eTeknix Visit Corsair Rapidfire Keyboard Launch Event in London

A few days ago, we were invited down to London for a top-secret event, giving us the opportunity to check out the latest gaming keyboard from Corsair. Of course, now that the NDA has lifted, we’re able to share with you what we say at the event, as well as bring you a full review of the new K70 in all its glory and boy is it good!

Of course, we have to share this fantastic teaser from Corsair first.

Equipped with an innovative new switch that was created in a partnership between Cherry and Corsair, the new K70 Rapidfire features the MX Speed switch (they’re the right most row on this block).

MX Speed is very much like MX Red, in that it is a lightweight and fast linear switch, but the major change comes from the fact that the switch has a 40% reduction in actuation distance, meaning less force is needed, response times are cut and the keys return rate is quicker, allowing you to touch-type and game at an increased pace vs the regular red switch.

Corsair were kind enough to set up some cool games and plenty of the keyboards for us to try out.

Some of our friends at Dignitas putting the keyboards through their paces.

There are two models available as of today, The full-size K70 and the shorter K65.

Both keyboards follow the iconic K70/K65 designs, and are fully equipped with RGB lighting, although a non-RGB version is also available for the K70.

The return of the USB pass-through port and BIOS switch!

 

K70 Quickfire RGB is to be £149.99 and non-RGB is £119.99, while the smaller TKL version, the K65 RGB, will also be £119.99. Expect all major retailers to have stock or pre-orders from today.

Want to know even more about this keyboard? Check out our full review here.

Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB Gaming Keyboard Review

Introduction


Ready to take your gaming seriously? We’ve got the (mostly) new Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB in the eTeknix office today, and while you may be familiar with the K70 part, the keyboard now features the all-new and very much improved Cherry MX Speed switches! But what are MX Speed switches? They use the same underlying format as the extremely popular and lightning fast MX Red switches, but with a 40% reduction in actuation distance, meaning they’re even faster than ever before, making them the shortest response mechanical switches on the market today.

  • Ultrafast mechanical gaming keyboard: ultrafast 1.2mm actuation and light 45g switch force for truly unrivaled response time.
  • 100% Cherry MX Speed RGB key switches: ultrafast performance with the precision and durability of gold contact Cherry MX mechanical gaming key switches.
  • Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: with light weight and rugged durability you need for a keyboard that’s going to see a lot of action.
  • 100% anti-ghosting and full key rollover over USB circuitry: no matter how fast you go your keypresses will always register.
  • Advanced lighting control and large font keycaps: experience dynamic, vibrant multi-color backlighting.
  • The power of CUE: sophisticated macro programming and fast, fluid dynamic multicolor illumination for an enlightened gaming experience.
  • Detachable soft-touch wrist rest: the comfort you need for marathon gaming sessions.
  • Dedicated multimedia controls: the control you need to adjust your audio without interrupting your game.
  • USB Pass-Through Port: Positioned for uninterrupted game play and ready for your mouse or wireless headset adapter.
  • FPS and MOBA keycap sets: Textured and contoured keycaps provide maximum grip and enhanced feel

Every action counts when it comes to competitive gaming, and trimming the fat from the switch means that you’ll be triggering those switches milliseconds before the competition. It’s not a huge advantage, but every little bit adds up and no matter how small it may seem, an edge is an edge.

The packaging is really nicely designed, keeping the usual Corsair colours and showing off the most important features.

You’ll find all the usual stuff in the box, such as the documentation, two sets of gaming caps and a handy key cap puller.

Corsair Gaming Christmas Giveaway!

Ready to get into the festive spirit? We’ve teamed up with the good people at Corsair to give you all a chance to win a cool bundle of peripherals to upgrade your gaming rig. What’s so festive about keyboard and mice you say? We’re announcing the winners on Christmas day! So when you’re done unwrapping your presents, perhaps they’ll be one more gift on its way to you.

We’ve got a nice bundle of presents for one lucky winner, with a total value of £300.

If you would like to show your support to eTeknix and Corsair you can like your respective Facebook pages. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and competitions.

