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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  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    They've become nothing more than a marketing operation. Sell anything to naive consumers regardless of the quality. Even their RAM is starting to show issues, which never existed to any degree in the past.

    It would appear that they are looking to be the Wally World of the PC Biz. You've got to want a keyboard really badly to pay $100 for a Chinese sweatshop product that cost less than $10 to manufacture. :(
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    Is everything you say got to be stupid? I'm not a fanboi of Corsair, but it seems to me that their power supplies are good quality and less than others. They make nice cases and I don't know where you get the ram issues from. Tell me where you buy a mechanical switch keyboard (utilizing Cherry switches) for $10 (or $20). I don't know why you single out Corsair as the lone manufacture in using Chinese factories. It seems to me that EVERYONE uses China labor to make their products. Anyways, it's probably another one of your "agendas" that is responsible for this post. I'm thinking Forrest Gump when I read your posts. (my apologies to Forrest) Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately some Corsair PSUs are OK and some are problems. The only way to tell is by reading a proper review of the exact PSU model.

    Corsair's H2O CLCs have poor thermal efficiency compared to a quality HSF, are a poor value, are noisy because you must run multiple fans or a single fan on high to cool the radiator. And of course there is the real liability of a water leak destroying hundreds of dollars of PC hardware as people have experienced.

    Now Corsair is hawking mechanical keyboards and they don't look all that good especially for the $100 price tag.

    Yes it is unfortunate that many U.S. based companies are more than willing to use slave labor to generate windfall annual nonuses for the CEO. These unscrupulous CEOs/companies should be boycotted and told exactly why they are being boycotted.

    Money talks and B.S. walks. If consumers refuse to buy goods produced in Chinese sweatshops under deplorable slave labor conditions, the companies will grow some ethics or go broke. Consumers have complete control over the laws of supply and demand.

    Big Box stores are a perfect example of unscrupulous companies.

    It's not my problem that some folks can't deal with reality - it's their's. ;)
    Reply
  • FaaR - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Are you seriously asserting that nobody ever had any problems, at all, with Corsair RAM in the past? That's ludicrous, and factually incorrect, as I've personally had several sticks of 1066MHz Dominator XMS2 DDR2 sticks roll over on me. One set of slightly newer revision sticks also refused to work with my previous older revision set.

    You're toting 100% anecdotal evidence as some kind of pattern - current and historical - which is just laughable as a practice.

    And btw, before you dismiss me as some kind of Corsair puppet, those dead and/or incompatible sticks are the only products of theirs I own. I was considering the K60, but after reading of the keycaps with no symbols on them, stuck key problem and fading print I'm thinking I'll just pass. I want backlighting too, and the K60 lacks that.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I did NOT say no one has every had issues with Corsair RAM. Don't read things into my posts, read what I wrote. ;)

    FWIW, most of my current PCs have Corsair RAM that has worked flawlessly. The only bad DIMM I have had in years was a Crucial DIMM. I have used and recommended Corsair RAM for many years because it was pretty reliable.

    Yes some folks have had issues particularly on Asus mobos, but that seems to be the mobo and not the RAM. In recent days Corsair seems to be having more issues with their Vengeance product line in particular.

    As far as their other products the results have been mixed at best. Their PSUs have had issues - particularly the models not produced by Seasonic. Their Antec produced closed-loop-coolers have also had issues, in particular leaks. They also have poor thermal efficiency, are a poor value and are noisy compared to a quality HSF.

    Now Corsaie is marketing mechanical keyboards for $100. to the naive. If these products make you happy then that is what you should buy but I can not in good conscience recommend these products to anyone. As i said Corsair is becoming just a marketing firm using Chincese sweatshop labor to produce products of questionable quality.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Find the least expensive mechanical keyboard out there, and how much does it cost? Looking for anything with Cherry MX switches, the best I can find is $79, and that's for a generic keyboard that doesn't have a 10-key (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0068INSUM). I know not everyone likes 10-keys, but if you're buying something with mechanical switches I'd assume you're looking at it more for typing than gaming, in which case I'd guess 10-keys are potentially useful (I use mine in spreadsheets all the time). So, $10 more for the K60 isn't totally out of line with regards to pricing (http://www.pcrush.com/product/Keyboards-and-Keypad... Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Always gotta go to the Egg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    Awww.... they no longer list the Qumax Xarmor U9 with MX-Browns that's priced at $79. Nuts, the browns were the best I've ever typed on.
    Reply
  • Rand - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I'm a fan of USB ports through the monitor (on the side anyways), but I can't say I really see the appeal to a USB port on the keyboard.

    Not sure if it's ideal for games but I'm pretty stuck on keyboards with a slight 'wave' to them, took some adjusting at first but I'm very fond of them now.
    Reply
  • nickersonm - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    It's useful for the mouse cord; with it partially folded up, it slightly lessens the mess of stuff behind one's desk. Reply
  • Menoetios - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I was seriously considering getting one of these as my first mechanical keyboard, until I found out about how the function row and nav keys use membrane switches. I use those keys on a fairly regular basis, and membrane switches typically won't last as long as the mechanical switches. When I'm spending that much on a keyboard, it's nice to have the longevity argument of the mechanical switches, but throwing a bunch of membrane switches on there throws that out the window. Ended up going with a more basic, all-mechanical keyboard that I absolutely love. Reply

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