CORSAIR K55 CORE Gaming Keyboard Quick Look Review

Manufacturer: CORSAIR CORSAIR K55 CORE Gaming Keyboard Quick Look Review

Today we’re taking a look at a new low-cost gaming keyboard from Corsair, the K55 CORE, which is hitting retail channels at just $39.99 USD. You won’t be getting mechanical key switches at this price level (this is a rubber dome keyboard), but you are getting features such as spill resistance, 10-zone RGB backlighting, and of course iCUE customization.

Play, have fun, and start racking up wins on the K55 CORE, a full-size keyboard that sports a slim, modern profile, designed specifically with PC gaming in mind. Execute precise movements, perform critical actions, and type in chat on quiet responsive membrane keys, while controlling volume and playback easily via four dedicated media buttons – making you a master of video, music, and more. The K55 CORE also resists spills of up to 300ml, so your keyboard can withstand years of use without quitting.

Corsair K55 CORE Box

Here’s the full list of features via Corsair:

  • Your Winning Streak Starts Now – Everything you need to start your winning streak is here. Enjoy quiet, responsive keypresses and RGB that makes your gaming sessions shine.
  • Ten-Zone RGB Backlighting – Ten zones of fully customizable RGB illuminate your desktop with mesmerizing lighting effects.
  • Convenient Media Controls – Four dedicated media buttons give you the ability to control volume and playback with ease, and Win lock and brightness buttons put extra commands at your fingertips.
  • 300ml Spill Resistance – K55 CORE withstands drink spills, so you can play without worrying about real-life water attacks.
  • 12-Key Rollover with 1,000Hz Polling – Make sure your keyboard keeps up with your best plays and most complex actions without delay.
  • Customize Your Keyboard in iCUE – Take control with CORSAIR iCUE, unlocking vivid dynamic RGB lighting customization, fully synchronized with the rest of your RGB setup, plus key remaps and more.
Product Specifications
  • Keyboard CUE Software: Supported in iCUE
  • Media and Volume Controls: Yes
  • Keyboard Size: Extended
  • Keyboard Report Rate: 1000Hz
  • Keyboard Color: RGB
  • Keyboard Compatibility: PC with a USB 2.0 Type-A port | Windows 10 or macOS 10.15 | Internet connection for iCUE software download
  • Keyboard Layout: NA (North America)
  • Key Switches: Rubber Dome
  • Macro Keys: 6
  • Keyboard Matrix: 110 Keys
  • Key Rollover: 12-Key Selective (12KRO)
  • On Board Memory: Yes
  • Media Keys: Dedicated Hotkeys
  • WIN Lock: Dedicated Hotkey
  • Keyboard Cable Material: Tangle-free rubber
  • Keyboard Connectivity: Wired
  • Wired Connectivity: USB 2.0 Type-A
  • Adjustable Height: Yes
  • Keyboard Type Size: K55
  • Keyboard Product Family: K55
  • Weight: 1.035 lbs
Pricing
$39.99 USD
Manufacturer Description

“The CORSAIR K55 CORE gaming keyboard puts you on the winning path, with fully customizable ten-zone RGB backlighting and dedicated media control buttons.”

The K55 CORE

To hit its aggressive $39.99 price level, some concessions have to be made compared to higher-end keyboards in Corsair’s lineup, and as mentioned this is a rubber dome / membrane design. We last looked at a K55 family keyboard with the K55 RGB PRO XT, and these are full-featured models providing an affordable alternative to mechanical keyboards from Corsair.

Corsair K55 CORE Top View

Externally, there is not much to comment on; it has a full-size layout with a cluster of dedicated media buttons located at the upper right corner, and it has adjustable feet. No wrist rest is included. The keyboard itself is noticeably lighter than most mechanical options (it’s just over a pound), as it is entirely made of plastic, but is thankfully quite rigid and does not easily flex or feel spongy toward the center. It has sufficient weight – and the rubber foot pads help – to keep it from moving around on a desk.

Aside from the non-mechanical nature of this model, another functional difference is rollover, which is 12-key with the K55 CORE. Obviously you’ll want to move up the product stack if you need N-key rollover. Something you probably won’t get from more expensive mechanical options? Spill resistance of up to 300 ml, according to Corsair, though I did not test this aspect before publishing the review.

Corsair K55 CORE Top View

There is of course RGB lighting – 10 zones of it, customizable in iCUE software – and you can control brightness (or turn the lights off) using a dedicated key. One area that surprised me was the row of lights along the bottom edge, projecting a soft glow on the desk surface. A nice touch.

Corsair K55 CORE Bottom Lighting

Usage Impressions

The all-important question: how does the K55 CORE feel?? Non-mechanical keyboards seem to run the gamut in that department. I’ve used some that were nearly indistinguishable from mechanical switches, and some that were spongy and unpleasant. Where did the K55 CORE finish in this reviewer’s subjective opinion?

It’s fine. Not spongy, surprisingly crisp. There is a suggestion of tactile feedback from the keycaps’ traversal through their structures, but you won’t mistake key presses for mechanical switches – there is that rubber dome feel when bottoming out. The keys do feel pretty light, as actuation does not require much pressure and travel is not deep. Sound is muted, not silent but much more quiet than any mechanical I’ve used.

In short, it feels like a solid rubber-dome keyboard, and keypresses are light – and shallow – enough to allow for fast typing.

Final Thoughts

Overall I was impressed by the quality and features offered from a keyboard retailing for a penny under $40 USD. This price is the lowest we’ve seen from Corsair’s K55 family, but everything we liked about previous models is here (though you aren’t getting a wrist rest with the CORE model).

CORSAIR K55 CORE Gaming Keyboard Quick Look Review - General Tech 10

In closing, I can’t put things any better than our own Brett V., who ended his look at the K55 PRO XT like this:

“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 [$40] you should consider this keyboard.”

Yes, you should consider this keyboard. It has a crisp, light feel, is much more quiet than most mechanical options, and boasts enough features to provide excellent value at its price point. As to its spill resistance, I’ll post an update after my first toppled glass (it is inevitable).

pcper gold award

Awarded for meaningful performance gains without a price increase.

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The product was provided by Corsair for the purpose of this review.

Company Involvement

Corsair 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.

Advertising Disclosure

Corsair has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

If this article contains affiliate links to online retailers, PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.

3 Comments

  1. BigTed

    I still daily a 10 year old K70 keyboard and its as good as the day I bought it. Hopefully Corsairs quality still stands.

    Reply
  2. Mr.C

    Will this come in white?

    Reply
    • Mr.C

      OK, just looked at the product listing on Corsair’s website and they have two options, Black or Gray.

      Reply

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