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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 2 04The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE keyboard is the latest mechanical gaming keyboard from a company that’s been at the forefront of the field for years. This isn’t just the usual gaming keyboard, though – it’s got a different key design and is part of a huge range. Read our Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE review to find out if this device can earn a place on your desk.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review – The Range

Before we head into the real meat of our Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE review, it’s worth explaining where this keyboard fits into the wider K70 range – because it’s potentially quite complicated.

Alongside this particular model, which costs £140 in the UK and $127 in the US, there are eight other Corsair keyboards that bear the K70 branding.

There are two versions of the K70 that come with low-profile mechanical switches, for instance. The model we’ve reviewed here has low-profile CherryMX Speed switches, which is what earns it the RAPIDFIRE designation. There’s a model that has low-profile CherryMX Red switches, which doesn’t have the RAPIDFIRE branding.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 05Five more K70 keyboards have full-size keys. Three of those have CherryMX Red, Black and Blue hardware. Those are all normal mechanical keys with slightly different attributes.

Another full-size unit has full-size CherryMX Speed switches, so that model is the second with RAPIDFIRE designation. The last full-height unit has CherryMX Silent switches to reduce noise output.

And, finally, there’s the K70 SE, which has full-size CherryMX Speed switches and a white casing rather than the black used for the rest of the range.

It is, undoubtedly, a lot to get your head around. But, for this review, remember that we’re covering the Low Profile RAPIDFIRE version – so you get short switches that are specifically designed for speed.

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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review – The Keys

Closer examination of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE reveals just how its mechanical switches deliver faster response than full-sized mechanical hardware.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 2 01The low-profile CherryMX Speed switches inside this unit have a 1mm actuation distance – the distance that a key has to press down in order to register a keypress. That’s a modest amount: 0.2mm less than the low-profile CherryMX Red switches in the other low-profile K70, and 0.2mm less than the full-size version of the CherryMX Speed switch. It’s also half as much as the 2mm actuation distance delivered by most of CherryMX’s normal, full-size switches.

The keys have just 3.2mm of overall travel, too. Most full-size mechanical keyboards have 4mm.

So you’ve got a switch that has shorter actuation and total travel distances. That explains perfectly why these buttons are set up for speedy operation – they have less distance to travel.

They keep the 45g of operating force required by most other mechanical switches – including the popular CherryMX Red, which the low-profile CherryMX Speed switch loosely imitates. It’s an entirely normal figure and ensures that you won’t have to use an overwhelming amount of force.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 06They don’t have a “bump” in the middle of their action, either. If you do prefer that heavier, more tactile feel, then you’ll have to abandon low-profile hardware and head for a full-size K70 with CherryMX Blue or Brown switches.

The K70’s switches compare well to non-CherryMX hardware. Take the Cooler Master CK550, which is a cheaper device that costs £80 in the UK and $75 in the US.

That unit uses Gateron Red switches. However, those switches do mimic CherryMX Red keys, and they still have a 2mm actuation point, 4mm of overall travel distance and a 45g operating force.

The K70’s low-profile keys compare well to non-mechanical units, too. The £80/$80 Roccat Horde Aimo used membrane hardware with noticeably shallow buttons, but they still have a 1.2mm actuation distance.

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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review – Design

The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE has innovative, quick keys. The rest of its design falls in line with the wider K70 range.

It’s got a brushed aluminium faceplate that looks stylish and feels strong. The rest of this keyboard is built from plastic, and it’s easily robust enough for weekends away at LAN events.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 08This low-profile unit is only 29mm tall – about 10mm shorter than most full-height mechanical keyboards. That also makes it easier to take it on the road.

You get grippy rubber pads on the base. Two feet to prop the keyboard up, but these don’t have adjustable height levels. Pleasingly, you get a key-removal tool in the box and two sets of extra keycaps with different textures that are designed for FPS and MOBA players.

There are five media buttons and a volume roller on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side, above the main bank of keys, are three buttons that can deactivate the Windows key, switch profiles and alter the backlight brightness.

The K70 has full RGB LED lighting. Plenty of light can be seen beneath the buttons, because the buttons themselves stand free from the K70’s aluminium fascia.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 08The lights are controlled using the Corsair iCue utility. Every key can be customised individually, and more than two-dozen kinds of lighting effects can be quickly chosen. Patterns can be customised and made more complex, and you can choose static colours or even turn the lights off.

