Functional usage and Software
As we always do, a little history first. Keyboards have always been a part of computing since the very beginning. The original IBM PC came with one, the Model M, which I used as a kid. The Model M, of course, set the standard for all keyboards that came after it. There are some variations in layout, but they're all based off the 101-key Model M. The modern keyboard, thanks to Windows, now has 104 keys, and depending on your location, you can have many more keys than that.
Suffice it to say, keyboards are still the most efficient way of interacting with your computer, even with the great strides made in voice-recognition, touch screens, and GUI optimizations. I think the chances of humans ever growing out of the keyboard are pretty slim. In the early days of personal computing the keyboard really meant something because it really was the only way to interact with the machine. Having a good-feeling keyboard was very important, at least until the mouse and GUI came along, and shifted the focus a little bit. Mechanical keyboards have always been around though, part of the collective geek consciousness, and the enthusiasts that inhabit that world are as hardcore as their keyboards.
The million dollar question
So, why would you want to spend over $150 on a keyboard? Is it really worth it? Yes, we think so. Mechanical keyboards really are in a class of their own. Once you have used a mechanical keyboard, there is no going back to a regular keyboard. The differences are just too great, typing is better, faster and gaming is better. It's just no comparison. The one downside though is that they do make a lot more noise and this applies to gamers mostly.
Making high-end gaming keyboards is nearly an art form these days with a very enthusiastic crowd that is very critical. As such, we are glad that Corsair made the Strafe all mechanical. Also, and mostly due to their price range, mechanical keyboards try to sweeten the deal with extra USB hubs and lights. New of course is the per-key LED key backlighting, which we think is great. Now you don't need a fancy mechanical keyboard to play a game well, but it can make a game much more enjoyable to play. On the other hand, there are keyboards that are better for noise than others.
Enjoy da silence !
The Corsair Strafe, thanks to the new MX Silent Cherry switches, is in the less noisy keyboard category. Heck dare I say it ? It is even less noisy then the dome based keyboard I type this article on, so the noise level is perfectly acceptable really. Nothing more needs to be said about it really, this is a very silent set o' keys ! And yeah, gaming wise I definitely seem to have a preference for the Strafe with Silent MX switches.