I have always used Membrane keyboards, why? No sound when clicking keys, or little to no sound, so why I have chosen to move to this new Keyboard the K65 RGB from Corsair? At EGX 2016 they were showcasing this little baby with the game ‘Unreal Tournament Alpha release’ and the keyboard was the only thing that stood out, along with their new MM800 RGB Polaris Mouse mat and I think it was the M65 Pro RGB mouse, all showing off a great light show. Both I and my partner fell in love with the keyboard straight way.
Now before we go into the sales patter, some basic facts about the keyboard, first, there is a total of three versions The Rapidfire, LUX and STD
- For information on the STD version head here – http://www.corsair.com/en-gb/corsair-gaming-k65-rgb-compact-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-ch-9000222-uk.
- For the LUX version head here – http://www.corsair.com/en-gb/k65-lux-rgb-compact-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-cherry-mx-red-uk.
For this review, we are checking out the Rapidfire, and here are the boring tech specs.
Now let’s see how they sell the product off the shelve, in the box, front of the box showcases the keyboard and the all NEW ultrafast switch designed for gaming with an actuation of 1.2mm which is 0.8 mm faster, as the average switch as an average actuation of 2mm. Other sales patter is the Multicolour per-key backlighting, Cherry MX Mechanical Switch, which this keyboard only uses MX RED and each other revision also uses only MX RED, may put off some gamers, for me, though, it’s not going to affect anything.
Turning to the back you get to see and read more technical information, which includes the likes of lighting modes suitable for different genre of games, for example, FPS and MOBA, now let’s go through all the rest and bullet points
- Fully programmable – assign macros to any key,
- Study, Ridged Brushed aluminium platform,
- 100% Anti-Ghosting with Full Key Rollover on USB,
- Detachable soft touch wrist rest,
- 10 keyless design for additional space and mouse movement,
- USB pass-through and bios mode + polling rate selector,
Multi-gaming devices full spectrum colour, one amazing show
- Spectro syncing: shift colours with the rhythm of your play,
- Triple rainbow: Three devices, three rainbows, shifting in perfect sync,
- Ride the wave: Release vector lighting for brilliant light shows,
- Reactive Ripple: Blast stunning colour ripples over your entire gaming setup,
One more bit of information this is as follows,
‘Not only German-built CHERRY MX switches rated for an industry-leading – 50 million operations… they guarantee a lifetime of consistent, comfortable response as well’.
That’s the sales banter over and done with, what you think, impressed? I am, but for the newcomers, let’s look at some of the technical information provided and give you more of an idea of what they mean.
Full key rollover and 100% anti-ghosting technology means that no matter how fast you’re in game actions, the RAPIDFIRE can keep up, registering every keypress correctly, every time.
Pass through implies that the keyboard itself uses two USB ports with one of them functioning as a USB extension that has the input side of the keyboard which is different than a hub.
Polling Rate refers to how frequent the computer checks the USB for data.
The BIOS switch both adjusts the polling rate and allows you to turn off advanced keyboard features for compatibility with certain legacy motherboards. Settings of 1, 2, 4, and 8 millisecond polling rates (1ms = 1000hz). Switching to BIOS reduces the polling rate and turns off other features for maximum compatibility. By default we ship at 1ms (1000Hz) and most gamers will prefer to just use the setting.
So what is driving this keyboard? A mouse in a ball running after some cheese? Nope guesses we not that lucky, what drives all Corsair gaming peripherals is their Utility Engine also known as CUE.
I am going to look at the Lighting page, which is the fun page here you can choose from a number of pre-assigned lighting effects, or click the advanced tab and assign each key its own colour yourself, and if you feeling, even more, pro assign a game to that selection.
Under action, you can create pre-assigned functions for a game or program which include the following
- Media Control.
Now on to the keyboard, what’s in the box?
Keyboard obviously, Detachable soft-touch wrist rest, Warranty guide, and quick start guide, contoured keys to replace the original ones for FPS (WSAD) and MOBA (QWERDF) along with a key-puller.
The keyboard itself is the same size as my full MSI GS70 keyboard on my laptop, which also has a number pad, the K65 does not have a number pad. The size of the keyboard is 35.6cm in length, width with palm-rest is 21cm, width without palm-rest is 16.2cm, depth at the back of the keyboard is 2.5cm, and the front of the keyboard is 1cm, compared to a full-size keyboard say the K70 you have more room to enjoy moving your mouse around. The keyboard has 4 rubber feet to stand upon, so it will not move around, and two feet at the back to adjust the height a little.
The keyboard has one of the thickest cables I have ever seen on a peripheral so far, it’s a braided cord which is also 0.8cm in diameter, has two USB 2.0 plugs one to power the keyboard and the other to power the USB input.
Let look closer at the keyboard, yep it’s nice, move on, joking, from the top right, two led light caps lock and scroll lock, windows lock button that disables the windows key, volume keys, mute volume and brightness control.
On the back of the keyboard, you get a pass-through USB 2.0 port, which I wish was 3.0, but it is very handy for wiring up a mouse, but rubbish for the SteelSeries Sentry (Tobii Eye Tracking) that requires USB 3.0. Next to that is the switch to control the polling rate 1, 2, 4 and 8ms and this so called bios mode, which I doubt many will be using. Bios mode is for gamers using an older computer, WTF what gamer uses an old computer, PC Gamers are skint for a reason, we spend too much bloody money on gaming shiz.
Now let’s take a look at these MX Switches, with LED’s mounted to them, the actually LEDs are called SMD LED an abbreviation for Surface-Mounted-Device Light-Emitting Diode. By using these types of LED’s are directly printed onto the circuit board which helps protect them from physical damage. Instead of a whiteboard behind the switches to help with illumination they are using a black background, but the clear housing surround thing switch and LED does a good just to distribute the light across each key.
Now I am no tech person that can tell you an in-depth guide on switches, but after some homework online and can discuss the MX Switch within this keyboard. Cherry MX Speed, same as the MX Red both switches have the same actuation force of 45g. The cherry switch is not red instead its grey, with a travel distance of 4mm, the biggest difference in the actuation point MX Red has a 2mm actuation compared to the MX Speed which has only a 1.2mm actuation.
Think that’s all the technical tat out of the way, now for GAMING, so I played some awesome games in my eyes, The Division, DOOM, Fallout 4 and HITMAN episode 5, I love these games, but I just remembered while typing this, I also played my game of the year, Witcher 3 Blood & Wine. I originally said, I have never liked a Mechanical keyboard due to the sound of the keys, and it has taken me some time to get used to these as well, not only can you hear me clicking when streaming, but they are very audible when typing out this review.
But I was well impressed with this keyboard, Small, unique and powerful I love it, controlling the characters in game felt perfect, felt more real and faster, than a membrane, not sure if that was just me, but in all honesty it felt bloody great, it felt great when using the keyboard over at EGX, it just looks and feel AWESOME.
So overall the LED’s are vibrant, the keyboard looks bloody awesome with its large bold letters etched into each key all attached to a beautiful brushed aluminium frame. The added extra USB is a nice touch and so are the added keys on the top right, with a comprehensive program that allows you to control every key, create macros and a shed load more, this is a bang for the buck, snazzy small, keyboard.
I only have a few issues, I still think the sound of the keys is rather intrusive and would not recommend using them if streaming, the braided cable is super thick for some reason as well, bit nothing to complain about… much.
Oh yeah, after reading and doing some calculation I found out that the switches are about 40% faster than standard Cherry MX Red Switches if that means anything to you.