Dark or Light
logo
Logo

COUGAR LUXLIM Gaming Keyboard Review: Low-Profile and Optical

Kevin Chick Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

The COUGAR LUXLIM is marketed as an extreme low-profile optical-mechanical gaming keyboard. I have to say while there are some buzzwords used here, it does live up to the statement. My regular keyboard is the Logitech G815 LIGHTSYNC RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, and the LUXLIM’s profile is smaller in almost every way. But it is still a full-sized keyboard with most of the same functionality. While the LUXLIM is missing certain premium features, I am having a hard time deciding if I will return to using the G815. See if you might feel the same way by the end of this review.  

Specifications

  • MSRP: $99.99 USD
  • Switch: Low Profile Optical-Mechanical switches
    • Red (Smooth, Soft, and Silent)
      • Operating Force: 55g
      • Actuation Point: 1.7 mm
      • Travel Distance: 3.0 mm 
    • Blue (Clicky, Tactile, and Distinct)
      • Operating Force: 60g
      • Actuation Point: 1.7 mm
      • Travel Distance: 3.0 mm
  • Software: None (with on-board memory shortcuts)
  • Anti-ghosting keys: 104
  • Backlight: 14 backlight effects
  • Interface: USB plug/USB Type-C
  • Cable Length: 1.6m
  • Weight: 0.52kg
  • Dimensions
    • 432 (L) x 125 (W) x 20 (H) mm
    • 17 (L) x 4.9 (W) x 0.8 (H) in
  • OS Compatibility: Win XP, Win7, Win8, Win10, Linux, MAC OS*
    • *Some shortcut keys do not work with MAC OS.

Unboxing was a pleasant experience with only a few items inside. The three feet were already attached into small indents on the bottom of the board using decent magnets that keep them solidly in place. My only concern is that these could be easy to lose when not attached to the keyboard. The type C to USB connection cord is functional but not braided, and the instruction “book” is a small double-sided foldout that is easy to follow. There are no extra replacement keycaps or other frills. On the plus side, if you want to replace the cable with something more premium, or if it becomes damaged, that is an option compared to other competitors where it is permanently attached.

The LUXLIM is solid. It has a unibody CNC aluminum frame with very little to no flex in the board and doesn’t feel flimsy. I found this keyboard surprisingly light in weight, coming in at 0.52 kg compared to the G815 1.045 kg without the cable. Its footprint is somewhat smaller since there are no G keys, M keys, or dedicated media controls. The height is less but comparable at 20 mm versus the G815’s 22 mm.  

Design-wise, the LUXLIM looks good and feels great to the touch. Looking at it without the RGB active, I like the minimalist design. While there is a ridge on the back where the bottom plate connects to the top plate, there are no sharp edges or corners. The front rubber feet keep it from sliding around on the desk. Each removable magnetic back foot also had a rubber tip, but unfortunately, there is no height adjustment. 

It took longer to unplug the G815’s two USB connectors than to get the LUXLIM connected and running. The only concern I had was when plugging the Type-C end into the keyboard, the connector has a bit of a wiggle to it. But everything lit up immediately, and I have experienced no impact on performance while gaming or working. I did try using a different Type-C cable, but it didn't correct the issue. If you are a bit concerned, like I was, a Type-C magnetic connector should take care of the problem.

The LUXLIM’s backlighting is excellent. Each key is clearly lit, and unlike the G815 the secondary functions are backlit as well. The only minor downside, if the secondary keycap function is located on the bottom half, it is dimmer. I personally prefer it this way and can still easily pick out the secondary keys quickly in a dark room while gaming. For those that love customizing all the keys with a personal RGB setup, be aware that lighting options are limited. There are 14 keycap lighting effects that you can cycle through easily using FN + PRT SC, from Rainbow to Fireworks, and 4 underglow effects. There are also only five key brightness levels (one of which is off) and two onboard customizable profiles.  

Performance-wise, the curved ergonomic keycaps feel great on the fingertips. The keys do have a bit of a wiggle to them but haven’t impacted my accuracy while gaming or working. They feel very similar to the G815. On my Logitech, I use the tactile switches with a 1.5 mm actuation point, and for the LUXLIM I picked the red switches, which are advertised as being smooth, soft, and silent with an actuation point of 1.7 mm. I love them, they have performed excellently while playing different MMOs and action RPGs. No ghosting and very responsive. 

Compared to the SteelSeries Apex Pro keycaps, I prefer the lower profile of these and find it easier to type/game now that I am used to them. They even feel a bit better and slightly more responsive than the G815 while gaming over the past week. One minor negative I did notice, the red keycaps are not that silent. While they don’t have that distinct loud clicky sound, like many mechanical gaming switches, it is a bit louder than my G815 though, which surprised me.

While using the COUGAR LUXLIM I struggled to identify any significant negatives. There is no USB passthrough, but some users don’t like having one anyway due to potential performance issues. No software to install for a full suite of RGB customization options and game presets/themes, but it also means avoiding the risk of janky software slowing down your system. As mentioned earlier, there are no programmable keys or dedicated media keys but the media keys are integrated as F1 to F12 secondary functions. I do miss the volume wheel a bit from the G815 just because it is so convenient. Finally, I understand the low-profile keycaps won’t be for everyone, but if you are looking for a low-profile keyboard with a short travel distance between keys this is an excellent option.

Final Thoughts

The COUGAR LUXLIM low-profile optical-mechanical gaming keyboard has excellent design, performance, and feel. While I can’t speak to longevity, it is one of the best low-profile keyboards I have used to date. The minor drawbacks include the lack of premium frills, the key clicks being slightly louder than I expected, and the Type-C connector wiggles a bit once attached. With how study and light it is along with a detachable cable, in a pinch, I could even bring this on the go. To top it all off the MSRP is $99.99 USD. If you are in the market for a new keyboard I highly recommend giving it a try.

The product described in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. 

8.5Great
Pros
  • Sturdy Build Quality
  • Excellent Performance
  • Well priced
  • Typing experience compares favorably against more expensive competition
Cons
  • Lack of premium features/software
  • Key clicks a bit louder than expected
  • Type-C Plug wiggles when connected


Xevrin

Kevin Chick

Kevin "Xevrin" is an avid gamer having started playing video games on an Apple III with the Wizardry Series and Questron before the age of 10. In junior high, he branched out into tabletop gaming with the release of D&D 2nd Edition. During his first year of university, Everquest was released combining both of his favorite activities.