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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  • aliasfox - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Apple's wired desktop keyboard uses the same keys as their laptops, but with a full layout (num pad, full size arrows, pg up/pg down keys). I prefer their older keyboards (and Thinkpad keyboards), but this one's not bad. The aluminum base also means it types more firmly than many keyboards with a plastic base.

    Hope this helps.
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I concur on the Apple keyboards, although you might want to look at getting a second hand one, as the prices new are hilariously high (at least in the UK).

    I've been using a 2008 Macbook as my daily hack for a few years now and I'm completely at ease with the layout and key depth - it's a very nice mix.

    I got myself an MS natural keyboard for my desktop, which is nice, but I've found that I take a bit of time to get used to it again after a day at work (dealing with other keyboards - I'm a techy), whereas with the Macbook I can just drop straight back in at full speed; so there's clearly something about a flat/straight layout that my hands like, even if my wrists will no doubt complain about it in a few more years time!
  • smithrd3512 - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Wonder how it compares to my old IBM PS/2 101 Keyboard. Its from the 80's and still works.
  • Hrel - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    I reviewed the K60 and it was the best keyboard I've ever used. No missed keystrokes at all, ever.
  • pjargon - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Sure would be nice if someone would make a quality keyboard like this in an ergonomic form factor
  • liffie420 - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Am I the only person who finds it odd that on the design of the board itself it appears as though the keys are hovering above the plane?? You know typically most keyboards mechanical or not that I have seen typically have the keys semi recessed so you don't have the full height of the individual keys exposed. Maybe I am just bonkers who knows, it does look like it would make cleaning easier though.
  • ggathagan - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Other than their low-end Raptor LK1, this is Corsair's design standard for all of their keyboards.
    It's actually counter-productive for the backlighting.
    The lighting that comes from underneath each key overpowers what comes through each key, making it less useful, since the keys don't stand out.
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Acer did something similar with their keyboards a few years back, and then stopped doing it, because it was just *awful* to type on.

    This one looks to be a rather different (and rather better) animal.

    But those Acer 'floating island' keyboards - oh, the horror, the wobby, inaccurate horror.
  • Impulses - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    Since the stems for mechanical keys are more sturdy this behaves entirely different than those Acer keyboards, it's no different than a regular mechanical tbh, metal plate's in the same place (maybe just raised) and the sides are gone. It's a really nice feature IMO, I'm surprised it hasn't been copied, I don't even mind the splash out look of the backlight.
  • Earballs - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    "That said, quite a few gamers tend to prefer non-mechanical switches"

    Most gamers have never tried a mechanical keyboard.

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