Mad Catz is a gaming company that has seen its fair share of upheaval in the past few years. It was shuttered back in 2017 and brought back to life under new management in 2018, and since then they have been working hard at putting Mad Catz back on the gaming peripheral map. One of the devices that they have leading the charge is the S.T.R.I.K.E 4, a mechanical gaming keyboard with RGB integration.
The best experiences that I’ve had with mechanical keyboards are with those that are extremely clicky and loud. There’s something about that audio and tactile feedback that makes key commands feel crisper and more impactful. The S.T.R.I.K.E 4 feels unlike any mechanical keyboard that I’ve tested before. While it still feels responsive and comfortable to use, it has a noticeably lighter audio footprint to it.
The S.T.R.I.K.E 4 is practically silent, especially when compared to its Razor and Logitech brethren. Instead of clicky feedback, there’s a cradling sensation that feels supportive on the fingers but not at the expense of performance. With a regular mechanical keyboard, I often find my fingers getting tired, due in part to the effort needed to click but also the psychological effect of hearing loud clicks every time a key is pushed. The S.T.R.I.K.E 4 is understated and comfortable, which makes it ideal if you spend a long part of your day typing.
I tested it out while doing my weekly comics podcast, and found that the mic didn’t pick up any of my key clatterings. I normally use a SteelSeries Apex 5 for my keyboarding needs and if I use it while podcasting it always gets picked up. The same holds true for streamers, and it is definitely worth a look due to its quiet key clicks.
Design-wise, the S.T.R.I.K.E 4 does little to stand out. It has a standard black paint job and three programmable macro settings which can be cycled through in the top right corner. The most visually interesting part is the slightly jagged bottom which justs out. Unfortunately, this means that any wrist supports that you may have don’t work well with the S.T.R.I.K.E 4, since it doesn’t have a flat base. It is a rather small keyboard as it features 104 keys and nothing more than the basics.
The S.T.R.I.K.E 4 features RGB integration with 18 different light effects and they’re solid but don’t do much to differentiate from the competition. Basically, every keyboard released today has RGB integration and while there is the ability to further customize it with the additional software, it does little to excite. Still, some may appreciate not having to think about creating their own RGB settings and the 18 presets are varied.
The S.T.R.I.K.E 4 costs $174.99 CAD, which puts it in the same price tier bracket as the Razer Blackwidow Tournament Edition and the HYPERX Alloy Elite. It manages to differentiate itself from similarly priced keyboards due to its quiet and cradling performance, and while some might prefer a more tactile keyboard, there’s definitely a market for it.
Overall, the Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E 4 is a good keyboard that manages to rise above its unassuming design and provide a stellar experience. If you’re a streamer, podcaster or anyone else who is looking for a keyboard that performs well and is relatively quiet, then the Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E 4 is a great buy.