Cougar 450K Hybrid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


We’ve been seeing a rapidly growing range of peripherals from Cougar over the last year, from their high-end 700K Mechanical to their budget friendly 200K. Today, however, we’ll be taking a look at a keyboard that fits quite nicely in the middle, the Cougar 450K Hybrid, a budget friendly, yet rather feature-packed gaming keyboard that we’re hoping will be as impressive as all the other Cougar products we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix.

“COUGAR 450K brings you all the features you would expect from a high-end gaming keyboard. With highly comfortable hybrid mechanical switches, 450K provides the accurate tactile feedback of fully mechanical keyboards and a durability far above other keyboards of its class while at the same time offering a superior level of comfort and less finger strain.”

While this is a membrane keyboard, it’s marketed as a “hybrid mechanical.” Many of you will recognise this as what it really is, a plunger switch. This means you’ve got a tactile pop to the keys that gives them a mechanical feel, but they’re much quieter and cheaper than classic mechanical switches, giving you a nice bridge between standard membrane and mech switches.

“COUGAR 450K’s support for UIX allows you to adjust the functionality of the keyboards’ keys, define macros and modify many important settings of the keyboard. All of this is done with a highly intuitive interface that is shared with compatible COUGAR mice, which means that after you get used to 450K using, for example, 450M will be easy and natural. After configuring all the settings, 450K’s on-board memory will allow you to bring with you up to three configuration profiles anywhere you go.”

The 450K comes well equipped given its budget friendly aspirations. You’ll find three colour LED lighting, on-board memory for macros and profiles, 1ms response, anti-ghosting, UIX software, programmable keys and a 1.8m braided cable.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a cool image of the keyboard on the front, as well as a quick rundown of the main specifications, such as the polling rate, splash proof design, switch type and more.

Around the back, a more detailed run down of the extra features, but we’ll take a closer look at those in just a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the keyboard comes hard-wired with a good quality 1.8-meter black braided USB cable. It’s plug and play ready, but if you want to tap into all the extra features, you’ll also want to download the UIX software from the Cougar website.

Cougar 450M Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today we’ll be taking a look at the latest gaming mouse from Cougar, the 450M. Equipped with a high-performance optical sensor, which is capable of up to 5000 DPI with a polling rate of 1000Hz, as well as an ambidextrous design, programmable buttons and more, it’s certainly going to appeal to a lot of gamers, and we’ve got high expectations for its performance too, after awarding multiple Cougar gaming peripherals here at eTeknix over the last year.

Equipped with RGB lighting, eight fully programmable buttons, a powerful 32-bit ARM processors, side grips, as well as being backed up by the fantastic Cougar UIX software, the 450M is sounding pretty great for gaming. There’s also on-board memory, so you can store your profiles directly on the mouse, making it tournament friendly.

The packaging is nicely designed, showing off the style of the mouse, as well as highlighting the UIX software and 16.8 million colours LED lighting.

Around the back, quick run down of features like the Omron gaming switches, anti-slip flanks and programmable buttons.

The 450M comes hard-wired with a really nice quality black braided cable, a custom shaped USB header and a gold-plated connector.

Cougar Attack X3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


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.

2015 Keyboard Buying Guide

Picking the right keyboard is a fairly complex battle these days, there’s a huge range of products out there and so many well established (and relatively new brands) that all have shiny and attractive products. Even then, the prices and configurations can vary wildly from model to model, even though they all do the same basic things, so which one is the right one for you? We don’t actually know! What I can tell you are some of the best keyboards we’ve tested recently here at eTeknix, round-up some of their best features and help you find one for your budget, and one that ticks all the right boxes for you in terms of features.

We’ve got one fantastic collection, as you can see in the image above. There are mechanical, membrane, plunger and Romer switches, different sizes, prices and more in our keyboard pile. We’ve tried and tested every single one of them and would happily go out and spend out hard-earned cash on any of them, but we would love to know which one you would want to buy? Let’s jump right in and take a quick look at what each one of them has to offer.


Ozone Strike Battle

The Ozone Strike Battle has long been my favourite keyboard. It’s quite a contradiction for me too, as I love a big keyboard, full of features and packed with macro keys, but the TKL design of the Strike Battle was something I fell in love with quite quickly. It has virtually no bezel on the body, so the desktop space it occupies is incredibly compact, leaving more room for your mouse and other desktop treasures.

This is also one of the lightest keyboards I’ve ever seen, at least for a mechanical, which combined with the small size means that it’ll fit in your backpack with ease, making it a great weapon of choice for travelling to LAN gaming events. It’s also exceptional value for money, especially for a keyboard that features the well tried and tested Cherry MX Switches. The only downside of the lightweight design is the keys are quite clanky, something that I personally fixed with a set of O-ring mods.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red
  • Form factor: TKL
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RED LED with Brightness adjustment
  • Price £58.63 @ PCNation

Check out our full review here.


Razer Blackwidow Chroma

One of the more expensive models on the market is the Razer Blackwidow, but it’s one that is loved by gamers all over the world. Razer is a great gaming brand with a huge range of products, and the Blackwidow Chroma is certainly a stand out product in their range. The backlighting on this is some of the best RGB lighting I’ve seen, with really vivid colours that will excite those who love a bit of customisation.

In terms of the performance, the BlackWidow is a slight diversion from the usual Cherry MX boards we see, as Razer developed their own brown and green variant switches. They’re finely tuned for gaming and offer even better durability, but subjectively, they’re at least just as great as any other premium switch. The angular design and slick build quality are certainly standout features, making this a great addition for any desktop gamer, Razer fan or otherwise.

  • Switch type: Exclusive Razer Mechanical
  • Available switches: Brown or Green
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RGB LED (Chroma)
  • Price £139.95 @ Box

Find more information on the Chroma here.


