Cooler Master CMStorm MB7C Octane Keyboard: A Closer Look
At first glance, the Octane keyboard looks a bit lopsided with the bulk of the QWERTY pushed over to the left, and it took a little getting used to, as around the lab we tend to work with the keyboards on our laps. Once the initial learning curve was over, the QWERTY portion being pushed to the left wasn’t an issue. Being an entry-level gaming combo, the Octane MB70 keyboard didn’t get mechanical switches, but uses a membrane setup. The spacebar is a little odd-shaped, but we quickly found ourselves thumbing the spacebar to jump, and the design was conducive to in-game jumping. Considering the entry-level price for a seven color LED keyboard, Cooler Master put a lot of style into an inexpensive package and is has a Transformer(ish) look.
Shown lit in red, the four multimedia keys on the top left are easy to see, and come in handy for video and audio control. We found them handy in game when the volume got out of hand and neighborhood dogs started barking. The two keys on the top right are volume up and down and isolating them from the four multimedia keys on the top left was a smart move. There is a pause key on the bank of four multimedia keys but we found the lack of a mute key a little surprising.
It’s a matter of personal preference, but the purple backlighting was the favorite in the lab. We did however find ourselves switching to the hotter colored red for gaming, as with muted light, the purple lighting made the keys harder to distinguish.
With the pale teal color the keys were very easy to distinguish and during long gaming periods the color was easy on the eyes.
With seven colors to show, the remaining four are shown in thumbnails below. While your eyes are scoping out the rainbow of colors, don’t forget that the lights can be set to breathe which is definitely one of the cooler features of the Octane set.