Mad Catz keyboard has modular layout, integrated touchscreen

There’s a new high-end gaming keyboard in town, and it’s different to say the least. At the Gamescom expo in Cologne, Germany, Mad Catz unveiled the Strike 7, a modular keyboard with a flexible layout and an integrated touchscreen. The keys are arranged on three discrete pieces that can be snapped together in different configurations to suit your needs. Each of the three wrists rests is detachable, and one of them comes with a thumb wheel and auxiliary button. The official release video lays out the various options.

More details can be found on Mad Catz’s product page for the Strike 7, which reveals that the underlying key switches aren’t mechanical. Instead, the keyboards feature a “specially engineered membrane which mimics the tactile feel generated by the mechanical keys often preferred by gamers – – without the resultant excessive noise.” Interesting. That key feel better be good, because Mad Catz is charging a whoping $300 for the keyboard.

Of course, that figure also includes the integrated touchscreen. The touch interface can be used to tweak the backlight, lock the Windows key, control media playback, and adjust volume levels on a per-application basis. Program shortcuts and custom macro icons can be loaded onto the touchscreen, which also boasts TeamSpeak integration and a note-taking interface.

 

Naturally, the Strike 7 has all the amenities one might expect from a high-end keyboard. The WASD and directional keys can be swapped for contoured versions with rubber edges. Backlighting is provided for all the keys, and users can choose from 16 million colors. On the macro front, up to 72 key combos can be programmed across three profiles.

Mad Catz bills the Strike 7 as the perfect sidekick for its adjustable Rat mice, which I love. The keyboard might be a tougher sell, in part because it costs four times as much as the going rate for the Rat 7. The Rat doesn’t have a touchscreen, of course, but it also lacks the stigma associated with membrane switches. I’m curious to see whether Mad Catz has actually replicated the feel of mechanical switches without all the noise they typically generate. We might have to test one of these to find out. You can view more pictures of the Strike 7 in the gallery below.

Comments closed
    • Aphasia
    • 7 years ago

    From somebody using and loving the RAT 7, and using a numpad layout on all my games but usually having a hard time finding enough bindable button, the lcd and side buttons on numpad configuration seems just godsend. I might just have to take a good lock at this. The thing is, that would be the part I would use standalone, since I’m very happy with my ergonomic microsoft keyboard in all other regards when it comes to typing.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    No mechanical keys no thanks. I meant that price, how can they forgo mechanical???

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 7 years ago

    You lost me at Mad Cats.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 7 years ago

      FYI, the rat mice are mad cats

        • ALiLPinkMonster
        • 7 years ago

        I thought they were Saitek.

        EDIT: nvm, I didn’t realize that Mad Catz bought them out.

        I guess that gives them a little more credit, but I have never been satisfied with a MC product.

          • kamikaziechameleon
          • 7 years ago

          Own one of there mice, the rat 9. Best mouse I’ve ever owned!!!

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    This just pissed all over Razer’s hushpuppies. You’d think Razer would have done all of this (better than mechanical, choose any color you want for backlighting, adjustable LCD, adjustable configs, removable wrist rest) when they released their Old Republic keyboard with the Switchblade UI or even when they just announced the Deathstalker line, but… nope.

    Nope. Just more of the same, “You don’t get mechanical, nothing even remotely like mechanical, and oh, btw, you get to have black and green instead of the more standard black and blue. You’re welcome.”

    All for not much less than this keyboard’s $300.

    Still, for $300, if you want the dream, go for the topre keyboards.

    • d34thly
    • 7 years ago

    If I throw $300 at a KB, it better have Topre capacative switches or at least MX-browns with a usb powered fleshlight vibro packaged with it.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    It’s probably just me, but ever since Mad Catz (years ago) used John Romero to advertise their gear on the pages of (was it Boot magazine back then, or did it finally become Maximum PC?) I had trouble taking them seriously.

    I did buy their adapter that let me charge my Gameboy Advance SP and let me use regular stereo headphones at the same time, but that’s about it.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Now if the individual pieces didn’t look like poo…

    $300 is a lot to pay for something you can do in a application your normal screen a few inches away. After using a G15 for years and realizing that there is almost no use for a little LCD on my keyboard, that screams stay away even more.

