CORSAIR K65 RGB MINI 60 Percent Keyboard Review
The new K65 RGB MINI certainly lives up to the “mini” name, as this is Corsair’s first 60% design. And if you aren’t familiar, the 60% layout is so compact that even arrow keys are omitted – though reclaimed by default using a function key combo.
For full-size keyboard users it may be jarring to note the lack of of function or arrow keys, and it goes without saying that there isn’t a numpad. However, if you’re reading this review you’re probably already well aware of these ultra-compact form-factor boards from brands like Ducky (my only previous look at such a keyboard was the HyperX/Ducky collaboration last year).
I love the look of this, and the size allows it to be placed virtually anywhere. I do sometimes struggle with small form-factor keyboards as I tend to use both arrow and function keys, but I was very curious to try this out myself – if only to feel this model’s particular key switch/cap combo.
- Chassis: Plastic, black, matte finish
- Form Factor: 60%
- Key Switches: CHERRY MX RGB, mechanical, 45g actuation force, actuation distance 1.2mm (SPEED)/1.9mm (SILENT)/2.0mm (Red)
- Backlight: Individually lit and per-key programmable
- LED Color: RGB, 16.8 million colors
- Key Caps: PBT double-shot set, 1.5mm thick, backlight compatible (ABS/PC CORSAIR logo key and radiant spacebar)
- Connectivity: USB 3.0 Type-A
- USB report Rate: Up to 8,000Hz hyper-polling
- Keyscan: 4,000Hz
- Matrix: Full key rollover (NKRO) with 100% anti-ghosting
- On-Board Profiles: Yes, up to 50 (depending on complexity)
- Media Keys: Yes, FN shortcuts
- Brightness Key: Yes, FN shortcuts
- Windows Lock Key: Yes, FN shortcuts
- Cable: 1.82m / 6 ft USB Type-C to Type-A, detachable, black, braided fiber
- Dimensions 294 (L) x 105 (W) x 44 (H) mm / 11.6 (L) x 4.14 (W) x 1.74 (H) inches
- Weight: 0.58 kg / 1.28 lbs
“The CORSAIR K65 RGB MINI Mechanical Gaming Keyboard combines top-level performance with portability. PBT double-shot keycaps deliver exceptional durability with a premium look and feel. With 8,000Hz hyper-polling enabled by AXON hyper-processing technology, CHERRY MX mechanical keyswitches, and expansive onboard shortcuts, the K65 RGB MINI offers big performance and functionality in a compact design.
Vivid per-key RGB backlighting is fully customizable through. CORSAIR iCUE software, alongside key remaps, custom, macros, and immersive integration with select games. Save up to 50 profiles to take with you anywhere with 8MB of onboard storage. Full N-key rollover, Windows Key Lock mode, and a detachable braided USB Type-C cable make the K65 RGB MINI a high-performance gaming companion at home and on-on-the-go, so can win in any space.”
K65 RGB MINI Design and Features
Feast your eyes on a keyboard that is smaller than the one integrated into my 13-inch laptop:
Regardless of the minimal form factor, this is a full mechanical keyboard featuring Cherry MX Speed RGB key switches and double-shot PBT key caps.
Corsair lists (in addition to the form-factor) some other firsts with this K65 RGB MINI, including a whopping 8,000Hz (!) Hyper-polling rate “enabled by AXON Hyper-Processing Technology”, USB-C input with detachable cable, programmable function layers (via iCUE or onboard macro recording), and finally an optional – and included – “radiant spacebar for added RGB LED backlighting”.
The full list of key features is quite extensive, and includes (quoting Corsair):
- Small Size, Big Features – The K65 RGB MINI delivers big features compressed into a 60% form-factor to easily fit into the even the tightest spaces for comfortable gaming
- Powered by CORSAIR AXON Hyper-Processing Technology – Transmits your inputs to your PC up to 8x faster than conventional gaming keyboards with 8,000 Hz hyper-polling
- PBT Double-Shot Keycaps – A precision-molded keycap set that resists wear, fading, and shine, with 1.5mm thickness for rigid stability
- 100% CHERRY MX RGB Mechanical Keyswitches – K65 RGB MINI is available with CHERRY MX SPEED, SILENT, and Red keyswitches (depending on region), and registers keypresses up to 4x faster than standard mechanical keyboards with CORSAIR AXON
- Personalize Your Play – Show off your style with dynamic per-key RGB backlighting as well as an optional radiant spacebar and CORSAIR logo key, along with a standard bottom row layout so you can swap in your own custom keycaps sets
- Detachable Braided USB Type-C Cable – Makes the portable K65 RGB MINI easy to take on the go and connect to any system, anywhere
- Expansive Onboard Shortcuts – Access a robust set of features, including controls for lighting, profiles, macros, media, volume, and mouse cursor
- Powerful CORSAIR iCUE Software – Compatible with both Windows and macOS, enabling dynamic RGB lighting control, key remaps, macro programming, and exclusive integrations with select games that turn your system’s lighting into an extension of the action
- 8MB of Onboard Storage – Store up to 50 onboard profiles with custom macros and your own uniquely vibrant RGB lighting effects with up to 20 lighting layers
- Full N-Key Rollover (NKRO) and 100% Anti-Ghosting – Ensures that every keypress registers, no matter how fast you play
- Windows Key Lock Mode – Prevents accidental Windows and contextual menu keypresses to ensure you’ll never interrupt your game at critical moments
There may not be very many keys on the K65 RGB MINI compared to your usual desktop keyboard, but oh man, what’s here feels good. Seriously, this is easily one of the best feeling keyboards I’ve personally used. The combination of the key switches and caps is fantastic. A fine balance has been struck.
Personal preferences are at play here, and I am partial to linear switches with PBT key caps like this. It has an almost retro feel when actuating a key, clacky rather than clicky, with a smooth, precise movement and what I consider just the right amount of recoil. They actuate quickly during each downpress, but still feel great when bottoming them out as I do in my heavy-handed style.
Having bestowed such high praise I will say that the CHERRY MX SPEED RGB switches in our review unit might feel a bit too fast for some, with an actuation distance of a mere 1.2 mm. (Depending on your region there are both MX Red and MX SILENT options available as well.) Normally I don’t like “speed” switches precisely due to their shallow actuation point, but these did feel more controlled here than on some boards (thanks in part to these PBT double-shot key caps).
There is a ton of potential customization with the K65 RGB MINI, far beyond my simplistic needs. Lighting and key assignments can be set to both a software (iCUE running) or hardware (iCUE not running) profile, the latter of particular interest to me as I prefer to run without a software dependency when possible – though I prefer the convenience of programming functions via software.
Corsair’s iCUE software is excellent in my experience, and in addition to key assignments and lighting customization iCUE also allows for selection of various device settings including polling rate – with the insanely fast 8,000 Hz (0.125 ms) “full AXON experience” at the top of the list.
Corsair’s first 60% form-factor keyboard is an outstanding debut effort, combining solid physical construction and component selection with impressive specs and polished software control via iCUE.
- Corsair K65 RGB Mini – $109.99 USD
Regardless of execution, the 60% form factor is not for everyone, so you’ll need to know what you’re getting into. But if you’ve been eyeing one of these ultra-compact designs this new Corsair option is worth serious consideration. It’s a brilliantly realized product, and it has me considering the switch to 60% just so I can keep using it every day.
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 keyboard is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The keyboard 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.
PC Perspective Compensation
Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Corsair for this review.
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It’s a shame there’s no MX Blue offering; especially when MX Red and Speed are so similar already.
I guess Corsair determined the “Gamer” demographic really doesn’t care for tactile keyboards. 🙁