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Corsair Respond to Claims of K70 RGB Lighting Not Performing as Advertised

It was recently brought to my attention that some users are unhappy with their Corsair K70 RGB keyboards. I recently reviewed this keyboard and absolutely loved it, but one thing that slipped through the net is that the keyboard can’t display the 16.8 million colours that are advertised, whoops! This is obviously hard to detect, but if you could display 256 levels of colour per each channel, R, G and B you would have 256 * 256 * 256 = 16,777,216 colours. A transition effect such as a slow-moving rainbow pattern on the keyboard should result in you a smooth transition between colours. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as one Corsair forum user discovered.

“Testing each color was a matter of clearing every key (turning their background color to off) then making a simple fade from 255 of that color (0 on the other channels) to 0, running it over 10 seconds and counting the unique steps of brightness it produced. If a light could produce a full 256 levels of brightness I shouldn’t be able to count them in real-time. I could.

Testing each channel produced the same results: 8 steps of brightness each. 8 * 8 * 8 = 512 colors. That leaves us a whole 16,776,704 colors short of the advertised color range.”

Further users have been testing this out and come to the same conclusion on the forums. We reached out to our friends at Corsair for further details and you can read their reply below.

During development of the keyboard and prior to the release of the RGB keyboard, we came across an issue regarding the possible color combinations. In an effort to get the product out to our customers as committed, we made the tough decision to resolve the issue in a future software release as we believe our customers would enjoy the product as-is.

Here are the specifics that detail the issue:

Due to USB stack size and performance issues, we had to reduce MCU processing overhead in the best and quickest manner. The LED controller gives us greater than 8 bits of color depth but we use the 8 bits that give us what we believe to be the best color granularity. Our controller architecture provides for over 100 million color combinations out of which we select 16.8 million to display. We devised a color palette scheme to encode and compress the RGB color data and the data to select and control the “current sources” that drive the LED array. An unfortunate side effect is that it prevented us from utilizing the full color depth available from the LED controller.

We are in the process of making the necessary improvements so that we can send the uncompressed RGB data to the keyboard. Additionally, we are optimizing the data protocol and LED driver/display algorithms through the display control firmware to handle the uncompressed data, and to more efficiently program the “current sources” that drive the LED array. This should give our most “resourceful” customers an easy way to identify the data and be able to easily send standard RGB 8 bit values.

This enhancement had already been planned and will be implemented in a few weeks by the release of a software update, which will be announced and be made available to download.

Unfortunately for consumers who really care about the fine details, it feels a bit like Corsair rushed the product, or simply didn’t expect people to notice. The good news is that they’re fixing the issue and a patch is on the way, which will finally unlock the full potential of this incredible keyboard.

Thank you Corsair Forums for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair Forums.

Corsair RGB Keyboards, Mice and Headsets Now Available

Following their official release, the Corsair Gaming RGB peripherals are now available! We’ve already reviewed their impressive Corsair Gaming RGB K70 Mechanical Keyboard here, but that’s not all Corsair have to offer.

“For 20 years, Corsair has equipped gamers with high-performance, precision hardware to build their dream PCs. Corsair Gaming now introduces new ways for PC gamers to optimize how they play,” said Andy Paul, Corsair President and CEO. “We’ve brought together our engineering expertise and our passion for gaming to build a line of products that delivers performance, customized for however you play.”

The new Corsair Gaming range now plays host to three mechanical gaming keyboards; The K95 RGB, K70 RGB and the K65 RGB. All of the keyboards are revisions of previous Corsair models, but all now come equipped with a choice of Cherry RGB MX switches and the new Corsair Utility Engine software.

The M65 mouse has also been given the RGB treatment; perfect for creating colour coordinated effects between your keyboard and mouse. The M65 RGB is available in both black and white.

Finally we have the H2100 and H1500 headsets, which don’t feature the same funky lighting, but they do come with the Corsair Gaming branding that will match up with the new range of peripherals.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Corsair.

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review

Introduction


The Corsair K70 is one of the best mechanical gaming keyboards on the market. It has superior build quality, exceptional performance and more; but that’s not good enough for Corsair. Now they have returned with the latest edition of their popular K70 gaming keyboard under their new Corsair Gaming brand name. Corsair Gaming is the latest shift in the industry for Corsair, who in more recent years have been building components and peripherals that have become incredibly popular with the enthusiast PC gaming market.