Elsewhere, iCue allows users to record macros, save unlimited profiles and disable intrusive keys. Other Corsair devices can have lighting synchronised with the K70, too.

It’s solid, but the K70 isn’t perfect. While it does have a USB pass-through connection, it only uses the slower USB 2.0 protocol. That’s a disappointing design choice that will restrict power throughput and data transfer speeds.

The flimsy, plastic wrist-rest is disappointing, too.

The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE has far more features than the cheaper Cooler Master CK550. That unit has a barebone design with RGB LEDs, but with no media buttons, USB port or wrist-rest.

The Roccat Horde Aimo did have a wrist-rest, RGB LEDs and dedicated macro and media keys, but no USB port.

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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review – Performance

You can certainly tell that the keys on the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE are shorter and quicker than other mechanical units.

And, while they have the same smooth motion and middling force required to register a keypress as full-size CherryMX Red keys, their shorter actuation and travel distance means that they are definitely faster than normal mechanical buttons – and the increase in speed is paired with the familiar consistency and good build quality that we’ve come to expect from CherryMX’s hardware.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 07This particular K70 does have more speed than any of its mechanical rivals. While that’s true, though, we must point out that you’re dealing with slim margins here. The keys are shorter and faster, sure, but they only save a few millimetres of travel distance, and the impact that has is negligible – only the keenest of gamers will really benefit from the difference between this K70 and its full-height rivals.

If you’re a competitive esports player, or if you love FPS and MOBA games, then the K70’s increased turn of speed will help your gaming. If you’re a more casual player or just play slower games, the K70’s improvement won’t improve your gaming – but it won’t make it any worse, either.

We also detected a tiny, tiny lack of crispness in these buttons when compared to full-height mechanical units. That’s likely down to the smaller, lighter buttons and their lack of travel distance.

Again, though, it’s not something that most people will notice or be bothered by. To the vast majority of gamers the K70’s buttons will feel just as reliable, snappy, fast and weighty as full-size mechanical hardware.

The K70’s low-profile switches compare well to other CherryMX hardware, and they offer a similarly subtle speed increase when lined up with the full-size Gateron Red switches inside the Cooler Master CK550. We also prefer the K70 to the Roccat Horde Aimo, which felt soft and sluggish compared to all mechanical devices.

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Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Review – Conclusion

Our Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE review illustrates that this keyboard is deeply impressive – and that it doesn’t lose out on much because its keys are shorter than conventional buttons.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile Rapidfire review gaming keyboard review Corsair K70 review 04Indeed, they’re a little faster than normal mechanical keys because they have less distance to travel. They’re a tad quieter, and marginally softer than equivalent full-size buttons.

In short, they’re just as good as full-height mechanical devices. Few gamers will be left unsatisfied by using buttons that aren’t quite as tall as those found elsewhere. You should only look to other devices if you want something heavier and with a noticeable bump.

However, because of the fine margins involved when comparing low-profile keys to full-height keys, only the most competitive and serious players will gain a major advantage from switching to a device like this.

Elsewhere, this K70 has good design, including solid lighting, plenty of media buttons and sturdy build quality.

So, while few gamers will gain a significant advantage from switching to low-profile, almost every game will have a great experience with this keyboard. At £140 in the UK and $153 it’s expensive, but the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE offers great quality throughout – so it’s a worthwhile, effective option.

The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE costs £140 in the UK and $127 in the USDiscuss our Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE review on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And, if you need some more inspiration after reading our Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE review, check out our guide to our favourite laptops or go deep with our ultimate guide to 4K monitors – covering the technology, the terms and our top recommendations!

The GoodRecommended Award

  • Fast, comfortable, effective key design
  • Good RGB LED lighting
  • Loads of features
  • Solid build quality

The Bad

  • Doesn’t have full-height keys
  • Only uses USB 2
  • Weak wrist-rest

The Specs

Low-profile CherryMX Speed mechanical switches
100% anti-ghosting
Full-size QWERTY layout with numberpad
Macro recording
RGB LEDs
438 x 168 x 29mm (WxDxH)
1.08kg

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE

About Author

Mike Jennings

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