Cougar's new 700K EVO Cherry MX RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is, frankly, a mouthful. It's also the best gaming keyboard I've ever had the pleasure of using.
An Update To A Classic
The 700K EVO is an update - or, perhaps, an EVOlution - of one of Cougar's best-designed keyboards, the 700K. Like the 700K, this keyboard uses Cherry Red MX mechanical keys, it's got a sturdy exposed aluminum structure, it comes with an ergonomic wrist pad. The most noticeable upgrade over its predecessor is the addition of full RGB lighting; while the 700K was backlit, the 700K EVO has a fully customizable RGB backlighting system on display, and that's as fun to play around with as you can imagine.
Playing Around With The 700K EVO
While Cougar says the keyboard is designed to meet the needs of Moba and MMO players, especially with its suite of key customization and macro saving, it clearly can be used for any sort of game. While reviewing the keyboard, I continued my playthrough of The Outer Worlds; I dabbled a bit in Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition; and tried a handful of other keyboard-focused games to get a feel for it.
It was AoE2 that gave me the chance to play with macros on the keyboard - binding a build order for militia to one of the G-keys along the left side of the keyboard was easy and intuitive. Simply press the "MR" - for Macro Record - button, press the key you want to become the macro, and input your commands. Hit MR again to finish recording and voila - you can now panic and build 20 militia at a time when it's far too late for them to help, because it turns out you're bad at Age Of Empires II, anyway.
The keys are satisfying to type with and responsive enough for gaming. At the very least, I couldn't blame the new keyboard for losing AoE.
A Thing Of Beauty
The keyboard's onboard memory allows up to three profiles, and all their associated macros and lighting preferences, to be stored. I had some fun playing with the downloadable software for the keyboard, creating my own lighting pattern. For now, I've settled for one of the premade patterns, where each keypress creates a ripple of outward color, as my choice. That said, the UIX System has depth that I haven't fully explored, and is intuitive to use.
Even when the keyboard isn't lit up, though, it's still a beautifully designed piece of tech. It drew stares around the office, from gamers and non-gamers alike. Its aluminum frame structure is said to be sturdy and durable; while I didn't test this out by dropping the keyboard from ever-increasing heights, I trust that it could survive the occasional fall.
All told, Cougar's 700K EVO keyboard is a must for expert gamers and the occasional mediocre Age Of Empires player, too.
A 700K EVO keyboard was provided to TheGamer for the purposes of this review. You can check out the 700K EVO, and other Cougar products, on their webiste.
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