Thermaltake Challenger Pro


Gaming and Typing

When I powered this thing up for the first time, it lit up quite brightly.

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Certainly a real red theme going on here. Unfortunately the rest of my setup is blue; no options for changing LED colours like we’ve seen with some gaming peripherals.

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Thoughout all gaming I found the Challenger Pro to do its job well. It was tactile and smooth. All keystrokes were executed well and there was little to no lag. The only keys I did have a little problem with were the fringe ones, such as shift and control. Occasionally I would find myself needing to press overly hard to keep the command going through to the game that I wanted to crough; often resulting in an uneeded death on my part. While this is something you get used to, initially it is a bit annoying.

When it came to typing, I actually very much liked it. This whole review has been put together on the TT and I found it far better than the Zboard Merc I usually use. However, while I did like the muted click that they produce, and the nice spongy feel under my fingers, ultimately I still have to say I prefer mechanical boards for their more crisp feel and that much clearer clack. Also, all the keys on a mechanical board feel the same, some of the ones on this – again shift, control etc. – don’t feel quite as nice as the rest of them.


Comfort wise I was pretty happy. The Challenger Pro has nice soft keys that were fine to type on for a few hours. Gaming similarly held no problems, except for the fact that I wish there was more of a wrist rest; just another inch or so. This board feels fine while you’re typing away, but when you’re relaxing you want something to support your wrists more, and unfrotuantely because of the small rest here, this ended up b
ing the table most of the time. Not a big problem, but personally, I like a large, angled wrist rest.


Here’s where I did have a few problems with the Challenger. Many of its features are implemented well, but they just don’t seem quite as well thought out as they could be; either that, or I’m an out-of-the-ordinary user.

For starters, I don’t like the placement of the macro keys. Most games feature a WASD command setup, not all, but a lot of them, which means you have one hand on the left hand side of the keyboard, and another on the mouse. This puts only half the macro keys within easy reach; considering they are designed for speed and increased ease of use for certain commands, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Also, their placement even on the left feels odd, it’s not a natural movement. A much better place would have been just above the number keys, or even above the function ones.

The media keys similarly, feel oddly placed. On a gaming keyboard, I want to be able to adjust the volume and source of what I’m listening to without breaking away from my gaming. Placing the media keys directly above the usual controls (WASD) makes this possible. However, on this board they’re located above the number keys; why?

The fan is my final complaint point. While a nice idea, it’s simply not powerful enough to create a noticeable breeze. Perhaps a faster or larger fan would have created more noise, but I’d have taken that over this weakly blowing puff of air that hits your hand in its current state.

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£40 is what you’ll be paying if you pick up a TT Challenger Pro. For what you get, this isn’t a bad price at all

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Last modified: February 15, 2011

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Thermaltake Challenger Pro

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