The K70 was and still is a great keyboard, but Corsair have been working closely with the ever popular switch manufacturer Cherry, to work on creating some of the best RGB mechanical switches on the market. Mechanical switch keyboards have been limited to a single LED colour for a long time; this was due to the size of the switch and how the LED was mounted. More LEDs could be added, although they wouldn’t provide uniform lighting performance. Corsair and Cherry think that they’ve cracked the lighting problem with their new clear switches.

“To solve the single LED limitation and provide a keyboard that could meet everyone’s specific preferences for LED backlighting, Corsair approached Cherry, one of the world leaders in product innovation. They took our request and by working together, the two companies designed an entirely new switch while retaining the definitive characteristics of a Cherry key switch. The requirements—the feel, reliability, and range of switches—could not be compromised. In order to meet these standards, Cherry made adjustments to how the LED lighting was mounted.”

The K70 is packed full of features, and while the 16.8 million per key back-lighting is the main selling point, there is a lot more to this keyboard than just a flashy lighting gimmick; full 104-key rollover with 100% anti-ghosting, on-board memory for gaming profiles and lighting settings, macro features, dedicated multimedia keys and a choice of popular Cherry switch types.

Features

  • 100% German-made Cherry MX Red/Blue/Brown RGB mechanical key switches for ultimate performance
  • 16.8M color backlighting per key for virtually unlimited customization
  • Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminium chassis for superior strength, durability, and rigidity
  • Custom display controller for fast and fluid 16.8M multicolor animation
  • In development – Advanced point-and-click scripting and SDK to enable gamers and developers to integrate effects and lighting features into games

The packaging is nicely designed and features the new Corsair Gaming branding, a nice image of the keyboard and a quick run down of the major features.

Around the back of the box are more details on the mechanical switches, as well as a more detailed run down of how the lighting customisation software works; but we’ll take a closer look at that shortly.

In the box you will find the keyboard, a wrist rest, the user manual and a warranty booklet; no key-cap tool though, which I think every mechanical keyboard should include.

RGB LED Mechanical Keyboards From Corsair at Computex 2014

Computex 2014: Corsair had a huge range of products on display at this years show, but one of the stand out items were their new RGB lit mechanical keyboards. The K95 and the K75 are simply revisions of their K90 and K70 keyboards which was saw last year, both great keyboards in their own right, but now they feature the latest switch configurations from Cherry.

The new switches feature a transparent housing with RGB LEDs inside them, allowing you to dial in any colour you can imagine, best of all you can do it on a per key basis, set up pattern effects such as wave, pulse, delay, strobe etc. Corsair went a little nuts with their demo modes and the whole thing looks like a epileptic fit waiting to happen, but as far as showing the limits of what the RGB kit can do, it made a big impact.

The keyboards will soon be hitting the market with a small premium over the previous models to cater to the new switches. If you’re interested in extensive lighting customisation, then you’ll certainly want to check out these models when they hit retailers in the very near future.

 

Corsair Expands MX Switch Choices On K70 Mechanical Keyboard

Corsair have already won plenty of awards for their awesome Vengeance series K70 mechanical gaming keyboard, in fact, they even got one from us here at eTeknix when we reviewed it last year. Now Corsair have announced that the award-winning Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard comes in two new variants. The gorgeous black aluminium finished keyboard comes fitted with red LED backlit keys, on top of the original Cherry MX Red switch, the keyboard is now also available with Cherry MX Blue and Brown keyswitches. Similar to all Vengeance gaming keyboards, the latest K70 doesn’t miss when it counts due to genuine German-made Cherry MX switches, the most popular and accurate mechanical keyswitches for gamers.

“The sophisticated aesthetics of the refreshed Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard starts with an anodized black aluminium chassis for long-lasting durability and timeless style. Vibrant red backlighting shines through each key, oozing an industrial look capable of complimenting any gamer den. The overall backlighting can be adjusted to four levels of intensity while the lighting for each key can be independently enabled or disabled. The key-by-key lighting customization allows users to highlight just the keys they need to emphasize, such as WASD, and then save the setting directly to the K70’s onboard memory.” Said Corsair in a recent press release.

“We re-evaluated all of the available key switches on the market including new clones of the Cherry MX,” said Jason Christian, product manager for gaming keyboards and mice at Corsair. “None could match the consistent performance and reliability across the keyboards like the original German Cherry MX switches.”

