Cougar Gaming has really worked hard to provide gamers with good quality products while trying to keep the price tags at a budget-friendly point. Our previous Cougar review was the Airblader which is a great product with a great price. We were sent the Cougar Vantar AX keyboard along with the Airblader. So we took the Vantar AX and put it through its paces, both at work and play… Here is what we found.
Design & Features
Taking the Cougar Vantar AX keyboard out of its box will most certainly cause you to emit an oeeee or ahhhh sound. At first glance and touch, the Cougar Vantar AX is rather impressive. With its extreme low-profile design, a mere 15mm high, when the feet are not opened, it surely does take a swing at the Logitech G815 and other low-profile keyboards. In a world where TKL and 60% keyboards have become the standard, the Cougar Vantar AX sticks to the original designs by sticking with a full-sized keyboard which includes a Numpad for those who love to do some number-punching.
The ultra-slim Cougar Vantar AX keyboard is a stunning keyboard. Features low-profile keys, which work on a scissor system to produce a great feeling switch while keeping it super low-profile to fit with the Vantar AX design. The body of the Cougar Vantar AX is made from lightweight brushed Aluminum, giving it a very professional look while retaining a minimalistic gaming look. Spectacular for those who want to use it for gaming as well as office work, whereas the other, more extreme-looking, gaming keyboards might draw unwanted attention due to looks, and the extremely loud switches.
The silent scissor switches that are fitted to the Cougar Vantar AX keyboard are much like those found on laptops. They actuate when they are bottomed out, unlike mechanical switches which have varying actuation points depending on the type of switch. For those who are looking for mechanical switches specifically, this might not be what you want, although, the Cougar Vantar AX scissor switches still give an amazing pushback much as mechanical switches do. Although not being mechanical, the Cougar Vantar AX still features the anti-ghosting as all the gaming keyboards do. Anti-ghosting allows for multiple keys to be pressed at the same time and the keyboard being able to register all the inputs simultaneously, unlike non-gaming keyboards where it is only able to register a single keypress at a time.
While being very elegant and ready to fit into any office environment, the Cougar Vantar AX has a gaming side to it as well. Thanks to the above-mentioned anti-ghosting keys, as well as great RGB enriched keys with 8 backlighting effects to choose from, the Cougar Vantar AX is ready for any occasion. Another nifty feature that might be nice for some users is the ability to interchange the WASD keys with the arrow keys if you ever need to. Although the Cougar Vantar AX is extremely thin and light, the rubber feet that is fitted to the bottom, 4 at the front and 2 on the extender legs, do a wonderful job to keep it firmly secured to the table surface.
Performance & Verdict
The Cougar Vantar AX keyboard is aimed at the user that has a budget in mind, as well as those who are looking for a do-it-all keyboard. And those are boxes that the Cougar Vantar AX keyboard ticks, unequivocally. The lightweight keyboard that weighs only a mere 606g is perfect for the budget gamer. Although it’s not without its small flaws. The RGB that is emitted from the Cougar Vantar AX Keyboard is respectable when viewed from the top, down, but with the legs not extended, meaning when it is flat on the table, the RGB is not very bright nor is the letters distinguishable. This is something small to note as most keyboard users should know where the keys are that they use often.
During our time with the Cougar Vantar AX keyboard, the typing, in general, is really great on it. I am a fan of typing on a laptop except for the fact that the keys often feel too close together, with the Cougar Vantar AX there is acres of space and nice spacing between keys giving it the best of both worlds wonderful for typing. I felt that I was typing faster and more accurately on this keyboard than I do on my Logitech GPro keyboard. Where the Cougar Vantar AX does falter slightly is in the keycaps. Previously I said that I love their low profile design as well as their feeling under-finger while typing but with the RGB activated, the keycaps of the Vantar AX do not allow for the letters to be nicely seen even with the RGB set to the brightest option. The Cougar Vantar AX keyboard does also gives you media key shortcuts. All you need to do is press them in conjunction with the Fn key and you can easily control your volume as well as jump to your favorite browser and emails. The Vantar AX really is a handy keyboard that is capable to provide adequate service both in a work environment as well as gaming.
The Cougar Vantar AX keyboard provides a no-frills, no-fuss keyboard that won’t break the bank as well as handle everything you throw at it. It might not be as feature-rich as some of the other keyboards on the market but what it lacks there it makes up ten-fold in its price tag as well as its aesthetic appeal. The Cougar Vantar AX is the perfect keyboard for someone on a tight budget that is looking for a good-looking keyboard capable of work and play!
Special thanks to Cougar Gaming for supplying us with the review hardware