With the Attack X3, Cougar looks to deliver a mechanical keyboard to gamers who might not have the budget for a fancier, higher-end keyboard, but still want the precision, speed, and all-around awesome feel of a mechanical keyboard.
You can find it for $59.99 on Newegg.
Design and Comfort
The Attack X3’s design is bare bones, no frills. It’s a plastic base with a brushed aluminum frame. The keys themselves are all exposed and lack a surrounding frame, which I find attractive and make it incredibly easy to clean. But while the Attack X3 looks nice, the actual build could’ve been more solid. The keyboard itself just feels a little light and flimsy. It wasn’t so bad that I could bend the keyboard, but it doesn’t have the heft that you’d want out of a top of the line keyboard. I suppose at this price range, I shouldn't expect top-notch construction.
Also, note that while this is a mechanical keyboard, the media keys on the Attack X3 are the squishy, membrane kind. It’s not the biggest deal in the world (how often are you pressing these media keys, anyway?) but be aware that Cougar cut some corners here.
Cougar made a slightly curious choice with their bottom row of keys. There’s only one Windows key, and it’s on the right hand side. The spacebar is also slightly shorter than you’re probably used to. The shorter spacebar didn’t bother me, but I’m personally used to the Windows on the left hand side and use it regularly in my workflow. The non-standard Windows key placement is probably a good thing for games, since you’re less likely to accidentally hit the Windows key while you’re playing. But touch typists will have to adjust to this new layout.
The Attack X3 also has a red back light. Unfortunately you’re unable to customize the color, so if you don’t care for bright red, you’re out of luck. Again, this is one of those quality of life features that you’d find in keyboards at a higher price range. Personally, I like red, so it didn’t bother me. With Cougar’s UIX software, you can adjust the brightness to three different levels, turn off the lights entirely, or switch to a “breathing” mode.
Features and Performance
You can purchase the X3 with either Red, Brown, or Blue Cherry MX switches. For this review, we used the Blue model. Mechanical keyboard enthusiasts know that Cherry makes some of the best switches on the planet, making using the X3 an absolute dream. The X3 is super responsive – keys felt good to press, with just the right amount of resistance and that oh-so-satisfying clicking and clacking.
Despite clearly being a budget keyboard, the Attack X3 does have some higher-end features, namely a Windows key lock, to prevent accidental Windows key hits in-game, 1000Hz polling rate, and the ability to assign macros. The Attack X3 lacks dedicated macro keys, but the ability to switch between three different profiles slightly makes up for it.
Overall, the Attack X3 is a great option if you’re looking to dive into the world of mechanical keyboards and don’t want to break the bank, or if you simply don’t care about some of the features found on more expensive mechanical keyboards.
For more, check out the Attack X3 on Newegg.