User Experience and Conclusion
Design and Layout
What's very strikingly different about this keyboard is the FN key that replaced the windows key in most keyboard layouts. You may like or dislike this but based on my experience, I'm so used to the keyboard layout that I wish the windows key was there. It's sort of counterintuitive that the windows key on the right also locks the window key when that portion of the keyboard is barely used in gaming but it's not bad that it is there. Overall, I like the keyboard's layout. A bit different but not much that it would make you do a lot of errors during the first time of your use. It was fairly easy to adopt with the keyboard's layout with some very minor differences.
Weight and Construction
Another very noticeable thing about the keyboard is that is only weighs 900 grams, most mechanical keyboards weigh at least 1500 grams. But having the aluminum plate on the Attack X3 really gave it a more premium feel and it looks cool too. COUGAR's choice of using Cherry MX switches than the cheaper Kaihl MX switches still proves COUGAR isn't cutting corners in the creation of this mechanical keyboard. In an economic perspective, COUGAR made sure it costs the least to produce and to ship while maintaining good quality which is certainly what I perceived here with its minimalist packaging, lightweight but durable construction and the use of a proven but more expensive Cherry MX switches. Personally, I prefer the Cherry Blue switches than the Kaihl Blue switches. There's a slight difference with the feel and actuation forces of both switches, the Cherry blue switches seem to have a more consistent and precise actuation force.
The COUGAR Attack X3 mechanical keyboard I have to say has a very smart design, simple and compact. It doesn't need a wrist rest and it doesn't feel off and uncomfortable thanks to its sloped design. Using the macro keys is a lot easier compared to mechanical keyboards with a layout wherein the FN key is on the right of the spacebar. The disadvantage about that is if you are so familiar with having the windows key on the left, you won't find it there which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are used to.
COUGAR played it safe by using a typical keyboard layout for this keyboard which made it very easy for me to adapt. Some brands just use a totally different layout which may seem cool but it would take you some time to get used to a totally different layout. Just the slight difference of location of certain keys even for a few millimeters would make you vulnerable to typos and errors.
COUGAR's UIX System software is impressive which I've said before in my other COUGAR peripheral reviews. It is robust and responsive, very easy to navigate and understand which is which. Macro creation is straightforward, the tweaks on the keyboard are also simple.
If you are looking for an affordable mechanical keyboard with all the essential functions, we highly recommend the COUGAR Attack X3. You can find the COUGAR Attack X3 mechanical keyboard at Amazon and Newegg at $99.00, but cheaper at Newegg. It would be a good idea for COUGAR to have a RGB backlit version of the Attack X3 to cater to more gamers.
- Lightweight and simple
- Robust and user-friendly software
- Cherry MX switches