Corsair Raptor K40 Keyboard Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on April 10, 2014 6:00 PM EST
A Closer Look
At first sight, the Raptor K40 is remarkably similar to Corsair's mechanical Vengeance keyboards. In fact, some could easily mistake the K40 for a Vengeance K70 Black, if they are unaware that the latter has an aluminum frame. The frame and all of the parts of the Raptor K40 are all plastic. It has a full 104 key layout with additional dedicated multimedia keys and six programmable macro keys. The keys are surprisingly well made for a rubber dome keyboard, with minimal wobble and good response. Of course, if you have used a mechanical keyboard before and especially one with tactile switches, the rubber dome keys of the Raptor K40 will feel overly soft and mushy; however, they still feel much better than the typical $15-20 basic keyboard.
Most of the standard keys of the Raptor K40 are black, with the exception of the WASD and the arrow keys, which are silver. This is obviously part of Corsair's branding of the Raptor K40 as a gaming keyboard, and these are the two dominant sets of keys for direction control in all kinds of games. Of course, action RPG, RTS, and MMO gamers might be a little disappointed, as other keys are frequently used in such games, and anyone that uses something other than WASD will feel left out.
It's worth noting that the lowermost series of keycaps have their bottom edge slightly inclined downwards. As these keys are most usually pressed by the user's thumbs (particularly the space bar, but also during gaming), the thumb will press against the edge of the key rather than the top. Although this may look insignificant, it will increase the comfort level for gamers after prolonged use.
Seven dedicated multimedia keys sit along the top right corner of the keyboard. Three keys are for volume control and four are for media control. A circular key can also be seen, which is used to change the backlighting setting. A few more extra keys that are circular can be found at the top left corner of the keyboard. The four M keys are for control of the onboard profiles and the fifth key locks (disables) the Windows buttons. Six macro keys can be seen at the left edge of the keyboard. Six macro keys may be a bit too few for fanatic MMORPG gamers but they should be more than adequate for most users.
The rest of the Raptor K40 is relatively uninteresting. There are no extra USB ports or other features on the sides or the rear of the keyboard. Four anti-skid pads are installed on its bottom and two standard flip-out feet can be used to increase the tilt of the keyboard. The cable is a thick, standard USB cable with a red connector. There is nothing of great importance beneath the plastic shell of the Raptor K40, as removing it only reveals a typical circuit board.
The software of the Raptor K40 is simple, clean and straightforward. It allows the user to program the macro keys and save them as profiles into the keyboard's memory. The macro programming options allow the user to choose different playback options and adjust the delay times, or the keys may be programmed to perform other functions (e.g. launch an application). You can create any number of software profiles but only three can be loaded into the keyboard. It's worth pointing out that the profiles programmed into the keyboard will function regardless of the system OS or software, but Corsair's software is necessary for the creation of macros and is currently only available for Windows.
Finally, there are the backlight settings. A different color/brightness can be programmed for each profile. There are also two Light FX modes, one that will make the keyboard pulse and one that will cycle through different colors. Both the pulse and cycling are more useful for demonstration purposes as opposed to being practical during normal use, but what's a gaming keyboard for if not to show off?
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JarredWalton - Saturday, April 12, 2014 - linkI 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 - linkI 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 - linkIn 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 - linkI 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 - linkOkay 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.
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philipma1957 - Monday, April 14, 2014 - linkI 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 - linkThis 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 - linkI 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 - linkI'm pretty sure humans can distinguish a hell of a lot more than twenty colors...