Logitech G910 Orion Spark RGB

Another expensive model here, although when you’re looking at the best of something, prices are often going to sweep to the higher end of the spectrum more often than not. The G910 is the latest and arguably the greatest keyboard from Logitech. It comes packed to the brim with exciting features that make it well suited to PC gaming, from a range of dedicated macro keys, ARX dock, multimedia controls, custom shaped ergonomic key caps, two detachable wrist-rests, per-key RGB lighting and more.

What really stands out here, however, is the Romer-G mechanical switches, a hybrid of traditional mechanical and plunger switches, which feature a light action, a tactile bump and a lower actuation point for super fast response times. They tick all the boxes for an almost greatest hits of different switch types, all bundled into a single package.

  • Switch type: Exclusive Logitech Romer-G
  • Available switches: Romer-G standard
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: RGB LED (font only, no underlighting)
  • Price £129.99 @ eBuyer

Check out our full review here.


G.Skill KM780 RGB

G.Skill may have made a great reputation in the memory market, but recently they’ve taken the peripherals market by surprise, with the release of the rather amazing KM780, a fully featured mechanical gaming keyboard that has every feature you could ever hope for and more. The build quality is exceptionally good, with a huge black brushed aluminium chassis, a durable rubber grip wrist rest, dedicated macro keys, dedicated multimedia controls, RGB lighting and so much more. It’s certainly one of the more unique looking keyboards too.

They are an unproven name in the peripherals market, but with such great looks and build quality, as well as a fully Cherry MX switch layout, it’s not hard to guess how well it performs. Additional features, such as the detachable wrist rest, optional gaming key caps, USB and HD audio cable pass-through and lovely RGB lighting make this a great keyboard for gaming and day-to-day desktop use.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Brown
  • Form factor: Full-size + macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RGB LED
  • Price $159.99 @ Newegg

Check out our full review here.


TteSports Poseidon Z

The TteSports Poseidon Z is quite a simple looking beast and quite frankly, it is. It has all the basics and little else, but what it does have, it does really well. The compact design is great for those who want to free up a bit of desktop space, and the slimmer design means it’s much easier to transport too.

Build quality is rock solid, there’s some LED backlighting for a little extra flair, but at the end of the day, that’s about all you get. The keyboard is equipped with Kailh mechanical switches, which come with the advantage of being a lot cheaper to buy, making it a great mid-price entry to the mechanical keyboard market and a big step up for those coming from a membrane switch keyboard. It’s great for gaming, but the simple design means it wouldn’t look out of place in the office either.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Kailh Switch
  • Available switches: Brown or Blue
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Blue LED
  • Price £64.99 @ CCL

Check out our full review here.


TteSports Commander

Another entry from Thermaltake, with their super affordable Commander, what’s so special about this one? It’s incredibly cheap! Using the more common membrane switches and cheaper construction, it’s now about to blow you away, but there’s a lot of keyboard here for very little money, with the added bonus that it also comes bundled with a gaming mouse!

If you’re looking for an affordable entry into PC gaming, then this is certainly the best place to start. It’s keys are light and responsive, the design looks great and there’s still some nice features, such as the LED lighting and multimedia key shortcuts to add to the already excellent value for money.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Tri Colour LED
  • Price £23.99 @ CCL

Check out our full review here.


CM Storm Quick Fire XTi

Much like the Poseidon Z, the Quick Fire XTi is a little back to basics in terms of features. The no-fuss design is certainly something that appeals to me and it’s also a proven choice for many pro-gamers too. The slim design doesn’t take up too much space, but what really makes this keyboard stand out is the build quality. Cooler Master keyboards are one of the things that will still be around in a thousand years time, they’re incredibly durable, which is great if you’re prone to rage quitting.

Fully equipped with Cherry MX switches, and one of the few keyboards on the market that offers MX Green as a switch type, this is simply one of those keyboards that once you try it, you won’t want to stop typing on it, ever. It’s a joy to use, looks nice and sleek and the price is pretty reasonable too given the build quality. A great option for LAN gamers, at home gamers, the office or anywhere for that matter. I also love the red and blue lighting, which can be combined to give you pinks and purples, but it offers up some lovely warm colours that certainly add to the appeal.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Blue, Brown, Red, Green.
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: No
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: Red and blue LED per-key lighting
  • Price £129.99 @ Box

Check out our full review here.


Cougar 700K

Cougar have been cropping up more and more this last year, with an absolutely fantastic range of gaming mice and keyboards. One of the ones that stoop out for me was the Cougar 700K as it’s one of the best looking mechanical gaming keyboards on the market, and also one of the more unique ones at that. With detachable wrist guards, a fantastic ergonomic layout, brushed aluminium chassis, dedicated macro keys, dedicated multimedia controls and an on-board macro engine, it’s certainly versatile.

There’s a range of Cherry MX switches on offer, so it’s easy to find the one that best suits your needs, although I personally think the MX Red is especially good on this model. It’s a little expensive, but with such great build quality, as well as a cool bonus features such as the USB and audio pass-through, it’s a competitive option for those wanting a fully featured mechanical gaming keyboard.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red
  • Form factor: TKL
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: RED LED with Brightness adjustment
  • Price £89.99 @ OCUK

Check out our full review here.


Roccat ISKU FX

The Roccat ISKU FX is, in my opinion, one of the absolute best membrane keyboards on the market. It’s got super fast and low set keys that are an absoulte joy to work on, but with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-end mechanical gaming keyboard. There’s full RGB lighting, dedicated multimedia keys, dedicated macro keys with on-the-fly recording, three rather handy thumbster keys, a built-in and durable wrist rest, and so much more.

It’s a little greedy in terms of required desktop space, but for this money, you’re going to struggle to find so many features anywhere else. It also comes with the benefit of the rather sublime Roccat Talk desktop software, which allows extensive settings customisation, as well as syncing features with other Roccat products.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size + Macro keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: RGB LED
  • Price £79.99 @ PCW

Check out our full review here.


