It isn’t too hard to argue that the keyboard is the most essential part of any good gaming setup. First off, without one, you’d struggle to get pretty much anything accomplished, but having a sub-par keyboard can easily do more harm than good.
But how do you know what makes a good keyboard? With so much to remember and so much to look out for when comparing models, it’s no wonder people start to get confused. That’s why today we’re going to look at what makes a great gaming keyboard, some of the features you should be on the lookout for, and of course, some recommendations.
We’ll be focusing on a brand we all know and love today - Corsair. You’d struggle to find a poor keyboard in this lineup. Corsair has a wide range of products that include both wired and wireless versions.
Why Buy A Corsair Gaming Keyboard?
With such a wide range of choices out there, shopping for a brand that you trust is a way that many people narrow down their search to ensure they still end up with a high-quality product.
Corsair’s keyboards have quickly become a staple of many gaming builds due to their great build quality and great set of features. Even though many of these products are built and marketed towards gamers, they’d easily fit in an office environment - as long as you tone down some of your RGB lighting that is.
Keyboards aren’t the only thing Corsair offer though, you may already find that you are familiar with a couple of their products or may even own some yourself. With products ranging from mice, keyboards, headsets, power supplies, and even RAM, it’s safe to say that Corsair is well acquainted with creating quality tech products.
Where Can You Buy A Corsair Gaming Keyboard?
To get the full picture of what you can expect from Corsair’s lineup, you can check out their full range of products on their website. Here, you’ll be able to filter by product type and even by pre-set categories in the keyboard lineup.
At the moment, these categories are “Speed and responsiveness, lit by a vivid spectrum of color”, “UNPLUG and PLAY with the latest in wireless mechanical keyboards”, “Quality keys, with no distractions” and “Performance gaming starts here”.
If this seems a bit confusing, you can also use filters to narrow down your choice by lighting, switch type, connectivity, keyboard type, and model range.
You’re probably already familiar with the next method of finding products - Amazon. If you want to broaden your search a bit then this online marketplace will allow you a little bit more fine-tuning in your search criteria. Once you have found a product that looks good, you can check out detailed specifications, reviews, and even customer questions to get an idea if this keyboard is right for you.
Which Corsair Gaming Keyboard Is Best for You?
- Size - Full size, 480 x 166 x 34 mm
- Switch - Rubber Dome
- Connection Type - Wired, 1.8 m cable length
We’re going to kick off our list today with a great looking budget option. With the price of peripherals seeming to only go up and up, it’s great when we find something in the $50 price bracket that feels premium.
Yes, you’ll have to suffer some sacrifices at this price range but it’s nothing too drastic. The main turn-off that we can see with this keyboard is the fact that it only has membrane switches. This keyboard is still branded towards gamers however, but the mushy feel of a membrane switch is something that is quite hard to get used to after using mechanical switches for so long.
This keyboard probably won’t be winning any awards in the design department either, but that’s not to say that it’s bad. This is a value board that cuts a bit of cost through the use of a two-tone plastic design which may be prone to scratching.
There are, however, a lot of great features for gamers. There is a full row of macro keys on the left of the keyboard that can be customized however you see fit as well as a handy set of media controls located just above the number pad. This does increase the length of the board just a bit but it’s a small price to pay for the extra functionality.
For the price, this is a great keyboard to pick up - especially if you aren’t too sure if you want/need any extra features. You’ll get a decent quality keyboard with some RGB functionality and a handy set of features for the price of a AAA game. Not bad value we’d say.
If you want to read up a little bit more about this keyboard, why not check out our full review here?
Corsair K70 MK.2
- Size - Full size, 438 x 168 x 29 mm
- Switch - Cherry MX Speed
- Connection Type - Wired, 1.8 m cable length
Moving away from the budget side of things for now, next we’ll be looking at a truly premium keyboard. While it’s still in the wired category, this full-sized keyboard comes with a set of Cherry MX Speed switches and a great host of features to justify its price.
This may be a bit of a different keyboard than you are used to, this is a low profile keyboard that cuts down on the clunky-ness factor while still delivering the same level of precision found in standard keyboards. We wouldn’t say this is the same as typing on a laptop keyboard, but it’s probably the closest you’re going to get while retaining a mechanical feel to the keys.
