Fnatic didn't quite make all the waves the organization desired in the League of Legends Worlds 2020 championship, but the company has been killing it with its line-up of PC peripherals. I really enjoyed using the Fnatic miniSTREAK mechanical keyboard and gave it a positive review, so I was eager to give the STREAK65 ago.
Smaller, more compact keyboards are becoming more popular and Fnatic doesn't want to miss out on this opportunity, which is why the company launched the STREAK65 to go up against Ducky One 2 Mini RGB and Razer Huntsman Mini. As the name implies, it's only 65% of a standard mechanical keyboard, but is it any good?
Bottom line: Fnatic went and took all the great parts of the STREAK keyboard and shrunk it down to a more compact typing platform. The STREAK65 ticks all the right boxes and is now my new favorite gaming keyboard.
- Amazing Fnatic low-profile switches
- 65% compact design
- Subtle, even-lit RGB lighting
- Detachable USB-C cable
- Excellent build quality
- Matte keycaps are fingerprint magnets
Fnatic STREAK65 what you'll love
Fnatic's line-up of keyboards is solid for gaming. The STREAK series really is tried and tested by among the best in the esports scene and it shows. When I was approached to test out the STREAK65, I was pretty apprehensive since I'm not usually a fan of smaller, more compact keyboards. TKL is about as far as I would usually go.
|Switch||Fnatic low-profile switches|
|Dimensions||316 x 109 x 20 mm|
(12.4 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches)
|Polling rate||1000 Hz|
So when I unboxed the STREAK65, it was clearly visible just how small this keyboard was, even compared to the miniSTREAK. The only drawback to that keyboard for me was the rather finicky wristpad and the fact the caps lock LED was difficult to see.
The same goes for the STREAK65 with the CAPS LOCK, but there's no wrist rest here, so you'll want to bring your own for prolonged gaming sessions. If you're familiar with other STREAK keyboards, the STREAM65 looks almost identical to its siblings, aside from the smaller dimensions and more compact key layout, of course.
It's made of aluminum with a solid backplate and plastic underside. There are two feet that can be popped out to raise the keyboard ever-so-slightly. On the rear, you'll find a single USB-C slot, which allows for the included cable (or your own braided one) to be used to connect the keyboard to your PC.
On the front, you'll find the array of keys. Fnatic's use of its own in-house low-profile keys makes this a striking keyboard to gaze at. It looks like a laptop tester kit. There's subtle LED lighting that looks sublime on the default rainbow effect setting, though you can turn it all off if you're not a fan.
The Fnatic SPEED low-profile switches are quite simply put: incredible. These are among the best switches I've used to date and I'm including optical SteelSeries and Razer here. The actuation point of just 1mm allows for super-fast typing and rapid-response reflexes in-game. There are also no dampeners used, but it's nowhere near as loud as more clicky Cherry MX Blue switches.
The rubber feet and weight of just 420g (cue all those "420 blaze it" memes) do more than enough to keep the keyboard planted even when hitting the keys hard. Fnatic even included two additional LEDs underneath the space bar so it lights up uniformly. Then you have the 35% lower height for a more natural setup, which is also why there's no wrist rest. It's these sort of finishing touches that really sets Fnatic apart from some of the competition.
The reason I've never been fond of compact keyboards such as this in the past is due to how all the keys are essentially stuck together. There are no gaps. I always found it to be daunting to type on, but that was simply not the case. Even after just ten minutes of use, the STREAK65 was a joy to use. I didn't even find myself making as many mistakes as I would with a full-size keyboard. Consider me a convert.
Gaming is brilliant, so too is typing, so the STREAK65 wins big in all the right areas. Throw in profile support with internal memory, competitive mode, and full secondary function support and you've got one amazing keyboard.
Fnatic STREAK65 what you may dislike
The price of the Fnatic STREAK65 may put you off the keyboard, but it's truly worth every penny. It's a little strange that it's the same price as the larger STREAK keyboard, but if you can justify a portion of your PC budget you'll be happy with the results.
While the STREAK65 is very well designed, there is a slight issue with the keycaps in that they're especially susceptible to fingerprints and oil marks from your fingers. If you don't wipe down your keyboard, you may want to start doing so if you pick up the STREAK65.
So, should you buy the Fnatic STREAK65?
Yes. I would have left it there but editorial best practices would see me explain why you should buy the STREAK65. This is one of the best keyboards I've used so far. While it's not quite as advanced as something like the SteelSeries Apex Pro, it's not designed to be. This is a great keyboard for gamers and those who need to do some typing during the day.
Fnatic's SPEED switches are a joy to use, particularly thanks to the nature of being low-profile. The build quality is top-notch, so too are the ergonomics largely in part due to the lower platform. It'll take a few minutes to get accustomed to the 65% keyboard, but once you're up and running, it's difficult to go back to a full-sized typing machine.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.