Vengeance K70 features:

  • Never miss a keystroke: the combination of  a 100% anti-ghosted matrix, full n-key rollover and 1000Hz reporting rate provide lightning fast accuracy that you can always count on
  • Media maven? Multimedia controls give quick access to volume, skip tracks, play, stop, and pause
  • Useful USB port supports accessories such as a Vengeance gaming headset or mouse
  • Rest your wrists with a removable soft-touch pad that provides extra comfort for lengthy gaming or typing sessions
  • Get that pro look with alternate red-colored, contoured textured keycaps for the WASD keys and 1-6 keycaps for additional customization
  • Available in three different Cherry MX mechanical switch types to suite different gaming and typing preferences:
    • Cherry MX Red – for smooth, linear key response for ultra-fast double and triple taps without a tactile “bump” or audible click
    • Cherry MX Brown switches – for fast and precise actuation with a light tactile feedback “bump” for comfortable typing and minimal audible click
    • Cherry MX Blue switches – for great gaming performance with an assertive tactile feedback and audible click that can be helpful when typing

The new versions Vengeance K70 gaming keyboard will be available in April with a suggested retail price of $129.99 USD backed with a two-year warranty. I absolutely loved the original K70 keyboard, it’s easily one of the nicest mechanical gaming keyboards on the market today and while I do live Cherry MX Red switches, I would much rather have Blue or Brown switches, so thank you Corsair for noticing that many gamers are moving away from MX Red switches.

What switch type do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair.

Corsair K95 Mechanical Keyboard Review

In the office today we have something a little special, the Corsair K95 mechanical keyboard and it’s not only the latest in the very cool Vengeance range of products from Corsair, but also Corsair’s new flagship keyboard. We’ve already had great fun testing previous keyboards from Corsair so if this is truly the best they have to offer then I’m really looking forward to testing it out. It was only recently that we took a look at the gorgeous Corsair K70 and I still find that to be one of my all time favourite mechanical keyboards, but can the K95 really be that much better?

Corsair are one of the biggest names in the industry, there is a good chance your current system, a previous system or your next system contains something they’ve made, be that a power supply, cooler or even a chassis. Playing off the success of their hardware business they’ve also created some incredible peripherals in recent years and their headsets, keyboards and in my opinion especially their mice are some of the best around.

The keyboard we are looking at today isn’t cheap, although mechanical keyboards rarely are cheap, this one is set to cost you a whopping £130 and that is a stern investment for any peripheral so today I will be expecting to see all of the Corsair pedigree crammed into this keyboard, flawless performance and premium grade build quality because nothing short of perfection would make me spend so much money on a device like this.

“In the world of high-performance gaming gear, there are few things that match the feeling of using a well-designed keyboard with mechanical key switches. Vengeance gaming keyboards use Cherry MX Red switches, hailed by gamers worldwide to be the best of the best. They combine great key feel with super-fast reaction times and smooth, linear travel with low operating force. Vengeance K95 takes the next step with a 100% mechanical layout – there’s a Cherry MX Red switch underneath every key. So, you’ll get that optimal tactile feedback and responsiveness, no matter your fingers go.” – Corsair

The K95 is well equipped and as you can see from the specifications below this keyboard comes with plenty to keep both gamers and general users happy; the ever popular Cherry MX Red switches are well known to be fast and accurate switches, key-by-key backlighting, 18 macro keys, aluminum construction, 20 Key rollover and a wrist rest should all make for an enjoyable experience.

  • Cherry MX Red Mechanical Switches
  • Key-by-Key Customizable Backlighting
  • 18 Programmable G-Keys
  • Brushed Aluminum Chassis
  • Full Key Matrix Anti-Ghosting with 20-Key Rollover
  • Detachable full length wrist rest

The box is nicely designed with a cool looking shot of the keyboard and a few of the major features listed on the front.

Around the back of the box we have a more detailed breakdown of the keyboards features, but we’ll take a closer look at those shortly.

In the box there was a user manual and some warranty information, oh and of course there was also a great big keyboard in the box!

Next out of the box was the detachable wrist rest, with a full width soft touch design.

Some plastic “push-click” pins hold the rest in place, but there are also two metal screws to give extra security.