Roccat RYOS MK Pro

Not a fan of membrane keyboards? Don’t worry, you can still get all those lovely gamer focused features of the ISKU FX from Roccat in a more premium model, the RYOS MK Pro. Now, I’m sure Roccat would like me to class this as an entirely different keyboard, but just look at it, it’s very similar to the ISKU FX, just with a fully mechanical switch setup and a slightly thicker, heavier and more durable design overall.

It’s just as featured packed as the ISKU, but with better build quality and world-class Cherry MX switches, as well as USB and HD audio pass-through, making it a great choice for those who love their mechanical keyboards, so long as you can spare the extra financial investment, of course.

  • Switch type: Mechanical Cherry MX
  • Available switches: Red, blue, black and brown.
  • Form factor: Full-size + Macro and Thumbster keys
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: Yes
  • Lighting: Blue LED with timing and delay effects
  • Price £99.99 @ Currys

Check out our full review here.


CM Storm Octane

 

We finish up with another budget friendly offering, the membrane switched Octane from Cooler Master. It’s a pretty humble keyboard, but the design looks great with the matte black finish key caps, a little LED lighting, and as a very welcome bonus, a set of basic multimedia keys on the top row.

For gaming on a tight budget, the Octane is hard to beat, but its value is even further improved by the bunded 3500 DPI optical mouse, making it great for those who need a complete setup. Both the keyboard and mouse feature 7 colour LED lighting, giving you some scope for desktop customisation, and the membrane switches are remarkably pleasant to type on overall.

  • Switch type: Membrane
  • Available switches: N/A
  • Form factor: Full-size
  • Hard wired: Yes
  • Braided cable: No
  • Lighting: Seven colour LED
  • Price £34.99 @ Box

Check out our full review here.


 

Looking for a great mouse to go with your new keyboard? Check out our Best Gaming Mice of 2015 feature!

COUGAR Launches Attack X3 Mechanical Keyboard

COUGAR announced the release of a new keyboard and it is a beauty. The new keyboard is called the COUGAR Attack X3 and it is a simple keyboard for gamers, built with quality materials and mechanical switches. The pure and minimalist design will attract the purist gamers who want the functions without the clutter. The COUGAR Attack X3 fulfills these requirements with a combination of Cherry MX switches, gaming features and an impressive aluminium based design.

The Attack X3 keyboard is compatible with COUGAR’s UIX software where you easily can define the function of any key on the keyboard and use up to 10 of them as macro keys. You can store up to three full profiles in the onboard memory and take them with you where ever you go – should you take your keyboard on the go.

A gaming keyboard has to be responsive in all situations, and that shouldn’t be a problem for the Attack X3 with its 1000Hz polling rate, that can be fine tuned, and the full N-Key rollover capabilities. There is no shroud around the key areas which exposes the aluminium baseplate for a great look in combination with the red backlighting. It is durable and classy at the same time.

The Attack X3 will be available very shortly and Overclockers UK already announced that they’ll be stocking it too. The US MSRP is set for $119.90 USD and you can now pre-order it for just £84.95 at Overclockers UK.

Specifications

  • Key switch: Cherry MX mechanical switch
  • N-key rollover: Yes (USB mode support)
  • Full key backlight: Yes
  • Game type: FPS / MMORPG / MOBA / RTS
  • Onboard memory Yes
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • Material Aluminum / Plastic
  • Software: COUGAR UIX SYSTEM
  • PROGRAMMABLE KEYS: 10
  • Interface: USB plug
  • Cable length: 1.8m Braided

COUGAR Launches New 450 Series Gaming Mouse and Keyboard

COUGAR already has a long list of great peripherals and now there are two more to add to that list with the announcement of the new COUGAR 450K gaming keyboard and the COUGAR 450M gaming mouse in two colour options.

The 450K mechanical gaming keyboard is built with hybrid mechanical switches that prove a tactile feedback and a durability similar to those of high-end mechanical keyboards. You also get anything else that you’re used to from a gaming keyboard such as programable macros, function remapping, and more.

The COUGAR 450K features a splash-proof design that both protects the keyboard from clumsy gamers as well as making it easier to clean. It is still an optical beautiful keyboard to look at.

The 450K also features a three-color backlight that will allow you to easily see which of the three gaming profiles stored on-board is currently being used, or just to match the rest of your setup’s lighting.

COUGAR 450K Gaming Keyboard Specifications

  • Key switch: Hybrid mechanical switch
  • Backlight: 3 Colours
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • Anti-ghosting keys: 26 Keys
  • Programmable Keys: 10
  • Cable Length: 1.8m
  • Dimension: 170(L) X 470(W) X 40(H) mm
  • Weight: 1kg (2.20 lb)

The COUGAR 450M gaming mouse comes in two colour options, white and black. It is powered by a 5000 DPI PMW3310DH optical gaming sensor with an adjustable resolution down to 50 DPI. The polling rate isn’t bad either with 1000Hz and 1ms. The durability should be ensured thanks to the use of OMRON gaming switches. The 8 programable buttons allow you to bind most function you’ll want onto the mouse and it features 512KB onboard memory for its profiles.

Its two RGB backlight areas are independent which means they can display different colours and add to the 450M’s visual attractiveness. Both new devices, the 450K and 450M, allow the user to manage their functionality with the COUGAR UIX System and work perfectly separately, together, and with other COUGAR peripherals.

COUGAR 450M Gaming Mouse Specifications

  • Sensor: PMW3310DH Optical gaming sensor
  • DPI: 50-5000 DPI
  • Polling Rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
  • On-board memory: 512KB
  • Profile LED backlight: 2 ZONE 16.8 million colours
  • Frame rate: 6500 FPS
  • Interface: Golden-plated USB plug
  • Cable length: 1.8m Braided
  • Dimension: 135(L) X 67(W) X 40(H) mm
  • Weight: 105g (0.23 lb)

Both 450K and 450M will be available at Caseking DE and Overclockers UK in December 2015 and in the rest of the world will be able to get it in Q1 2016. The COUGAR 450M will set you back £41.99 and the 450K will set you back £49.99. Both are budget friendly gaming prices.

