Taming the Cougar 600K Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Typing Performance

The Cougar 600K is a gaming keyboard, but that doesn't exempt it from regular typing chores. I think it's fair to say that most typists would prefer to use a single keyboard than to switch back-and-forth between a daily driver and a dedicated gaming plank. So, when evaluating keyboards at HotHardware, we look at the overall picture, not just one category.


Side by side, I can't tell a difference between the Cougar 600K and my daily workhorse, the Das Keyboard 4 Pro. That's high praise, as anyone who's used a Das model knows. The keys on the 600K are spaced and sized appropriately, they snap the way Cherry MX Blue key switches should, and I never encountered any quirky behavior, like fussy keys that don't always register or loose key caps.

MS Word

For typing up Word documents and other work-related materials, the repeater rate function isn't of much use -- anything above 1X is way too fast. But if you need a faster repeat rate for some reason, it works as advertised.

I also need to point attention to the matte surface on the key caps. Whether you prefer a matte feel or like a glossy key cap really boils down to personal preference, so if you happen to live by a Best Buy or any other place that stocks mechanical keyboards, give the different types a test a run. After using glossy keys for so long, I found myself preferring matte key caps, though not enough for the type of finish to be a deal killer or deciding factor.


Do mechanical key switches make you a better gamer? I can't say if they truly do, though they surely don't hinder your ability to frag. In theory, you should be able to register keystrokes faster and more efficiently, thereby making you a more deadly gamer. In practice? It's probably exaggerated, though you're less likely to run into errors compared to a membrane keyboard that may not pick up on a keystroke.

Cougar 600K Palm Rest

Moving on, there are some gaming amenities here, like backlit WASD and arrow keys, Windows lock to prevent you from accidentally minimizing your firefight, an adjustable repeater rate if you're playing a title that can benefit from rapid key presses, and a detachable palm rest to prevent soreness.

What the 600K lacks, however, are dedicated macro keys, or the ability to program macros, period. Those are features reserved for the 700K. The 600K is also missing audio ports, which probably isn't as important as dedicated macro keys, but it's something to consider if it's a feature you would otherwise take advantage of.

Other Thoughts

The last thing worth pointing out about the 600K is that they key caps aren't laser etched. You can feel slight bumps where the labels are placed. It's very subtle and not really a distraction, though my concern is that over time the labels will chip and fade. That's not something I can evaluate without a time machine, so make of that what you will.

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