The first mechanical keyboard I ever owned was the Corsair Vengeance K70. With its authentic Cherry MX Red switches, aluminum frame, and either red or blue backlighting, it was the undisputed leader of popular gaming keyboards at the time. But a lot has changed since Corsair first introduced the K70, almost nine years ago, and there have been innumerable versions since then. The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is a keyboard that consolidates the greatest features of earlier iterations into a single unit.
It was released in time for CES 2022. Because it is based on one of the best gaming keyboards ever created, it is basically a fantastic keyboard. However, it also gives off the impression of being stuck in the design aesthetic and features of the past. It’s an improvement over earlier models, but it’s no longer the ground-breaking item Corsair unveiled in 2013.
As you might have guessed, the Corsair K70 RGB Pro is the evolution of the company’s well-known K70 MK2 gaming keyboard. Without a doubt, this is a deck for those who are competitive. Everything about the K70 RGB Pro is built with speed in mind, from its feature set to its lightning-quick response times. That helps to explain the hefty $169.99 price tag, which certainly excludes many regular players. The RGB Pro checks all the right boxes, but more so than other K70 gaming keyboards. More onboard profiles, reduced latency, quick AXON processing, PBT keycaps, and other life-improving features like a detachable USB-C cable and a level elevation are all included. Of course, a dedicated Tournament switch is included to guarantee that you are always prepared for competition.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: Design
For $160, you can get the new Corsair K70 RGB Pro, a full-size mechanical keyboard with a magnetic wrist rest, per-key RGB, double-shot PBT keycaps, AXON technology, and a tournament switch (which disables macros and limits the RGB to a static red). The K70 RGB Pro uses the same AXON technology as the tenkeyless version. Within the board’s MCU is a real-time operating system called AXON Technology (microcontroller unit). The K70 RGB Pro provides you with 20 layers of RGB lighting awesomeness, a polling rate of 8,000Hz, a scanning rate of 4,000Hz, and the implementation of this unique MCU.
Here, a variety of switch selections, including Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown, Silent Red, and Speed Silver, complement the speed of AXON technology. You can select a different set of switches at checkout, however the ones I received were Speed Silver or MX Silver. A USB-C port and a “Tournament switch” are located on the back of the keyboard. The latter disables any macro keys you may have set up and, by default, turns the board’s illumination red. Despite being a somewhat forgettable feature, I did use it; I’ll go into more detail about my usage in the section about my gaming experience.
Speaking of macros, the K70 allows for onboard macro recording and offers 8MB of storage, allowing for the storing of up to 50 profiles. On the K70, in addition to the tournament switch, there are numerous additional little buttons and other items, such profile change keys, RGB brightness control, a windows key lock, specific media keys, and my personal favorite, a volume wheel. The Corsair K90, which was my first mechanical keyboard when I was approximately ten years old, had a volume wheel that I loved since it was snappy and smooth.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: Keys
The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is a difficult choice among key switches. Even after years of development by the competition, this accessory uses genuine Cherry MX switches, which are still the industry standard for mechanical keyboards. You can select from linear Reds, quiet Browns, clacky Blues, low-travel Speeds, or self-explanatory Silents, depending on your preferences.
Speed switches were included with our review device, and they lived true to their name. I achieved 115 words per minute at 97% accuracy on a Typing.com test with the K70 RGB Pro as opposed to 121 words per minute at 98% accuracy using my regular Logitech G915. This isn’t much of a difference, especially considering that I’m much more accustomed to the G915.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: RGB lighting
The K70 RGB Pro incorporates per-key RGB illumination, making it a gaming keyboard. For illumination, things may get quite complicated inside Corsair’s iCUE program. You may add layers and adjust specific key lighting similarly to Razer’s Synapse, or you can just run with a standard setup like I usually do. Although it wasn’t dazzlingly bright, the lights was nonetheless very noticeable in low light.
