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Keyboards

Corsair K70 MK.2 RGB Low Profile, Full Sized Low Profile Keyboard PERFECTED?

k70
Photo: Corsair

   So I guess I should start this review with a little bit of back story. I had a Logitech  G810 with Logitech’s Romer G switches. If I’m honest I thought the Romer G switches were great, They did as I expected. They have a quick response, solid linear feel, and the design lets a lot of light through with RGB. I know you’re probably thinking well why are you replacing your fantastic keyboard.

Well… I’m a big dummy… That is why…

    About a month ago I clumsily spilled a drink on myself, my desk and the keyboard. I took my trusty Logitech apart to clean it, all said and done I had about 4 keys that took like 3 times the amount of pressure to press. They registered every time to Logitech’s credit but it wasn’t the best for typing. I passed it down, now the G810 will be gamed on by one of the kids.

    Fast forward to today and I’ve decided to try the Corsair K70 MK.2 Rapidfire Low profile, and yes that’s a mouthful. The reason I decided on this particular keyboard was due to the low profile form factor, mechanical key switches, RGB and media controls.

    One of my favorite keyboard to type on is my Google Pixelbook. The keys are low profile with just the right amount of travel for my liking. When I’m not using the Pixelbook, I’m using my Ipad Pro typing on Logitech k380 keyboard that also low profile. Now my preferred style of keyboard is low profile, with short travel. Enter the Corsair K70 Mk.2 Rapid-Fire LP (low profile)

Screenshot 2019-06-04 at 9.26.44 PM

Photo: Corsair

 

    I really stumbled upon the Corsair low profile. I looked online at BestBuy and had settled on another Logitech keyboard, the G Pro. I knew I wanted media controls, the number pad was plus but something that I was willing to trade off if needed. Thank goodness I spotted the Corsair on display with a gaming pc. My eyes lit up and nearly popped out of my head. I never knew the K70 LP existed. I quickly flipped the keyboard overlooked for the model number,  strolled over to the aisle with the keyboard and searched… and searched. I pulled out my phone and checked the stock. “ One in your store” Okay! Bestbuy challenge accepted. An already long story short. TLR spotted the last one in the store on the bottom shelf.

   The Good Stuff

    Let’s start with the looks, the Corsair is simply stunning, The lower profile gives it a much slimmer appearance compared to most other mechanical keyboards, gaming or none. The back plate is a gunmetal (dark grey) aluminum that gives the keyboard weight that adds to the stiffness and overall quality feel. The keys have an easy to read font with the RGB on or off.

    While we’re discussing the backlight, let’s combine the key switch and RGB lighting together. The reason for this is the switch is clear and this helps the RGB lighting radiate from the keys. Cherry designed the Low profile switch with illumination in mind, so the RGB effects are some of the best that I’ve seen… PERIOD. The design of the keyboard also surfaces mounts the switches ( a design that’s trending now) which provides a type of under glow from the keycaps that adds to the RGB styling.

    The K70 Mk.2 LP comes in 2 variants, Red and Speed( silver) both use Cherry’s new low profile mechanical switches that CANNOT be purchased separately like all of Cherry’s other switches. They are being licensed by Corsair and now a couple of other companies for use in their keyboards. I’d imagine once the patient for the Cherry low profile switch expires it will be copied the same way Cherry’s original mechanical switches have been, but the will likely be years from now.

cherry-mx-low-profile-prototype-2

    The switch on the left is the typical mechanical switch originally designed by Cherry and has now been copied and some would argue improved by others. The switch on the right is cherry’s new low profile switch, As you can see the entire height of the switch is approximately the same height as the base of the older ( traditional) cherry switch. This allows the keyboard to be thinner while allowing the same feel and function of cherry’s traditional mechanical key switches. Another benefit of the lower profile switch is they both have less overall travel compared to the traditional switch, which also means they have a slightly lower activation point.  Both the Red, and Speed(silver) low profile switches activate 0.2mm sooner. In the case of the Speed switch, it activates at only 1mm. This makes it one of the fastest mechanical keyboard switches on the market today.

    Corsair also includes a set of textured WASD keycaps for First Person Shooters as well as a complete set of QWER and DF keys for Moba players. It’s just a little something extra that I really appreciate that most keyboard manufacturers do not include.

    RGB and mechanical keyboard switches out of the way let us discuss other physical features. The keyboard includes a soft touch coated plastic wrist rest which isn’t bad but I really prefer a soft leather/gel wrist rest like those provided by other keyboard manufactures or that can be bought separately.