There is a light texture to the surface thanks to these little pressed holes, this provides a little extra grip when combined with the soft-touch finish and overall the surfaces feels rather luxurious.

The cable for the K95 features two heavy duty USB 2.0 connections and the keyboard requires that you have a high-power USB 2.0 port to operate it, if you want to use the USB pass through feature you also need to connect both USB cables. The cable is ridiculously heavy and if this isn’t the toughest cable on a consumer keyboard then I don’t know what is. It’s a little unwieldy but at least it should last a life time.

The keyboard is pretty huge, this is mostly due to the extra macro keys on the left side but you best make sure you’ve got a wide desk area should you wish to accommodate it.

It features a fairly low profile overall but it’s about average in terms of height and the keys features a very slow and gentle curve to their ergonomics.

The top right of the keyboard features a very fancy metal scroll wheel for system volume control, a master mute switch and below that (above the number pad) are some dedicated media controls. The keyboard features three more buttons along the top for controlling the lighting features as well as a lock control.

The G keys are situated on their own extension on the left and it features a different finish to the rest of the board that I dare say looks a little cheaper, but it does give a nice visual distinction between the two areas and it still look pretty good in terms of design. The keys are separated into three groups of 3×2 and this makes navigation a little easier, plus there is a decent amount of space between the main keyboard keys and the G keys so you don’t accidentally trigger them, but it’s not so far that you feel your going out of your way to use them.

There was no key cap removal tool included with the K95 but the caps are fully removable non the less. Every key is mechanical with the exception of the top M and media buttons and all feature Cherry MX Red switches with individual LED lighting which can be see here under the WASD key caps.

The key caps are plastic moulded but they feel durable and well finished with just enough curve to provide a good finger resting position when typing or gaming.

The underside of the keyboard features two flip out feet to increase the hight of the board and there are also four small rubber grips to prevent the board from sliding around your desk, although it is quite heavy so I doubt that will be an issue.

The back of the keyboard features a single USB port that you could use for your mouse, headset, or any other USB compatible device really. There is also a BIOS switch that allows you to change compatibility modes as most high end keyboards are often incompatible with most motherboard BIOS screens, that shouldn’t be the case here.

The wrist rest might not be something everyone would want to use so I appreciate that Corsair made it detachable, but in my opinion it completes the design and the keyboard looks easily twice as good with it attached and it doesn’t feel as wide and narrow as it does without it.

The angle of the wrist rest lines up with the rear edge of the keyboard chassis which is below the keys and the keys effectively hover above it, looks pretty cool but also has some practical applications too. The keys and the switches are raised from the chassis of the keyboard, as if there was a lid to go around them and its been left off to show the bare chassis, this makes cleaning super easy but it also gives it a slightly industrial look that I must admit I am fond of.

Setup & Installation

The keyboard is plug and play compatible and works straight out of the box but if you want to use the funky G keys then you’re going to need to download the software from Corsair. Of course this is highly recommended because you don’t buy a huge keyboard with 18 custom keys if you don’t want to use them (if you don’t want them, you should buy the K70 instead). Upon hooking up the keyboard we see the white LED lighting and at first I think it’s a little bright but you can adjust it from off to full in 4 stages of brightness.

The lights not only light up the letters in the key caps but the light bleeds downward and lights up the gaps between the keys and the base chassis below them, it’s a very nice effect and in a very dark room it gives the keys the visual appearance of floating and glowing that looks rather cool.

If that is a bit much for you, you can also turn off / on each key on the keyboard, allowing you to have different zones illuminated on different profiles.

The software gives you complete control over the G key configuration, you can set macros or launch applications and more over each profile. Unfortunately you can’t configure any of the rest of the keyboards functions and all macros have to go on the G keys, although that’s hardly a compromise given there are 18 of them.

You can also set custom names for each profile so you know which is which and you can even save them direct to the keyboard on-board memory.

Performance

Just loading up my game and logging in on this keyboard is a lush experience, the keys feel light and snappy at my fingertips. I decided to tackle an FPS first to test the most important keys of all, WASD! I have to admit I tested this on Battlefield 3 far longer than I had planned to and while I can’t say I did better at my game I certainly had a comfortable experience thanks to the wrist rest, light keys and the K95 didn’t let me down once. Yet this is hardly pushing the limits of the K95 so I fired up WoW and Diablo III for a while, making sure I setting up some macros before hand. I can safely say I think that 18 G keys is too many, I must have used 6 per game at best and I was even able to assign one game per block of 6 keys, meaning I could keep my games on one profile! Still, far too many for my liking, at least for gaming.

