Pros: Cost with RGB
Cons: Membrane switches
Corsair has more than 20 years of PC experience. If you're looking for one of the kings of PC hardware manufacturing corsair is on that list. They strive to have some of the best hardware and peripherals in the industry. Chances are if you build PCs regularly you definitely know about Corsair products. They provide excellent customer service and strive to make products for gamers and eSports professionals alike. If you're into PC hardware and gaming, RGB should need no introduction. RGB and mechanical keyboards have both swept the industry as must have for any enthusiasts.Today I will be looking at an introductory product that bridges the gap between price and performance for newcomers to PC gaming. The K55 RGB Gaming keyboard offers RGB illumination and programmable macros on the cheap. Let's see what this keyboard offers for PC gamers and what it can offer at an entry level price point.
- Warranty- Two years
- Weight- 822g
- Keyboard Backlighting- Three-zone dynamic backlighting, 10+ vivid lighting modes, customizable
- Dimensions- 480.2mm x 166.3mm x 34.6mm
- Macro Keys- 6 dedicated G-keys
- Report Rate- 1ms
- Matrix- Up to 8 key rollover
- Keyboard Size- Standard
- On-board Memory- Yes
- Media Keys- Dedicated (MUTE, VOL DOWN/UP, STOP, PREV, PLAY/PAUSE, NEXT)
- Wrist Rest- Full length detachable soft rubber wrist rest
- Cable Type- Tangle-free Rubber
- WIN Lock- Yes
The product packaging for this product being entry-level is no exception for Corsair. I have both personal and professional experience with Corsair products and one of the things I love most about them is how much care they take and put into marketing their products. The K55 is packaged just as nice as their most expensive product would be.
The back goes over all the key features of the K55 which reference all the higher end features included. This keyboard offers programmable macros, detachable wrist rest, and media control keys.
The accessories included are as follows:
- K55 RGB keyboard
- Quick start guide and warranty guide
- Wrist rest
The K55 comes red to customize, control and ready for intense gaming sessions. If you didn't know any better you would think this keyboard is too good to be true. It offers intuitive RGB control. 6 dedicated macro keys, multi-key anti-ghosting all for an affordable price. The cut back is the membrane switches used for the keyboard. I won't get into specifics here but membrane switches are what standard keyboards use compared to mechanical ones.You can read more about it here.
The membrane switches do offer quiet and responsive keys with the multi-key anti-ghosting. Corsair does offer minimal noise with a satisfying feel with making the keys feel cheap. The anti-ghosting offers simultaneous keystrokes which register instantly.
The keyboard offers a sturdy plastic casing and rubber padded feet to prevent slipping on your desk. Thier is also the standard flip feet for an angled feel or flat feel depending on your style of typing.
The cable is made of rubber to prevent any tangles that might happen with braided cables. I also like the design of the cable with the corsair logo, it gives a premium look to the product.
The K55 comes with some customization option like a detachable wrist rest. This can provide additional comfort for longer hours of gaming. The multimedia controls allow direct access to audio without interrupting your gameplay and along with that also offers a Windows key mode that locks your Windows key. Typically if this is unlocked and pressed, this key will bring a user to the desktop and to the start menu which is not good while your gaming.
The six programmable keys offer macro keys that can be set on the fly without software. You can assign single keystrokes or complex multi-key gestures that add more layers to your gaming experiences. This can be really handy for RTS games or FPS games that offer multi-layered systems and unique abilities that can be accessed on the fly.
The best feature of the K55 is the RGB illumination. The RGB backlighting offers 10+ vivid RGB lighting modes which allow you to choose between multicolor, static background, or immersive lighting effects.
Testing mice and keyboards can be kind of difficult because they are parts that require one to interact with personally. There also isn’t a ton of software to test these devices against. The K55 comes with RGB illumination built in and is totally controlled via the keyboard as well as the macro keys. No software is required which makes it difficult to show testing. Having no software does make the keyboard less complicated and more versatile across different systems. The K55 offers built-in memory to store your settings for future use.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Case- Corsair 88r mATX Case
- Motherboard- ASRock z270m Extreme 4
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Cooler Master Master Liquid 240
- Memory- Avexir DDR4 3000 MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- Toshiba OCZ VX500GB SSD (Boot)
- Power Supply- Thermaltake PRO RGB 850W
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- Creative H7
I can offer a bit of advice here for the K55. The keyboard does have an excellent design and layout and offers good performance for normal membrane switches. This is an excellent introduction keyboard for new PC gamers looking to save, but if you're in love with mechanical switches this keyboard will leave you unhappy. Mechanical switches are one those things that once a user becomes comfortable with does not want to go back. Mechanical switches feel better than membrane switches and there are a variety of different mechanical switch types to meet everyone's personal preference. Membrane switches are quieter than mechanical switches but don't feel as responsive when pressed. You can learn more about each switch type here.
The K55 is an excellent keyboard for the price but does lack in some areas. Membrane switches are cheap to manufacture which is why they are cost effective. I personally don't enjoy membrane switches but this does give the K55 an advantage on price. The best thing going for the K55 is the price and dynamic RGB illumination. It will be difficult to find another alternative RGB keyboard with these features. The only thing I can think of is Cooler Masters Master Lite L keys combo. This keyboard offers a hybrid of mechanical switches and a mouse for the same $50.00 price tag of the K55. Where the K55 shines is in its accessories and programmable keys.
The detachable wrist rest and the six programmable macro keys make the K55 an excellent choice for a gaming keyboard. If you're looking to enter the PC gaming Master Race at an affordable price tag and want RGB, then I highly recommend the K55. If you're a performance user and strive for the best then I would definitely save more money for mechanical switches, they are louder but offer the best overall feel and performance of any keyboard period. You just need to do some research for what switch suits your style of use and gameplay. You can buy the K55 right now for $49.99 on Amazon (Corsair Gaming K55 RGB Keyboard, Backlit RGB LED).