When Corsair released the K70 RGB, it was widely regarded as the best keyboard on the market. Corsair then released the MK.2 with some upgrades, further justifying its expensive price tag.
Since then, Corsair has released the K95 RGB Platinum and K100 RGB with more refinement and upgrades. This means that you can now purchase what was once considered by many as the best keyboard available at a very reasonable price.
In this in-depth Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Review, we will take a look to see how well it has stood the test of time and if it is still worth purchasing today.
- 1 First Impressions and Design
- 2 Mechanical Key Switches
- 3 Features
- 4 iCUE Software
- 5 Performance
- 6 Pros and Cons
- 7 Final Thoughts
First Impressions and Design
This is no compact keyboard following the full-sized 104 key layout, with the addition of some dedicated controls. It measures 17 x 6 inches (43.2 x 22.9 centimeters) with the wrist rest, or 17 x 9 inches (43.2 x 15.2 centimeters) without.
Given the number of functions this keyboard has to offer, Corsair has done a great job including everything. The layout is meticulously planned, with very little space wasted, making it slightly smaller than many other full-sized, fully-featured keyboards.
Feeling of luxury…
It might not be noticeable at first due to the menacing all black chassis, but the top surface is completely aluminum. This adds not only to the strength and durability of the keyboard but also gives it a look of luxury and refinement, making it one of the most stylish keyboards you can buy.
After admiring and running your fingers across that chassis, you’ll be sure to notice the slightly elevated keys. Once again, both function and aesthetics combine, making cleaning easier while adding to the visual appeal.
Convenience at your fingertips…
Along the top section of the keyboard is where you’ll discover the dedicated shortcut and media keys. Inspecting the keys is when you will also probably notice some of them are textured, including the spacebar and the WSAD map.
Diving over the top edge of the keyboard will reveal the USB passthrough, located near where the USB cable exits. Keeping with the premium materials and feel, the USB cable uses a braided jacket for extra durability and to prevent tangles.
Mechanical Key Switches
There is no substitute for quality, and Corsair is aware of this, especially when it comes to selecting the mechanical switches. Under each of the keycaps, you will find Cherry MX Reds for the ultimate in performance.
Cherry MX Reds provide a smooth and direct linear switching characteristic with quiet operation. They require 45 cN of operating force and have two mm of pre travel with 4 mm of total travel for balanced operation.
Operation is light, making it comfortable for typing, and fast for gaming. Limited spring force combined with a linear action produces super-fast response times and smooth operation. Perfect for a balanced work and play performance.
While the operation is quiet, it is by no means completely silent. An impossible feat with any mechanical switch. There is no annoying click, clack, that you might be familiar with in other keyboards, but you might notice some squeaks from the springs.
We mentioned in the beginning that the K70 RGB MK.2 includes a wrist rest. It is detachable if that’s not your thing, but we would leave it on. The padding and rubber feel provide additional comfort during extended sessions.
Another thing we mentioned was the inclusion of USB passthrough. The USB 2.0 port is easily accessible and has a wide range of uses. Everything from connecting a mouse or headset to a portable storage device for fast data transfer.
Along the top section of the keyboard from left to right are some dedicated shortcut and media controls. Starting with the first three shortcut buttons for switching user profiles, changing lighting brightness, and locking the Windows key.
Over on the right side, there is a metal roller used to adjust the volume quickly and easily. Just to the left is a small mute button. Underneath the roller and above the numeric pad are four media buttons, including stop, skip back, play/pause, and skip forward.
Enhanced keys and backlighting…
Each of the keycaps are contoured, allowing your fingers to rest in them comfortably, improving accuracy. The spacebar and WSAD keys are also textured for maximum grip and an enhanced feel.
Per-key multi-color RGB backlighting shines brightly through the keycaps legend easily and evenly. Laser etching prolongs the life of the legend, preventing wear and smudging. There are also a range of lighting options we’ll get to shortly.
Downloading Corsair’s iCUE (Corsair Utility Engine) software from their website gives you a range of customizable options. Choose from different lighting patterns and effects, or even create your own, along with key remapping and macro settings.
For anybody that has not used keyboard software before, there will be a learning curve with iCUE. At first, it doesn’t seem too intuitive, but once you become familiar, the reward is a huge range of incredibly awesome customization options. In fact, it’s one of the most customizable gaming keyboards you buy.
Creating your profiles…
It is possible to create profiles for individual games or programs, reprogram pretty much every key, and record complex macros. You can save up to three programs to the keyboard itself, so it’s ready to go wherever you take it.
Unlimited user profiles can also be saved to the software, ready to be loaded when needed. Besides having your own personal keys mapped, and macros prepared in your profile, you can also set the lighting.
I can see the light…
One of our favorite aspects of customization is Corsair’s incredible RGB lighting options. You can set a single color statically for use in the office, and then have an almost lifelike rainbow or breathing effect when at home.
Of course, there are many more patterns and effects to choose from, with different gradients and brightnesses possible. You can even go as far as selecting each individual key color across the entire keyboard.
We played a bunch of games across a wide range of genres to get a good feel as to how this keyboard performs. It’s basically impossible to be disappointed with any Cherry MX switches; they felt great, as we described earlier.
The keycaps are comfortable, with each key being spaced perfectly. The springiness is just right, providing fast and responsive inputs that felt useful no matter what type of game we were playing.
We can’t game all the time…
Having the dedicated media controls is fantastic for when you need a break from gaming, and even during. That metal volume roller offers fast and precise control over what volume level is needed.
Being able to quickly navigate video and audio is always a bonus too when listening to tunes or watching a movie. If you have a report due, or a project that needs to be completed quickly, typing on the K70 RGB MK.2 provides fast and accurate results.
Pros and Cons
- Considered the best keyboard available by many when released.
- Uses premium materials, like the aircraft-grade aluminum top cover.
- Cherry MX Red mechanical key switches topped with contoured keycaps.
- Dedicated shortcut and media buttons, including a metal volume roller.
- USB passthrough for added convenience.
- Huge variety of customizable options for key mapping, macros, and lighting.
- Newer models are now available with upgraded features.
- MMORPG players might miss dedicated macro keys.
- Even discounted, this is still an expensive keyboard.
- iCUE software requires a learning curve before becoming fully effective.
- No choice of key switches at the time of purchase.
Looking for more quality Keyboard options?
Then check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Cherry MX Brown Keyboards, the Best Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboards, our Best Expensive Gaming Keyboards Review, our Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards Review, our Best Hot-Swappable Mechanical Keyboards Review, and our review of the Best Chiclet Keyboards you can buy in 2021.
And for quality gaming gear, take a look at our Best CPU For Gaming Reviews, our Best Gaming Desks Review, our Best FM2 CPU For Gaming Review, our Best Gaming Monitor Under $100 Review, and our review of the Best Kids Gaming Chairs currently on the market.
While the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 has been superseded twice now, it still holds up in terms of both quality and features. There is a very good reason this keyboard has been so well regarded with its premium materials and well-planned design.
The newer incarnations have not evolved too much, and you’re not going to be disappointed by any means with this older model. Especially if you can find it with a hefty discount. So, is it still worth purchasing today?
Most definitely. This keyboard has aged very well, especially when you consider how ahead of its time it was when released.