Conclusion: Strong Out of the Gate

I'll come right out and say that I've been looking for a new keyboard to replace my aging and decrepit Microsoft Reclusa for a long time, and for me, the Corsair Vengeance K90 is it. The backlighting, the wrist rest, the mechanical switches, the recessed configurable keys, the USB 2.0 port built into the top using a passthrough...the K90 is definitely an excellent piece of kit, and it feels like it was designed by people who used other gaming keyboards and felt like those products just weren't cutting the mustard. With all that in mind, I think there are still some reservations.

I have concerns about the paint and treatment used for the keycaps on the K90 being able to hold up over time, and I feel like the software definitely does need a little bit more work and fine tuning. The USB passthrough is appreciated, but with a dedicated connection wouldn't it have been just as easy to offer more than one USB port on the keyboard itself? Right now I'm using the single port for the Vengeance mice I'm testing, but it would be nice to have a second port: one for the mouse, and one for flash drive and other USB peripherals.

The price difference between the K90 and K60 is also a little too small; in my opinion the K90 is just more preferable to the K60 and absolutely worth the extra $20 for the substantially improved functionality, comfort, and aesthetics. If anything the K60 just seems to exist to make the K90 look like a better deal, which is impressive when you're talking about keyboards that cost north of $100.

With all that in mind, it's pretty clear that despite these nitpicks Corsair has once again entered a brand new market with some very strong products. For first attempts, the Vengeance K60 and K90 both get an awful lot right, and the typing and user experiences on both of these keyboards are definitely a step above what you'll get from a garden variety membrane keyboard.

It's up to you to decide if they're worth the investment; I think the $109 and $129 price tags are both a little too steep and the keyboards would both be more compelling at $89 and $119 respectively, if not $79 and $109. If you're willing to shell out for one, the K90 is pretty much directly superior to its less expensive sibling and worth the extra $20. But really, I wouldn't fault anyone for buying either one despite the prices: these are excellent keyboards and, in my opinion, a cut above any gaming keyboards anyone else is producing.

The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90 in Action
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  • mrbean1500 - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=10321...

    Typing this using the k60, and a lot of the "paint" on the keycaps are fading sadly... hopefully there's a solution soon (new keycaps sent out) since it's advertised as laser etched

    and also, i didnt catch it in the review, but the red/orange keycaps for 1-6 do not have !@#$%^ on them, which is silly since the pic on the box does... and also the wrist wrest is pretty useless and i had to buy a 3rd party one
    Reply
  • sor - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I don't have one of these keyboards, but I have experience with laser etched plastic keys and other laser etched items, and the etching tends to smooth out and/or fill in with gunk, making the letters fade. Grease especially can make laser etching fade significantly. Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    read the link... corsair admits it's a problem and they've identified it... they're just looking for a solution Reply
  • sor - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Read my post. Both your post and the op on your link seem to imply that they keys are painted and that 'laser etched' means no fading. I disagree that laser etched means no fading. That is all. Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    pretty sure it's paint... i can literally scrape off the white junk with my fingernail Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Exactly. All "Laser Etched" means is that there was a little recess burned out with a laser to put the paint in. It could still be cheap paint, or not have cured properly, or the surface was otherwise improperly prepared so adhesion was poor.

    Theoretically, the recess would allow for a thicker, more substantial amount of paint, and more precise lettering, but there are no guarantees in the process. A high quality paint on a properly prepared surface can last quite a long time, regardless of etching. However, the most basic lettering (no etch) is done to save money, and it's common to save money in materials and processes too (read: cheap out), so "painted on" letters tend to be less reliable not only because the paint is thinner, but the process is lower quality as applied by the manufacturer.

    In my opinion, a premium keyboard should have Double-Shot caps (a cap with the character cut out, then a different colored cap with the character raised on it, pressed up underneath it. The characters are them solid plastic and no kind of paint is needed), any other process is a "cutting corners" one and shouldn't even be considered. (Most manufacturers disagree with me about that.)

    Build. It. Right. The first time.

    ;)
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Does anyone actually sell a doubleshot keycap model? OC.net's mechanical keyboard guide (best braindump I'm aware of on the subject) states that due to cost only one company was selling them; but doesn't actually list any with it in their rundown of models available in 09. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    There are some companies that still do it but are very expensive.

    Nothing seems to beat dye sublimation for longevity.
    Reply
  • Ebonstar - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I do like the K60, I type as fast as I do on the cherry blue keyboard I have here, and appreciate the raised keys makes cleaning and de-dusting a lot easier. However the keyboard does suffer from a particular problem in that a key can be registered as 'stuck' and needs a repeat press to unstick.

    http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=10261...

    A fix apparently coming soon. Not sure how this will be applied to a K60 as it doesn't need / use any software unlike the K90.
    Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I get that occasionally too, still i like the keyboard =P... first mechanical ever... it's nice Reply

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