Moving from a rubber dome membrane keyboard to a mechanical switch gaming keyboard can make a world of difference. Not only for gaming but for typing too, so you can use it for both pleasure and work purposes.
However, most of the best premium gaming keyboards can be rather expensive. And Corsair makes some of the most premium and expensive ones on the market. But what if you don’t want to spend a fortune and still want to enjoy the benefits from a reputable brand?
Well, it looks like you may just be in luck. Corsair’s K68 offers a mid-ranged experience that is packed with features and won’t break the bank. So, let’s take a closer look in our in-depth Corsair K68 Review…
This is a full-sized 104 key keyboard that is slightly larger than average. It follows a rather standard boxy design, and there won’t be any gasp when first revealed. Once you look a little closer, then you’ll begin to discover the subtle differences.
For example, the font used on the legend is slightly different than average. It looks like the text you’d see typed on a movie screen telling you the location of Langley or a hidden army bunker along with the time and date.
Making a difference…
Located top center of the keyboard is the Corsair logo. A thicker than normal, reinforced USB cable extrudes from behind the logo. Just underneath the logo is a small horizontal groove that runs the width, with the standard layout of keys below.
The only real noticeable difference, besides the font, is the textured and grippy spacebar. A snap-on wrist rest using two clips is attached to the bottom of the keyboard. It’s a little smaller and not as cushioned as others but is still better than none at all.
Going above and beyond…
In addition to the traditional 104-key layout, there are some extra keys located above the numerical pad. These control media functions with buttons for stop, skip backward, play/pause, and skip forward.
At the top right corner, there are some volume controls. These include increase, decrease, and mute. Moving to the left, after the LED indicators for CAPS, NUMLOCK, and SCROLL LOCK are two more round buttons. One to lock the Windows key, the other to adjust the backlight brightness.
Built to last…
Almost all visible areas of the K68 are constructed from high-quality ABS plastic, including the chassis, top plate, and keycaps. Everything is finished in the same matte-black color, which gives both a classy and aggressive look at the same time. It is one of the most durable gaming keyboards on the market.
Each character is laser etched onto the keycaps. This allows the backlighting to shine through, and it does so evenly and brightly. Even the dedicated media, volume, and shortcut buttons receive the backlit treatment; something often missed with other keyboards.
One of the most distinguishing features of Corsair’s K68 keyboard is its official IP32 water and dust resistance rating. Getting crumbs or spilling a drink over this keyboard is no issue, as it can be cleaned down with lightly running water.
There are two levels of protection when it comes to spills. First is a sheet of rubber silicone to prevent anything from reaching inside. As a backup defense, there are channels designed to redirect liquids away from important components towards drainage holes. Therefore, this is one of the best waterproof gaming keyboards you will find.
Cherry MX Red mechanical switches…
Cherry MX switches are the go-to when it comes to the best mechanical gaming keyboards. Corsair has elected to go with the MX Red switches, which provide a fast and responsive linear action.
An operating force of 45cN is required with a pre-travel distance of 2.0mm. There is a total travel distance of 4.0mm, providing both speed and accuracy. Operations can be considered quiet for a mechanical keyboard, making it great for both home and work use.
Every input counts…
Only a single USB 2.0 port is required for connection to your PC. There is no need for a PS/2 connection to take advantage of NKRO (N-KeyRollOver). The K68 offers 100% what’s otherwise known as anti-ghosting.
Every single input on this keyboard will be registered, no matter how fast they are made. This is a huge advantage while gaming, as you are often required to make long strings of various commands quickly in the heat of battle.
Each key receives a bright LED for backlighting. There is no RGB here; instead, there is a single red color. That shortcut key we mentioned earlier toggles between three different brightness levels, plus completely off.
With the amount of media we consume on our PCs today, having dedicated media controls is almost a necessity. Dedicated volume keys are also very handy, but a dial or roller would have been nice.
Downloading the CUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software from their website unleashes full control over your keyboard. Make advanced changes to lighting options while also remapping keys and setting macros.
The software itself is a well-thought-out package that has attractive menus which are easy to navigate. There are extensive options available with more common functions easily accessible, while more complex actions require a little more probing.
Light the way…
Although you only have the one color option of red, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There is still a huge range of brightness options beyond the three presets, along with different cool effects and patterns.
After choosing an effect, like spiral or ripple, you can even go in-depth as to the speed, duration, and direction. This is one of the most comprehensive lighting control systems we’ve seen in any gaming keyboard.
Remapping and macros…
Corsair has gone all out with their software. With not just comprehensive lighting options, but mapping and macro options too. They have included an awesome macro configuration tool that allows you to add bodies of text instead of adding individual actions.
Remapping keys is made easy, too, with a simple drop-down menu system. Just select the key from an on-screen version of the keyboard, then select the function you want it to perform from the drop-down menu.
We like the idea of linear switches over tactile ones, especially when they are as fast and smooth as these Cherry MX Reds. While gaming, especially during FPS titles, ducking for cover or accessing our inventory is seamless.
Being able to set our profiles through the CUE software was fantastic too. All of our favorite macros and key configurations have been saved for particular titles. This is also handy for use with photo or video editing.
Great for work and play…
There’s no need to be swapping out keyboards to complete an essay or work project either. Typing performance is efficient and accurate, with minimum annoying clicks to distract you from your task.
Even though the wrist rest could have more padding, it still offers some support making extended sessions less difficult. The angle of the keyboard, along with the height of the keys, are well positioned and cause minimum fatigue.
Corsair K68 Review – Pros and Cons
- Solid build quality that should last for a long time.
- Wrist rest included for extra comfort.
- Dedicated media and volume control.
- Water and dust resistant featuring an IP32 rating.
- Authentic Cherry MX Red mechanical switches.
- Superior CUE software package with extensive customization options.
- All plastic construction with no aluminum top plate.
- The wrist rest could use some more padding and be larger.
- A volume dial or roller would have been a huge advantage.
- Keycaps tend to attract grease easily and require regular cleaning.
- No USB passthrough is a missed opportunity.
Looking For Something Else?
Find the perfect keyboard for all your computer needs by checking out our in-depth Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards Review, our Das Keyboard Model S Review, our Corsair K63 Wireless Review, our Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review, and our Logitech G710+ Review for awesome items you can buy in 2021.
And don’t miss our comprehensive Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards Reviews, our Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards Review, our Best Membrane Keyboards Review, our Best Ergonomic Keyboards Reviews, and our Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard Reviews for even more amazing products currently available.
Corsair K68 Review – Final Thoughts
For gamers that might want some bells but not too many whistles, this keyboard is perfect. The features that are included are incredibly useful, and you’re not paying for things you might not necessarily use.
Most importantly, thanks to the Cherry MX Red switches, this keyboard performs where it counts. During gameplay and while typing. Furthermore, the CUE software package makes this one of the best customizable gaming keyboards. We would be more than happy to have the Corsair K68 keyboard sitting on our desk, controlling our rig.
So, until next time, it’s game on.