Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Keyboard Review
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is a high-end keyboard that comes with all the bells and whistles you could want from a gaming keyboard. It literally does it all.
After reviewing several of Corsair’s products over the past 12 months, most noticeably their hugely popular K55 RGB keyboard, we thought it was time we splashed out on something a little more premium from the global brand. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at their high-performance gaming keyboard, the K95 RGB Platinum XT.
The K95 Platinum XT is Corsair’s flagship gaming keyboard, coming to the table with everything from macro keys to mechanical switches and everything in between – including some cool features you don’t see on every keyboard. That being said, today we’ll be putting it through its paces to see how it stacks up against the market’s leading contenders.
We’ll see how it handles gaming and general use, while answering some of the big questions surrounding it as a product – such as is it worth that $200 price tag?
So, with all that in mind, let’s dive straight into it!
- Wrist rest – Newly designed wrist-rest with added cushioning
- Macro Keys – Gamers have access to well-designed macro keys for complex in-game commands
- Fantastic build quality – This keyboard feels like it’s fit to stand the test of time thanks to the quality materials used throughout
- Aesthetically very pleasing – Brushed aluminum is paired with vibrant RGB to give a sleek and stylish design
- Onboard Memory – Save up to five profiles to the keyboard so you always have your desired setup
- Expensive – At $200, this keyboard is going to outprice many potential buyers
Keyboard Size & Weight
- Weight: 1.2kg
- Size: Full Size/extended – 111 keys
- Length: 465mm/ 18.30 inches
- Width: 171mm/ 6.73 inches
- Height: 36mm/ 1.41 inches
- Switches: Cherry MX Mechanical
- OS Support: Windows 7,8,10
- Media keys: Yes – including 6 programmable macro keys
- RGB: Full RGB
- Passthrough: Yes – 1x USB 2.0 Type-A
- Connection: Wired
- Cable length: 2.2 m
What’s In The Box
Like most Corsair products, the K95 RGB platinum XT keyboard comes in an extremely sturdy box that makes use of Corsair’s black and yellow color theme. The keyboard is showcased on the front with a plethora of specifications wrapping around the edge and onto the back. Inside, the keyboard sits freely (yet snuggly) in a thin layer of plastic. Underneath the board users will find a manual and the leatherette wrist rest.
Inside we get:
- Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT keyboard
- Detachable wrist rest
- Extra textured keys (2x Q, W, E, R, A, 2x D, S, F, Corsair logo)
- Extra blue macro keys (S1-S6)
- Keycap remover
- User manuals
The first thing I noticed upon unboxing the K95 RGB keyboard was just how impressive it looked. I mean, this thing just screamed quality. Initially, I was pretty surprised by just how big this keyboard was – sitting at 465mm, this thing is not small! If you are seriously considering this keyboard for your next purchase, you might want to make sure you have the real-estate to accommodate it first. That being said, I still really enjoy the way this keyboard looks.
The anodized brushed aluminum frame instantly gives the K95 Platinum XT a more premium feel when comparing it against some of Corsair’s more budget offerings. The K95 boasts a 111 key extended design that comes equipped with everything from media keys and a volume dial to six programmable macro keys. To add further luxury to the design of this keyboard, Corsair has used super-durable double-shot PBT keycaps that feel and look utterly superb – a huge improvement over the ABS keycaps found on the K95 Platinum. The six programmable macro keys can be found on the left-hand side of the keyboard and sport a contoured/textured design to encourage their usage while in-game. Corsair also added a replacement set of blue macro keys with this keyboard if that color better suits your needs -nice touch.
The color theme of the K95 is fairly dark for the most part. I presume Corsair has done this to try and get the biggest impact from the fully customizable RGB which runs through the entirety of this keyboard. We’re going to touch upon the RGB further down the article, that being said, it’s up there with the very best in terms of brightness, vibrance, and overall customization.
RGB aside, this keyboard still looks as sleek and stylish as anything in today’s market. It looks neither gamey nor generic, it’s a well-balanced mix of the two that makes for a very attractive final product. Users will find dedicated media keys across the top of the keyboard, with a mute button and volume wheel in the top right. This is one of the best features on this keyboard – as far as minimal features go – with a well finished metallic construction that works well with the rest of the keyboard’s design. Underneath, users have access to the remaining media keys which include stop, play/pause, previous, and next.
The K95 also comes equipped with some well-placed RGB controls in the top-left of the board. You can toggle through the numerous preset RGB profiles and change the brightness of each by using the allocated keys. You also have a windows lock button to ensure your gaming experience is never interrupted.