Cougar Reveals 700M eSports Gaming Mouse

Cougar has announced an eSports version of the highly-rated 700M gaming mouse which adopts a striking red/black or blue/white colour scheme. The device utilizes an Avago ADNS-9800, 8200 DPI laser sensor for ultra-precise and responsive movement. Additionally, there are 8 programmable buttons, an aluminum shell and rubber coating on the side to enhance comfort. Technically, the mouse is virtually identical to the existing 700M but the eSports branding refers to the revised, and quite flashy aesthetic design.

There’s no indication of the mouse’s price but expect a noticeable increase from the base model’s $60 tag. As with any mouse, the suitability revolves around your grip style and personal taste. The 700M should work rather nicely with smaller hands and users who prefer a claw grip. As the financial success of eSports grows year-after-year, manufacturers attempt to cater to a new breed of gamers looking for professional-grade hardware. Despite all the advances in sensor technology, I’m still waiting for a mouse which matches the feel of my old, trusty Logitech MX518.

The 700M is an excellent choice for gamers wanting a reliable mouse with an unusual style. I personally love the white and blue colour scheme which matches my all-white custom build extremely well.  Therefore, I can see this becoming a popular model as the black and red colour design is quite common on a wide range of popular mice.

Overclockers UK Launches New Marvel AMD Gaming PC Range

Overclockers UK has launched two brand new PCs in the Marvel range, the Marvel 4K and the Marvel 1080p, and it isn’t hard to guess what gaming resolutions these systems are designed for with names like that. Both systems are AMD based and come at a very reasonable price.

The Marvel 4K is designed to deliver 4K gaming at a very wallet-friendly price point but still utilizing high-grade components. The system is built with an ASUS STRIX Radeon R9 390X 8GB Graphics Card, but with upgrade options that include the Radeon Fury and FuryX 4GB HBM. To provide stable power, Overclockers added the highly recommended Super Flower PSU and a wide range of chassis to choose from. Among the cases are models from Aerocool, Cougar and Bitfenix, giving you the choice of look, style and colours. The Marvel 4K is also equipped with a selection of solid state drives, mechanical drives, or hybrid drives.

The Marvel 1080p is a more modest approach to a system and it’s built around AMD’s APUs. These systems are designed to be an alternative to gaming consoles and can be yours for a very similar price. While APUs might not be the go-to choice for hardcore gamers, they provide more than sufficient power for popular online games like League of Legends.

The Marvel 4K starts from £799.99 and the Marvel 1080p starts at £399.95, depending on customizations you choose. However, if you’re in the market for a Marvel 1080p system, you might want to get on it now as the Marvel 1080p is available with a £70 discount at the moment, reducing the price all the way down to £329.95.

Cougar Iron Grey Edition 550M Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Cougar is back on eTeknix once again, following the review of their new 300M gaming mouse, which was a fantastic product for a very reasonable price. In the office today, we have something a little more high-end, the 550M 6400DPI “ultimate optical gaming mouse” and I’m very eager to see how well (or perhaps not so well) it performs. We’ve seen great things from Cougar in the past, and in my opinion, they’re one of the hottest peripheral manufacturers out there right now, offering solid performance, great aesthetics and very competitive prices, so let’s jump right to it and take a closer look at what the 550M has to offer.

As you can see in the video below, this is a really nice looking mouse, with grip side panels, a high-end optical sensor, programmable buttons, built-in 32-bit ARM processor  with 512KB of on-board memory and plenty more; pretty much everything you would expect to find in a competitive gaming mouse these days.

The packaging is nice and tidy, featuring a clear image of the mouse, as well as a quick rundown of the main specifications.

This mouse is packed with gaming features, which are listed in detail on the back of the box; this is handy if you’re looking at the mouse in a retail store, but we’ll take a much closer look ourselves in just a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a straightforward user manual, as well as some clear back stickers if you feel inclined to put such things on your PC case, monitor, etc.

Of course, you’ll also find the mouse in the box, which comes hard-wired with a nice quality black braided cable.

The 550M has a fairly aggressive design, which will no doubt appeal to a gaming audience.

There’s a pair of large side buttons on the left of the mouse, but the thing that stands out the most is the mixture of textures the 550M offers. There’s a granite effect top panel, which is nice and smooth, a hard grip textured surface on the side and that bright orange metal inner chassis that starts between the mouse wheel and is exposed towards the rear of the mouse.

The mouse has a slim ergonomic shape, which is suitable for a range of grip styles; palm, claw and fingertip.

One thing that immediately caught my attention is the scroll wheel; it’s huge! The wheel has a thick and fairly soft rubber coating, and while it is oversized, it’s heavily recessed into the body of the mouse, making it feel nimble and accurate to control.

The DPI toggle is unique too, as it needs to be pulled backwards like a trigger rather than pressed down; this is still easy to do mid-game, but it’s also virtually impossible to accidentally trigger the button!

There are three large slipmats on the 550m and they’re extremely smooth, meaning this mouse will glide with minimal effort on a wide range of gaming surfaces; more so than most gaming mice!

Cougar Sport Orange 300M Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The latest Cougar gaming mouse is here at last! We’ve already reviewed a few Cougar peripherals here at eTeknix, such as the 600M mouse, 200k mouse and keyboard combo, 600K and 700K keyboard reviews. With so many products in the last year alone, I’m happy to say that Cougar is quickly becoming one of my favourite peripheral manufacturers and that’s a trend I hope to see continue with our review of their latest product, the 300M optical gaming mouse.