On the K70 RGB Pro, additional parameters can be adjusted while in iCUE. This board, which utilizes Corsair’s AXON processor, has a polling rate of up to 8,000Hz, which corresponds to an input scan every.125ms. This can result in significantly faster performance when compared to the more common 1,000Hz, but I anticipate that the majority of users won’t be able to detect the higher performance.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: Software
You can explore a myriad of different options in the software. It’s simple to reprogramme keys, and you can also do things like deactivate specific keys (like caps lock, for example) or set up macros. While doing this, you may also set up a “modifier,” which allows you to give most keys a secondary action that can later perform a different function.
With 8MB of onboard memory, the Corsair K70 RGB Pro allows you can create up to 50 different profiles with various iCue software settings. This also entails recording and assigning macros in addition to reprogramming keys.
For those who keep their PCs far from their keyboards, losing those extra 1.3 feet would be a blow, but the K70 RGB Pro’s detachable cord should make it simpler to carry it without damaging or stressing its connector. I haven’t noticed any change at any polling rate beyond 1,000Hz, so any performance gains are likely to be minimal at best. Corsair cautions that using polling rates above 1,000Hz demands additional processing power from the connected PC.
The removable palm rest is the same. It’s straightforward to use and has magnetic connectors that make attaching and removing it simple, although at first I was certain I was doing it wrong because the connection didn’t feel nearly as snug as other palm rests.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: Performance
The K70 RGB Pro has amazing performance in games. My evaluation sample included the tried-and-true MX Red RGB switches from CHERRY, which provide a linear feel to keep things straightforward and a light, quick 45cN actuation force. Reds are a great choice for gaming or churning out an essay if you’re searching for simple, mainstream switches. However, you’ll be happy to hear that the K70 RGB Pro is also offered with Blues, Blacks, and Browns, as well as Silent Reds and MX SPEED Silver switches for optimum speediness, if you do want something a little heavier like I do.
However, the K70 RGB Pro outperforms its rivals in terms of polling rate and consequently response time. It uses Corsair’s AXON technology, which enables 8000Hz polling and 4000Hz key-scanning rates. This amounts to a response time of 0.25ms, according to Corsair, which should almost remove all latency in games.
This makes the K70 RGB Pro one of the most responsive keyboards available right now, competing with Team Green’s optical switches and keyboards like Razer’s Huntsman V2, which has an 8000Hz polling rate. In all honesty, the two keyboards feel rather similar. Having stated that, most common mortals might not notice the strong polling rate even if it is a fantastic quality to have. However, you can be sure that it will be a very valuable feature for professionals.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro review: Gaming
Gaming on the K70 was more enjoyable than typing, if only because I wasn’t distracted by the dreadful pinging sound. Since your keyboard layout is typically decided in-game, I find that keyboards perform interchangeably for PC gaming. However, the busy but useful iCue software’s unique keystroke assignments may be handled by the K70 with ease for those who require it. There are the typical macros and per-program profiles.
Some thoughtful additions have been made. In iCue, this mode can also disable Alt-Tab, Shift-Tab, and, if you’re particularly prone to antiquated memes, Alt-F4. Virtually all gaming keyboards contain a game lock mechanism that disables the Windows key. There is a polling rate of 1000Hz/1Ms, which is faster than most people can notice, and there is also a setting for “switch debounce time” to prevent unintentional hardware-triggered double-taps.
The new Corsair K70 RGB Pro, which retails for $160, stands apart from most full-size mechanical keyboards thanks to its tournament switch, per-key RGB, and, of course, AXON technology. The AXON technology in the K70 is generous enough to let you keep 50 profiles onboard, and the K70 is brimming with features. The level of personalization and quality of the keycaps impressed me, which has become a difficult task for other firms to accomplish, in contrast to the 8,000Hz polling rate and tournament switch, which didn’t. Overall, I am really impressed with the K70 RGB Pro, and I have no problem recommending it to gamers, especially those who enjoy customizing settings with game profiles.