Pros: Great construction, Handy media buttons, good feeling while typing, unlimited colour choices, Is Corsair
Cons: No native linux support, software could be more polished
So I received the Corsair K70 RGB as a Christmas gift. I haven’t really done any reviews for other people other than word of mouth to friends but I figured I mind as well start giving a little back to the community and this seemed like it could be a good first start, so bear with me as it’s my first time.
Unboxing: The keyboard shipped in a large standard box with plenty of packaging material to keep it nice and safe. Inside was the box that you would find in any sort of retail store. So I proceeded to open the box and take out the goodies! Inside was your standard warranty information and instruction stuff, it contained a cardboard structure that allowed it to keep the keyboard together without moving. It came with a wrist rest as well. The one issue I had when unwrapping it was that the right foot that props the keyboard up at an angle wasn’t connected to the keyboard and was rattling around inside the box. So minor case of concern, but it didn’t affect anything with the actual keyboard itself so I just popped it back in and was good to go.
First startup: So the keyboard contains two usb ports, which wasn’t a surprise to me as my past mechanical keyboard with backlight also contained these. So I plugged them in and started up the keyboard. It was a pretty nice experience with the keyboard all the keys were red except for the arrow keys and the WASD keys. When using it everything seemed to work smoothly. The keys seemed a little stiff at first but as I have been using the keyboard for some time now they seem to actuate nicely now. I previously used MX Browns, and have switched to reds for this keyboard. I am still getting used to them and I’m not sure how I like them compared to browns. I think it will take a bit longer of just typing on the keyboard to really get used to how they work.
Note: I have been typing on them for a while since I started the review and they seem to be less stiff. I’m not sure if this is getting used to the keyboard or if they really have become less stiff. Either way it’s a smoother typing experience than when I first started using the keyboard.
Software: So when you get the keyboard up and running in order to configure the LEDs properly you need to go to Corsair’s website to grab the software. It didn’t take long to install and once that was done I was able to mess around with the software to get my keyboard looking like I wanted it to. For now I have only made all the keys blue as that is what matches with my computer scheme.
At first I thought that I would be able to mess around and configure all the colors to do what I wanted without reading the manual. Well that won’t go over very well. There are lots of little details that are hard to understand without reading the manual. That being said, the manual is laid out fairly easily and it only took me about an hour of reading it and messing around with the settings to get an idea of how to make my keyboard do exactly what I wanted to do. And there are tons and tons of different options to mess around with so it’s definitely worth the time and effort to be put in.
I don’t do much with macro’s and keybindings because I don’t play a ton of video games. The games I do play are usually FPS and so they don’t require all the fanciness of some RPGs. But if you are into that type of gaming, this keyboard has all the types of profile settings and macro settings you could ever want to really customize your keyboard for each different class of each different game. It definitely makes the experience a lot easier if I had to guess.
Hardware: so obviously this is a mechanical keyboard made by Corsair. I already have a few things by Corsair, the main being my 750D Case. Which is a fantastic case. Anyways, much like the case the front of the keyboard is all brushed aluminum and it really looks awesome. It matches my case perfectly so bonus points to Corsair for allowing that design to carry through. The wrist rest that comes with it is made out of high quality rubber it would seem. It is dimpled which I’m not sure really makes a difference but so far it feels great. I have never used a wrist rest before with my keyboards but I haven’t noticed any issues by using it, so I will see how that goes.
The keys are made out of what I believe to be a high quality plastic. I’m pretty sure the keys are laser etched so you shouldn’t have to worry about them wearing out over time. They feel great to type on and they cup your fingers nicely. My one complaint with these keys and it is pretty specific to anyone that deviates from QWERTY, is that if you rearrange your keys, some aren’t at the same height because they vary from location to location on the keyboard. Not a huge deal but it would be nice if you could customize your keyboard upon ordering for the desired layout. I type dvorak which means my home keys don’t get the indicating dimples and the – and = buttons are higher than everything else due to their location. I can’t really fault Corsair for this because I’m sure that this would affect maybe 1% of the people buying the keyboard, but it is worth noting regardless.
Something else I noticed that I don’t personally use but might matter to some, is that the keyboard contains no extra USB ports on it. For systems that have a limited number of USB ports this could be an issue if you are taking up 2 for the keyboard and you might need some for other peripherals. I have plenty so it doesn’t bother me but it could for some.
Other thoughts: So I have been using this keyboard over several months now and I’m pretty pleased with it. The volume roller and media keys are really useful once you get to using them and you wonder how you lived without them. The keyboard really has a premium feeling and feels like it will last for a long time. Which is a good thing because keyboards aren’t something you want to have to keep replacing after a few years.
The software is really fun and you can do a bunch of cool things with the lighting. I have it on the feature which will change each color through a gradient of colors once you depress the key.
If you want to use it on a linux platform, which I do since I dual boot, you’ll have to install some drivers that a 3rd party has been working on. If you google around “corsair rgb keyboard linux drivers” you should find the Git repo that has what you need to install.
I have noticed some wonkiness when trying to configure colors through the software panel, I think that it still needs some polishing but overall it does what you want with minimal issues.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)