Monday | September 26, 2016
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Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Review

Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Review

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K70 RGB Review – Box and Bundle

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K70 RGB Review – The Corsair Gaming K70 RGB Keyboard

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The final feature of note can be found on the back edge of the board. This is a slider which has four settings that control the polling rate as well as BIOS mode. Also shown in the above image are the two USB connectors which sit at the end of the braided USB cable.

K70 RGB Review – Software

Before we look at the software, we wanted to note that Corsair are currently developing a point and click SDK which will enable gamers and developers to integrate effects and lighting features into games. Keep an eye on the Corsair site for updates.

The K70 RGB uses the new Corsair Utility Engine and allows us to configure lighting, macros, re-mapping, timer countdowns, dpi changes and so on. Each standard key on the board can receive lighting and action configs that work together so we could for example set a macro or press a key sequence and have the keyboard light appropriately  to show it has successfully been actioned. Standard profiles are also available, as are per app/game profiles.

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Upon first launching the software we are presented with a firware update notice, prompting us to go and check for the latest version then install. Once that is out of the way we are on the first screen which allows us to configure individual keys (including shortcuts to apps). Performance takes us into the configuration of polling rate and our lock function tweaking before Lighting does the obvious.

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Digging a little deeper into the config our actions panel allows us access to macro functionality (including double macros) and the advanced lighting controls allow us to begin really configuring the LEDs including brightness, speed of pattern, duration and so on. Lighting effects can be split into groups of keys for speed of configuration and overall there are two groups as standard, background and foreground with the former generally being static. Worthy of note also is that the K70 RGB features ripple effects where the board will demonstrate, either with one key or multiple, strokes through LEDs firing and dimming.

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In our settings screen we find device information, support details and the final major feature of note. On Screen Display settings which allow us to have information display on screen when we are in game.

User Experience and Conclusion

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Starting with the build quality of the K70 RGB we have a keyboard which for the most part looks great and feels even better. The aluminium frame is top notch and adds a real feel of rigidity to the board while the key type are tried and trusted Cherry MX which is always great to see. The legs could maybe do with being a bit more sturdy for those who really hammer on the board but other than that we have no issues. There are a couple of aesthetic issues though. First up this board suffers the same fate as a number of backlit models. That being the LEDs tend to only light one of the laser cut logos per key. So for keys that have two funtions, such as our num-pad which has arrows as well as the digits, only the digit gets full ligting. The further along the arrow we go, the dimmer it gets. Additionally we feel the brightest setting on the board could do with being a bit brighter. Finally there is a bit of light leakage from some LEDs. Using the W key as an example when it is set to light white various colours from beneath such as green and red shine out onto the side of the 3 key. It isn’t a huge issue but it is noticable.

Before we talk about performance, some notes on the new Corsair Utility Engine. There is no doubt it is a powerful piece of software and on the whole it has decent looks when compared to the competition but as far as usability and how intuitive it is… On that front Corsair fall short. It is possible to guess some of the basics for configuration but try to set up the more advanced features and it gets horribly complicated for first time users (and second… third…). What Corsair needed to do here is have the option for an easy mode which featured wizard to walk new users through configuration, or enable pre-defined profiles (music EQ/Vol display!) and then an expert mode for those who had been through that before. You will need the product documentation, keep it handy. (EDIT: We should note that it is possible to download profiles created by other people from the Corsair forum, so that does help you configure the board)

This issue with the software is of course partially down to just how configurable the keyboard is for actions and lighting. Few other products can match it on that front. We were also pleased with the anti-ghosting/key rollover specs and as a board to type and game on the performance was flawless.

Summary:
The software is powerful but sadly not in any way intuitive however the board itself has excellent build quality, decent lighting, plenty of effects and a wonderful typing/gaming experience.

Performance Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.

3 Comments

  1. I am planning in getting a new mechanical (with lighting) keyboard in the next couple of months since my Steelseries keyboard decided to give up (70mil keystrokes my arse). I was excited when I saw this here but then I noticed they not only have the Return key in the upside down L form (as unfortunately enough most do now days), but also the left Shift key is of the small variety. I find it very annoying to use such a keyboard and I hope one day they will release a version of this which will at least have the Shift key full size.

  2. Dyre Straits

    I’m not impressed with the key layout, either. Both my son and I do quite enjoy using the Cyborg we got a couple of years ago. (Well, I got mine a couple of years ago and then my daughter-in-law and I went together and got him one for his birthday a year ago.) But, these are not mechanical keyboards. However, they have held up quite well for us and we do use them a lot.