Corsair K70 RGB Pro - Mechanical Gaming Style
The latest Corsair K70 RGB Pro keyboard has gone to a slightly more fuller size by adding a number pad, and bringing the key count up over 105 depending on language. This is an excellent addition to the K70 RGB family, as I am a fan of the aluminum deck construction, programmability, and choice of key switches. Now, I am not sure that I will ever be “tournament” ready, but the K70 RGB Pro is with its Axon real-time OS and mode switching.
I have personally been gaming on a K70 RGB TKL for a while, and I really like it, so this will make for a nice comparison.
Our Review Unit is Blue
Our review keyboard came equipped with the CherryMX Blues – super clicky. If you play online co-op gaming, and your team mates or opponents can hear you slamming away on this keyboard, they’ll know you’re raining down clicky terror on some poor enemy or running up the points in some other way. These are unsubtle keys, so think about quieter switches instead if you need that. Open the Product Specs list above to check other key switch options.
As just previously stated, the keyswitches are available in several CherryMX flavors. These blues have a firm press, mid click with an immediate trigger and far softer final travel. You feel like you’re typing really quickly as you hammer away on these, making click triggers like each key is an event. If you have sensitive house mates, opt for the reds instead. The keys themselves are the usual double shot PBT keycaps we would expect from Corsair, and I would expect them to be as durable as normal. There was no degradation during my usage of a few weeks of course. And do not worry about how many keys you’re smashing, the K70 RGB Pro is full n-key rollover safe, so crush those keys.
Rest Easy Wrists
There is a nice detachable wrist rest which came with the K70 RGB Pro keyboard, it’s soft plastic with a textured finish. Quite decent in using it actually. The tabs which attach it to the underlying base of the keyboard are magnetic and slightly flexible. This makes it easy to attach or detach, as well as not upsetting the leveling of the keyboard because the attachments are slightly flexible. That’s some good thinking on Corsair for that.
The rest fits the contoured front edge quite well, while the keyboard tucks up underneath the rest to make for a very stable transition between the two. Slight rocking or movement of a keyboard while using it is irritating, so this kind of attention to detail is actually important (well, to me it is anyway).
Notable Physical Features
Beyond the standard keys, the K70 RGB Pro top deck is made of non-flexing brushed black aluminum that would not be out of place with any of the best dressed PC builds. The media transport controls are clustered along the upper right corner, with an “infinite” scrolling volume wheel. These controls worked right away, even on a Mac. The keys in the upper left handle hardware profile switching, setting the lighting brightness manually, and a windows lock.
Around the back is the USB-C port and what Corsair calls the Tournament switch, more on that in a bit. Finally, the bottom has the two stage tilt legs (the inner lever out legs are shorter), and wire routing to every corner and edge if you wanted. I am not entirely sure why the wire routing is so configurable – but it is – so use your imagination a little. There is room to get the wire going out the side between the wrist rest and the front keyboard edge if you had a desktop layout where that worked best.
The switch at the back of the keyboard does several things at once. Switching it on puts the K70 RGB PRO into a mode where the custom actions are disabled (imagine not being able to trigger in-game actions, or accidentally running a Windows action during gaming), changes the color to a single color to reduce distractions, removes hardware profile switching, and sets a mode indicator light. Presumably the light allows the officials at your gaming tournament to see you’ve got programmed macros disabled. No more cheating with all your macro advantages! The plastic flap with a hole can actually physically lock the switch in place.
K70 RGB TKL vs K70 RGB Pro
The K70 RGB Pro does measure out to be very close to the K70 TKL, based on key positioning. It seems like the newest member of the K70 line has grown a number pad and moved the transport controls around. And that’s fine. The TKL does have CherryMX Reds so is is much quieter in comparison. I can speak a little more about the long term use of the K70 TKL: it’s simply been great in continued use for months. The K70 RGB Pro appears very similar, so I would expect it to hold up as well. Also, please stop hating on my white keycaps.
The Software Side
If you’re integrating a Corsair accessory product into your build, you will probably be using their iCUE software. It does mostly work, if you can figure it out. But it is dealing with a variety of oddly complex devices which have little in common … besides the RGB lighting of course. As you can see from the images, the K70 RGB Pro has plenty of lighting options, with multiple zones, layers and patterns. Ultimately, it is not necessary to be running iCUE all the time, as you can save certain settings directly to the keyboard and use the hardware profile management button to cycle through them. Beyond your own space, also think about being able to take your gear on the road and still have access to your macros and proper RGB flair without having iCUE on the host machine.
The AXON Advantage
In the previous review I did of the Corsair K70 TKL, I spent some time going over this real-time operating system which Corsair is embedding within many of their devices now. They say that Axon Hyper-Processing effectively removes the keyboard from the latency equation to maximize performance by working to never let the keyboard slow you down. Briefly, Corsair states that by using their custom embedded OS, inputs can be processed and transmitted up to 8x faster then conventional gaming keyboards while using a 8,000hz “hyper”-polling rate, and a 4,000hz key scanning rate. Check the handy chart they provided to show the benefits of a fast polling rate and reduced latency.
From what I can see, much of the improvement is realized within the debounce and actuation detection, as those are places where the strictly mechanical meets the clever software algorithms. Corsair has clearly spent some R&D time in studying that interplay and maximizing their solution.
The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is an excellent keyboard based on my use of it, and having previously used the TKL version. The switches in our review K70 RGB Pro are all precise and consistent, and if you like CherryMX’s – or especially the blues – you know how they feel. The lighting customization is top notch, if you can master iCUE. Well, you do not need to master it, just be conversant. With or without the front rest, the K70 RGB Pro is comfortable to use, I did use it mostly with the wrist rest however, and you probably should too. One of the important elements making it enjoyable to use is there is no flex, primarily due to the stiff aluminum deck. It is a bit on the expensive side at around $159, but what isn’t now. Is there an easy way to say that if you spend an enormous amount of time gaming or working at your computer that you’re better off with a quality keyboard?
However, my personal preference is for a smaller keyboard, and quieter keys – but it’s still easy to award the K70 RGB Pro Gold in this case.
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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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