Fnatic STREAK65 LP Review
Fnatic is obviously one of the world's most successful and well-known esports teams, and recently they've been trying to achieve the same success in the peripherals market. Despite the fact that their recent releases have all been of, at the very least, decent quality, their products haven't really been earth-shattering or massively popular among professional players. They were 'just' (and that's not really a knock) decent quality products.
With the STREAK65 LP, Fnatic is trying to change that. It offers PBT keycaps, sound dampening foam inside the case for better acoustics, a coiled cable, and lubed stabilizers. All of this might not sound like much to someone who doesn't follow the keyboard scene, but people who do will know that a mass-produced keyboard with a specsheet like this is a rarity.
On paper, then, the STREAK65 LP sounds like a great improvement over its predecessor but every product sounds good on paper, which is why we sent one over to our reviewer. Check out his full Fnatic STREAK65 LP review to find out whether or not this board is worth your hard earned money!
"The Fnatic STREAK65 LP is without a doubt one of the best gaming keyboards that you can buy right now thanks to its exciting mix of enthusiast-level attention to detail and gaming-focused features."Our reviewer
Fnatic STREAK65 LP - First Impressions
When I reviewed the first iteration of this keyboard I didn't have too many remarks. Sure, there were aspects that could be improved but that's the case for pretty much any product. As such, I expected Fnatic to bring some minor improvements to a board that I already thought was pretty decent, but as it turns out they've really gone all out with the STREAK65 LP.
The first thing that you notice when you open up the box is that there's a coiled cable present. Some people won't give a hoot about that, but for me it's a super nice addition. It's not the most premium coiled cable you'll ever see, but considering the fact that purchasing a high quality one can easily set you back a small 100 dollars it's nice to see that Fnatic has added one with their keyboard. I myself really like the look of these coiled cables and have two lying around in my house, but I don't feel like spending the money on a ton of them so that I have a matching one for each keyboard so props to Fnatic for including this. A coiled cable is also somewhat of a 'custom keyboard enthusiast trademark' so there's that too.
Looking at the keys, another improvement becomes clear immediately. Gone are the plasticky ABS keycaps and in are finely textured and, more importantly, much more durable and premium-feeling PBT caps. I myself have never really knocked any company for using ABS caps in the past since it's been the industry standard for mass-produced keyboards for ages but that's a trend that's changing, and it's good to see that Fnatic has listened to critics and went with PBT caps on this new version.
One last thing that's clear immediately is that this is a very light and compact keyboard. There are no dials or knobs and the bezels are very minimal. This very much looks like a board that's focused on competitive gaming.
Despite being very lightweight and thin, the STREAK65 LP feels very solid. Thanks to the aluminum plate it's impossible to get the board to flex in any meaningful way. There's also no creaking or any signs that might point to the STREAK65 LP being flimsy in any way. That's always a plus, and doubly so for boards that are made for competitive gamers and as such can be expected to be traveling to and from LAN parties and the likes.
The RGB on the original STREAK65 wasn't the brightest, but that's different with this new version. This white version that I got for review draws the eye like no other, and the slightly reflective top plate makes for a very pleasing RGB show if that's something that you're after. The lighting also looks really vibrant and there's no stuttering between effects or different colors if you've got a fade effect on or something like that. If you like your RGB you won't be disappointed here.
Inside the box of the STREAK65 LP you won't find very many extras. There's the keyboard, the usual documentation, and then the (fantastic, for a mass-produced keyboard) cable, but other than that there's nothing in the box.
As you may or may not know, I always appreciate it when companies include keycap pullers with their keyboards, and even though you probably won't be switching out the caps on this board (most common keycap profiles won't work fully with a low profile board such as this one) you will want to clean it after a while, and a keycap puller could come in handy for that. That said: the switches sit directly atop the top plate so it's very easy to just blow dust out from in between the switches (something that's not easy to do when the plate is recessed inside the case of a board) so it's not as if it's a huge handicap to not have a puller with this board.
Size & Dimensions
Features and build
The STREAK65 LP is, as the name already kind of betrays, a 65% board. For me, that's the perfect size for a keyboard. It's compact but still has arrow keys and a couple of useful keys such as delete and so on. Of course you can still access the F row and what not by pressing the FN key along with the corresponding key, so you're not really missing any functionality by going for a 65% board.
Like its predecessor, the STREAK65 LP does not shy away from branding. You can find 'STREAK' on both sides of the board, the spacebar has the Fnatic logo on it, the top of the board has Fnatic on it, and the backplate also has Fnatic on it. It's not super annoying since the branding isn't large or gaudy looking but it could've looked a bit more minimal if you're asking me.
