Review

Neowin Member Reviews: Corsair Vengeance K90 Mechanical Keyboard

It's that time of the week again where we showcase a review submitted by a member in our forums. Remember that we consider all reviews that are submitted here. Who knows, your review might make the front page!

This week we've chosen articuno1au for the Corsair Vengeance K90 Mechanical Keyboard review; this keyboard was also reviewed by our very own Tim Schiesser earlier this month, but here is what articuno1au thinks of it.

Introduction

Given the keyboards role as the most used peripheral attached to a computer, it's surprising that a majority of users are happy to go with cheap everyday keyboards for their typing needs. When my third Razer keyboard gave out due to heavy usage, I decided to look into the re-emerging market of mechanical keyboards to see what all of the hype was about.

Keyboards are one of the few areas in computing where technology appears to have receded rather than progressed. The first keyboards on computer systems used mechanical switches to detect the depression of the keys. As time passed, economics took over and cheaper alternatives to mechanical switches were found. The cheapest of these alternatives is the dome-switch; which took over as the mainstream technology. These dome-switches are by all accounts an inferior technology. Whilst not in the scope of this review, a full recounting of the benefits of mechanical switches is available.

Having researched thoroughly the available mechanical keyboards, and taking into account my bad track record with Razer products, I finally decided on Corsair's K90. Without further ado.

Specifications

Courtesy of Corsair's product page.

  • Light, responsive Cherry MX Red mechanical switches for fast, efficient gaming action
    45g actuation force
    2mm to actuation and 4mm to bottom
    Rated for 50 million operations
    Gold contacts
  • Tuned silicon dome key switches: F1 through F12, Esc, PrtScn, Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, Insert, Home, Page Up Page Down, Delete, and End
  • Three banks of eighteen G Macro Keys with Macro Record and Bank Select hot keys
  • 36Kb of on-board memory for storing up to three sets of eighteen G keys for gaming on the go
  • Laser-etched, backlit keys with four illumination levels (off, 66%, 75%, and full illumination) selectable from the keyboard
  • Six multimedia keys — Stop, Previous, Play/Pause, Next, Mute, Volume Up/Down — with Solid metal, weighted volume “drum roller”
  • Windows Lock key for uninterrupted game play
  • Metal top plate for increased strength, durability and rigidity
  • USB pass-through connector giving easy access to a USB port on the back of the keyboard
  • 2m non-tangle cable Adjustable feet tilt for optimum personalisation and positioning

Read the rest of the review in our forums ->

View previous member reviews.

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14 Comments

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I think it's ugly personally. Brushed metal, stupid multimedia keys (is this 1997?) and a mix of rubber dome switches because they were too cheap to use all Cherry switches. No thanks.

TRC said,
I think it's ugly personally. Brushed metal, stupid multimedia keys (is this 1997?) and a mix of rubber dome switches because they were too cheap to use all Cherry switches. No thanks.

I think aesthetically it looks outstanding in person. I'm not sure that my photos with my dodgy smart phone camera really do it justice

The dome switches get used so rarely, but yeah, I agree with you there.

Nice writeup; my old G15 is on its deathbed (just wasn't built to last), and have been pondering various replacements. Think I'm sold on this one, probably going to cannibalize the LCD out of the G15 and pick up one of these this weekend.

You won't regret it. Very high build quality and by far the nicest keyboard I've owned.

Max Norris said,
Nice writeup; my old G15 is on its deathbed (just wasn't built to last), and have been pondering various replacements. Think I'm sold on this one, probably going to cannibalize the LCD out of the G15 and pick up one of these this weekend.

"third Razer keyboard" LOL
I would have stopped buying them after the 2nd one..
And what the hell are you doing that broke 3 kb's ?

I have my trusty Logitech MX3000 Keyboard / Mouse combo i bought at Futureshop
for $120 and like 5 years later it still rocks awesome
About 8 months ago I had to solder in a new switch on the left mouse button though
the switch got worn out.
Luckily a $9 wallmart logitech optical mouse had the same switch inside
as my Lazer mouse
And they were not aware I switched the switches either when i got a refund at wallmart

And 3 keyboards broken ? jeez
i thought i was bad, i have anger issues and beat my
keyboard like i do my wife when i get drunk..
And 5 years of First Person shooters etc and it still works flawlessly

I am Not PCyr said,
"third Razer keyboard" LOL
I would have stopped buying them after the 2nd one..
And what the hell are you doing that broke 3 kb's ?

I have my trusty Logitech MX3000 Keyboard / Mouse combo i bought at Futureshop
for $120 and like 5 years later it still rocks awesome
About 8 months ago I had to solder in a new switch on the left mouse button though
the switch got worn out.
Luckily a $9 wallmart logitech optical mouse had the same switch inside
as my Lazer mouse
And they were not aware I switched the switches either when i got a refund at wallmart

And 3 keyboards broken ? jeez
i thought i was bad, i have anger issues and beat my
keyboard like i do my wife when i get drunk..
And 5 years of First Person shooters etc and it still works flawlessly


I do an AWFUL lot of work on my machine. Generally the "breaking" is due to various things making it unusable for serious work as opposed to completely broken..

1. Lycosa - Wore the rubber off the keys. Backlighting began to fail. Sometimes failed to respond.
2. Arctosa - Space bar key stopped working entirely. I couldn't fix it, so I bought another one.
3. Arctosa - A collection of keys on the top left of the board stopped working.

I couldn't tell you how long each lasted, but I wasn't completely unhappy with it >.<

I am Not PCyr said,
"third Razer keyboard" LOL
I would have stopped buying them after the 2nd one..
And what the hell are you doing that broke 3 kb's ?

I have my trusty Logitech MX3000 Keyboard / Mouse combo i bought at Futureshop
for $120 and like 5 years later it still rocks awesome
About 8 months ago I had to solder in a new switch on the left mouse button though
the switch got worn out.
Luckily a $9 wallmart logitech optical mouse had the same switch inside
as my Lazer mouse
And they were not aware I switched the switches either when i got a refund at wallmart

Wait... what??...

You bought a mouse from Wallmart? Took it apart, put broken parts in it, then took it back for a refund? It's $9...

5 Years is a good run, and ripping off companies by doing dodgy things like this is why the prices keep going up for everything. Thanks man, love your work...

Well I'm glad I have a more basic keyboard.. no lighting or lcd's
and the added extra keys all over i don't use anyways.

I'm sorry to hear you had trouble with yours
sometimes simple is better

P1R4T3 said,
The macro keys don't have back-light?

They are backlit a very dim white. You can definitely see them, but in the light it looks like they aren't backlit.

Still an half assed keyboard with a mix of mechanical and dome keys, there are much better choices out there.