Fast Input and other Electrical Tests

One way to measure how successful a keyboard has been designed is to spam it with predictable commands and measure what it detects. One of the most obvious methods is to strike keys with a banking card such that one side of the line of keys is struck before the other. Since there is no guarantee that a keyboard will perform better left to right as it would right to left – and it turns out that some do not – the tests are performed once in each direction. If a keyboard is inconsistent in one direction compared to another that could be a sign of problems.

I can't explain it — but the Rosewill RK-9000RE Cherry MX Red had a bad day…

It was not a strong performer the first time around, and worse this time.

If you want to check out the raw inputs — they are online in a Google Doc.

Well, the joke is on me. I wanted to show the difference between higher-end mechanical keyboards and a membrane keyboard. Recently I acquired an old Microsoft multimedia keyboard from the very early 2000’s. Apparently it was actually manufactured for a time and market where keyboards were not just designed to be cheap.

The Microsoft Multimedia keyboard performed just as well as the mechanical keyboards despite being based on membrane-dome technology. The keyboard did struggle slightly in right-to-left keystrokes but in general the keyboard was surprisingly good. Microsoft consumer hardware was once amazing – although they are not terrible these days – and this is apparently one of those examples.

As for the Corsair K60 and K90 —

The Corsair K60 and K90 keyboards handle rapid input extremely well. This test has a quite large range in error and cheap keyboards fall off in score in an instant. Throughout my testing I have found that a score above 75% should be a good indicating threshold of a high precision keyboard. The Corsair K60 and K90 are comfortably above that barrier in both keystroke directions.

I have also not found any case of any reasonable combination of keys jamming the input. Using AquaKey I put claims of NKRO or other many key “anti-ghosting” methods to the test because “up-to” means honestly nothing. Corsair seems to have been honest in their claims that each key is isolated from one another. It seems like the only limits are the bus and the few macro key combinations that Corsair baked in the keyboard.

Speaking of which: expect several ctrl + alt + shift + (key) commands to not be possible and, if somehow accidentally pressed, expect it to be possible that other keys pressed at the same time to be reporting as stuck down until you unplug the keyboard. This practice really annoys me but I can see why Corsair would want to avoid adding extra keys. At least it was an intentional design choice.

For a first-time release, Corsair appears to have put just as much concern into the internals as they have put into the external design.

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