Fnatic STREAK Review

👤by Weston Dakin Comments 📅11-08-18
Performance Testing

Setup & Observations

Initial setup of the STREAK is simple youíll require one or two USB ports depending on if you choose to make use of the integrated USB pass-through feature. An internet connection will also be needed if you plan on downloading Fnaticís OP software suite. The software suite is not 100% needed in some cases as there are a few things that can be done via the keyboard, the main notable things are the lighting customisation of which you can adjust the mode as well as the brightness. To adjust the mode you press Fn + F7 to activate it and then use the left and right arrows to toggle the modes. Brightness adjustment requires you to press Fn + F8, and with that, there are five levels of brightness to choose from which are 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. Macro programming is something else that can be carried out with the keyboard and can be done by using the competition mode button which is located at the top right of the keyboard and features the Fnatic logo. The FN lock is also a feature that does not require any software input. The FN lock is designed to default the F keys back to their default FN profile this means that you donít need to press the FN key in conjunction with a media key for it to work.


For use every day the STREAK is brilliant, itís surprisingly small for a full-sized keyboard but is of course larger than a TKL keyboard, so if youíre really struggling for space, weíd suggest opting for the even more compact miniSTREAK. As for typing comfort the STREAK scores very highly the key spacing is well judged and the keycaps are a good size too. They do also feature a really nice coating that feels nice when typing. The wrist rest also helps this as it is padded and very comfortable to use, plus it is also adjustable meaning that you can alter the distance between the keyboard and the rest; with this adjustment there are three different increments that you can choose from, weíd, of course, advise trying all these to see which suits your typing style the best. Itís also worth noting that making any readjustments can be done quickly which makes it ideal if you need to swap between two different increments for gaming and productivity. The STREAK also features a full-sized numpad which is perfect for those of you who would require this keyboard for any spreadsheet work. Sitting just above the numpad is the integrated volume control wheel and buttons that allow you to mute a microphone, turn on competition mode and also mute the main volume. These buttons feel great when pressed, but their positioning is a bit off, this is because they are situated too close to the numpad so when trying to press them quickly we found that the top row of numpad keys are in the way. If they were moved upwards slightly, this would provide more clearance between them and the numpad and make them much easier to use. This however, isnít the only problem with these controls as the volume control wheel on this unit is very rough, and when used, it makes a noise that sounds like there is something scraping against the wheel. Weíve added a short video to demonstrate this however, we canít be certain if this is a more widespread issue or whether it is an isolated occurrence, but after a quick look on Google, we did not spot any other sources noting this issue. So itís worth noting that your unit may not suffer from the same problem.



RGB illumination

The STREAK has full RGB integration as well as per-key backlighting which can be altered using either the keyboard or via the OP software. In the software, there are eight main effects to choose from with each effect has its own level of customisation. An example of this is with the Fade effect here you can select from three different styles and also control the speed of the effect. The Wave effect is another prime example of what is on offer as with that effect you can adjust the same as above but also the direction in which the effect goes. One addition to this effect we would like to see is a gradient effect, that way you could pick your own colours and have them displayed in this fashion. We would also like to see a sync feature so that you could match the effect between the peripherals as at the moment this is something that canít be done. This is in a way understandable as Fnatic only offer a keyboard and mouse with RGB, but still, it would be nice to be able to sync lighting effects across them both.


As for the implementation of the RGB, it is done well, the effects transition really smoothly and the colour changing is quite seamless. The colours are not the most accurate weíve ever encountered, but they are very vibrant and have nice levels of saturation. Whites do suffer from a magenta hue which is something we first noticed when reviewing the miniSTREAK. The lighting though is very bright and looks great even under the direct light of a bright LED desk lamp. Some of it is not very full as there are patches that arenít quite fully illuminated, this is more noticeable on keys that have two lines of text.



Performance

The STREAK like the miniSTREAK is available with a choice of four different Cherry MX switches; these are the MX Blue, Brown, Red and Red silent. Our unit has the MX Red Silent which behaves identically to the regular Reds but removes the mechanical audible feedback the regular Reds provide. They feel very quick and linear and have an actuation force of 45g with a travel distance of 4mm and a distance of 2mm to register an input. Another key difference is the stem colour, the Reds, of course, have a red stem whereas the Red Silent utilise a stem that has a pinker hue.


When it gets time to get some gaming done, the STREAK does not disappoint, and the Cherry MX switches perform exactly as youíd expect. The Red Silent are equally as fast and smooth as any other MX Reds weíve tested plus have the benefit of being very linear and very quiet. If you desire a more tactile bump or response, then opt for either the MX Blue or Brown as the Reds donít offer that. If youíve had prior experience with MX Reds then youíll feel right at home with these with only one thing to get used to, and that is the lack of any mechanical noise, it was something we noted when first using the miniSTREAK. The feel is same but sometimes we associate sound with feel and that is what these are missing, so if that isnít something you can live without, then weíd stick to the MX Reds, but the Silents are perfect for gamers that donít like mechanical sounds or for streamers that use a sensitive mic and donít want the audible mechanical sound to be forever present when gaming live on stream. Onto actual performance and they do deliver, especially when combined with the 1000Hz polling rate and the competition mode. The switches are rapid, fluid and they easily kept up with all the fast-paced action we threw at them, even games like Overwatch and Fortnite didnít seem to phase them, and they just continued to perform without fault and without letting us down. The integration of the competition certainly helped this is it allows certain keys to be disabled in order to prevent any keys being activated that donít need to be. We particularly found this useful when setting up keybinds for Fortnite as we feel it aided the building of muscle memory, of course, this is a feature of preference and it doesnít have to be used, but it does come in handy. The keyboard also stays very well planted to thanks to the generous rubber feet that provide ample grip when placed on either a desk surface or mousepad.

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