Day to day usage however is where the G keys really start to shine, Photoshop shortcuts, email shortcuts, app launchers, text macros and more really make my workflow a whole lot easier and having them in three groups allows me to get through things super quick. I found it a little cumbersome changing profile automatically for software as it doesn’t switch back when you access other apps or your desktop, so having an “all in one” profile is more suitable in my opinion, but then again I don’t need 18 macro keys for any one task, I doubt many people do.

Typing is incredibly quick on this keyboard, the keys are super responsive and the ergonomics of the board present you with a good typing position. The only downside is that when I’m typing at around 70wpm the noise of the key caps striking the keyboard chassis is enough to annoy anyone else in the room after a while, although this is true of 95% of the mechanical keyboard I’ve tested. The upside of course is that you don’t care about the noise because it feels so nice to type, pros and cons I guess.

The media keys are also a welcome feature and since I listen to music all day long on my computer while I work and game, having dedicated keys is vital for me, especially ones that don’t require you to press a Fn key first.

Final Thoughts

You don’t “need” a high end keyboard to enjoy your favourite games, you don’t even need the best equipment to be a winner either, but that doesn’t mean to say that it couldn’t help. The super fast keys of the K95 could cut milliseconds from your reaction times, doesn’t sound like much to most people, but if your a pro gamer then you know that every millisecond counts in the heat of battle. Plus when your sat down on an evening with your favourite game, the last thing you want is for your fingers to feel tired and fatigued from a cheap keyboard and you can feel every penny of the £130 under your fingers tips when typing, reminding you that it was totally worth the investment.

How it performs and feels under your finger tips is easily the most important factor for a keyboard, but I’m not so sure I should give Corsair so much credit here as all that work is being done by the Cherry MX Red switches, a switch that is common place and can be found in many other mechanical keyboards, many of which are half the price of the K95. So what does the K95 do that other keyboards do not to justify the extra price tag?

Many mechanical keyboards are boring rectangles and a mere box to hold the nice switches in place, gorgeous to type on but nothing fancy to look at. The Corsair K95 just oozes luxury with its black brushed aluminium chassis and with the LED lighting reflecting of the texture of the metal it just looks better and better. The only gripe I have is that the G keys look tacked on, maybe Corsair were just trying to make a distinction between the two areas but I think a one piece chassis design would have looked better, even if the current configuration doesn’t look particularly bad.

Because of its metal chassis the keyboard is super strong and should last more than a few years worth of knocks and bumps, plus the keys are very easy to keep clean and maintain. Just remember that Aluminium is easily scratched, so I wouldn’t be putting your car keys next to this thing if you know what’s good for it.

So have Corsair made the best keyboard on the market? No not really, it’s on par with the competition in terms of performance but that is again because of the reliably uniform performance of the MX Red switches, so it’s hard to say one keyboard “feels” better than the other. What corsair have made however is one of the best designed and constructed keyboards on the market, it has a premium feel that is unmatched and a lush aluminium finish that goes a very long way to justifying the high price tag.

Pros

  • Fantastic typing response
  • Huge amount of macro keys
  • Aluminium chassis
  • Well made and durable
  • Premium design

Cons

  • Might be a little expensive for many
  • Only available with MX Red Switches (even if they are very good, it’s nice to have a choice).
  • Macros restricted to G keys

 eTeknix says: “Corsair looked to create their ultimate keyboard and the K95 delivers on that promise, it’s incredible to use and it looks fantastic. It performs as well as any other mechanical keyboard on the market but it’s build quality is in a league of its own.”

Corsair Vengeance K70 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Corsair have been known to make some seriously cool peripherals in the last few years, most notably for me are their range of premium gaming mice such as the M65 and M95, both of which are some of the finest mice on the market and their K60 and K90 keyboards have already proven popular with gamers around the world and won multiple awards for their performance, but can the K70 live up to the high standards that Corsair sets themselves and can it bring anything new to the mechanical keyboard market given that the market is already pretty crowded with great options to spend your money on? Well that’s what I hope to find out today.

