Enter The RGB Nexus
Last week we checked out another in the line of iCUE-enabled products from CORSAIR, with the LT100 Lighting Towers now added to the ever-growing list of things that show up whenever the iCUE software is opened. But what if there was an accessory to control all of those accessories??
Enter the iCUE NEXUS. Not only is NEXUS a cool name, but this device can attach to your keyboard – or clip into its included stand – and provide instant, physical access to functions that would otherwise require software. Intrigued? Read on!
Key features of the iCUE NEXUS (via CORSAIR):
- The Power of iCUE at Your Fingertips: Control games and apps, monitor your system, and more with a fully customizable LCD touch screen. It’s an interactive heads-up display for your PC
- Personalize Your Experience: Design more than 200 swipe-to-navigate screens with unique graphics and icons, displaying up to six programmable virtual buttons at once with custom drag-and-drop graphics
- Monitor Your System: View in-depth, real-time system monitoring from your CPU and GPU, as well as temperatures, fan speeds, and more from iCUE-compatible devices
- Control CORSAIR Devices: Adjust your iCUE-compatible device settings, such as mouse sensitivity and headset equalizer, without the need to even open the iCUE software client
- Command with a Touch: Create actions and macros for your favorite games and applications in CORSIAR iCUE software that can be activated with a single touch of the iCUE NEXUS customizable screen
- Connect to PC or Keyboard via USB: Use the standalone base or attach directly to the USB pass-through port on your CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 or K95 RGB PLATINUM series keyboard for a fully integrated experience
- Screen Size: 5″ Diagonal
- Resolution: 640×48 pixels
- Aspect Ratio: 40:3
- Frame Rate: 24 FPS
- Screen Color: RGB, 262K colors
- Backlighting: Yes, adjustable
- Touch Screen: Yes, single-point capacitive
- Programmable Buttons: Up to 6 virtual buttons
- Chassis: Plastic
- Color: Black
- Connectivity: USB 2.0 Type-A
- Onboard Memory: No
- Plug-and-Play: No, requires iCUE software
- OS Compatibility: Windows 10
- iCUE Software: Supported, requires Windows 10
- Cable: 1.82 m / 6 ft, braided on standalone base
- Dimensions (w/o base), LxWxH: 154 x 35 x 16 mm / 6.07 x 1.38 x 0.63 inches
- Weight (w/o base): 60 g / 0.14 lbs
- Warranty: 2 years
$99.99 USD list
“CORSAIR’s iCUE NEXUS Companion Touch Screen puts the power of CORSAIR iCUE software at your fingertips, enabling personalized control of your setup with more than 200 personalized screens and up to six virtual buttons per screen.”
As mentioned in the intro, the iCUE NEXUS can be placed on your desk using the standalone base, or clipped to the back of your compatible keyboard using the included mounting brackets. Which keyboards are compatible? Currently CORSAIR’s K70 RGB MK.2 and K95 RGB PLATINUM series.
The standalone base install takes just a few seconds, and this feels secure on the desk thanks to its soft rubber-like bottom surface. Mounting the iCUE NEXUS to our K95 RGB PLATINUM XT keyboard involved a few more steps, but posed no issue.
There are pre-attached adhesive strips on the bracket to hold it in place against the back of the keyboard, and CORSAIR recommends waiting 24 hours after attaching this to actually begin using the touchscreen (aka applying pressure).
Once the adhesive is set this certainly isn’t going anywhere, though it is possible to remove it – and CORSAIR ships a removal tool with this to aid in that endeavor. After the bracket is secure, the NEXUS unit simply slides into place.
Once the iCUE NEXUS is connected to your system via USB (through the keyboard passthough or directly using the cable in the standalone base), it’s time to run the iCUE software and explore the features and capabilities of this little device.
iCUE Integration and Customization
There’s iCUE in the name of this product for a reason, and you’d better believe this shows up in your list of devices when the latest version of this software is installed.
A number of options are available to customize the iCUE NEXUS, including (via CORSAIR):
- Navigate and add screens – switch between and add screens
- Add elements to screens – add buttons and monitoring widgets to a screen
- Modify screen and backgrounds – change name, background, and copy or delete screens
- Change screen view and order – switch view to enable/disable and re-order screens
- Device widget screens – automatically enabled screens to control select iCUE devices
- Buttons library – create and save buttons to use on multiple screens or re-use later
- Widgets list – drag-and-drop available widgets on to a screen
- Import/export screens – quickly add pre-made screens or share with your friends
The images in this review, taken as they were upon first opening the box, do not come close to showcasing the full extent of this little companion screen’s capabilities. In addition to the seemingly limitless level of available customization – including the creation of no fewer than 200 separate screens with up to six virtual buttons each – CORSAIR will be offering pre-made screens for games, offering relevant shortcuts as touchscreen buttons.
Just having a separate screen for each of the connected iCUE devices in my test system (including the Hydro X Series liquid cooling loop), as well as a quick way to view real-time CPU and GPU temps (plus fan speeds and even CPU load percentage), is very convenient. And while iCUE software is easy to use already, there is something to be said for a companion display, particularly when you’re in a full-screen application such as a game.
Settings these options and customizing the iCUE NEXUS is straightforward, though the sheer number of options can be a little daunting (maybe it’s just me). A bit of time spent making some control screens that do exactly what you want can be quite rewarding, and this is certainly a handy little device to have on hand.
WIth the iCUE NEXUS, CORSAIR is offering a unique product that starts with a customizable touch screen, links to iCUE software to offer convenient desktop control of the iCUE-enabled devices you may have, and adds things like real-time hardware monitoring with visual representation of the info on the screen.
“CORSAIR’s iCUE NEXUS Companion Touch Screen puts the power of CORSAIR iCUE software at your fingertips, enabling personalized control of your setup with more than 200 personalized screens and up to six virtual buttons per screen.
View in-depth real-time system monitoring, control iCUE-compatible CORSAIR device settings, create custom single-touch actions and macros for games and apps, and more. Simply connect to a PC via USB on the standalone base, or attach the iCUE NEXUS directly to a compatible CORSAIR keyboard to turn it into the command center of your setup.”
At $99 the iCUE NEXUS isn’t for everyone, though it is a neat little device that does what it is designed to do quite well. My only real complaint has to do with the LCD display panel itself, which doesn’t have particularly good viewing angles and has a low 640×48 pixel resolution. While I wouldn’t expect high-res OLED at $99, it would look quite a bit nicer with a better panel.
When considering a desktop accessory like this, it really comes down to need. If you’re a streamer and are simply looking for a way to program software actions as handy shortcuts, an Elgato Stream Deck at $149 might be more appealing. This is not directly comparable to the Stream Deck, of course, as the iCUE NEXUS is a companion LCD display that can also function as a replacement for software controls via virtual buttons on its touchscreen.
This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.
How Product Was Obtained
The device is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.
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The device remains the property of Corsair but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.
Corsair provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
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