Moving to the back of the keyboard opens up a whole other world of features and benefits, including a USB 2.0 Type-A passthrough and well-positioned cable routing options for desk tidiness. The USB passthrough is located next to the 2.2m braided cable at the top of the keyboard. Underneath users will be able to cable manage their headset cable, with two different routes available. Furthermore, Corsair has equipped the K95 XT with two feet which not only stabilizes the keyboard but also provides a more ergonomically tilted angle for typing and gaming.
Oh, let’s not forget the wrist-rest either. Even though this keyboard is already on the large side, you can actually make it even bigger by equipping it with the included wrist-rest. The detachable cushioned leatherette wrist rest feels and looks superb. It fits in nicely with the rest of the keyboard’s design and offers a dotted look that is neither new or disappointing. It clips into place and feels firm in its housing. That being said, it’s extremely easy to replace and remove when you feel it isn’t necessary.
Overall, the design of this keyboard is extremely good and has clearly been thought out for both gaming and everyday use.
The next part of the article will be taking a closer look at the main features the Corsair K95 Platinum RGB keyboard comes equipped with. Many of the features are classed as high-end, with some truly separating this from the market’s leading competitors.
At this price range, gaming keyboards rely on decent features in order to try and secure your hard-earned cash. That being said, we were not disappointed by the array of beneficial features the K95 brought to the table.
Let’s jump straight into it.
One of the most important factors that make up a gaming keyboard is the switches. In the K95, Corsair gives users a number of different Cherry MX variants to choose from – including Blue and Speed (a low-profile variant of the hugely-popular Cherry MX Red switches). We decided to go for the tactile Blue switches that felt more suited towards gaming than office use if truth be told.
I found the Cherry MX Blue switches offered a pleasant tactile click that was enjoyable but on the loud side. For example, if I was typing something quickly, you’d definitely hear each individual click from the other side of the office. Having said that, for gaming, that wasn’t such a big deal. The actuation pressure of the switches is set at 60cN of force which, when compared to other Cherry switches is considered high. However, thanks to the extra force required, users do find mistypes happen much less often. So, definitely a good thing if you plan to do a lot of typing on the side. All being said, the switches felt extremely responsive when gaming, with every keypress being felt for a more immersive experience.
Next up we have the RGB lighting. While Razer may be the current holders of the RGB lighting crown, that might not be the case for much longer with reputable brands offering equal levels of performance from the crowd-pleasing lights. For me, Corsair’s K95 RGB Platinum XT is right up there with the very best. This thing comes equipped with a ton of presets that can be toggled using the controls in the top right, alongside three brightness settings too. However, if that isn’t’ good enough, simply fire up the software app and customize each individual lighting zone to your heart’s content.
The K95 comes with a whole plethora of light zones, including every key on the board, the logo, and a lighting strip on the upper side which accommodates a further 19 zones. The RGB has almost endless possibilities when it comes to colors, offering 16.8million to choose from. While many keyboards look fairly dull under natural light conditions, that isn’t the case with this board. The double-shot keycaps do a good job of blocking out the majority of the RGB, but there is still plenty on show to keep you more than happy.
Like many of today’s high-end keyboards, the K95 Platinum XT comes equipped with its very own onboard storage – a feature many have been asking for in the past. Corsair has clearly listened to the cries of individuals across the globe, now introducing an 8MB storage capacity for saving numerous profiles for traveling and LAN purposes.
This feature is going to allow you to save pre-programmed macros and lighting to your keyboard, meaning you won’t have to reprogram every time you switch PCs – a great feature. You’ll be able to save up to five profiles which, for me, is more than enough – especially when you only play a couple of games.
Anti-Ghosting & Key Rollover
Anti-ghosting and key rollover are by no means new features in the keyboard industry. Having said that, the technology still plays a huge part in many of today’s competitive titles and is a feature many require to be at their very best.
For those unaware of what this specific feature does, it’s a way of stopping ghosting from occurring when your playing games/typing. The act of ghosting occurs when several keys are pressed simultaneously and one (or several) are not registered by the keyboard. As you can probably imagine, in certain gaming titles this can be a real pain – even more so at the high-end of the competitive spectrum. So, to stop this from occurring, keyboard manufacturers came up with anti-ghosting and key rollover technology.
The feature allows users to press a number of different keys (depending on the keyboard’s capabilities) at the same time with all of them being registered by the keyboard. That being said, key rollover comes in a number of different variants, with some boards only providing a limited number of key presses before ghosting starts to reoccur.
However, that being said, the K95 offers what is better known as NKRO. This allows the user to press any number of keys – including the entire board – with every keypress being registered.
