With the exception of the new logo, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB looks identical to the Vengeance K70 that we reviewed a few months ago. It features an anodized brushed aluminum chassis, with the keys secured directly on its surface rather than being embedded into it. Aesthetically, some people love this design while others hate it. With aesthetics being a completely subjective matter, we will let you decide what you think about the appearance of the K70 RGB. From a purely practical point of view, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is extremely easy to clean, as a simple blow can remove all debris from the aluminum surface of the keyboard.

Besides the typical 104 keys of a full-sized keyboard, the K70 RGB also has seven extra keys and a volume control knob. Four of them are media control keys (Play/Pause, Stop, Forward, and Back), one is the volume mute button, and the two smaller keys towards the center are the windows key lock and the backlighting brightness control. Three very small white LED lights serve as the three standard key lock indicators (Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock). The LED lights of the indicators are the only lights that are not customizable on the K70 RGB as, most likely due to their tiny size, Corsair was forced to install just white LED lights under them.

The Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is available with three types of Cherry MX switches: red, brown, and blue. Cherry MX Black switches are not very popular due to their stiffness, so it is understandable that Corsair skipped them entirely. We received the version with the Cherry MX Red switches for our review.

The Cherry MX Red switches are relatively soft and linear, with no tactile actuation feedback, making them the most comfortable and least noisy mechanical switch. Make no mistake, the Cherry MX Red is not anywhere near noiseless, as mechanical switches will always make a sound once they bottom down. The only thing that is missing is the audible click at the actuation point, which is especially loud in the case of the Cherry MX Blue switches. The lack of tactile feedback dissuades some users, more commonly typists, who enjoy the tactile feeling, and even sound, of other switches. However, this is not an absolute rule and the selection of switches greatly relies on the preferences of the user.

Beneath the typical black keycaps are the new Cherry MX RGB switches. There is a major difference between the typical Cherry MX switch and the Cherry MX RGB switch that Corsair is using and that is how the lighting is implemented. The switch may be identical in terms of behavior and performance but, instead of a single LED at the top of the switch, the body of the switch itself is transparent and there are RGB LED lights installed in it.

The transparent body of the switch absorbs and diffuses the lighting evenly around the switch, creating a lighting effect far superior than what we previously seen with RGB backlighting in keyboards. Regardless, due to the position of the LED lights, the top character of the keycap is brighter than any bottom character (if present).

The keys of the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB feel very solid and cross type supports can be found under the five long keys (Space, Shift, Enter, and Backspace), which prevent the keys from wobbling. Cross supports will also distribute the actuation force, meaning that the key will require about the same actuation force regardless of the pressure point.

As far as lighting customization goes, if you can think of it, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB can probably do it. Besides the limitless selection of colors, each single key can be programmed to a different color, brightness, and/or effect. Keys can be grouped in order to produce effects that are more complex, and lighting effects can be programmed to initiate when specific events take place (e.g. when a macro is initiated or when a timer ends). Different lighting settings can be programmed for each profile, even for each different mode. We will examine some of these options on the following page as we go through the new CUE software.

Despite the thick cable and two USB connectors, the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB has no USB ports at all, which is a downgrade over the previous Vengeance K70 that had one USB port. At the back of the keyboard there's a switch that can adjust the polling rate of the keyboard. This function will be useless with modern systems but may enhance the compatibility of the keyboard with older systems and certain devices, such as cheap KVM switches. The default polling rate is 1ms (or 1kHz) and the user can reduce it to 2ms, 4ms, or 8ms.

There is also a fifth mode, the "BIOS" mode, which converts the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB into a typical 104-key keyboard, disabling the media keys and all advanced features. This mode offers maximum compatibility and is most likely reserved only for very old systems or certain BIOS versions. In this mode, the Scroll Lock LED indicator will blink. Frankly, it's doubtful anyone would use a keyboard such as this with a system that couldn't properly support all of the advanced features, but it might be useful at times for debugging purposes.

Beneath the keyboard are four feet for height adjustment, two at the rear and two at the front. Although stands at the rear of the keyboard are quite common, very few designs have the ability to adjust the tilt at the front.

Under the aluminum chassis we find excellent assembly work. The soldering job is textbook, without a single flawed point. Not unsurprisingly, the processor inside the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is not a commonly seen Freescale processor, like the one we found in the Vengeance K70, but instead it's an NXP LPC11U37F-501. This microcontroller has about the same processing power as the commonly used Freescale MC9S08JM32, but it has four times the flash memory, six times the static RAM, and eight times the USB RAM.