The 300M takes its inspiration from the classic IntelliMouse shape, one that has proven popular with gamers and PC users in general for many years. It comes with seven programmable buttons, three profiles, a 16.8 million colour LED and a range of funky and bright colours to choose from. The hardware sounds good too, with a trusty ADNS-3090 optical sensor, 1ms response time and Omron gaming switches; that’s nothing crazy overall, but it certainly ticks enough boxes to make this mouse attractive to both gamers and day-to-day desktop users alike.

The packaging is nice and tidy, showing a good image of the mouse as well as a quick rundown of the main hardware specifications.

Around the back, you’ll find details of the UIX system and buttons, but we’ll take a closer look at each of those in a few minutes.

There’s pretty much nothing extra included in the box, just a hard-wired mouse and the user manual; not that you need much else of course.

The cable comes with a durable black braided cable, which looks great and should improve overall lifespan of the cable.

The 300M is really nicely designed, although that’s hardly much credit to Cougar, as the IntelliMouse shape is something we’ve seen virtually ever manufacturer copy over the years. This is no bad thing of course, it’s a good size and shape to compliment most people’s hands and that’s exactly what you want.

The black and orange looks pretty cool in my opinion, others may disagree. There’s a pair of switches down the left side of the mouse, with long buttons to make them easy to access with your thumb.

The finish on the 300M is pretty slick, with a soft grippy rubber that provides excellent grip, despite the fact it looks and feels silky smooth. This kind of finish is also great for maintenance, as it’s easy to clean and difficult to scratch.

There’s a nice rubber-gripped scroll wheel which colour matches the side panels of the mouse, as well as a programmable button which is set to DPI toggle by default.

As you can see, the 300M ergonomics are designed for right-hand use.

The base of the mouse has two absolutely massive slipmats, that’s a better finished that most other mice. This means that the 300K glides like a cloud in a breeze on virtually any gaming surface, especially so thanks to the lightweight design of the mouse in general.

The seventh mouse button is tucked away on the base, perfect for using as a profile toggle, or DPI changer for those who don’t like having such a button within accidental pressing range mid-game.

Cougar QBX Mini-ITX Gaming Chassis Review

Introduction


Cougar has been launching some pretty incredible products recently, from their stunning range of gaming peripherals, which includes great keyboards and mice, as well as their chassis products. Today we’ve got their latest mini-ITX chassis, the QBX and it promises to be a competitive gaming chassis for the small form factor market.

There’s a lot of demand for small chassis these days, especially with the rise in popularity of LAN gaming events. Then you’ve got people like myself who have a smaller system in the extra room to work on quietly, space is limited there, so a compact desktop system comes in handy. Let’s not forget the “smart TV” HTPC style systems that are growing in popularity, especially for those who want to take PC gaming to the big screen, so there’s certainly a lot of scope for a compact chassis that can still hold some great hardware.

The QBX comes bundled with all of the screws and fittings you’ll need, as well as a screw in mesh for one of the extra fan mounts; nothing fancy, but it’ll get us through the build.

This is a really nice looking chassis, it’s got a huge amount of ventilation down the left side, perfect for getting airflow to your hardware and keeping temperatures down, but it’s going to play hell with acoustics, so think carefully before you buy a cheap graphics card with a blower type cooler.

The right side panel is the same design, giving the chassis a nice uniform look from both sides, making it easier to place at either side of your desk without having to look at what most chassis have; a boring side.

The front panel is pretty simple, just the cougar logo at the bottom, but the lightly textured plastic panels are rather pleasing on the eye, at least about as much as plastic can.

Tuck up behind the front panel, you’ll find a slot-loading ODD bay although the drive its self isn’t included; the bay is a little hidden by default.

The top panel can be slid back easily enough, giving you access to the drive slot; a nice way of having it accessible without breaking up the clean exterior design  of the chassis.

Just behind the front panel, you’ll find the main I/O. It features the usual power controls, USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks, pretty standard stuff, but it’s good to have it all within easy reach.

The PSU is mounted towards the front of the QBX, so there’s a cable pass-through built into the rear of the chassis to help accommodate this.

The base of the chassis is really sturdy and has two full-length feet with rubber grips, giving the QBX great balance. One cool benefit of this design is that the chassis has good ground clearance for airflow and there is a large slide-out and washable dust filter to help provide clean airflow to your components.

COUGAR Announced Affordable Gaming Mice 230M and 250M

COUGAR recently released the brand new 550M and 500M flagship gaming mice, but not everyone has the money nor want to pay that much for a mouse. For those COUGAR also have something and that is the new and more affordable 230M and 250M gaming mice.

The 230 (last four images) is the pure gaming mouse where quality and accuracy is the only thing that matters. The 250 (first four images) features the same quality, but “adds to that with a broad functionality.”

The ambidextrous design makes these mice it equally suited for left and right-handed use, which I’m sure is something that will be highly appreciated by the left-handed users out there. The buttons should last you a long time thanks to the quality OMRON switches and it also features a gaming-grade scroll wheel.

That hardware inside isn’t without either as we’ve already seen on the switches. Both mice also feature a 1000 Hz polling rate and a low 1ms response time. The 230M has a 3200 DPI sensor while the 250M has a 4000 DPI sensor and both are adjustable. The 230M has four fixed DPI levels while the 250M allows you to configure the DPI levels yourself.

 

Where the 230M caters to the purists who do not need a wide array of functions, the 250M is aimed at those who want it all. With 6 fully programmable buttons, including two distinctive thumb paddle buttons, and internal memory for up to 3 full configuration profiles, the 250M allows the user to access up to 21 different functions.

Neither of these two new mice from COUGAR will cost you a lot and it even allows gamers on a budget to play with a great mouse in their hand. The MSRP is set to $29.90 USD for the 250M while the 230M is set to $19.90 USD.

COUGAR Announces New 550M Flagship Gaming Mouse

COUGAR was founded to build and provide gamers with the best peripherals available and their latest product shows that. The new flagship gaming mouse from COUGAR is the 550M and it looks quite impressive. A smaller brother named the 500M with slightly lower specs is also on the way.