With a price tag of £119.99 it’s safe to say this isn’t a budget model, once you get over the £100 price mark your well into enthusiast level technology and within this price range there are more than a few options to pick from with your hard-earned money such as the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate or the QPAD MK-85, both of which are incredible keyboards but when your spending this kind of money you want something exact, something that suits your play style, that offers a design your happy with and you also want premium quality and performance, many of which are subjective qualities and it will be interesting to see what the K70 has to offer.

The K70 comes in a nicely design box with a great image of the keyboard on the front as well as highlighting a few of the major features such as the Cherry MX Red switches, key-by-key backlighting and contoured and textured WASD 1-6 key caps.

Around the back we have a more detailed breakdown of the features, but we’ll be taking a closer look at those in a moment.

In the box I found the quick start guide, a warranty guide, 10 extra key caps and a key removal tool.

Also included as a full width, clip on wrist rest.

there are two connection points on the underside and a simple push-click will lock it into place on the keyboard, a light tug will remove it, no tools required.

Up close you can see it features a slight embossed texture, but it is also finished with a quality feeling soft touch rubber, this provides comfort and grip.

While the keyboard comes equipped with stock key caps, there are 10 more that you can use on WASD and 1-6 keys, these feature a unique texture, shape and colour that really makes that stand out from the rest.

Each key has a more prominent curve and ergonomic shape that helps you find a great hand position for gaming.

The key caps are a standard push on fitting type and you could just as easily use your own 3rd party custom caps if you wish.

The keyboard comes hardwired out of the box and features a long and very durable cable.

The cable is thick and features a high quality braiding that looks great, but it will also help protect the cable. There are two USB connections required but the keyboard does offer USB passthrough, perfect for hooking up your headset or other USB compatible device without reaching behind your computer.

The keyboard is full size and features all black fitting with white lettering that gives the keyboard a sleek and tidy appearance.

If we get in a little closer you can see that the chassis of the keyboard is made from brushed aluminum, which gives off a subtle shine and it feel really nice to the touch. In the top right we have some key config buttons for backlighting and windows lock, the num, caps and scroll lock LEDs, master mute switch and a very cool and textured infinite scrolling wheel that controls your system master volume. Below that you will find four more multimedia keys, giving you quick and easy control over your multimedia applications.

The board features a gentle ergonomic sweeping shape to the key layout, which provides a nice level surface for your fingers that compliments the wedge shape of the keyboard chassis.

Around the back we see the USB port that can be used for headsets, flash drives etc and also a mode switch, which should help make the board compatible with your computers BIOS, so many times I’ve seen premium keyboards that don’t work (at all) in my BIOS, so this is an extremely welcome feature!

The space bar is ever so lightly textures and while it gives a slight tactile difference it adds a nice little style touch too as the texture matches that of the volume scroll wheel in the top right corner of the keyboard.

Keycaps are easily removed with the included too and as you can see they do indeed feature Cherry MX Red switches.

The extra keys are completely optional but as you can see below, they look fantastic and give a really bold contrast to the black and white finish of the rest of the keyboard.

There is a concave ergonomic shape between the 1 and 6 keys that make them really easy to find without looking and you’ll find a similar shape between the WASD keys.

Around the back there are no standout features, but you will find four small rubber grips as well as four flip out feet. The rear ones provide a greater angle to the board, while also using the front feet provides more height and a change in angle for the wrist rest.

The wrist rest makes a big visual difference to the overall style but it’s more there for practical reasons and it’s a welcome feature to have included, but also just as welcome that its use is optional.

Setup & Installation

This keyboard couldn’t be more simply to operate, plug and play is all you need to get going and all major features can be adjusted from the keyboard its self, very handy if you’re lugging it around to LAN gaming events too as it means you don’t have to concern about drivers and specialist software to enjoy the day to day performance and functions.

The backlighting looks fantastic and while it does provide s “through key” lighting effect, most of the light shines below the key and gives them a devilish underglow, which is most noticeable from the rear of the board since the LED’s sit ever so slightly below the keycaps, allowing the light to radiate sideways.

Performance

I’m a big fan of Cherry MX Red switches as they provide a very satisfying typing response that manages to be quick and lightweight but still offering just enough resistance that you can rest your fingers over the keys, all vital aspects for a gaming keyboard where your fingers tips will often be on the WASD for extensive periods of time.

