Best Gaming Keyboard Under 100 – Gamers and writers are the same in one important way: they are both very smart about the keyboards they use. As someone who sits in the middle of a certain venn diagram, I am very happy when Fnatic offered me the opportunity to review their compact miniSTREAK gaming keyboard.
MiniSTREAK Fnatic is ideal for gamers who want an authentic mechanical keyboard experience, but don’t have desktop real estate for something bigger, like the chunky Alienware AW768 Pro Gaming Keyboard. It comes with a beautiful RBG backlit system, which can be adjusted via an optional downloadable application.
Best Gaming Keyboard Under 100
Pedestrians also have a choice between the red, blue and brown Cherry MX keys. For this review, we saw the Cherry MX Brown variant.
There is an unfavorable tendency for game hardware to be – in a word – terrible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but too many game products look like impure love from a PCB board and a can of Monster energy drinks.
MiniSTREAK Fnatic produces that trend. In fact, if you leave the RGB backlight off, you can barely see that it is aimed at gamers’ viewers. This means it is suitable for a more conservative environment, such as a shared office, where a more complex keyboard looks very wrong.
Speaking of RGB backlights, you get a lot of free time playing here. It supports eight different lighting modes (with quite clear names such as ‘pulses,’ waves ‘, ripples,’ and ‘rain’) and 16.8 million color choices. To play with this, you need to install OP – an optional downloadable package that allows you to configure almost everything about the keyboard.
On the back of the keyboard is a magnetic signature plate, which displays the Fnatic logo. Further ahead, customers will be able to make their own signature plates, allowing them to adjust their keyboards. Even though this is not something I can imagine I am doing, I imagine those who play competitively will enjoy the opportunity to improve their equipment with their own personal branding.
Under the keyboard are four rubber strips that keep the keyboard in place. It’s really gripping and makes sure the keyboard doesn’t slip during the most frantic moments of playing. Right now I’m writing this review on a glass table, and miniSTREAK Fnatic stays around all the time.
Users can also control the keyboard height thanks to the rubber pad. This feels solid, but it’s a shame you can’t control the height and special angle of the keyboard, as you can with other specialist models, such as EZ Ergodox.
MiniSTREAK Fnatic is connected to your computer via a removable USB-C cable. I’m a big fan of this, because that means if the cable breaks (which is easy to do if you regularly bring hardware to the tournament), it’s not over.
It is also equipped with soft leather armrests. This can be removed and can be adjusted to three different levels. As an added bonus, it’s also very easy to remove and clean.
At the top of the keyboard, you will find four buttons outside the usual QWERTY rates. One activates the function button, allowing you to adjust the brightness of the button, and controls audio playback. Others turn off your microphone. Others turn off your computer’s audio. The last button is nicknamed “Competition Mode,” and turns off the RGB backlight effect of your keyboard.
And then we get to the keyboard itself. I have to admit, miniSTREAK Fnatic is a pretty little model. The keys are compact, without being put together. Space is one of the areas Fnatic is doing right.
Each button has a consistent feel, while the PCB keycaps are nice and round, allowing you to easily catch them.
As mentioned, miniSTREAK Fnatic comes with several keyswitch options. The company decided to use Cherry’s iconic switch, instead of the Gateron clone (also very good), or random Chinese copy, which could be rather chancy.
Each keyswitch has different characteristics. The Cherry MX Blue Switch, for example, is both tactile and clicky, which makes it suitable for those who type a lot, such as programmers and writers. The Cherry MX Red key, on the other hand, is linear, which is lighter and requires less compression strength for the press to register. This makes it the ideal choice for competitive players.
Finally, the Cherry MX Brown key is a fun medium between the two. They are tactile, but not at all as busy as the famous Cherry MX Blues.
In my experience, the Cherry MX Brown key offers the best of both worlds for gamers and writers, and is also versatile. The key requires a little actuation to register, but it’s not as easy as you would expect with the Cherry MX Blue keyboard. Most importantly, they allow us to evaluate the benefits of this keyboard from the perspective of gaming and writing.
In both scenarios, it stands for competition – and then some. When writing articles in a longer form, such as features and reviews, I don’t feel tired as I experienced if I use my laptop’s default keyboard. As someone who writes to make a living, this is a big plus.
I was also impressed with the game’s credentials. I feel that well-designed button distances, combined with ergonomics from adjustable armrests, are loaned well to long FPS sessions. I am simultaneously more precise and more comfortable.
Who is MiniSTREAK Fnatic for?
MiniSTREAK Fnatic is a great little keyboard. This checks almost all the boxes that you might care about. It’s stylish, comfortable, and tough.
Even though this is a very good keyboard, you will find small details that make FNatic miniSTREAK special. From armrests to feet made of rubber, this tool is smartly designed.
If you are a gamer, this is worth a try. If you are not a gamer, but want a decent keyboard or code to write, it is still worth checking out, based on its comfortable design and pleasant ergonomics.
You can take miniSTREAK Fnatic from Amazon UK for £ 90 (Brown and Silent Red variants). On the US Amazon, the Cherry MX Red variant sells for $ 100. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, no other variants are available through Amazon, but a wider range can be found through the official Fnatic website.
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