Cougar makes a wide variety of products, but they're probably best known for providing more budget conscious peripheral solutions. They have an extensive selection of options across the price spectrum, but with the Puri TKL tenkeyless gaming keyboard, they’ve achieved a pretty remarkable price to performance ratio.
Considering how feature rich this little board is, I’m genuinely surprised Cougar isn’t charging more.
You can pick up the Cougar Puri TKL for $69.99 exclusively from Newegg.
Keyboards are getting super fancy these days, and the Puri TKL is no exception. It has a minimalist feel, with rivet-like screws in the plastic chassis adding a bit of industrial flair. A Cougar logo shines brightly over the arrow keys (more on lighting in a moment,) and the small bezel offers a compactness that further contributes to the modern feel.
The chassis is plastic, but it has substantial weight to it. It feels like it’s made of metal, and that thickness provides a durability that I really appreciate. There is zero flex here, and it’s not going to move around your desk no matter how intense your match is.
On the bottom of the keyboard are two plastic feet that flip out for height adjustment. Again everything here is plastic, but nothing feels cheap, which is pretty remarkable at this price point. Four rubber feet further secure your board to your desk.
There are some cable routing options available on the Puri which is always appreciated. If you need to route the USB cable to the left or right, you can do that.
Speaking of cables, yet again, the Puri is batting way outside its price range here. The braided, detachable USB cable has a premium feel, and it’s plenty long. As someone who often travels with a keyboard, I’m a huge fan of detachable cables. And it’s standard mini-USB, none of that weird proprietary nonsense that can complicate cable exchange.
The Key to Performance
So the Puri looks good, and that’s important, but let’s talk performance.
This keyboard has a 1ms response time, a 1000HZ polling rate, and N-key Rollover for those of you who like pressing all the keys at once for some reason.
The Cougar Puri TKL uses German-made Cherry MX key switches, which you might recognize as super awesome. You can get any color, but the deck I tested went with clicky Reds, which means they are linear, non-tactile, and have a low actuation force of 45 cN. They’re popular with gamers for a reason, and I really like them for gaming and typing. Your preference is obviously subjective, but there’s no denying the quality.
Which makes the price point all the more impressive. These are premium switches that would be right at home on a much more expensive board. The fact that Cougar went with Cherry instead of Kailh or Gateron speaks highly of their dedication to quality despite the lower price point.
The ABS keycaps feel great too, and the font is perfectly legible and looks nice for those of you who still look at the keyboard (you know who you are.) There’s nothing funky about the layout, and the inclusion of FN activated media and convenience shortcuts is always appreciated.
Feel the Metal
The Puri TKL comes with aluminum keycaps for the arrow keys and WASD. These are optional replacements, but I cannot recommend them highly enough. Not only do they add a beautiful splash of silver to the black plastic, but they feel fantastic. The weight and cold tactile feel of these caps makes typing a pleasure, so much so that I wish there was a version of the Puri with all metal keycaps.
It’s a really cool bonus that makes an already great keyboard all the more desirable.
Features and Lighting
Cougar pulled out all the stops with the design and the keycaps/switches, so they had to scale back a bit in the feature department to keep the price so tantalizingly low.
There are no macro keys here, and the backlighting is limited to white. It looks good though, especially against the metal keycaps. You can control the backlight patterns and effects with keyboard shortcuts, and there are quite a few compelling options, including the option to customize. Sure, RGB would be great, but at this price point Cougar’s implementation of backlighting is more than acceptable.
And if you like to take your keyboard on the go, the Puri TKL has you covered.
I mean that literally; this deck comes with a plastic, magnetically attached keyboard cover. You don’t see this terribly often, and using the screws on the surface of the chassis as metal contact points was a solid move. This cover further enhances the portability of the Cougar Puri TKL, and is yet another added bonus that Cougar did not have to include.
The Cougar Puri TKL surprised me. The amount of value in this keyboard is uncommon, and the all around solid build quality is impressive.
Between the Cherry switches, aluminum keycaps, and premium touches like the detachable braided cable, this is an easy recommendation for someone who wants a highly functional mechanical keyboard and a great deal.
Those of you searching for RGB or macro keys might need to keep looking, but for the price, I can’t think of a better board, and I’ve had my hands on quite a few.
You can pick up the Newegg exclusive Cougar Puri TKL for $69.99.