The keys feel really snappy and while I think they can be a little loud, generally from the key cap hitting against the frame when fully depressed, this is an issue that plagues just about every mechanical keyboard around and not something I can really blame Corsair for overall.

For day to day typing you really can’t beat a good mechanical keyboard and MX Red switches really do offer a nice balance for both gaming and working, but the MX Red switches are not unlike every other MX Red equipped board and the only real tactile difference here comes from the custom key caps that were included. They’re a neat little gimmick and I really like the custom shape they’ve been given, it’s a tiny difference but an effective one non the less.

Gaming wise this is a samurai sword in terms of performance, the response is quick, the ergonomics are good and the build / key quality is best in class, you couldn’t ask for much more from your keyboard.

Multimedia keys have never really been anything worth shouting about in my opinion, but it is handy to have them and the ones on the K70 have been really well designed, especially the scroll wheel.

Final Thoughts

Corsair have a solid reputation for solid quality products and that is something they’ve clearly adhered to today, this keyboard features faultless build quality and the choice of materials goes a long way to justifying the price tag. I’ve seen gaming keyboard with similar switches that come with a plastic covered chassis, giving them a much cheaper feel, but the full metal chassis and body work on the K70 just screams high quality all over. This is further complimented by the heavy-duty and nicely braided cable that is hard-wired to the keyboard, with custom red coloured USB connections, attention to the little details clearly goes a long way.

The back lighting is really nice too and I really like that you can enable or disable the backlight LEDs on a per-key basis, meaning if you only want WASD lit up, you can do just that, or of course you could just turn them all off and have a smart looking black brushed aluminum keyboard.

The only issue I have with this keyboard is the price, I wish it were cheaper because I’m sure there are many out there who want a keyboard this good but simply cannot afford it. Yet on the other side of that issue is that while the keyboard is very expensive, it is also great value for money. The life expectancy of this keyboard should be fantastic, the keys should last years and should one fail they’re easily repaired or replaced, the cables are tough, the chassis is metal and should survive more than a few knocks and bumps and every bit of it has been lovingly assembled to give a faultless finish and when it comes down to it, if a product is of high quality and has the performance to match, then it is worth paying for (if you can afford it of course).

eTeknix says: “Although the K70 may be ideal for the gaming market I see no reason to pin it down in one part of the market. If you want a high performance keyboard for things like checking your emails and wasting time on Facebook, then you’ll still get as much joy from using the K70 as someone  using it to compete in eSports, overall a solid all round performance from Corsair.”

Pros

  • High build quality
  • Customisable key caps
  • Excellent design

Cons

  • Might be a little expensive for some

Corsair Flagship Vengeance K70 Gaming Keyboard Revealed

Corsair’s peripheral unit announced a new addition to their existing Vengeance series gaming peripherals: K70. Corsair Vengeance K70 is a keyboard which uses Cherry MX mechanical switches and a brushed-aluminium body with individual backlighting feature. Unlike the K60, the K70 also has dedicated multimedia keys, USB power for connecting mouse/headset, and a full sized removable Soft-Touch wrist rest. Also, unlike the K60, all the keys on K70 use mechanical switches.

This would be Corsair’s flagship keyboard model, as of now, Corsair would be using Cherry MX Red mechanical switches as there’s no information if the company plans to have keys with different mechanical keys. However the company says that their keyboard offers a full anti-ghosting matrix, 20-key rollover via USB and 1,000Hz reporting rate. Since the individual keys can be toggled on/off independently as per end user’s wishes, it gives one the freedom to highlight the keys that you require during gameplay.

There are 2 colour choices in this mode: Brushed aluminum finish Black shell with Red LED and brushed aluminum Silver sell with Blue LED.

There is a 4 level intensity of LED backlit, an inclusion of textured (and maybe more rubbery than Soft-touch) keycaps with alternate colours for 1-6 buttons and WASD. The key difference between K60 and K70 is that the newer models ditches rubber dome keys and uses Cherry MX mechanical switches for all keys and the ability to individually light up each keys.

Its been confirmed via PAX East that this keyboard will be launched in April. Although U.K. pricing is not revealed, U.S. will have this keyboard retailed at $129.99.