Taming the Cougar 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Introduction and Specifications

Don't beat yourself up if you're not familiar with the Cougar brand. It's a German company that's been in the game since 2007, though its presence in the United States is largely overshadowed by companies like Razer and Logitech, two of the bigger dogs in the gaming peripherals scene. But like Roccat, another device maker headquartered in Germany, Cougar is making an effort to establish a higher level of brand recognition on our home turf by releasing competitive gaming gear that blend form and function.

The product we're looking at here is Cougar's 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It's a subdued version of Cougar's flagship 700K intended for people who want the look and feel of the higher end plank, but not necessarily all the features (or price) that it comes with.

"We knew that there were people who simply weren't interested in the plethora of functions offered by high end keyboards, but at the same time didn't want to settle for a lower end one. For all those people, who just want a pure, high quality mechanical keyboard in a durable and elegant design, we created the Cougar 600K," said Lio Huang, Marketing Dept. III Director, Cougar.

Cougar 600K Stock

By stripping away specific amenities, the 600K doesn't require any special software or custom drivers -- just plug in the gold-plated USB connector, let Windows detect the keyboard, and off you go. Of course, that's putting a positive spin on functionality that's been expunged from the equation, like dedicated macro keys, but for those who want additional bells and whistles, there's the 700K.

To Cougar's credit, it didn't simply take an ordinary keyboard and add a bit of "Look at me!" styling to justify the "gaming" descriptor. Despite the lack of custom drivers and software, there are a few gaming elements here that we'll cover in detail, such as LED backlit WASD and arrow keys. This is also a mechanical plank that's available in four different Cherry MX flavors (yes, we've tasted them, and no, they'd don't taste like their colors) -- Blue, Black, Red, and Brown.

Cougar 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard w/ Cherry MX Blue Key Switches
Specifications & Features
Key Switch:
Cherry MX Blue mechanical
Processor: 32-bit ARM Cortex-M10
N-Key Rollover: Yes (USB mode support)
Game Type: FPS / MMORPG / MOBA / RTS
Polling Rate: 1000Hz / 1ms
Repeat Rate: 1X / 2X / 4X /8X
Material: Aluminum / Plastic
Palm Rest: Yes
USB Pass-Through Yes
Interface Golden-plated USB plug
Cable Length: 1.8m braided
Dimension: 230 (L) x 467 (W) x 40 (H) millimeters
9.06 (L) x 18.38 (W) x 1.57 (H) inches
Weight: 1.1kg / 2.4lbs
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Price: $130 to $140 (street) - Find It At Amazon

Cougar 600K Cherry MX Blue

Our model uses Cherry MX Blue switches. They're the "clicky" type that dispense audible (some would say obnoxious) and tactile feedback, the latter of which means you can feel the distinct point at which a keystroke is registered. In theory, mechanical keys should make you a faster, more efficient typist, but truth be told, I like them simply for the feel and sound -- I can't say whether or not I'm punching keys an order of nanoseconds faster (nor do I care, really), but I can easily tell the difference between mechanical key switches and squishy membrane keyboards.

For a primer on other types of key switches, check out our recent five-way mechanical gaming keyboard roundup. I'd also suggest reading our evaluation of the Das Keyboard 4 Pro, which is another Cherry MX Blue keyboard that's comparable in feel to Cougar's 600K. They're not required reading, though both will give you points of reference.

Ready to move on? Let's get clicking!

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