Most “Gaming” keyboards come with designs that some marketing team somewhere concluded that crazy alien designs are what all gamers want. While I will admit some of them look cool, I personally feel that the alien theme is tired, overdone, and (hopefully) dying. I was lucky enough to spend some time with the tenkeyless (TKL) Cougar Puri which combines its wonderful mechanical keys with a traditional form factor and plain white backlights. If you’re ready to bring your battle station back to its simple roots, or want an affordable, professional keyboard for your office, you may want to take a gander the rest of the review.
- Compact and Sturdy Design
- Cherry MX Mechanical Switches
- Backlight Effects (20 Preset + 10 customizable)
- Magnetic Protective Cover
- Detachable cable for enhanced portability
- N-Key Rollover
- 1000Hz polling rate / 1ms response time
- Function Key Shortcuts
- Dedicated Multimedia function keys
- 3-step height and angle adjustment
- Cable management system
- Braided cable and golden-plated connector
- Windows and application key lock
The Puri TKL feels really nice when you pick it up. It has a hefty weight to it that really solidifies the idea that you are holding something made with quality and sturdiness in mind. The body of the keyboard is a hard black plastic with four screws on the top and bottom that are used to hold the magnetic cover in place. The bottom side is also solid black plastic and includes two separate kick stands to give the user three angles to choose from for propping up their board. In a stroke of brilliance, Cougar also included cable management grooves that allow the user to route the braided USB cable out the top, left, or right of the keyboard. The key caps are well shaped and feel natural to rest your fingers on and Cougar includes additional caps made of metal to replace AWSD and directional arrow caps, which you can see in the pictures. You have the option to choose your preferred Cherry MX switches. I personally chose red switches and they simply feel outstanding to type on.
Being an RGB fan I was little sad that there wasn’t RGB backlighting, but then it wouldn’t have the same market of users if it did. There is no software to be had, but unlike other keyboards that lack software the Cougar Puri TKL still boasts over 20 preset lighting modes and the ability to customize 10 more yourself. You switch between the presets with the Fn-key and either the INS, HOME, PgUP, PgDn, DEL or END keys. There are multiple presets for each key so make sure to cycle through them to find which one you like; I personally love rain-like effect (Fn+PgUp). When it comes to your customizable lighting effects, don’t expect a Razer Synapse type experience. You simply have the option to choose which keys you want to be backlit and they are saved on the board. They can be accessed using the Fn key and the keys 1 through 0.
One drawback of the Puri TKL is the lack of programmable macro keys. Again, I know it doesn’t fit in with the minimalist market persay, but most of the gamers I know (especially ones that play MMOs) rely heavily on the use of their macro keys. That being said, the function keys do double as shortcut keys for both multimedia and accessing some OS functions like mail, calculator, and searching. You can also lock the windows key so that accidently hitting it in games doesn’t cause your game to shrink and subsequent death during raids or PUBG matches.
So are you sick of the RGB craze? Are you tired of companies assuming that anyone who games wants their peripherals to look like alien technology? Are you looking for a good entry level mechanical keyboard? Or maybe just a nice mechanical keyboard for a professional setting? If you can answer yes to any of those questions I suggest taking a look at the Cougar Puri or Cougar Puri TKL. It’s one of the best feeling keyboards I’ve used to date, and can fit in both a gamer’s den or office setting. Additionally, for only $69.99 on Newegg it’s easily one of the best mechanical keyboards to get on a budget.
- Attractive minimalist design
- Wonderful backlighting presets
- No programmable keys
- Lack of RGB may be drawback for some