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle The Corsair Utility Engine Software
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  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    I received a you-should-be-fired email to me and Anand on my second article. I bet I set a record. Reply
  • Stephen Barrett - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    Anand and I

    Fail
    Reply
  • DPUser - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    Anand and me.

    Fail Failed.
    Reply
  • Evil_Sheep - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    Oh god this is hilarious. Is there anything funnier than a would-be pedant who fails the most basic grammar test?

    Anyway, for this tempest in a teapot, I've spent a lot of time reading and writing academic articles...there's nothing wrong with this one. I don't need florid prose, this isn't the fucking New Yorker. Functional writing serves fine thank you and I just care about the content. Which is great as usual. Move on haters.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    The local yokels desperately fear change. ;) Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    I want to say you had a almost lazy approach that worked well for you because you developed it. (A compliment) Going to miss reading your articles here but nothing wrong with E's. Should never let the "to critical" get under your skins. Fact is he's engaging the readership in the feedback section and does some pretty detailed reviews. Styles are different is all and while they may be emulated I'd rather see the diversified approach everyone has.. I think most of the readership would agree on that. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    @llias78: Please bring (back?) a modicum of respect & civility to your comments.

    Sorry llias78, but your critiquing skills are simply lacking. I have read the entirety of your comment above, and you frankly display no penchant for structured reasoning or contextual rhetorical formulation. Further, you fail to provide even the 1st shred of evidence upon which the greater readership might find hope for you to develop & display any cognitive or stylistic improvements at anytime during the upcoming year.

    While you are undeniably entitled to embrace any opinion you "feel like" embracing, & are entirely within your rights to express such "feelings" (consistent, of course, with any prevailing forum rules or guidelines), none-the-less, I dont think that you are well suited for the job of interpersonal communications.

    While I'm arguably no more "Sorry" than you advised that you were, I do find it regrettable that I was unable to arrive at any conclusions other than those I've noted above. So ... Sorry, but those are the conclusions I arrived at every time i reread your review comment.
    Reply
  • Rob94hawk - Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - link

    When you can do better Illia78 and actually have something published under your name get back to us. Till then go drink a glass of shut the fuck up! I'm so sick of whiney ass pussies behind a keyboard that have nothing good to say. Reply
  • AppleCrappleHater2 - Monday, September 22, 2014 - link

    For the second time this year, I am left out in the cold waiting for another Corsair rebate. It may come eventually - who knows ... How long will this one take though? The first one was nearly 4 months late and now this one is late also.
    I know that rebates are a gamble but nonetheless I have the right to be annoyed when one doesn't come.
    Get your act together Corsair.
    I suspect I will get it but every time it's the same process with Corsair (obvious attempt to defraud the customer):

    - rebate delayed by 1 month to 1 year
    - rebate finally processed successfully and they claim payment sent
    - payment does not arrive by due date; phone call results in being told to "give it 6-8 more weeks" (they suggest it is the post office's fault)
    - another phone call results in them supposedly re-mailing the payment and telling me to wait another 8-10 weeks
    - sometimes it comes within 3 months. other times I have to repeat the previous step

    It is usually 8-12 months after the rebate was submitted by the time I actually get the prepaid credit card.

    I called Corsair today and as usual they gave me a song and dance. I asked at what point they would concede that my rebate is "lost" and send another. She outright refused to answer and kept repeating "I apologize for the delay." She then said that it's Visa's fault for not sending me the prepaid card and "out of our control."

    She then told me to wait another week and see if the card comes. I replied "ok, so I should call back in a week if it doesn't come?" She told me not to call back because it may take a week or a month and she reiterated the bit about it being Visa's fault and still refused to give me a definitive point when or even if they would send out another card.

    These people are crooks, plain and simple.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 22, 2014 - link

    Off topic, much? I never know what to think about posts like this. Mail-in rebates are always a bit of a risk, but I'm guessing your post is just trolling of a company that at one point irritated you. Case in point: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/archive/index.p...

    -------------------
    Ach3r0n, 07-22-09, 12:28 AM:

    For the second time this year, I am left out in the cold waiting for another Corsair rebate. It may come eventually - who knows ... How long will this one take though? The first one was nearly 4 months late and now this one is late also. I know that rebates are a gamble but nonetheless I have the right to be annoyed when one doesn't come. Get your act together Corsair.
    -------------------

    So are you the same person posting the same starting text a full FOUR YEARS after being burned by Corsair? I find that highly unlikely, but I'll leave the comment with this post just so others can see that while you've added something to the original text, at least some of what you've said is from years ago.
    Reply

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