Speaking of branding: on the back of the board there's a detachable (through a magnetic system) backplate that has the Fnatic logo on there. You can theoretically swap that one out for a customized one of your own but as it stands that feature is in limbo. I spoke to a Fnatic representative on this issue because I'm someone who likes customization myself and because I want to be complete in my reviews, and Fnatic told me that the custom nameplates might come back in the future if there is enough demand, so whether or not you'll be able to order one with your own nametag isn't exactly sure at this point in time. It's no problem and doesn't influence my opinion on the board at all, but I thought it would be a good idea to mention it.
The keycaps, then, are now PBT. This is much more durable and less prone to picking up fingerprints and oils when compared to cheap ABS (which is what is commonly used in mass-produced keyboards since it's cheaper) and they lift the whole keyboard up a notch or two. I'm very sensitive to how things feel (I strongly dislike fingerprint magnet coatings on mice, for example, to the point where I have swapped main mice because the coating started to annoy me too much) and for me, this switch to PBT keycaps is amazing. It shows that they take this board seriously and that they've been listening to what reviewers and enthusiasts have been saying.
On the bottom of the board you'll find four rubber feet (two are flip up feet) and those do a great job at keeping the board in place, both on a regular desk surface as well as on a mousepad or deskmat.
All in all this is a great board on the materials/build quality front. From the lightweight yet sturdy design to the PBT caps to the premium coiled cable (which, by the way, is USB-C without a proprietary connector, as it should be in my opinion): the STREAK65 LP delivers on all fronts, and it's clearly obvious that the people at Fnatic have been listening to their audience when they were planning these improvements.
Performance and every day use
The STREAK65 LP has Fnatic's Low Profile switches, developed along with Kailh. Thanks to an actuation point at 1 millimeter and a total travel of just 3.2 millimeters, these feel quite a bit faster than a common Cherry switch, though the actuation force of 45G makes it so that the switches don't feel 'too fast.' I put that between quotation marks because whether or not you like the speed and feel of a switch is something subjective, but I find that there are definitely speed boards that are too fast to the point where I'm constantly making typos or making mistakes ingame. I didn't have that issue here.
In a nutshell: the Fnatic Low Profile switches feel plenty fast and responsive, but they never go overboard on the speed front, and to top it off they feel quite smooth too. They obviously don't compare to lubed enthusiast switches (but they're not supposed to: those switches can cost almost as much as this board when you order enough of them to fill a board) but as someone who actually owns keyboards with lubed enthusiast linear switches I found the Fnatic Low Profile switches to be a pleasure to use for gaming.
The whole low profile aspect is something that I don't think I will ever be a big fan of, but there are arguments for it of course. The lower height of the keyboard (and thus the keys) makes for a more neutral wrist position and eliminates the need for a wrist rest if you want your wrist to be (almost) level with the keyboard. I myself never use a wrist rest and I prefer regular boards for working and productivity, but I do have to say that I had absolutely no problem with this board. I will probably even keep it around and use it for when I'm going to be playing games.
That last bit also has something to do with the overall experience: the switches feel great, but the board also sounds fantastic (again: for a mass-produced board - there's no use comparing this to a $800 custom keyboard) and the stabs are among the best I've ever seen on a mass produced keyboard. The stabilizers are pre-lubed (and they did not cheap out on the lube: there's plenty of it) and as far as I'm concerned the typing and using experience of this board should serve as a benchmark for other gaming peripheral companies. I'm not someone who is super strict or demanding when it comes to the overall typing experience of a mass-produced keyboard because I know that it's not possible to dedicate the same attention of detail to a board that rolls out of a factory when compared to a custom built one but the Fnatic STREAK65 LP really feels fantastic.
Customizing the board can be done in Fnatic's OP software. There you can tweak the RGB, record macros, rebind buttons, and do basically everything you'd want to do with a gaming keyboard. OP isn't the most expansive piece of software out there, but it does its job without any hiccups or noteworthy flaws, and that's enough for me.
Conclusion & Recommendation
When I reviewed the original STREAK65 I had this to say about it:
"I would absolutely love it if they had a perhaps slightly more expensive option with decent PBT caps (they could even add a cool cable or what not to make the whole package more premium) or sold an improved set separately for people who care about this kind of stuff."
Whaddaya know? I'm not quoting myself to imply that Fnatic has listened to my exact recommendations, but I'm just saying that Fnatic have made all the right changes in my opinion. The STREAK65 LP is, if you're asking me, an almost perfect gaming keyboard. It's got an ideal size, PBT keycaps, a sturdy design, fantastic stabilizers, and nice switches. The attention to detail such as the addition of a coiled cable just completes this very attractive package.
The Fnatic STREAK65 LP is without a doubt one of the best gaming keyboards that you can buy right now thanks to its exciting mix of enthusiast-level attention to detail and gaming-focused features. You can check it out here in case you're interested.