   The Corsair K70 line of keyboards also includes media controls which were a big selling point to me and I’m sure it was to others. I’ll be honest. I prefer the volume wheel on the Logitech keyboards, Its larger and is rubber coated. This makes it easier to find when you not looking down in the heat of battle or when a family member is calling you. I have gotten used to the Corsair volume wheel but that was after many times of touching the rounded sides of the wheel mount. The other media control buttons, the play/pause forward and backward buttons are fine.

    I do prefer more space between the media keys and the large volume wheel of the Logitech seen in the picture on the right, but the Corsair is great once you get used to it. Below is a comparison of the media keys.

 

(Photo: Left Corsair K70, Right Logitech G810)

 

    Also worth mentioning are the 3 keys in the upper left area of the keyboard. They are a profile switcher (more on that later). A 4 mode RGB light cycle button, Off, low, mid or high brightness. The last key has a lock symbol and this is the game lock key that all gaming keyboards have these days. It locks the windows button to ensure you don’t kick yourself out to the desktop in the heat of battle.

    Lastly Corsair provides a USB pass thru on the back of the keyboard. This can be used to plug in your mouse, a Bluetooth dongle, etc. It can help remove wire or dongle clutter or just a nice to have easy to access USB port if/ when you need it.

k70 passthrough

Photo: Corsair

 

The Software

    Now that we’ve gotten the physical features out of the way lets get onto the software. Corsair’s software called I-CUE  allows most of the keyboard keys to be macros.

    (If you don’t know what macros are: It’s the ability to set a SINGLE specific keyboard key to be a series of keyboard key press ) Ex. CTRL+C is copying, that could be set to a single key for productivity. 

    In my experience Corsairs software is top notch when it comes to PC prefers. Below is a video demo of the I-CUE software in action. Keep in mind that this software is updated often (which is a good thing) so depending on when you see this video the software may have changed… likely for the better. Besides allowing you to set macros (something I never do) it allows you to change the RGB lighting per key, and per program, if you choose ( something I always do). After using Logitech’s software for years I’ll admit that I think Corsair’s software might be a little more polished, however, I know that Logitech just released a new program to replace the aging Logitech G software.  So I’ll need to spend time with it, but for now, my nod on software goes to Corsair.

   Corsair also has another trick up its sleeve as far as the software goes. The K70 has 8mb of onboard storage. This allows you to save up to 3 keyboard profiles on the actual keyboard. What this means simple terms is you can create up 3 custom lighting and/ or macro profiles for games, workflows, etc and save that setup to the physical keyboard. You can then unplug the keyboard and take it to a different pc, friends place, work or where ever you go and it will work as expected without the need to install any software on the pc. The profiles can be cycled by pressing the profile button in the upper left corner above the f3 key.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall I like the Corsair K70 Mk.2 RGB Rapidfire, its a fantastic low profile keyboard among a sea of thick keyboards with HUGE keycaps. The RGB’s are bright even in a brightly lit room. The physical build and software are solid and among some of the best that I’ve ever used. The new Cherry speed switch is fast and responsive, maybe too responsive. Typing on the speed switches are very unforgiving if your not an accurate typist, that’s just the price you pay for greased lightning switch speed, but you’ll become a better typer for it. ( The version with the low profile Red switch is slightly more forgiving when typing)

      So would I recommend this keyboard? Well yes, yes I would… But let me say this!

If you would like to buy the Corsair k70 MK.2 RGB please use our link. TLR will get a small kickback at no cost to you, and that will help us to continue to bring Tech, news, and reviews to you, our AWESOME Readers!

Link: Corsair K70 MK.2 RGB Low Profile   

    Keyboards are a subjective subject, what works well for me might not for you, some typist like hearing the tactile click when a key is pressed. (Cherry MX Blue switch)

    Some people hate the clicky noise and want to just feel the tactile bump (Cherry MX Brown switch)

    Some want a linear smooth fairly quiet feel (Cherry MX Red) 

  Some want the quickest actuation available for any potential advantage in games (Cherry MX Speed/Silver switches)

    Furthermore, some people don’t care about media controls and would rather a 60% sized keyboard to gain more space for mice/mouse pad.

    Some people might want the full side typing experience but want some additional space in which case a TKL (10keyless = No number pad on the right side) might be perfect. 

This leads me here!

     I’m starting a series on keyboards, this is just the first review, with a few others in the works. I’ll even be building what could be the ultimate budget mechanical keyboard so stay tuned.

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