COUGAR’s 550M will be available in two colours, blue and black, giving the user the choice for a perfect match to other devices located on the gaming station.

There is no doubt that COUGAR has a lot of faith in this mouse as it introduces it like this: “This device is the result of years of continuous work with a single objective: creating the most perfect gaming mouse the world has ever seen.”

The new mouse has been designed in cooperation with several professional gaming teams to get just the right device for this field of work. The unique shape allows the user to sustain high levels of performance during long gaming sessions with a minimum amount of fatigue while the hardware allows precise reading and customization.

The 550M features the SDNS-3988 optical gaming sensor that provides 6400 DPI and it features a 1000 Hz polling rate for a fast response. You can adjust both of these as well as customize the buttons and record macros thanks to the COUGAR UIX software. Three profiles can be stored in the onboard memory with up to 21 functions.

 

There are two independent LED areas and each of them is customizable within the RGB scale and is done via the software.

 

The COUGAR 500M comes at a lower price, but with the same quality and shape. It is black or white (not pictured) and features a smaller 4000 DPI sensor and some “other different features”.

Availability is set for late July or Early August in most of the world. The price isn’t bad either for what you get, as the 550M has an MSRP of just 59 USD and the 500M $39 USD.

Overclockers UK works closely with COUGAR as we know and they’ve already listed the new COUGAR 550M in both colours. So you can get your pre-orders in already for just £41.99 and be one of the first to have one of these new gaming mice.

Overclockers UK Now Stocks the Cougar 300M Professional Gaming Mouse

Cougar announced their 300M professional level gaming mouse back in march and now those wanting one are able to get it, at least here in the UK. Overclockers UK recently entered a partnership with Cougar for their full range of products, so the new 300M gaming mouse can’t be left out.

The new Cougar 300M mouse is aimed at the mainstream professional level gamer and is packed with great features. It is using an ADNS-3090 Optical Sensor with 4000 DPI, 1000 Hz polling rate and a 1 ms response time, which provides the gamer with smooth and lag-free input. The durability needed for extensive gaming sessions should be guaranteed by the OMRON switches that are used for the main buttons, which promise a minimum life cycle of 5 million clicks.

The cable is braided for better aesthetics and improved durability, it has 7 fully programmable buttons, and an onboard storage for 3 complete configuration profiles resulting in 24 functions which can be accessed directly from the mouse. The built-in LEDs feature 16.8 million colours, so you can set them just the way you like.

The soft-touch surface makes it comfortable for long periods of use and gives you full control. All functions can be managed with the Cougar UIX System, a convenient software management suite. The Cougar 300M could be an ideal mouse for the everyday gamer.

You can choose between a yellow and an orange version and neither won’t cost you a lot either. The current listing has a price of just £27.95 inc VAT.

Overclockers UK Enters the eSports Arena

Overclockers UK is well-known for the online shop full of great hardware and gaming systems, but they aren’t content with just supplying all the gaming components, they want to part of it. Not surprising when you have a company basically made up of gamers and for gamers, those who want the best and most out of it.

They have now formed their own professional League of Legends team in order to take on the online gaming community. Team Overclockers UK is sponsored by Cougar and will be competing in the Challenger Series and various tournaments with the aim to qualify for LCS, the biggest eSport league in the world. Being heavily involved in eSports, streaming and gaming internally with members of the staff, a professional eSports team was the next natural step.

The Overclockers UK team consists of the following people:

  • Marek “Libik” Kręgiel (Team Captain)
  • Kuba “Kubon” Turewicz
  • Wojciech “Tabasko” Kruza
  • Rafal “TakeFun” Górniak
  • Pawel “Celaver” Koprianiuk
  • Fryderyk “Veggie” Kozioł (coach)

The next match is on June the 30th against Team Dignitas and the reverse match will be played the next day, on Wednesday the first of July. The next team they’re up against will be Denial eSports on the 7th and 8th of July.

Latest Cougar Power Supplies @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: We’ve already seen a great new range of chassis from Cougar, as well as their latest and greatest peripherals from Computex 2015. Now it’s time to check out their latest power supplies!

The GX800 offers up a modular design, 80PLUS gold rating, high-end durability and a 140mm fan for quiet performance. I also rather like the gold finish on the top, it’s a little different from the usual blacks and greys we see so often.

Another colourful option, which looks like it was designed by Tony Stark.

Another colourful design, this time offering up digital power control, which could be very useful to gamers wanting to overclock and fine tune their rigs performance.

Moving down the range, Cougar have a selection of PSUs for all ranges of power requirements. I especially like their LX 600W, which has an easy to manage fully modular design and would be a good option for smaller gaming systems, such as a LAN gaming rig.

We’ve got more great coverage to bring you from this weeks show, so stay tuned for even more updates.

Latest Cougar Peripherals @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: We’ve seen quite a few impressive peripherals from Cougar here at eTeknix, but I was amazed to see just how much their range of products has grown when we visited their booth earlier today. As you can see, there’s a vast range of configurations, colours, sensors, RGB technology and a whole lot more on offer; There’s seemingly something to suit every taste and budget.

RGB tech is hot stuff right now. As you can see, Cougar have that lovely 16.8 million colours badge on almost all of their products, so customisation fans are going to be very happy about this.

One of their high-end mice, the 700M, with its adjustable design, as well as two cool looking eSports editions.

A nice mid-budget optical gaming mouse, a good competitor for SteelSeries and Zowie!

A wide range of membrane, mechanical, hybrid and scissor switch keyboards on display, offering a switch type for virtually anyones tastes. One thing is for certain, the Cougar keyboards are unmistakable, I love their unique design, especially their high-end 700K.

The 450K is a nice enough looking keyboard in its own respect, but it’s also splash-proof, if you’re the kind of person who spill a lot of drinks on their desk, this could be the difference between the life and death of your keyboard.

