As a writer and gamer, the keyboard is my most essential tool. This makes the review process particularly tricky, because not every great gaming keyboard is equally effective for typing, and vice versa. Take the recently reviewed Gamdias Hermes Lite for example. It’s superb for competitive gaming due to its hyper-sensitive keys, but it makes typing difficult because the sensitivity can’t be lowered. Finding a model that excels at everything isn’t always easy, but Cougar’s latest Attack X3 serves as a prime example of a keyboard that offers superb performance for both gamers and those seeking reliability and comfort for everyday tasks.
There’s typically an adjustment period when switching between keyboard models. If you’re a regular gamer, switching to a new keyboard is somewhat comparable to getting a new car. It can take a while to feel right. A new layout, build quality and key sensitivity all have an instant impact on how a new model is perceived. Sometimes, a keyboard’s quality and features don’t fully shine until they’ve been used for a while, and other times, everything falls into place right away. Such is the case with Cougar’s Attack X3, an absolutely stunning piece of tech with an instant wow factor.
"Cougar’s latest Attack X3 serves as a prime example of a keyboard that offers superb performance for both gamers and those seeking reliability and comfort for everyday tasks."
The X3 isn’t concerned with extraneous features and fluff. It’s all about performance, comfort and unparalleled construction. The Attack X3 is designed with durability in mind. Its aluminum structure isn’t just there to withstand heavy-handed everyday use, it also looks stunning in combination with the cherry keys and adjustable backlighting. That’s not to say the X3 is featureless. It boasts ten programmable keys, on-the-fly mode switching, dedicated multimedia keys, a 1000 Hz polling rate and Cherry MX switches that last up to fifty million keystrokes.
As with most gaming keyboards, the Attack X3 comes with software that allows users to tweak the keyboard to their specifications. The Cougar UIX System, which is used for all of Cougar’s peripherals, is an easy to use and robust little program that gets right down to business. The layout is clean and easy to navigate. Here you can adjust performance, key assignment and lighting control for three different modes. The performance is where you make your most essential tweaks. It lets you adjust the repeat delay between long and short, change the polling rate from as low as 125 Hz to as high as 1000 Hz and you can choose between 6K (6-KEY Rollover) opr NK (N-Key Rollover) for unlimited simultaneous key presses.
"Cougar impresses once again. They’ve delivered another remarkable peripheral that has no equal."
I spent an entire week testing the X3 with every possible genre. Whether you’re playing twitch shooters, MOBAs, strategy games or MMOs, the Attack X3 performs beautifully. The keys are responsive, yet they have enough feedback to prevent double presses. There’s a satisfying clickiness to each keystroke, and playing for an extended period of time never introduces fatigue. Compared to my last keyboard, the Gamdias Hermes Lite, I noticed significant gameplay improvements when playing competitively. In combination with Cougar’s 550M gaming mouse, my K/D ratio in Call of Duty Black Ops III improved instantly.
Typing on the X3 is equally impressive. In fact, I can’t imagine using anything else from now on. As someone who spends an absurd amount of time typing each day, I’ve become extremely sensitive to every minor imperfection and oddity. It’s been years since I’ve tested a keyboard that has felt this good. The Attack X3 is as perfect as it gets.
Cougar impresses once again. They’ve delivered another remarkable peripheral that has no equal. From the tank-like build quality to the excellent key responsiveness and ergonomic design, the Attack X3 is one of the best keyboards I’ve tested in years. Even if you’re not a gamer and are looking for a quality product to compliment your everyday tasks, you won’t find anything more reliable than the X3.
Review by: Tin Salamunic