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Pros: Follow up review, see below
Cons: Follow up review, see below
Other Thoughts: This is a follow-up review - scroll by most helpful for my detailed initial review.
I'm sorry, but anyone giving this more than 3 stars is a gullible chump.
After rebooting the computer, the software suite simply WILL NOT launch on my windows 10 computer. I can see the process in task manager, but it just won't do anything. Re-installing is the only way I could get it to even open again. Maybe just me, but I don't understand why it's so hard to just write software that works.
I wrote about how the software is just pre-mature in terms of customization. There's a HUGE difference between un-intuitive and pre-mature. The software and lighting customization is just completely lackluster for this price - so many features are just NOT here. It's not hidden away behind complicated menu's, it's just completely lacking.
It's 11/12/15 as of this typing, and the software STILL hasn't been updated. Software on their website is still dated for 10/15/15. A whole MONTH? A whole MONTH and I still can't even have basic stuff like lighting effects WITH static lighting?
I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous. The software was already lacking a huge amount of features at launch, and if they haven't updated it at all in over a month.....I'm done waiting.
If you really think this keyboard deserves 5 stars, I'm sorry - you're a gullible consumer that's easily satisfied. Corsair's software may be un-intuitive, but it does HAVE all the features you want. Razer's software suite is unmatched and has 90% customization on what people want. Lots of off-brand RGB keyboards are coming out with software-less customization.
I wanted to like this keyboard, I really did. But the software has to at least support basic amounts of customization to be worth it. All I got to pick was what color I want the keys. A month later, that's still all I get to pick.
Pros: Sigh - yet again, billions of "journalists" and "reviewers" completely fail at their "reviews" of this product. They do nothing but look at it and test if it works. See cons/other thoughts for the REAL details.
Volume scroll wheel - why do so few people do this? It blows my mind that Corsair opted out of it for the Strafe and just decided a big CORSAIR logo was better use of the blank space? And screw all the other keyboards asking me to FN+___ for volume - it's so much less intuitive
Separate media control - again, please quit making me FN+____ on your full size keyboards! If you're not going for a slim keyboard design, why are you making me use extra key modifiers for simple functions? If I wanted a slim keyboard, I'd go with something else - otherwise, embrace the size and give me functionality. Thank you G.Skill
The wrist rest - something I always prefer to leave off on 90% of keyboards, is actually good. The texture on it is the best out of any included wrist rest, and actually makes the keyboard look better since the bottom lip has a fairly long protruding lip.
Volume bar indicator - GREAT way to use up dead space and give me more information! Again, if you're going to be a big keyboard.......very nice touch and much appreciated
Can link profiles to programs - I should not have to manually switch profiles in 2015; these devices with software should be switching for me automatically these days
Cons: The software is EXTREMELY pre-mature.
You know........it would have been nice if reviewers could actually tell us these things in their....oh I don't know....their PRODUCT REVIEW?
As of 10/21/15, version 0.65 of their software
- You can only choose between static backlighting OR - read that again, OR - an effect lighting; want a white backlight with red reactive? LOL you only get to choose one
- If you give up your static lighting for effect lighting, you only get to choose ONE effect
- If you go with static lighting, you don't get full color control, just a selection of pre-selected colors
- You can only apply lighting effects to the ENTIRE keyboard. On static lighting you can set them individually, but not so for lighting effects!
- Wave effect? You only get to choose left or right direction; no up or down
- Speed control on lighting effects is very limited/unclear - all of them are listed with "duration", with 1 second being the lowest (no decimals)
- Key programming/remapping is missing some useful functions, like launch Calculator (a useful replacement for the NumLock key)
Other Thoughts: Other random thoughts:
Because the aluminum base is black - lighter colors (especially white) aren't very bright. After trying many keyboards with this aluminum backplate style, this is just the reality of RGB backlighting on this. If you're coming from something that has a white backplate (Razer or some CM Storm keyboards), it will be dimmer
I would of kind of liked some unique font - as much as others hate "gamer" fonts, just look at this keyboard. It's styled to be aggressive, not sleek - I would have preferred something more unique
I want to like this keyboard - it has little things I wished Corsair and/or Razer didn't gloss over in a large full size keyboard. Volume knob, media control, etc etc (see Pro's above). Finally a keyboard embraces it's size and gives you all of them.
But this software is APPALLING, and not one reviewer bothered to go in depth of how limited it is right now other than "it's unintuitive"
I am writing this review in hopes that G.Skill reads and keeps working to improve this software. I came close to submitting a return, but I'm willing to give this keyboard a chance if they listen. I have also signed up on their mostly in-active G.Skill forum in hopes of posting feedback there. Please G.Skill - don't release and forget this product, keep improving your software and adding full customization that this keyboard deserves.
Pros: I wanted accessory displays for web browsing, youtubing, HW monitoring, etc etc. Never intended for my main display, but I needed one with VESA mounts as I already have an arm setup.
An affordable monitor WITH VESA mounts is very rare. I was skeptical of going with TN next to my LG 34UM95 (a high end IPS), but I had a hard time justifying spending more for accessory monitors.
Cons: This is still TN, but the biggest problems are the brightness and contrast out of the box. THEY ARE TERRIBLE.
Anyone who thinks the brightness and colors are good clearly haven't used higher quality displays. It's not that it's TN, it's as if Acer tried to make it look like an IPS on store shelves by cranking up contrast and brightness to stupidly high levels.
Turn Contrast to zero (yes ZERO). Turn Brightness down to ~60. One needed 60 and the other needed 63. Checked with my i1 DisplayPro but you can tell the difference immediately.
Other Thoughts: AFTER CHANGING THE ABOVE
It's an ok value monitor. VESA mount is a huge plus, as I think there are a few better options if that's not important (but remember those other options probably have terrible non-adjustable stands nor VESA mounts).
Side viewing angles are decent for the price. Vertical is worse, but given the price......eh, I can live with it. As far as accessory displays go, I'm satisfied (not very happy, just satisfied) with these for the $150 price each. As much as I wish I went with something a little more, there are far better things to spend my money on than better accessory displays.