Latest Cougar Chassis @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015: Cougar is one of the quickest growing names in the industry right now, making some of the coolest peripherals we’ve seen over the last 12 months. However, did you know they also make chassis? Their new QBX Kaze may not have the best name ever, but it’s a great looking case that offers great airflow, as well as room for high-end hardware. It’ll hold up to four SSDs, a slim optical drive and a high-end graphics card (max size unknown), perfect for a LAN gaming rig.

Need something a little less aggressive in terms of design, the standard QBX comes with a stunning front panel, but still has a huge array of air intakes to manage your high-end hardware.

Moving down the range, we’ve got the MX310, Solution2 and more. I’m not sure about these designs, some of them are a little aggressive for my own personal taste, but I do love that fact that they’re undeniably unique and recognisable as Cougar products. The front panel of the MX310 almost looks like plate battle armour, could make for a cool chassis mod.

There’s a lot more to see from Cougar here at Computex 2015, so stay tuned for more very shortly.

Overclockers UK Become Official Resellers for Cougar’s Full Range of Products

British fans of Cougar haven’t had that easy a task getting their hands on the devices they want, that is up until now. That just got a whole lot easier as Overclockers UK have entered a cooperation with Cougar and where they became an official reseller and will provide the full range of Cougar products.

Cougar was founded back in 2007 by a team of passionate engineers and have since made quite the mark in the industry. Among their most famous products are the Cougar 700M Gaming Mouse and Cougar 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, but they also make fans, cases, and power supplies.

Both the 700K and 700M have won numerous awards and now it’s a lot easier to get your hands on those peripherals. The 700M stands out with it’s adjustable and interchangeable design and overall design for gamers while the 700K mechanical keyboard is mounted on an exposed bended aluminium structure with a brushed surface treatment.

It looks great and it is easy to clean and also comes with an extra palm rest for FPS gamers and other heavy users of the WASD area.

You can head over to Overclockers UK’s homepage and check out the whole line-up for yourself, but a fair warning: You might be tempted to use all your money. Good thing it pay-day.

 

COUGAR Celebrates First Year in Gaming Peripherals and Vows to Continue

COUGAR entered the DIY PC market about five years ago, but they have only been making peripheral devices for the last year. The decision to enter this market was sparked by feedback from users who were frustrated with the current offering, especially on the software part.

COUGAR thought, this is something we can do something about and got working on their own devices. The 700M gaming mouse and 700K mechanical keyboard did very well in their reviews and scored great awards all around. The hardware is just one part of it all and they also released the UIX software along with it, allowing the user to take back control of his input devices with a user-friendly interface.

COUGAR released more products such as the 500 and 600 series of mice and keyboard, and they vowed to continue that with even more future products for the gaming minded user as well as to continue their sponsorships for eSport teams.

New planned products include mice for all sort of gamers, both left and right handed users, but also products such as headphones and water resistant gaming keyboards. We will make sure to keep you updated on their new products as they get released and as well as reviews whenever possible.

COUGAR Announces New 300M Gaming Mouse

COUGAR has announced their newest gaming mouse, the COUGAR 300M. The new mouse is aimed at the mainstream pro-level gamer and is packed with great features.

The COUGAR 300M is using an ADNS-3090 Optical Sensor with 4000 DPI, 1000 Hz polling rate and a 1ms response time, which provides the gamer with smooth and lag-free input. The durability needed for extensive gaming sessions should be guaranteed by the OMRON switches that are used for the main buttons, which promise a minimum life cycle of 5 million clicks.

It comes with a braided cable for better aesthetics and improved durability. It has 7 fully programmable buttons and onboard storage for 3 complete configuration profiles resulting in 24 functions which can be accessed directly from the mouse. The built-in LEDs feature 16.8 million colours, so you can set them just the way you like.

The new COUGAR 300M will be available for purchase in late April 2015, with an MSRP of $39.99.

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information

Cougar 600K Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Cougar has been producing one great keyboard after another recently and I’ve got their very latest model, the Cougar 600K Mechanical, in for review. The new keyboard features all the usual bells and whistles that you would expect from a premium grade keyboard. With a choice of Cherry MX Switches, black, red, brown and blue to choose from, adjustable repeat rates, N-Key roll over, aluminium chassis, multimedia keys and more; the 600K should be a great keyboard.

A good quality mechanical keyboard should be just as great to use day-to-day as it is any other duty, but the 600K has certainly been tailored towards the gaming market. It comes equipped with a 32-bit ARM processors, 1ms response time, USB pass through for your mouse or other USB devices, an FPS palm rest, Windows lock key and more! It certainly has a lot of features overall, so let’s just right in and take a close look at what the Cougar 600K has to offer.

In the box, you will find a hard-wired keyboard and a detachable wrist rest.

The cable has a thick high-quality braiding and two gold-plated USB connectors. Only one connector is needed for operation of the keyboard, the other for the USB pass-through (optional).

The keyboard is really nicely designed with a matte plastic trim on the top and bottom and a contrasting brushed aluminium chassis behind the keys.

Four buttons in the top left allow quick adjustments to the polling rate.

The WASD keys are laser-etched and LED back-lit.

SCR LK and PAU BRK can also be used to switch between 6K and NK rollover.

Across the top, you’ll find a lighting brightness adjustment button, windows lock and dedicated multimedia keys. There’s also some volume control keys just above the number pad.

The switches and the key caps are raised slightly above the aluminium chassis, meaning the keys won’t bottom out on the chassis; the most common cause of key clanking noises on a mechanical keyboard.

Around the back, you’ll find a single USB port, this is for the USB pass through and it’s pretty handy for connecting your headset or mouse.

Not much to see on the underside of the 600K.

The flip-up feet at the back are plastic, but they feel a lot more durable than the ones we often find on keyboards. There’s also a rubber grip on each foot to help prevent the keyboard from sliding around your desk.

