Pros: "gaming optimized" keys, backlit, media controls
Cons: only one color of backlight (K70 RGB fixes this!)
In Depth Review:
What is the Corsair K70?
The Corsair K70 is a mechanical keyboard made by Corsair. It features red, blue, and brown keys in a black finish with red illumination. I personally own both the Cherry MX Red and Brown switch versions.
I had originally bought a “gaming optimized” (marketing bull crap) keyboard that I thought would be awesome because it had awesome “features” that made me think it would be an easier switch. I ended up smashing it due to frustration. My wife told me I needed to invest in a good keyboard and that I did not need to settle. After a lot of research and seeing what was out there, I found the K70. It seemed a bit overpriced compared to the competition, but reading further, I realized where that money was going it was definitely going straight into the production of the keyboard.
Is the K70 good for gaming?
With three different switch types, the K70 aims to please almost every gamer. Not only that but they include curved keycaps for WASD and 1-6. This may not seem like a big deal, but I can tell you it definitely saved me a few times while I was in the middle of a match. For instance, when I would go to throw a grenade, and before I would have to look down to see what keys I was about to start pressing again. Thanks to these keycaps, that was no longer an issue because they felt different and over time I knew by feeling. The kepcaps also made it an easier switch for me since I came from console. The feature set is also great for gaming. The ability to mute or turn down volume right in the middle of a game without going into a menu or alt-tabbing is awesome. Have some screaming kid on your team that’s just trying to troll everyone?
I’m not going to claim that the K70 improved my gaming by 300% or whatever else some companies may tell you, but I will tell you that it made the switch from console gaming to PC gaming much easier.
Is the K70 good for typing?
Why would anyone spend their hard earned money on a keyboard if it was not good for typing? I spend a lot of my free time at my computer desk typing. Not only do I spend a lot of my free time typing, but I also spend a fair amount of the rest of my day typing up papers and responding to discussions on my online classes, therefore good keyboard that does not create fatigue is an absolute necessity. My original purchase of the K70 was very gaming focused and after reading many reviews about the mechanical switches, it was apparent that reds would be the absolute best option. Now, I game quite a bit less and work more. While the Cherry MX Reds did work as well as I wanted for this I found myself double clicking letters fairly often which decreased productivity. I spent a lot of time backspacing to fix those little errors.
Here is where the K70 with browns come in. After I was losing productivity, I started reading more and more about switch types again. It was very apparent that browns would be my next best medium. After all, it’s a great switch for both gaming and typing. I thought about getting the blues, because I have heard they are great for typing, but the clickity clack is not something that I want to listen to.
My switch to Cherry MX Browns
After using the browns for about a day now, I can already tell that my typing speed has improved because of less double clicking. I also have found myself being a bit too accustomed to the reds and occasionally missing a letter due to not pressing the key down far enough to actuate. I enjoy the tactile feel to these, and Browns will be my key of choice from now on. Some people will like the linear feel of the Reds or the tactile and clicky feedback of the Blues, but Browns are my choice because they are a great middle ground compared to the coveted Blue’s typing ability and the Red’s greatness for gaming.
What does the K70 bring to the table?
The K70 is an astoundingly sturdy keyboard. Occasionally, I will have my son in my lap and because he is a toddler he thinks it’s okay to bang on the keyboard as hard as he can. Thankfully the keyboard is made from black anodized aluminum and does not miss a beat.
It has media controls which I find are extremely handy because my wife constantly talks to me in the middle of a gaming session or while I’m trying to get some actual work done. (Like on this review!) Using the dedicated scroll wheel built into the top right of the keyboard lets me quickly adjust the volume. There are also dedicated controls for the backlight, brightness of the LEDs, and a Windows key lock.
What are the Pros to this keyboard?
One of the major advantages to this keyboard is Corsair’s legendary support. I know some may not agree, but most everyone I have talked to have nothing but good things to say about their support team. They are all very professional, helpful, and honestly care about helping you.
The build quality is awesome. The K70 has little to no flex thanks to the aluminum construction.
The keys feel great and don’t have a cheap plastic feel.
It comes with a palm rest, rarely included by default with other manufacturers.
The K70 also comes in three different Cherry MX switches: red, blue, and brown.
The media keys are extremely handy. The scroll wheel is actually metal as well!
It includes slanted key caps for gaming.
They keyboard just honestly looks great. As custom built PC’s continue the trend of not only being very powerful but also being works of art, it is great to see that Corsair is also taking mind to aesthetics.
The cable is thick and braided. It just screams quality. Having a dedicated cable for the pass-through USB port is a great addition.
What are the Cons to the the K70?
The major downside to the K70 is the non-standard keycaps. It ultimately limits the user experience and the user’s ability to change out the keycaps and make the keyboard truly their own. However, this is not the case with every key. I believe this is limited to the space bar, alt, control and shift keys.
Price can be steep to some, but I feel it is justified due to Corsair’s support and the quality of the keyboard.
It only comes with a red backlight and in black. It used to come in a gunmetal grey with blue backlighting but that model has been discontinued. While disappoint, I under the reasoning for having fewer Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) in streamlining production. While this can be disappointing, it is much better to have different switch types versus having more colors.
The stop, back, play/pause, and forward keys are not in an optimal position because you could accidentally hit the top row of the number pad. Once you are used to it, it is not much of a concern.
The position of the USB pass through is less than optimal. It is nice that is out of the way on the back, but sometimes it can be difficult to access. It would be nice to see if implemented on the left side so as to not interfere with your mouse. I do occasionally have to stand up and look while I’m plugging in whatever USB device I need to plug in.
What would I change?
There is very little that I would change about this keyboard. Aside from only being red backlit, I would love to see it changed to standard key cap so the user has the additional customization option of using a preferred keycap.
I’d also like to see them implement USB3.0 for the USB pass through. It could definitely be useful for some users and could potentially reduce a lot of clutter so that user’s high-speed devices can get their full bandwidth.