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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  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - link

    I was actually at a CES meeting with a keyboard company and one of the reps (an avid gamer) was emphatic that he would rather have a good non-mechanical for gaming, but that for typing he still prefers mechanical. It's not unheard of. I do think you need to be at a pretty high level in terms of gaming skills before the keyboard makes that much of a difference, but finger fatigue from longer key travel is certainly possible.
  • Tal Greywolf - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - link

    I personally have the Corsair Raptor K30 Keyboard, which is similar to the K40 save that it has only one color (red). I bought it for several reasons: One, I wanted something that would be comfortable for me to use on a daily basis. Two, I wanted something that would hold up to my typing habits and yet be comfortable (I currently have to deal with a broken wrist). And finally, I wanted something reasonably priced (it was $45).

    Frankly, while I might have grown used to a mechanical keyboard, the K30 has done just fine for what I use it for, which is NOT gaming. And while I know the focus around here tends to be for gamers, there are those of us average users who would find this keyboard perfectly fine, and save the $$ for other things.
  • crimson_stallion - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    In all honesty I really don't get the fascination with mechanical keyboards at all.

    Read all the hype, bought one. Used it for about 6 months and I tried my absolute best to find excuses to like it but I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy using it. After about 6 months of using the most expensive keyboard I had ever bought, I threw it away and got a Logitech G510 which has kept me happy ever since.

    I had a Razr keyboard (the one with the blue backlight, can't remember the model) so maybe it was just a bad model. Really frustrated the hell out of me though.
  • kevith - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    I just don´t get what´s so fantastic about thes mech keys.They are way, way too high. It´s impossible to write fast and there´s errors in typing all the time, because you have to lift the fingers so ridicously high up in the air to hit the next letter.

    And then the noise. And the price.

    Luckily we´re all different, but it´l never be a choise of mine.
  • jabber - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

    Okay will this keyboard suffer from the issue that my old back lit Saitek gamer keyboard did? Basically if you are one of those people that doesn't bite your fingernails the keycaps wear off pretty quick and it looks a mess.
  • payton2037 - Sunday, April 13, 2014 - link

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  • philipma1957 - Monday, April 14, 2014 - link

    I did a review on this for Newegg. Not bad for typing. Not really a gamer keyboard and leaving out a usb port was cheesy price saver.
  • Mr Alpha - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    This paragraph is really weird:

    " Although this picture is wrong in a number of ways, it depicts a simple truth: the number that a human can differentiate from one side of the visible wavelength to the other is between five and twenty colors. Females can usually differentiate more colors than males, although not to the level that the above picture depicts. The keyboard does allow you to select from millions of combinations, but most people will never care to choose a color outside the eight basic color settings provided by the software."

    While it is probably true that most people will be satisfied with one of the eight per-programmed colors I fail to see what that has to do with differences in color perception between the sexes or what that in turn has to do with the number of colors seen in pure wavelength light.
  • erple2 - Saturday, April 19, 2014 - link

    I think that the point being made was despite having access to millions of colors, people are going to settle for one of the eight presets. Also once you have picked a color, particularly given that you can't do per key colors, you're probably going to keep that one color. So why the hype for 16+ million? Despite being able to name many more colors, I still tell my wife that her blouse is green or blue or pink, not one of the sub colors.
  • dorekk - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - link

    I'm pretty sure humans can distinguish a hell of a lot more than twenty colors...

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