The wrist rest snaps into place easy enough and also features a magnetic FPS wrist rest on the left side. Of course, you can remove this and put it on the right side of the wrist rest too, great for both left and right-handed gamers!

The WASD and the UDLR keys are the only backlit mechanical keys on this keyboard; highlighting the most vital keys for most PC games.

The lighting is really nice, with a warm rich orange glow.

Very easy to see in a dark room without being too distracting.

The aluminium chassis looks great with the under glow from the switches.

COUGAR Releases QBX Advanced Compact Gaming Case

COUGAR announced the arrival of their new QBX chassis, a compact and advanced case create to accommodate great hardware without compromising size or cooling abilities. The QBX only measures 178 x 260 x 368 mm but still allows you to mount 350mm long high-end graphics cards, five hard disks (both HDD and SSD), a slim ODD, 140mm long ATX PSU, and comes with front USB 3.0 ports.

Such massive amount of hardware options also needs proper cooling, often an issue in compact cases. The COUGAR QBX solves this by allowing up to 7 fans to be installed as well as water cooling with radiators up to 240mm. The PSU is also mounted to have an independent airflow so that doesn’t interfere with the rest of the cooling.

The new COUGAR QBX will be available starting in late April, sadly no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information

COUGAR Releases First 80Plus Bronze Digital PSU

COUGAR announced the release of its first 80 PLUS Bronze certified digital power supply unit, the COUGAR CMD Digital Power Supply Unit. The new semi-modular PSU will help to move the usage of digital PSUs into the mainstream instead of staying a niche product for those with very deep pockets; not everyone can afford Platinum certified PSUs.

COUGAR has implemented its newly developed Digital Power technology and integrated it with the COUGAR UIX Device management system. The Digital Power technology brings a broad range of functions to CMD that will assist the user mainly in two areas: the electric supply of the computer and its temperature and cooling. The CMD’s electric supply-related functions include monitoring of the PSU’s electric input and output, efficiency, consumption and voltage fine-tuning, providing the user with a high level of control and full information about the energy his system works with.

The UIX application allows you to easily monitor the temperature of key components within the system as well as an additional point of your choice with the included TSR sensor. The CMD can control two directly controlled fans for additional configurations. As for CMD’s internal fan, its automatic control will adjust the speed to the PSU’s temperature.

COUGAR’s new CMD Digital Power Supply Unit will be available in April 2015, but no word on pricing yet.

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information

Cougar A-Series PSU Competition Winners Revealed!

We’ve teamed up with the good people at Cougar for our latest competition, giving you the chance to win one of three Cougar A Series power supplies! A good quality power supply can be an expensive part of any build and it’s one that many often overlook, so what better way to start off your new build, or upgrade your current one, than to win the hardware you need!

We’ve got three prizes, which means we’ll be picking three lucky winners!

1st Prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

Firstly, we want to say a massive thank you to Cougar for providing us with these prizes and you can keep up with all the latest from Cougar on their official Facebook page. You can follow Cougar as well as eTeknix to stay up to date with the latest competitions, news and more; it’s also a great way to stay informed when we draw competition winners!

Cougar World Official Facebook Page / eTeknix Facebook Page

Specifications

About Cougar

COUGAR products target enthusiast gamers who not only demand state-of-the-art PC chassis and highly efficient power supplies, but also want to express their dynamic gaming taste with reliable quality products. COUGAR provides these enthusiasts with best-in-class innovative and cutting-edge gaming products. Founded in 2007 by a group of enthusiasts in Germany who were tired of the boring looks of PC hardware, COUGAR aims to blend passion with innovation. COUGAR products are renowned for their highly stylish concepts and strict quality requirements. Visit us at http://www.cougargaming.com

Did I Win?

COUGAR’s 700 Series Now Available in the UK

COUGAR has created some great peripherals, but they haven’t been widely available in the UK up until now, at least not all of them. Now you’ll be able to get your hands on the great 700M 8200dpi Black Gaming Mouse as well as the 700K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.

The 700K is a premium aluminum keyboard that won the iF Design Award 2014. The design is based on carefully selected geometrical shapes, mechanical key modules are mounted on an exposed aluminum structure with premium anodized surface treatments and a plastic frame wraps its ends to create a stylish, sturdy and durable device.

The 700M gaming mouse also won the iF Design Award 2014 and comes with an adjustable 8200dpi sensor. It is built on a simple folded aluminium chassis to provide better strength and a lightweight design. The palm rest module can be replaced and comes fitted with ‘sniper button’.

If you’d like to read up on what the 700K Mechanical Keyboard has to offer, then you can head right over to our review section and see what we had to say about it. If you’d like to pick one of them up, you can head over to one of the UK resellers: CCLonline, eBuyer, or Aria PC.

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information.

COUGAR Introduces SPIKE Mini Gaming Tower to the UK Market

Bigger isn’t always better and there is a growing number of people building their gaming platform around the mATX form factor. For those, COUGAR created the SPIKE chassis, and that is now available at a range of UK resellers like Kikatek, Lambda-Tek, CCLonline, and Amazon.

Where other cases often suffer, this mini tower can take graphics cards up to 330mm length and hold up to four fans for optimal cooling of those hot running gaming parts.

The SPIKE mini tower sports a gaming themed style and the interior has also been painted black. The drive installation should be both quick and easy with the screwless design for both 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch HDDs/SSDs. The chassis also supports the installing of a 2.5-inch drive at the bottom cover.

Air flow and ventilation are important for a gaming builds and many small cases lack space for both of them. The COUGAR SPIKE has room for a total of four fans: one 80/90/120mm fan for the front (optional), one 80/120mm fan for the rear (pre-installed), and two side 120mm fans (optional).

The COUGAR SPIKE mini-tower gaming case is available now for an £26.99 MSRP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhZUDe1Na4U

Thanks to COUGAR for providing us with this information