The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90

We recently re-entered the world of peripheral reviews, specifically mechanical keyboards with our brief rundown of Rosewill's RK-9000 mechanical keyboard (complete with Cherry MX Blue switches). Rosewill's design was as basic as it gets, but the keyboard felt solid and for many of us there's just no substitute for a mechanical switch when it comes to having a comfortable typing experience. But our visit with Rosewill was just a warm up.

Today we have Corsair's Vengeance K60 and K90 gaming keyboards in house. Corsair opts to use Cherry MX Red switches in an effort to find a more suitable balance between typing and gaming needs, and they bring a little more style and class than we're used to seeing in gaming peripherals.

Out of the gate, Corsair is offering two different keyboards targeting two different types of user, but it's worth noting that these two keyboards are very, very similar. The "base model" K60 is targeted towards FPS players. Corsair starts with an aluminum backplate behind the keyboard, with all of the keys raised off of it--there's no tray for crumbs/hair/general-filth to get stuck in! Corsairs uses Cherry MX Red switches for the bulk of the keyboard (the document navigation and F1-F12 use traditional membrane-style switches), and there are dedicated media keys and a "Windows Lock" button above the number pad.

There's also a dedicated wrist rest just for your left hand, and the inside of it holds replacement keycaps for number keys 1-6 plus the WASD cluster along with a keycap remover. These replacement keycaps have rubberized surfaces and incline slightly towards the left hand, the theory being that this will be ideal for gaming use. Finally, the keyboard actually uses two USB ports: one for the keyboard proper, and one used as a dedicated passthrough for a USB port above the F12 key. Corsair offers the K60 for a recommended $109.

Meanwhile, the fancier K90 is geared towards RTS and MMO players. The K90 takes the aluminum base, switch layout, and connectivity of the K60 and adds individual LED backlighting behind each of the keys with four levels of illumination (off, low, medium, and high) toggled by a brightness button next to the Windows Lock button.

Beefing things up, Corsair adds eighteen configurable keys to the left of the keyboard as well as an in-hardware macro recording and playback function (configured and toggled by the four macro buttons above the Escape and F1-F3 keys). What I really like about the K90 as opposed to other gaming keyboards with configurable keys is that the G1-G18 cluster is actually substantially lower than the rest of the keyboard. While the keys of the keyboard proper are all raised off of the aluminum surface, the gaming keys are recessed, making it much harder to accidentally hit one when trying to hit the Tab, Shift, or Ctrl keys.

Finally, Corsair adds a full-length removable wrist rest (a convenience that's becoming increasingly rarefied these days) and dashboard software for configuring the keyboard downloadable from their website. Appropriate to the inclusion of fancier features, the K90 will set you back $129.

The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90 in Action
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  • **USA** - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    You will be sorry if you buy this keyboard! The letters faded from the keys in 3 weeks and it is VERY, VERY noisy! Their customer service refused to replace the keys. Reply
  • dilmonen - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    Really interesting to see the resurgence of all the mechanical switch keyboards.

    Been using a couple of models with the Cherry switches from DeCK for years now.

    I've got their 82 key toxic with 21 key number pad & a white Legend DeCK.

    http://www.deckkeyboards.com/
    Reply
  • tpayne37664 - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    I have read a lot about these boards and the mice also. I got a k90 and m90 and had to return 1 m90 and 1 k90. the k90's seem to have a habit of coming with dead led's and the m90's seem to be prone to failed firmware flashing which the software you download says "upgrade firmware before installing drivers" I replaced the m90 with another 1 and did not update firmware and it works great programming works too. The k90 i decided to opt for a different non programable board a CM Storm QuickFire Pro and pulled my old razer nostromo out and dusted it off for macro's no real difference in macro buttons as both k90 and nostromo have membrane keys for the programmable keys also the f keys and home cluster of keys on k90 are membrane Reply
  • taltamir - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    BUYER BEWARE
    This keyboards have a huge and serious firmware bug that is still not fixed and corsair wont own up to.

    Check: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=11017...

    I bought this expensive keyboard based on this review and was very disappointed due to said firmware bug. This review should really have pointed out its existence.
    Reply

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