Ergonomic Wrist Rest
Not always necessary, but certainly enjoyed if you have the available space. The wrist-rest that comes with the K95 is of the highest quality, offering good versatility and comfort, to say the least.
Unlike its predecessor, the K95 Platinum, the XT doesn’t come equipped with a two-sided wrist-rest. Having said that, the comfortable leatherette padding is more than enough for most people’s needs. It attaches at the bottom with two anchoring clips that slot into the underside of the keyboard with ease. While the wrist-rest is installed, it feels solid and comfortable. However, if you want to remove it, a simple swivel will release it from its housing.
The leatherette is finished with a dotted texture design which feels nice and looks pretty cool. It provides excellent comfort and some additional grip which is definitely needed for those playing competitive gaming. Overall, a very well-built wrist-rest that should please the majority of users.
Corsair ICUE Software Package
Finally, we have the Corsair ICUE software package. Inside the software, users will be able to customize the K95 XT in its entirety. You’ll have full access to remap each and every key, along with programming your macro keys as well. Users can also use the software to link Corsair related peripherals and choose customized RGB lighting for a more synchronized look.
The K95 Platinum XT also supports Elgato’s Stream Deck too, giving this keyboard an entirely new buying demographic and level of versatility to its name.
So, now we’ve discussed the design and some of the main features this board comes equipped with, it’s time to take the K95 Platinum XT for a spin in some real-world situations to see how it performs against its competition.
Let’s begin with a few games.
Like always, I kick-started the performance section of this review by loading my go-to game whenever it comes to testing keyboards, mice, and headsets – CS:GO. This fast-paced shooter requires the highest levels of accuracy and precision, making it a very good starting point for testing peripherals.
I fired up deathmatch to warm up and the first thing I noticed with this keyboard was the feel of the switches. The Cherry MX Blues that Corsair used in this keyboard felt extremely crisp and responsive, allowing me to quick-peek accurately without overexposing myself at angles. I also noticed how immediate I’d stop strafing when removing my finger from the keyboard. The spring back force was at the perfect level to snap the key back into place, making me stop moving in quick fashion. Specifics aside, however, the switches generally just felt nice to use. They had a nice audible sound that, yes, could be considered on the loud side, but was enjoyable none the less. The keys also seemed adequately spaced out to help eradicate multi-key-presses – something I always welcome on a keyboard.
While I didn’t actually use the macro keys for CS:GO, they seemed very well placed if you do plan on using them. The contoured shape and textured finish of the keycaps make it easy to find them without having to physically move your head. Placed on the left-hand side of the keyboard, you’ll be able to quickly utilize spells and commands in your favorite MMO titles. Furthermore, one of the big improvements over its predecessor, the K95 Platinum, is the integrated Elgato support, meaning you’ll be able to use the six macro keys as a video switcher – very handy.
The anti-ghosting, NKRO feature seemed to work seamlessly, as did the onboard memory profiler which we tested on two separate PCs. For general office use, I’d probably steer clear of this specific switch type, purely because they’re so audible. You’d be getting a few unsavory looks after the first 15 minutes of use if you know what I mean.
One of my favorite features, dare I say it, was the RGB. It just enhanced the look of the keyboard tenfold when it started to get dark. While you have full customization over the RGB, I just opted for the color cycle from the keyboards onboard presets which, for me, was more than enough. The vibrance and brightness were up there with some of the best RGB I’d seen.
Overall, it’s very hard to knock the K95 Platinum XT from a performance standpoint. The double-shot PBT keycaps are extremely well-made and durable (as is the keyboard in its entirety), the switches are responsive and accurate, and it comes with a bunch of features geared up to make your gaming life easier and more versatile. What more could you want?
So, there you have it guys, our comprehensive rundown of the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT. Like it’s predecessor, the Corsair K95 Platinum XT comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a high-priced keyboard. While some may consider $200 a steep investment for a gaming peripheral (which is it), the Platinum XT definitely shows a good account of itself in performance, build quality, and aesthetics.
The big question left to answer is whether or not I’d recommend this keyboard to people looking to spend that kind of cash. Well, here’s the bottom line. If you already own a K95 Platinum, then I would suggest not upgrading to the Platinum XT. I wouldn’t be able to justify spending $200 for Elgato support, a slightly improved padded wrist-rest, and double-shot keycaps of course. However, if you don’t already own a high-end keyboard and are looking to splash out on a luxury-grade peripheral, the K95 Platinum is a fantastic option to go for.
With a ton of features that include mechanical switches, excellent build quality, stunning aesthetics, onboard memory, macro keys, media keys, and more, the K95 Platinum XT is one of the best high-end gaming keyboards in today’s market.
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