In a private media event this week Corsair unveiled its latest contribution to the PC industry: gaming keyboards, mice and headsets. All of these new peripherals fall under the Vengeance brand. The motivation behind this move is simple: starting with memory and eventually expanding into power supplies, SSDs and cases, Corsair wants to be your one-stop shop for nearly everything you need for your PC. The CPU, motherboard and video card markets are either impossible to get into or undesirable for a manufacturer that doesn't already play in those spaces, leaving peripherals as one of the only options for expansion.

Traditionally companies avoided getting into the peripheral space because you have to compete with very wealthy and experienced competitors: Logitech and Microsoft. With Logitech trying to expand into other areas beyond peripherals it appears that Corsair is hoping that its competitor will lose a bit of its focus. Whether or not this works out for Corsair remains to be seen, but let's look at the products.

Vengeance Headsets

Corsair has dabbled in headsets already but with the Vengeance brand it expands the line considerably. Starting this October the company will offer three different Vengeance headsets priced from $39 up to $99.

 

The Vengeance 1500 is the top end SKU with two 50mm drivers, simulated 7.1 surround sound and USB support (integrated audio codec). The 1300 is the same as the 1500 but substitutes in a 1/8" stereo plug instead of USB.

 

The 1100 is a lighter design that uses 40mm drivers but with USB support.

Corsair Vengeance Headsets
  Vengeance 1500 Vengeance 1300 Vengeance 1100
Price $99 $79 $39

 

Vengeance Keyboards & Mice

The entire Vengeance peripheral lineup is targeted at gamers. Start focused and expand beyond there seems to be the strategy. Corsair's initial keyboard & mice offerings are targeted at two genres of games: MMO/RTS and FPS. All of the Vengeance keyboards & mice feature an aluminum construction.

The MMO/RTS targeted products are called the Vengeance K90 and M90. The K-series are for keyboards while the M-series refer to mice. The K90 is backlit with over 90 individual LEDs (almost one behind every key). It uses Cherry MX mechanical red switches for each key which have a 2mm actuation travel (4mm total travel). There's no accompanying click sound with these keys, they have a nice linear but springy travel to them. The Cherry MX red switches apparently require the least amount of force to actuate out of their entire lineup of switches. Corsair claims the keyboard will recognize up to 20 simultaneous keystrokes.

The MMO/RTS focus comes in with the K90's 18 customizable macro keys. You can switch between three different sets of macros, for a total of 54 total macros. The macros are defined using Corsair's Vengeance gaming software.

The corresponding mouse is the M90:

The M90 uses an Avago ADNS-9500 5700 DPI laser sensor. The mouse has 9 customizable side buttons.

On the FPS side there are the K60 and M60. Let's start with the K60:

The aluminum chassis and Cherry MX red mechanical switches are both present, but the individual key lights are gone as are the macro keys. The K60 instead ships with a removable wrist wrest (which is actually quite comfortable) and easily removable, textured WASD and 1-6 number keys. When not in use, the textured keys can be stored in the wrist wrest. The feel of each keypress remains the same as the K90, but the macro keys are gone and the styling of the K60 is a bit different.

The M60 mouse includes a sniper button that allows you to quickly switch between high and low DPI modes (customizable in software).

Corsair Vengeance Headsets
  Vengeance K90 Vengeance K60 Vengeance M90 Vengeance M60
Price $129 $109 $79 $69

 

Final Words

I had some brief hands on time with all of the newly announced Vengeance peripherals, they all felt good but it'll take much longer than a short play session to really evaluate these things. I'm mostly curious to see how well these things do in the hands of hardcore gamers. Does Corsair have what it takes to pull customers away from the likes of Logitech, Microsoft and Razer?

Corsair's new Vengeance lineup will be available starting next month.

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  • axsis - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    Not entirely true the Noppoo choc mini among a few others has N key roll over over usb and works on Linux and Windows but requires adapters to work on Mac (not sure if the N Key carries over but given the keyboard has N key roll over via PS/2 (but doesn't come with an adapter) it is likely to work. However the trick is a chip that mimics more devices so you get 4 input devices in device manager. That engineering team needs a medal it's quite ingenious ^^

    Also Filco and Leopold newer keyboards have a pretty realiable 18-20KRO on USB. Which is more than enough for gaming and N key is more or less something to show off. So we may not need the PS2 port much longer however it certainly is nice to save a USB port!

    What is unfortunate about the Corsair range is their use of rubber domes for the top row on both keyboards and the macro keys. They decided it was a goood place to save money but many would argue that defeats the purpose of making a mechanical keyboard. Perhaps they will revise this choice and also offer brown switches at some point or a tenkeyless layout both I think would go down really well. Reds are great but I just feel less in control then I did when I had brown switches although you get used to it.

    CM Storm are releasing a mechanical tenkeyless keyboard with a variety of switch choice that seems to have the same OEM as filco which will cost less than the Corsair board. I reckon if their Spawn mouse is anything to go by in terms of quallity and you want a mechancal keyboard just to try it out grab a mx brown variant. I will be getting one as soon as I can but for the moment the choc mini with mx red is still way better than rubber domes...
    Reply
  • PhatoseAlpha - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    The K60 instead ships with a removable wrist wrest (which is actually quite comfortable) and easily removable

    Wrist Wrest
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    You missed the rest of the sentence: and easily removable, textured WASD and 1-6 keys. Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    wrest does not mean what you think it does Reply
  • JNo - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    haha! exactly

    Maybe he just needs a good night's wrest...

    ;)
    Reply
  • Digimonkey - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    If it's comfortable it's obviously not doing a very good job of wresting. Reply
  • Kaboose - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    The title of the article is "Corsair Enters the Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Market with Vengeance" and shows a picture of a headset and your first 1/3 of the article is about the headset... seems like you should change the title xD Reply
  • th3pwn3r - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Really? There are a total of FIVE sentences about headsets. I think you should try to read better.

    Anyhow, that mouse with the nine buttons on the side seems nuts, it would be nice to have BUT I think I'd end up pressing the wrong side button for a bit.
    Reply
  • int9 - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    I wish I could find a fingertip-designed mouse with that many buttons. I tried the G700 but only 2 out of 7 programmable buttons are reachable with my grip. Reply
  • fhaddad78 - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    I agree.. I mean after a few moments of reading you come to keyboards and mice, but maybe make the title Corsair enters the gaming market with a Vengeance!

    You're welcome! (=
    Reply

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