Corsair Gaming RGB K70 keyboard review
I like my mechanical keyboards to be no nonsense workhorses. Okay, a little bit of nonsense is fine, as long as it doesn’t stop the device for doing what I need it to do: work properly. It seems like a pretty simple thing to ask for, but sometimes form gets more love than function. Corsair’s Gaming RGB K70 brings a bit of nonsense, without losing the true purpose of a mechanical keyboard. The keys are smooth, meaning this might not be the best bet if you are a solid FPS player, and MMO players will miss the rows of macro keys, but might make do by programming everything on the keyboard to be the equivalent of rolling your face across the keyboard as a Retadin, saving your neck a lot of effort and strain. Speaking of face rolling, the keyboard has 100% anti-ghosting, meaning you can try smash all 104 keys at the same time.
This keyboard is built tough. Brushed aluminium, which is purportedly aircraft-grade, makes this a pretty rugged peripheral. Don’t tell anyone, but I even dropped it to test, without so much as a scratch. The keyboard handles gaming really well too, the Cherry MX Red switches were unkind to me for prolonged typing purposes, but handled in-game banter, where typos are more forgivable, as well as in-game controls with ease.
Programmable, to the extreme
A lot of keyboards tout programmable keys as a feature, but have you ever had to program anything? Mostly what they mean is that you can give them a set of button presses to emulate with specific timing, or to mimic a macro of your own creation. RBG keyboards have a slightly different take on the matter. Besides letting you decide what keypresses do, you can change the lighting on a per key or based on timing, depending on your level of programming knowledge. From basic layouts like having only the keys you use in a specific game lighting up, to being able to make your keyboard’s lighting react to your keypresses, from sonar effects, to explosions and even if you like your whole keyboard going Super Saiyan, complete with the noises. This, coupled with assigning macros to every key, can lead to you spending more time setting up your keyboard to play games, than actually playing games. Good thing the forum is pretty active and full of people happy to take requests for certain games, or you can download their files and chop and change as you see fit.
Maybe too programmable
The software used for handling the macros and lighting of the keyboard, CUE, has no idiot-friendly mode for someone who wants to do a little tinkering with the lights without working out how to make their keyboard turn into a reactive rainbow explosion. While yes, you can download things from the forum, the latest games take a while to get their setups made and even then, you have to depend on somebody else to get it right, or you need to dive into CUE and work it out yourself.
In the end you have a solid, really dependable keyboard built to withstand a lot of punishment and keep on giving. This, plus the programmable features and having multiple colour LEDs under every single key comes at a price though. It is comfortable to use for long periods of time and if you want something that allows you to show off your programming acumen, this keyboard is a really safe bet. If lights and their whizzbangs are not your thing though, you might want to go find the K70 that isn’t RGB.