Overclock.net › Components › Keyboards & Mice › Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Red)

Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Red)


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

Hi guys, here is my review of the corsair k70 keyboard. Pretty solid device overall. See bottom for pictures.

Initial impressions:
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)


Pros: Sleek sexy looks. Solidly built and nice weight. RGB backlighting.

Cons: No USB pass-through. Software is awkward to use at first.

So I just took delivery of my Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Red switches yesterday and have had a little play around with it. Enough time perhaps to post my initial thoughts and opinion.

Upon opening the packaging, I found the keyboard to be well wrapped in plastic and supported fully with cardboard all around, more than you'd find for your average keyboard and rightly so for $169.99.

This is not a wireless keyboard but it does sport a heavy, thick braided cable which looks great and will help you to get over yet another cable being visible on the desk many of us try so hard to keep clear and organized. The cable ends with not one but two USB plugs. Could this be for pass-through? Hmm... nope. Just two plugs to power the keyboard it seems. A minor disappointment and one less USB port to play with but nevermind, nothing a hub can't fix if ever I find myself lacking, which let's face it, probably won't happen anytime soon with modern motherboards.

Included is a quick-start guide and warranty information, underneath everything is the smooth yet slightly grippy wrist rest which spans the width of the keyboard and attaches easily. Very easily in fact. I thought I was going to have to apply the kind of pressure where you can never be sure if you're gonna snap those little plastic ends off the hinges, but nope, a satisfying click and it slides into place effortlessly.

I have to admit that this is the first mechanical keyboard I have used in quite some time. Since back whenever they were common place with personal computers. Back when they called them 'personal computers'. Because of this, when I typed on the K70 for the first time, I was unsurprisingly overwhelmed with how great the keys feel to type on. I can only describe it as a soft, smooth, yet gentle grating sound with a decent *clack* when pressed down fully. Of course much noisier than it's non-mechanical counterparts, something my wife pointed out by sarcastically asking me if the noise would ever annoy me. In wife speak that means they are annoying her. But that is a small sacrifice for the tactile feedback one gives you.

When typing quickly I noticed when my fingers slide from one key to another, it caused a squeak sound. It isn't the key mechanism but the sound of friction between my fingertips and the grippy coating applied to the keys. Almost like running your finger down a really clean plate. I'm half hoping it will wear off over time, being new it needs some time to wear I guess. Also if I focus on not being so lazy with my fingers and lift them higher between keystrokes, it doesn't happen. I think I am too used to typing on the keyboard that comes with the Lenovo ideacenters, similar to those belonging to a laptop. Don't fret though, this is definitely not a deal breaker and something barely even noticeable.

When the keyboard lit up for the first time I was impressed by how pretty everything looked. All the keys lit up red and the WASD and arrow keys were lit white, graduating to red softly and then back to white on a never-ending loop. One thing I didn't understand however and I still don't is why the numbers along the top are faded yet the symbols above them are bright like all the other keys. In fact on closer inspection the top symbols on all of the keys are bright while the bottom are faded. It is obviously programmed this way and I'm positive I can alter it in the software, I just don't know why this is the case. I'm sure someone who knows better will enlighten me.

I was eager to see the light demo as previously seen in the preview videos. After a few minutes of browsing the manual, which didn't come in the box but had to be downloaded from Corsair's website (although they did direct me to it in the quick start guide so not a total fail) I was disappointed to find that the demo light show did not exist. Really!?!

I quickly installed the keyboard software (also downloaded from Corsair's website, which in hindsight is rather convenient as some people don't use CD/DVD's anymore) and fired it up, excited to see what seizure inducing light show I could create.

A quick firmware upgrade notification popped up and installed promptly without issue, (thank you Corsair) and the program, 'Corsair Gaming Software', detected the K70 keyboard and displayed a nice looking GUI of the keyboard and a color palette. You should note that this software only functions when it can detect the keyboard which sucks if you want to design profiles while at work to try later.

I'm not going to delve too deeply into the software or this review could end up being a lot longer than I intended, which it already has at this point but I feel it is important to mention a few things such as having options built in if you buy a compatible Corsair mouse, like the upcoming M65 RGB.

While the manual is detailed and pretty clear for the most part, and maybe I haven't spent anywhere near enough time playing around with the settings, I feel the software could be a lot more intuitive. Again, it could just be me being new to programmable, mechanical keyboards but I think it's going to be a fairly steep learning curve in the very beginning and then fairly simple once you have sat back, read the manual thoroughly and tried each programmable action out to see what it does.

I do recommend downloading other owner's profiles as this can help with the learning process if you're slow like me, by enabling you to reverse engineer their creations. Hopefully by the time my gaming rig is built, I'll have programmed the K70 to dim all but the relevant keys for gaming with a single key command and have macros set to open my browser and load several bookmarks with a couple button presses. A man can dream!

For now I'll settle for my all red keys turning immediately orange for a second when pressed, which looks cool and wasn't difficult to program.

One member shared his wonder about the appeal of RGB keyboards and how much they cost. I can honestly say that while the cost of the K70 RGB at $169.99 is steep, you get a lot of keyboard for the money. Not only that but think about how much we spend on other components to make every part of our rigs color coordinated. No longer are you forced to buy a Razer keyboard because the green back-lighting matches your Hulk inspired build, or having to install custom LED's because no-one does pink. You can choose any color in the rainbow, or even a combination of many colors, or even a freakin' rainbow if you think rainbows are cool.

I know I do...

That's why I have a button that just shoots rainbows across my keyboard!

Corsair K70 RGB? Yes please. I love mine. Buy one!
Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard (Cherry MX Red)

The K70 RGB mechanical keyboard begins with the performance of the legendary K70, and adds multicolor per-key backlighting for virtually unlimited customization. Every key is backed with a cherry MX RGB key switch for precise actuation and superior feel, and full key rollover and anti-ghosting ensure accurate gameplay.

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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