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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  • JonJonPoPong - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Why is it every time I see a "gamer" keyboard the WASD keys are high lighted or made to visually stand out in color, or the keyboard has LEDs and lights up?

    What "gamer" is playing a game and forgets where the WASD keys are and has to look down at their keyboard to be reminded? Do they honestly believe we are idiots with fingers that get lost on a keyboard? Oh no I am playing in the dark and don't know what the keys are, who the #@%& has not been using a keyboard long enough to know where the keys are? Do people have to look at the keyboard while typing text? If you get lost and cant find WASD then how could you ever type text?
    Reply
  • MilwaukeeMike - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Lol, awesome comment. Answered in two simple words...

    Bling Bling.
    Reply
  • Onslaught2k3 - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    BOOYAH. This point is made. Adding LEDs to a keyboard increases production cost by extremely little while allowing the markup to exceed sometimes $15-20. You know what's a less gimmicky product to light your way around your game? Literally, get that Antec light kit that goes behind your LCD. For those running multiple display setups it may not work as well but there's enough light from your monitor(s) or this cheap light kit (less than $20) that would illuminate the paint on your keys in case you lost home row. Reply
  • steve4king - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    I would REALLY love to see a firmware based macro system from gaming peripherals. Firmware based macros are not susceptible to interference from 3rd party applications and do not need to worry about whether they will work in a specific application. Also software based timing in my experience (logitech) will vary greatly depending on system load and program state. This does not happen with firmware based macros. Business vendors such as Cherry have done this for a very long time, but these devices are not suitable for gaming. Reply
  • MichaelValera - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    From the specs: 36Kb of onboard memory for storing up to three sets of eighteen G keys for gaming on the go Reply
  • hansmuff - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Considering what the likes of Razer have been coming up with (complete junk), these actually seem to be well engineered. I'm looking forward to the reviews. Reply
  • Thrakazog - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    I've stuck with Logitech gaming KB & mouse for quite some time now, because too many of the other "gaming specialty" companies offered stuff that was either full of useless design or low reliability. I tried Saitek and Razer stuff, but it just didn't measure up. I'm excited to see some reviews......I may just have to upgrade my input peripherals system =P Reply
  • stm1185 - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Their MMO keyboard seems to have the same stupid key layout so many others have now. They put all those keys off to the left with no way of hitting them without taking your hand off the WASD movement keys. Now I dont know what MMO's they are playing, but the ones I have played required you to keep moving and as such keep using WASD, so how do you even hit those keys to the left when you need to keep using WASD to move?

    Which is why I think it's a really stupid layout and they should instead start adding modifier keys down below the space bar where the thumb could hit with ease while you maintain the WASD positioning to stay mobile in the game.
    Reply
  • PubFiction - Friday, September 16, 2011 - link

    Street price is going to be the killer here. These need to beat logitechs street prices for mice. The keyboards on the other hand seem decent if they are full nice mechanicals for those prices. I agree with the comment about the highlighted keys being stupid. Beyond not needing them I think a very large number of gamers move over to esdf or rdfg to controls. Reply
  • kevith - Saturday, September 17, 2011 - link

    The mice look very nice.

    But why have Corsair returned to the time, where keys on the keyboard are high as the Empire state building?
    Reply

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