As the gaming keyboard market continues to fill with offerings from almost every company near and far, there are still those companies that rely not only on name recognition, but the respective history of quality as well. Corsair has been at the forefront of the PC peripheral market for years thanks to its wide array of mechanical gaming keyboards. The Corsair K70 RGB was one of the company’s most popular keyboards ever released, which has since resulted in multiple follow-ups such as the TKL variant we reviewed last year. With the new K70 RGB Pro mechanical gaming keyboard, Corsair knew it had to deliver on its follow up.
With carried over features and hopeful improvements to the overall experience, is this a keyboard worth the price tag of $160 USD, or should you look to spend your money elsewhere?
What’s the big deal?
With the K70 RGB Pro, Corsair retains the same aluminum frame, Cherry MX switches, and per-key RGB. From a switch standpoint, you get a number of options with the Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown, SILENT Red, and SPEED Silver. Depending on the feel and sound you like, there is a switch choice for you.
|Corsair K70 RGB Pro Keyswitches|
|Red (linear)||45g actuation force
|Blue (clicky)||60g actuation force
|Brown (tactile)||55g actuation force
|SILENT Red (linear)||45g actuation force
|SPEED Silver (linear)||45g actuation force
Corsair brings along its proprietary AXON Hyper-processing technology that claims an 8x increase in response time over traditional gaming keyboards. The keyboard advertises 8,000Hz hyper-polling and 4,000Hz key scanning. Other features of the keyboard include a detachable USB Type-C cable, media controls, and 8MB of onboard memory for storage for up to 50 profiles. Depending on your region, you’ll have 104 to 108 total keys, giving you countless options. For RGB, there are 16.8 million colors at your disposal.
How does it perform?
I have to admit, I’m usually not the biggest fan of silent switches — I love the click of my keypresses. But the Corsair K70 RGB Pro feels great on my fingers even with the Cherry MX SILENT Red switch. Typing is quick and easy, and my fingers never feel out of place when moving about the keys. And gaming on it is even better. One thing I did notice is that the response time, although great no matter how you position your fingers, can still vary quite a bit. During preliminary testing I saw keypress times from 2ms to 20ms. Again, it’s all about how you position your fingers and strike the keys, so my results may not actually coincide with yours. Just something to keep in mind.
That said, utilizing the AXON Hyper-processing helps with performance in major ways. While it does use significant resources as the set rate within iCUE gets higher, it makes the experience far more enjoyable. When maxed out at 8,000Hz, my response time was as low as 0.125ms. By comparison, most standard gaming keyboards are limited to just 1,000Hz, or a 1ms response time. Having a response time that incredibly low on the Corsair K70 RGB Pro can mean the difference between getting out of harm’s way or dying a painful death in games such as first-person shooters.
As with every Corsair keyboard, iCUE is a major part of the experience. Multiple lighting options and zones allow users to set the aesthetic that fits their preferences. There’s nothing that really stands out with the RGB setup, as the lights aren’t the brightest out there. That’s not a bad thing, because too bright of an output — even one you can dim and brighten at will — can still be distracting. You won’t have that issue with the K70 RGB Pro.
One unique feature that will get use from those who play on the competitive level is the tournament switch. It’s a simple switch located on the back of the keyboard, and turning it on immediately changes the lighting profile to a static color while also disabling all macros to avoid any accidental triggering. It may not be something everyone uses, but those who do are sure to appreciate it.
My one gripe is the included palm rest. If you want something firm, this is going to be right up your alley. For me, however, I much prefer the thicker and softer palm rest of the Corsair K100. There are also no dedicated macro keys, meaning all of your macros are tied to the FN key on the bottom right of the TKL area of the board. The NKRO matrix does help when utilizing the multiple key combinations, though, as it eliminates any sort of ghosting.
Should you buy the Corsair K70 RGB Pro?
As the first major keyboard release from Corsair in 2022, the K70 RGB Pro is another excellent product. Five switch options guarantee that no one is left with something with which they don’t feel comfortable. Profile options, a nearly unlimited number of customizable macros, and the AXON hyper polling definitely make this a high-end keyboard with high-end features.
Having to use iCUE for AXON remains a small annoyance, but when you need the software for RGB and profiles anyway, it really doesn’t add too much hassle to things. If you are a casual player, or someone who just doesn’t take competitive games all too seriously, you may want to spend your money elsewhere. However, if you’re looking to take advantage of any onboard technology that can improve your overall performance, the Corsair K70 RGB Pro may be just the keyboard you’re looking for right now.