    • XaiaX
    • 7 years ago

    Boo WASD.

    ESDF 4 LIFE

    • Philldoe
    • 7 years ago

    Damnit, why couldn’t this have come out last month? I just had to dump a benjamin on a new KB, I think I would have splurged and bought one of these had I known it was coming. quite an impressive KB.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    I can probably think of a thousand things I can do with $300, but buying this thing probably wouldn’t be one of them.

    • glynor
    • 7 years ago

    This may be the single ugliest peripheral I’ve ever seen.

    And [i<]that's[/i<] saying something, because there is some serious ugly out there.

    • Guts_not_Dead
    • 7 years ago

    Not sure how adding more keys, left and right, up and down, along with a LCD screen, is gonna make this keyboard more “gaming oriented”.

    You’re average gamer has 10 fingers, some have more, excluding tummy fingers. With one hand on the mouse, you’re left with five fingers to use on the keyboard. Now unless you use your feet or face or all of that to press keys on your keyboard, I don’t see how you can make use of all those extra keys.

    Heck, I was hesitant to pay $65 for my Coolermaster quickfire Rapid keyboard, which is a decent mechanical keyboard, paying $300 for this just makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Lastly, maybe they can spend that engineering on developing more “gaming-oriented” mice that are more comfortable with more functionality to utilize by adding more well-positioned buttons properly.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      The problem indeed with these keyboards with media functions, macros, etc, is that it is a massive time drain to set the functions up, and the keyboard doesn’t transfer its abilities and actually trains you to be slower when using input devices where the functions are missing.

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      Actually, about the only thing I’d find useful about this keyboard are the extra keys near the number pad.

      For gamers that stubbornly refuse to eschew the num pad for “WASD” region of the keyboard, on some of the more complex games, you can find yourself running out of key bindings around the num pad. But those extra keys aren’t even laid out all that ergonomically around the num pad anyway..

      Is it worth $300? Not to me. And how gimmicky is that LCD? (And don’t they have an “App” for that anyway?)

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    I love my RAT7. I do not want this. Sell the little LCD standalone.

      • krazyredboy
      • 7 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing, actually.

      • tanker27
      • 7 years ago

      Speaking of the RAT..I have been eyeballing them for some time now, just haven’t pulled the trigger. You should do a write of it.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Ditto. And it doesn’t help that the prices don’t seem to go down.

        I wanted an Albino edition.

    • krazyredboy
    • 7 years ago

    Dah…CRAP! WHY? Why do I…like this? Gah! I love my R.A.T. 7 and…and I think…I think I’m going to have to figure out a way to justify this…somehow…

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Mad Catz: Raising the cost of coffee-spill moments since 2009.

    It definitely looks sweet, but there’s no way I’d dump that much on a keyboard. $100 maybe for a good mechanical, but this is the equivalent of charging $2000 for a 27″ screen loaded with features, only to discover it’s using a TN panel.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    It doesn’t keep me warm at night and whisper sweet nothings into my ears… NO SALE!

    • derTorbs
    • 7 years ago

    This + R.A.T. = very intimidating setup. Its a really cool idea, though throwing $300 at a keyboard is a little rough.

    Razer just came out with its Deathstalker keyboards, the Ultimate ($250) has their integrated touchscreen that they first introduced with the Razer Blade laptop. Personally I like the look of the Blade UI more than the touchscreen on the S.T.R.I.K.E, though I like the placement and style of the S.T.R.I.K.E. more. Shame they arent mechanical switches 🙁

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I kinda wish Razer would sell that screen on it’s own. That would let you put it wherever you want it, and you could still use a mechanical keyboard.

        • derTorbs
        • 7 years ago

        Brilliant!

        I think Razer is on to something with that funky contextual UI and with MadCatz goin the touch route, we could be in for some really cool keyboards here in the next year or so.

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    Nerd alert! Nerd alert. Wow.

      • ColeLT1
      • 7 years ago

      On a tech site?

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