This is Corsair’s current attempt at producing one of the best high-end gaming keyboards with no holds barred. Pulling out all their most premium materials, along with their latest tech, combining them to present the K100 RGB.
Although pricey, Corsair’s K95 RGB was already a powerhouse when it came to premium gaming keyboards. The K100 RGB has built on these already solid, tried, and tested bones to hopefully create something special.
So, let’s take a closer look in our in-depth Corsair K100 RGB Review and see if this premium product is worth paying a premium price for…
For anybody already familiar with the K95, or even those unfamiliar, one of the first things you’ll notice is the iCue control wheel in the top left corner. This is, of course, in addition to the same metal roller in the top right corner as the previous generation.
Seeing and touching the top panel helps to justify what you’ve spent, as the brushed aluminum is all class. The look and feel just scream luxury, with this material being at home in a high-end Italian supercar.
Full-sized and more…
In addition to the full-sized 104-key layout, there are six programmable macro keys in a vertical orientation along the left side. Just above the numeric pad, you’ll also discover four media controls consisting of stop, skip, and play/pause.
Once you finish admiring the obvious aspects of this keyboard, you start noticing the smaller details. Things like the black PBT double-shot keycaps, which are impressively clean, and continue with the high-end theme.
Lighting the way…
Corsair has always produced some of the best RGB lighting keyboards in the industry. And this continues here with per-key backlighting. But why stop there? They’ve also added 44-zones and 3-sided LightEdge on the sides and rear to illuminate your life even further.
Other shining features are the status indicator lights like caps lock and num lock. They are located underneath a Plexiglas panel located at the top center of the keyboard. This only adds to the premium feel, giving even the most basic functions a touch of luxury.
There are still many parts to this keyboard that aren’t as obvious, like the cable management system underneath. Like two overlapping crosses, you can have the cable exit from pretty much any direction.
At the top of the keyboard coming out the rear is a USB 2.0 passthrough port for adding storage, accessories, or even charging your phone. Not really hidden, but magnetically connected underneath is also the super comfy, heavily padded wrist rest.
Under each beautifully crafted key, you’ll find Cherry MX Speed Silver switches. Often considered the leaders in mechanical switches, these Speed Silver switches are the fastest available in Cherry’s MX range. Therefore, this could easily be one of the best Cherry MX keyboards on the market.
They operate using a linear mechanism and only require 1.2 mm of actuation with a total travel distance of 3.4 mm. The operating force is a mere 45 cN. Making these switches some of the fastest, most responsive available, operating with minimum noise.
Corsair has implemented its AXON Hyper-Processing Technology into this keyboard. This provides 4,000Hz of hyper polling and 4,000Hz of key scanning. This is opposed to the average 1,000Hz of both hyper polling and key scanning offered in other keyboards.
What this achieves is up to four times faster throughput from the keyboard to your PC. Every keypress and input arrives at your PC faster, making sure that each action you wish to perform happens accurately and instantly.
iCue Control Wheel…
There is a range of functions that can be performed using the iCue Control Wheel. It feels tactile and solid as it turns. Pressing the center button skips between modes, with the illuminated ring changing color as an indication each time.
Besides adjusting brightness, volume, or skipping tracks, there are endless possibilities provided with this wheel. It can be programmed to perform custom actions either within games or chosen applications.
Store your favorite profiles…
Next to the iCue Wheel, there is a user profile button that can switch between any of your saved settings. The K100 includes 8MB of onboard storage, meaning that no matter where you take your keyboard, all your personal settings remain available.
On the right side of the iCue Wheel is what’s called the Games Lock button. By activating this function, it disables the Windows key on the keyboard. This is to prevent accidental presses during the heat of battle from returning you to the desktop.
Multiple customization options…
Controlling the vast majority of the keyboard’s functions and customization options is controlled using Corsair’s iCue software. Taking advantage of the six macro keys is best completed using Elgato Stream Deck Software, though.
We would have preferred everything integrated into iCue, but it’s still all very functional. If you prefer to go without any software, most of the effects and keyboard shortcuts can still be accessed with the use of the function key.
By installing Corsair’s iCue software, this then enables you to take advantage of several customization options. These include things like key remapping, RGB lighting adjustments, and settings such as the 4,000Hz polling.
Making changes using the software is relatively straightforward but does require a learning curve. Creating and configuring settings is easy enough but can occasionally be counter-intuitive. Once this has been overcome, things flow nicely.
Making the most of macros…
If you want to take full advantage of those macro keys, you’ll need to install the Elgato Stream Deck Software. There are some strange nuances, like, for example, to make changes, both Stream Deck and iCue need to be open at the same time.
While there are some massive advantages in what Stream Deck has to offer, especially for streamers, it might just overcomplicate things for most. Basic macro functions can still be saved using only the iCue Software, which we think most will stick with.
Once you’ve finished admiring this piece of craftsmanship and messed around dialing in your favorite settings, it’s time to play. One of the first things you’ll notice, whether typing or gaming, is how fast this keyboard is.
Using even the lightest featherweight of touches is replied with by immediate response from the keyboard. No matter how quickly you can make those inputs, this keyboard can more than keep up with the task. As a result, this is one of the fastest gaming keyboards available.
No lagging behind…
Even when playing the latest, most processor-intensive games, there is absolutely no lag whatsoever. Playing the fastest-paced action games is a blast; thanks to the NKRO and 1.4 mm actuation rate, you can be assured of precision and accuracy.
Being able to access the G Keys, or macro keys, quickly and easily adds a whole extra dimension to MMO games. Having the ability to map macros to anywhere on the keyboard is a massive advantage to streamers too.
The choice is yours…
You would think having the iCue wheel on the left, along with the roller on the right, would be redundant. Instead, it offers you a different option, depending on what type of task you are performing at the time.
If you are punching away at some numbers with your right hand, skip the audio track with your left. If you are maneuvering with the WSAD keys with your left hand, easily adjust the volume with your right.
Pros And Cons Of Corsair K100 RGB
- Premium materials are used with a high standard of build quality.
- Beautiful PBT double-shot keycaps feel fantastic.
- Arguably the best RGB lighting available on the market.
- Super-fast and responsive Cherry MX Speed Silver mechanical switches.
- iCue control wheel can be fully customized.
- Dedicated media controls complete with metal roller.
- Almost zero lag thanks to AXON Hyper-Processing Technology.
- One of the most expensive keyboards available on the market.
- Multiple software required to take full advantage of customization.
- Stream Deck only compatible with the G macro keys.
- No switch selection is available.
- iCue software can be counter-intuitive on occasions.
Looking for Something Else?
We have the keyboard that is right for you. Check out our in-depth Best Membrane Keyboards Review, our Best Ergonomic Keyboards Reviews, our Best 60% Mechanical Keyboards Reviews, our Best 40% Keyboards Reviews, and our Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards Review for more excellent keyboards you can buy in 2021.
You might also like our comprehensive Das Keyboard Model S Review, our Corsair K63 Wireless Review, our Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review, our Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards Review, and our Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Reviews for more items currently available.
Corsair K100 RGB Review – Final Thoughts
Corsair certainly put a lot of effort into making this keyboard look and feel like a premium product. They have thrown out all the stops and built on their already impressive K95 flagship keyboard.
Only just, though. Beyond the addition of the iCue Wheel, there isn’t a huge jump that can justify the price increase. That’s not to say this keyboard isn’t amazing. It is truly remarkable with the speed and accuracy that it’s capable of.
Is it worth the premium price? Based on both quality and performance, we’d have to say yes. Although, it’s still a lot of money.
Until next time, game on.