Some of the larger, more mainstream mechanical keyboard makers are looking to tempt a different segment of the market than before—the one that’s less interested in loud, space marine-looking designs and more into more demure looks that are more appropriate in the office than the gaming cubby. With the release of the Puri and Puri TKL mechanical keyboards, you can count Cougar among them.
The Puri is a full-size keyboard, and the Puri TKL is of course the sawed-off tenkeyless version. Both sport simple all-black chassis with white backlighting, which reminds us a bit of Logitech’s designs. Contrast the Puri planks with previous Cougar offerings like the Attack X3 (and its RGB variants) or the 700K, and it’s obvious that the company has a different buyer in mind for the Puri family.
It’s tough to stand out anywhere in the keyboard market, but when you consciously strip back the bells and whistles, it can be even tougher. To that end, Cougar has done its best to add a couple of less than obvious frills, including (internal) steel frame construction (although the sides of the chassis are plastic), a removable cable for better portability, cable routing troughs on the bottom, and a removable plastic magnetic cover to protect your precious keys. The top panel is held on by a handful of silver flathead screws.
In a press release, Cougar noted that “Select retailers will include an exclusive set of 8 metal keycaps with Puri TKL,” which is a move likely made to keep up with MSI, Corsair, HyperX, G.Skill, and ThermalTake.
Both keyboards sport Cherry MX switches, although Cougar did not specify which versions, specifically. The models we spotted at Computex 2017 sported Cherry MX Blues, though. The devices use Cherry-style stabilizers.
There appears to be no software support, but you do get a number of built-in lighting effects that you can control with keystrokes. There are also a few dedicated media keys on the upper right side of the full-size Puri.
The lack of software may be a deal breaker for some, especially as it appears that you can’t program macros on board, but at least the prices are right: The Puri costs just $80, and the Puri TKL is $70. Compared to many other gaming-oriented keyboards, those are solid deals.
However, despite Cougar’s gaming marketing angle, a number of potential buyers are likely to be interested in these keyboards (and others like them) for daily drivers at work.
Availability for both is slated for sometime this month.