Corsair Goes Pro with the K55
The K55 RGB Pro XT is full featured wired keyboard from Corsair for a reasonable price considering all the packed in features it has, while making it an ideal consideration for the budget conscience gamer.
Corsair actually has two new keyboards which are quite similar, the $49.99 MSRP K55 RGB, and the $69.99 MSRP K55 Pro XT that we worked with. Both are membrane key switch style, and put forth a stylish RGB driven gamer vibe while still being good keyboards with some good characteristics. Let’s take a look at the specs and what our experience was.
Corsair has put a lot into this budget friendly offering with a full size board, very bright per-key RGB backlighting, macro keys (with built-in memory), dedicated media keys, detachable palm rest, and even IP42-rated dust and spill resistance. They even tout compatibility and integration with their Elgato Stream Deck system, nice.
Typical Corsair delivery and obviously well packed to arrive unscathed. The USB cord was built in on this unit, which is a nod towards where it falls in the line up of Corsair keyboards. The plug end is still quite heavy duty though, which is agreeable Corsair does have a thing for big USB ends I must add.
I think it’s a positive thing that the K55 Pro XT included a palm rest, as this can help ease repetitive strain for certain people. It’s plastic and coated with a semi-grippy rubber material with the Corsair ‘gator’ pattern on it and attaches via a couple of plastic arms into reliefs at the front edge.
- Construction is all plastic with a variety of matte and glossy black finishes, but I did not find it flexible in feel to type on
- Dynamic per-key RGB backlighting. Several patterns are built in, and they’re all addressable via the Corsair iCUE software
- Quiet and responsive, relatively short travel, rubber dome / membrane style key switches. I did not hate them.
- Six dedicated programmable macro keys, which also work with Elgato Stream Deck software
- Dust & spill resistant: IP42-rating and independently verified for protection against incidents with your gaming beverage
- Dedicated volume and media keys. Even worked on a Mac without software
- Onboard memory for lighting and macros
- 1000Hz polling rate
- 12-key selective rollover with anti-ghosting
- Windows lock key, to keep you away from accidentally going to desktop while keyboard flailing
- iCUE per-game integrations, with programmable reactive lighting effects.
- Integration with Elgato Stream Deck software for macro G-key programming
- That sensible detachable palm rest
- Dimensions are 481mm (L) x 67mm (W) x 36mm (H) / 19in (L) x 6.58in (W) x 1.42in (H). It’s not small.
Rob Coe Guest Review Take
Once again, I asked our knowledgeable gamer-in-residence Rob Coe to take the Corsair K55 Pro XT board and compare it to his usual gaming keyboard – non-ironically – a Corsair K70. His quick take is below.
It’s me again, your favorite 400 DPI running reviewer. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks running the K55 RGB Pro XT, while my K70 was locked away in someplace that I don’t know of so I could get this review out. For starters, this isn’t your standard run of the mill mechanical keyboard, rather it seems to be a membrane keyboard. (popping off a key – yes, membrane obviously)
Compared to my K70 Mk.2 SE, specifically with the Cherry MX Speed switches that I’m used to, the activation press of the K55 Pro XT is heavy, but extremely responsive, with no room for accidental keypresses if you find that to be an issue with your typing. It’s a full size keyboard, with an additional 6 programmable macro keys that you can set and use via iCUE, or by yourself via the keyboard.
The backlighting is very aesthetic for a non-open keyboard, all of the keys are backlit, with the exception of the multi-media buttons, as well as the Corsair logo. The iCUE software would let you take total control of the lighting, with some spectacular effects, if you’re up for taking on iCUE.
Overall, the Corsair K55 Pro XT is a prime choice in my opinion for a budget full size gaming keyboard, the keypresses are very tactile and responsive, however I am still a firm believer in mechanical switches for my gaming. The sounds of the K55 key actuation are really quite soft, not loud and obtrusive like many mechanical switches can be. If you have the extra bit of money to splurge on your peripherals however, I would push you towards an up-market choice, and think about purchasing the Corsair K70 with Cherry MX Red switches, as I find that for myself, mechanical keyboards are infinitely more enjoyable than the rubber-domed switches found on the K55 Pro XT.
The Corsair K55 Pro XT is a budget friendly gaming orientated full size keyboard, which is built with Corsair sturdiness, and just enough premium touches to make it acceptable for the slightly higher price over the standard K55. It’s a sizable keyboard, at around 19″ across, so consider your available space. I found the key switches to be fast for regular typing, acceptable for gaming and fairly quiet. I did not get any double registrations, and overall I felt like it was precise to type on. The feel of the keys was one of initial high resistance, rapidly decreasing, with a smooth follow-through and fast return with no click.
If mechanical key switches are a bit too noisy for your tastes, yet you still want a gaming keyboard with high quality programmable RGB, credible 12 key-rollover protection, audio transport controls, and some macro programmability, then at $70 you should consider this keyboard. This is an upper range entry level gaming keyboard in my opinion, which is also comfortable for regular “day-job” typing. Don’t forget the K55 Pro XT does include a soft-touch palm rest, and has real world dust and liquid resistance. Not a bad combination from Corsair, but you should explore up market alternatives and do consider a try-before-you-buy if possible to experience the rubber dome keys for yourself.
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How Product Was Obtained
The product is on loan from Corsair for the purpose of this review.
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