Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. 4 review: The resurrection continues with this surprisingly normal keyboard

Maybe you heard, Mad Catz is again from the lifeless. And thus far it’s been a rousing return! We regarded on the return of the famed R.A.T. earlier this yr and got here away impressed. Sure, it’s to not everybody’s style, however you received’t discover a mouse that modular anyplace else. It’s a novel design, befitting a comeback.

But the S.T.R.I.Okay.E.? I admit, I don’t have the identical nostalgia for Mad Catz’s keyboard efforts. Nevertheless, we went hands-on with the Strike 4 (as a result of there’s no approach in hell I’m typing that as a faux-acronym each time) to see whether or not Mad Catz may grow to be a multi-market menace, or whether or not it ought to follow mice to keep away from a second chapter.

Note: This evaluation is a part of our finest gaming keyboards roundup. Go there for particulars about competing merchandise and the way we examined them.

Strike two

The market could have largely moved on from the “gamer” aesthetic that dominated peripherals for years, however Mad Catz has not. The Strike 4 is model new, however in lots of respects seems like a relic from 2011 or so. The outstanding Mad Catz emblem alongside the underside edge is positive, however the adjoining cyberpunk-looking circuit-board nonsense is totally pointless. The form is edgy and aggressive as nicely, and whereas I’m certain some folks get pleasure from that model, I, for one, don’t.

Mad Catz Strike 4 IDG / Hayden Dingman

Not usually, anyway. I admit, I truly favored Mad Catz’s design efforts with the Rat, stating in my evaluation, “The Rat goes to such an extreme, I find myself drawn to it. It’s ugly and unrefined, but in a way that feels purposeful and raw and intriguing.”

The Strike 4 “matches” the Rat, but it surely doesn’t obtain the identical sense of function, doesn’t ask the person to query why a keyboard’s constructed the way in which it’s, or whether or not we may maybe create a higher keyboard by divorcing type and performance. Not within the slightest. It’s only a normal-looking keyboard with some awkward angles.

But you realize what? Mad Catz as soon as put out the Strike 7, a keyboard that appears like Megatron misplaced a struggle with a rubbish disposal. So depend your blessings we obtained the Strike 4, I suppose. It might be worse.

In truth, all issues thought of, the Strike 4 is a stable effort from Mad Catz. The uneven edge alongside the entrance, these garish traces, and even the squat typeface on the keys—once more, all harkening again to gaming keyboards circa 2011—are, ultimately, aesthetic criticisms, and wholly subjective.

Mad Catz Strike 4 IDG / Hayden Dingman

Setting these issues apart, my solely actual grievance is the shortage of media keys. Worse, quantity controls are double-mapped to F2 by way of F4. Omitting devoted media keys is already a critical misstep given how prevalent they’ve grow to be, however to then design a gaming keyboard the place adjusting quantity—simply an important operate—requires each arms? That’s a serious annoyance.

The uncovered metallic backplate is completely trendy although, and offers the Strike 4 a fairly smooth profile. Mad Catz can also be to…

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