I get through a lot of keyboards thanks to my excessive gaming addiction, many of them I end up finding too uncomfortable to use over time, while others just feel too unresponsive with many of the games that I play. Being new to mechanical keyboards the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB was quite a drastic change to what I have used before, but one that I am really pleased I got to try.
This Corsair Gaming K70 RGB mechanical keyboard is one of the most expensive keyboards that I have reviewed, it has full multicolour pre-key backlighting which allows you to customise it to how you want to play. This is an expensive keyboard, lets get that out of the way right away, but the price means you have a very well made great looking device right out of the box.
According to Corsair, the K70 RGB has 16.8 million colour per-key lighting, giving you the option of a huge array of colours to choose from when creating key binding setups or just going for a colourful look.
The keyboard comes well packaged with the new Corsair Gaming logo top-center on the keyboard hardware. At first glance the K70 looks very much like the Vengeance K70 with a very nice black anodized brushed aluminium finish, it certainly looks expensive.
Aside from the usual 104 keys (Cherry MX Red), the K70 also comes with a number of media keys for pausing, stopping, playing, forward and back options for music and video. It also has a volume control slider, a specific windows key lock which is useful when playing games and a brightness adjustment controller.
Setting up the keyboard is very easy, it is a simple case of plugging the two USB connectors into your USB 2.0 ports on your computer. If you have a computer with USB 3.0 ports then you can plug in just one USB connector as that has enough power to light up the keyboard and power the keyboard-press signals.
The K70 also comes with an optional palm rest, it works well and just clips on. I prefer to use it, but it is good that you can remove it if you want to, another sign that a lot of love and thought has gone into the design of this device.
Once you have done that you can go ahead and install the Corsair Utility Engine which is the software you will use to customise the keyboard to your liking. The Corsair Utility Engine is where you are likely to find yourself most often when you first setup the keyboard, from here you can setup all the lighting profiles you want.
You can setup different lighting settings for different games, such as a first person shooter making use of the WASD keys or a flight simulator which may have different controls for varying aspects of flight. I've managed to create quite a few personal profiles for some games that I play, although none have been as advanced as other K70 users have posted online.
The Corsair software isn’t the easiest to get used to at first, it takes a lot of trial and error to get lighting settings right and even more so when setting up various effects such as lightening or colour changes when buttons are pressed. That isn’t to say that the time you spend in it won’t be worthwhile, it would just be nice to see a few more simpler options for those of us who want to setup very simple light settings.
As this is a very advanced keyboard, Corsair have made it very easy to keep up-to-date via firmware updates. There are downloaded via the Corsair support site and then installed via the Corsair Utility Engine software, it doesn’t take long to do and it is always worth keeping a check out for the latest build, especially as the keyboard hasn’t been released long.
Talking of the Corsair Utility Engine, you can also download other users LED-Backlit profiles if you want to, there are loads of try out on the Corsair forums and some are amazing, from lighting effects to a full multicolour set for World of Warcraft, if you get the keyboard, these are well worth downloading as they only take a second or two to install.
As a newcomer to mechanical keyboards it came as a surprise as to just how noisy typing can be on the K70, the good thing is that it wasn’t long before I didn't notice it when playing games or doing writing. It seems as if this a common issue amongst mechanical keyboards so it isn’t really a worry, especially if everyone else in your house doesn’t care when you are using it.
As a gamer at heart I have used this keyboard no end over the past two weeks. I have played around 20 different titles and despite a small bit of time getting used to how the mechanical keys feel, it didn’t take very long at all to feel as if my performance was improving. They keyboard is so comfortable to use, even for long stretches of time that it becomes very easy to forget about any other keyboard you may have used in the past.
Another plus point is how easy the keyboard is to keep clean, a simple blow will push off most dust and debris, but a smooth cloth and get in and around the keys very easily. Good news is that the keyboard also doesn’t tend to be a fingerprint magnet, even harder presses don’t have much signs of greasy fingers lingering around.
So with so many plus points, what problems have I run into? Well my biggest and pretty much only issue with they keyboard is that currently with the latest firmware it stays lit ALL the time, even with your PC turned off. Corsair have stated that this will change in a new firmware release, but if you game in your bedroom then be prepared to have a glowing keyboard waking you up at night.
Overall I can find little to fault in the K70 RGB, it looks and feels expensive and the range of colours that the keyboard can be configured to show off is superb. Although the Corsair Utility Engine is very hard to get used to at first, a little bit of time spent on it yields great results. If you have no need for the LED-backlit keyboard you can save some money and pick up a plain K70, but after trying this one out, I can’t go back.