Introduction and Packaging

A few years ago, we witnessed the return of mechanical keyboards and ever since then companies have been fighting a marketing war about whose keyboard is better. The truth however is that mechanical keyboards, even in their least expensive implementations, remain fairly expensive and such an investment doesn't always makes sense to users. For you that appreciate a good keyboard but do not care about whether it has mechanical key switches or not, Corsair's Raptor K40 is an advanced gaming keyboard that uses rubber dome switches.

The Corsair Raptor K40 is marketed as a fully featured gaming keyboard, with functionality specifically targeting advanced users and gamers. Corsair has the following list of features posted in their website:

  • Rubber dome keys
  • RGB 16.8 million color backlighting with three levels of illumination
  • Six dedicated macro keys
  • 36KB of onboard memory
  • Seven easy-access multimedia keys
  • Windows Lock key for uninterrupted game play

While "rubber dome keys" hardly qualifies as a feature, but the rest of the bullet points are actually good for an advanced keyboard. Regarding the rubber domes, Corsair's Raptor line is the less expensive version of their mechanical Vengeance keyboards, and subjectively there are users that prefer rubber dome keys to mechanical keys — particularly for gaming purposes.

Corsair supplies the Raptor K40 in a well-designed cardboard box, which also provides adequate protection during shipping. The main marketing theme is the backlighting of the keyboard, and rightfully so. There are plenty of keyboards with backlighting — with either mechanical key switches or rubber domes — but very few RGB backlit keyboards. It can be a very eyecatching feature, though after the initial "wow" factor, most users will likely settle for something functional rather than strobing lights. Let's have a closer look at the K40 and see how it fares.

A Closer Look
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  • Alexey291 - Monday, April 14, 2014 - link

    Oh I agree - this thing is a pointless oddity that shouldn't really exist xD

    But then again its Corsair so...
  • artifex - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    I think it's more than I paid for my K60, after rebate at least.
  • thomas-hrb - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    I agree with @SodaAnt. I have lighting turned all the way down on my keyboards to avoid being distracted. I like to play in a darkened room and have the screen brightness set to allow me to experience as wide a dynamic range as possible. Blacks need to be black and even the smallest amount of contrast when you are in a dark tunnel gets obliterated by the keyboard backlighting. IMHO if you are a gamer worth your salt, you do not need backlighting on your keybaord or mouse to know where they are or how they function. Looking at your peripherals instead of the screen will only get you killed.
  • cbrownx88 - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    Amen - looking down is for... console gamers or something... lol
  • ShieTar - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Depends on the game I think. Just hitting WASD and a few surrounding triggers is one thing, but text-chatting in an MMO is quiet another thing. Personally I would love to have a switchable light with a dimming option, but sadly MS refuses to give me a version of the Natural 4000 with this feature. And after a decade of getting used to it, I don't want to switch to another Keyboard anymore.
  • shellls - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    I bought this keyboard for $40 AR. At that price it's a very good keyboard.
  • inspire2 - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    You can get a unicomp with Buckling Springs for $80. Monoprice sold a bare bones Cherry MX blue for $54. I don't know what the market is for this board, but its clearly not going to get me to buy it at that price. If it was say $29.99 then maybe.
  • Impulses - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    Paid $80 for my Corsair K80 a few years ago, thru a combination of MIR and Newegg instant discount. Still enjoying it but probably wouldn't have paid more than $100 for it, Ducky was my second choice... I've bought and gifted Rosewills for like $60, granted with no backlight, but $80 for a membrane board does seem steep... Wonder what the BoM on it is.
  • rpmrush - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    I recently switched to a Rosewill RK-9200 with reds. Fully mechanical and dual backlit. I do use the backlighting at night. Does help if you lose your way during a heated battle. Super hyped on adrenaline..looking down is faster than scrambling to find your way. But hey...I'm just a seasoned PC gamer who lacks the ego of most...I guess I'm a vaj for looking down.
  • 7amood - Thursday, April 10, 2014 - link

    The basic design has a lot of similarities to Logitech G710+.
    The only problem I have with the G710+ is that I keep hitting G1 instead of Esc. I tried to teach myself to ignore the G1, but this only led me to hit the F1 key by mistake. Disabling the G1 from the software doesn't help that much. I wish the extra G1-6 keys were detachable.

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