Keyboards! Keyboards, folks. Chances are you use one, chances are it’s terrible and chances are you aren’t even aware that it’s terrible. What you need, my good man and/or woman, is a mechanical keyboard. These little wonders use mechnical switches instead of a weird plastic membrane, meaning they’re more comfortable to type on and, as a bonus, loud as hell so everyone knows you’re busy doing Important Work. Today let’s take a look at the Corsair’s Gaming K70 RGB LED Mechanical Gaming Keyboard; maybe you, too, will soon sound like you’re doing Important Work.
The specific model of the K70 RGB that I’m using features Cherry MX Red switches, though apparently Brown switches are also available. I’m more familiar with the Brown, since I previously used a Logitech G710+, but I’ve found myself generally preferring the clickier and more tactile Red switch. The keyboard’s base is made of aluminum, which gives the K70 RGB a nice solid feel and makes it a little more durable than your typical hunk of plastic.
Let’s be real though: a keyboard that feels great when you’re typing is only half the reason you’re here. The other half? It’s the lights. See, it’s the K70 RGB because of the gloriously multicolored lighting beneath each and every key. You can customize lighting yourself or download lighting profiles from Corsair’s support site. Either way, it doesn’t take much work to transform this keyboard into a gaudy, glowing rainbow brick that reacts to key-presses by irradiating anyone nearby. Trust me, you’ll love it. If you’re into a more practical use for this feature, then it’s also easy to create game-specific profiles, but let’s not kid ourselves: you want a keyboard that shimmers and shines with the fury of a thousand alien suns and the K70 RGB can do that for you.
When we’re talking about performance there’s very few complaints. It’s a lovely experience. Those lighting effects are handy for gaming, as mentioned, allowing you to highlight particular keys as you’d like. The keys are extremely responsive, leaving no doubt when you’ve pressed something. You might need a bit to get used to the slightly heavier keypress necessary for this keyboard, but once you’ve got the hang of things it’s difficult to go back. My test games here were Crysis 3, Terraria and Victor Vran, all of which played extremely nicely with the K70 RGB. As for everyday use, the heightened accuracy and tactile sensation of this type of keyboard makes writing up, say, a keyboard review a breeze. Membrane keyboards can become tiring to work with after awhile thanks to their mushiness, but this sort of fatigue takes much longer to set in with a precision device like the K70 RGB.
The associated software is workable for what it is. I’ve seen complaints that it’s too complex, but having messed with this kind of thing before I didn’t have any issues setting up lighting profiles and macros. Complete newcomers might be better served sticking with the default options, which provide a red lighting profile with white highlights that looks classy indeed. Careful experimentation will lead to success here; alternatively, it’s also possible to download macro profiles should you need them. Personally I never found macros to be much of a selling point either way, since I do a lot of writing in general and thus place the greatest value how the keyboard feels for regular use.
While this is certainly a nice keyboard, it’s not perfect. There’s a distinct lack of media keys, for instance, so if you often use that sort of thing you’re going to be disappointed here. There’s also no USB passthrough, which can complicate your desktop setup if you’re using a wired mouse and may be a dealbreaker for those of you without a flexible desk arrangement. Frankly, I’d be surprised if someone willing to pay nearly $200 for a gaming keyboard didn’t have a wireless mouse, or at least one with a decently long cable, so there’s that. Finally, there aren’t any dedicated macro keys, which is an unusual decision for a gaming-focused keyboard.
Issues aside, Corsair’s Gaming K70 RGB LED Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is a solid piece of kit that any keyboard enthusiast – so pretty much everyone these days – is bound to enjoy. It’s a nice typing experience that works great for gaming and everyday use alike. What’s more, it looks positively fantastic. And those lighting effects, oh god, those lighting effects. It’s also a little more affordable than other gaming keyboards with similar features. If you’re new to mechanical keyboards or you’re looking for an upgrade, it’s worth your time to check out the K70 RGB.