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REVIEW : Fnatic Streak & Streak Mini Gaming Mechanical Keyboards

May 22, 2018

WRIST REST REVISITED

 

In the video, I expressed how I felt about the wrist rest - based on me resting my actual wrist on it. It seems as though I've completely misunderstood how they should be used (my excuse is that I don't use one). Big thanks to  Daniel J. Grouse for pointing this out in the comments!

 

The actual way to use a wrist rest is to rest the bottom or the heel of your palm on the rest. This still reduces that angle (if you usually rest your wrists on the table, which is the case for many gamers), but puts less pressure on your wrists.

 

So here are my new thoughts on the 3 different positions.

 

Position 1

It is still too short for me, but I can see this working out for children or people with smaller hands.

 

Position 2

I now find this comfortable to use. My bottom of my palm is now resting softly on the pad. It's important not to apply too much pressure on the pad, as that can lead to issues.

 

This is now my favourite position to use, and I have found it more comfortable in comparison to the other positions. And I feel this will be the case for most of the target market as well.

 

Position 3

This was previously my preferred position, however now I find it to be just a touch too far. It supports more of my wrist, rather than the heel of my palm. This position will be suitable for larger adult hands.

 

You can find out more about how to use a wrist rest, and whether they're beneficial or not, at these links :

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/12/wrist-rests-are-for-your-palms-not-your-wrists/

https://ergonomictoolbox.com/ergonomics/top-3-keyboard-wrist-rest-typing-mistakes/

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/wrist.html

CONTENTS

 

- STREAK / mini mechanical keyboard

- Wrist rest

- User guide

- Fnatic stickers

 

- USB C cable included with the Streak MINI

 

VERSIONS

 

Fnatic STREAK

This is the full sized version, with the numpad and all. It features a dedicated volume wheel, that the mini does not have. It also has a USB port on the rear, which is the reason why we have the huge non-detachable USB cable.

 

Fnatic STREAK mini

This is the tenkeyless (TKL) version, which is more compact without the numpad - giving you more space on your desk for your mouse.

 

DESIGN & BUILD

 

They sport a floating key design, so that the keyswitches aren’t covered, and the mounting plate is exposed, essentially now being the top plate. The plate is made from aluminium and it does feel fantastic. The anodisation is quite nice in this very dark blue colour, however it may be darker on the final version. But the finish is very nice to the touch with a more textured surface, making it feel quite chalky and soft which I enjoy, and in general more premium.

 

It has a quite rounded shape with those corners, making it look a bit different to the others, which tend to emphasise sharp angles and lines, but this is rather soft. The enclosure is also very slim and low profile, with tapered edges to accentuate the thinness. There is a very slight natural angle of inclination to it, but is kept nearly flat to maintain that slimness.

 

The bottom is made from plastic, and we have some nice solid rubber feet for non slip, and two flip up feet that are also nicely rubber tipped. On the Streak Mini we have a USB C port which has a channel to make it more secure. And the USB C cable it comes with is great. It comes with a branded strap, and a sleek yellow and black design for the end.

 

KEYCAPS

 

Unfortunately these are the cheap ABS plastic caps that are thin at about 1mm, and are UV coated, with the legends laser etched. These aren’t the most durable, as it’s susceptible to key shine from finger oils, and also fading.

 

Thin keycaps also generally do not help with the keyfeel. I especially feel this way with Cherry MX Brown’s and a slim enclosure. If budget mechanical keyboards can offer double shot PBT keycaps, then there’s no reason for this not to, because it does bring down the feel and quality of the keyboard. Fortunately these do have standard keycap sizes, so they’re easily replaceable.

 

KEYSWITCHES

 

These are available in CHERRY MX Brown, Red, Blue, and Silent Red keyswitches.

Watch the video for typing sound demonstration.

 

RGB LIGHTING

 

As you would have seen in the software, they do have full RGB backlighting. The lighting can be changed onboard via the FN key. The left and right arrow keys control the speed of the effect and patterns. F6 controls the brightness with 5 brightness levels.

 

See video for lighting demonstration.

 

FNATIC SOFTWARE

 

In the software we can also customise each key.

 

There are 4 profiles in which we can store our key bindings on, which can be accessed here, or via the FN key, and F1 to F4.

 

For now, I will just use profile 1. Then we can pick a key, I’ll pick Q, and it will allow us to pick between the actual Q key, or FN+Q, which is the secondary layer. And then we can have macros, remap keys, launch applications, or open other things. Most of it is very straight forward as you’re just assigning a function to a key which can be very useful for various work programs, games, or just casual use.

 

The macro section requires a bit more involvement.

This is where we record our actions in real time. It’s actually pretty cool. It shows you each action, the timing, and delays.

 

The software and interface overall is very intuitive, easy to use, and just clean and simple. Although it doesn’t have the depth in the lighting customisability that say Corsair has.

 

See video for software demonstration.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Alright so we come back to the question. Is it a gaming keyboard? Relative to the mechanical keyboard market, I would say yeh kind of. But it’s difficult to even define gaming. For example, I wouldn’t use a full sized board for gaming since it’s so big and takes space away from my mouse.

 

We have the Competition mode which is overkill for me, but it does make sense if you’re absolutely serious.  We have the adjustable wrist rest to fit different gamers, and it definitely does make playing for hours that bit more comfortable. And we have key customisability and macro capabilities via the easy to use software.

 

One area that I think would further the tag of gaming, would be the keyswitches. There should be the option of at least Cherry MX Speed Silver’s, if we’re getting down to real incremental stuff.

 

The build is decent with the aluminium top plate, and the finish on it is beautiful. The keycaps is where the keyboard is let down, making the keyboard feel of lower quality in general, but fortunately it does have a standard layout, so replacing keycaps is easy.

 

Overall, I can see that there has been effort put into this keyboard into making it different, they’ve thrown in some customisability and innovation, and it does differ from it’s mainstream competition, and that’s what I appreciate.

 

To find out more about the Fnatic Streak & Streak mini, visit their website :

https://fnatic.com/gear/streak/

 

 

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