lots of great features, a stylish design and excellent build quality, the Cougar X3 ticks all the right boxes for a great gaming keyboard which will make a great addition to anyone’s desktop setup.”
Thank you Cougar for providing us with this sample.