The Hardware Review: Corsair Strafe RGB

Apr 16, 2016

Corsair Utility Engine


CUE is what Corsair provide to configure the variety of options the keyboard has, be it something simple like merely setting up a colour scheme you like, to having powerful macros and sound effects and such. This software also interacts with other Corsair devices like their headsets and mice, allowing you total control over supported peripherals. It’s also a very daunting experience at first glance.

With all the facilities it offers and configuration options it has, it’s a bit of a confusing and overly complex affair. I managed to set up some basic lighting functions on the keyboard, as well as importing other whimsical things from the Corsair RGBShare site, such as light sabre duels (with options for sound effects) which play out on the keyboard surface. But to do anything more in depth? Hmmm.

With RGB off...

My day job is in financial trading systems. I’ve created and worked on some pretty complicated algos over the years. Unfortunately even that has left me ill prepared for many hardware companies software interfaces. It’s a similar story with Razer’s Synapse software so I want to be clear here, this isn’t just a Corsair problem. After a lot of googling and reading of how-to’s and FAQ’s and video watching etc, I’m starting to get the hang of it.

It’s not a terrible situation, I just wish companies that made great hardware (and I absolutely consider Corsair to be such a company) were also as talented at making great software. The Strafe RGB is a great piece of hardware, it could be made an exceptional offering if the software were more user friendly.

Regardless, personally I have a mix of Corsair and Razer equipment so I have to use both CUE and Synapse. They’re not terrible, but they’re also not terribly intuitive either. Once familiar though (although my existing keyboard and mouse are Corsair, neither is an RGB so I’ve not had huge call for CUE until now), it’s not impossible to navigate.

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