The design of this keyboard is something special. The RGB features paired with the low profile key-caps make this keyboard seem to almost disappear into your desk. The RGB lighting can be easily customized through Corsair’s iCUE software and there is also an included wrist rest to keep you comfortable during long play sessions.
There is also a handy USB Pass-Through port as well as dedicated media keys on this keyboard which makes it the perfect fit for those who are looking for a keyboard stacked with features. The only thing that we can see missing from this keyboard is a set of dedicated macro keys which could be enough to deter some potential buyers.
If you want to read our full review of the Corsair K70 MK.2, check out the following page where we take a deeper dive into its features.
- Size - TKL, 366 x 173 x 41mm
- Switch - Cherry MX Red
- Connection Type - Wireless, up to 25 hours (low brightness), up to 75 hours (backlight off)
If you think a wireless keyboard would suit your gaming setup a bit better than a wired one, Corsair offers a few great options. If you want to avoid spending a fortune, one of the cheaper options is the impressive K63.
Although we say ‘cheap’ it certainly doesn’t feel like it. While you will be paying a fairly large markup for a wireless version of the Corsair K63, you won’t be sacrificing anything in the way of build quality and features.
One thing to remember when picking up this keyboard is that it is a tenkeyless model. If you are attached to having a number pad and tend to use it for games, you won’t find one here. Dedicated macro keys are also absent from this keyboard, however, you will still get a full set of media keys and a wrist rest.
The battery life of the K63 is fairly decent for its price range. You’ll be able to get up to 75 hours with no backlighting and up to 25 if you have the lights turned on. Speaking of the lights, there’s no RGB to speak of here. You do get a nice blue color as the toggleable backlight though which can still be customized through the iCUE software. As the lighting tends to destroy battery life on wireless keyboards though, you probably won’t find yourself missing it much.
Corsair K95 Platinum XT
- Size - Full size, 465 x 171 x 36 mm
- Switch - Cherry MX Blue
- Connection Type - Wired, 1.8 m cable length
Our most expensive keyboard on the list today is the Corsair K95 Platinum XT. This keyboard is a great fit for those who are competitive gamers or just want the best of the best.
What would a list of keyboards be without everybody's favorite (or least!) type of switches, the Cherry MX Blue. These switches are great to type with, but if you haven’t used them before, be warned, they are loud and clicky.
There are six dedicated macro keys on this keyboard and integration with Elgato Stream Deck software. As well as these macro keys, you will also get a full set of media keys which is something that is pretty standard across Corsair’s lineup.
The design of this keyboard isn’t too far off most of the other keyboards on the list. You’ll get an impressive amount of RGB customization as usual with Corsair as well as a sturdy and well-built keyboard that will last for years to come. On the underside of the keyboard, there is also a way for you to route your cable through to help reduce a bit of cable clutter.
Things to Consider
The first thing that most of us weigh up when we’re shopping around for any product is the price. Having a clear budget in mind is one of the best first steps when it comes to picking up a new peripheral or piece of hardware.
With keyboards, there’s a huge variety in price so narrowing it down by budget is important. Generally, you can pick up a great budget keyboard for around $50 but be aware that they will lack certain features that the high-end ones will have. Features such as RGB lighting and wrist supports will drive up the price of a keyboard so that’s worth bearing in mind.
Further up the pricing scale, you’ll also get things like macro and media keys, key switches, and individual key lighting. If you’ve got something very specific in mind, you might have to expand your budget somewhat.
The design of a keyboard can sometimes be overlooked but after all, it is taking center stage on your desk. A great looking keyboard can really add something special to your gaming setup, particularly if you’re looking at the flashy, high-end keyboards out there.
Deciding on how you’ll be using the keyboard is perhaps the first consideration. If you’re planning to use this in an office as well as your gaming setup, RGB lighting is probably a no-go. If this is just a personal keyboard, then feel free to shop around for the flashiest designs on the market to help transform the look of your setup.
Keyboards come in a range of different sizes so it’s important to check what size keyboard you want. There are three main sizes to choose from, the self-explanatory full-size ones, TKL, and 60% keyboards. Full-size keyboards are great if you don’t want to miss out on any features including the Numpad and you have space.
TKL keyboards stand for tenkeyless which means you’ll be getting a smaller keyboard without the Numpad. This can be fine for many people as it’s not something typically used in gaming. However, some people love num pads and use them for work so you’ll need to decide whether you can live without one.
The smallest size is the 60% keyboard. These will only have the most essential keys and the keys themselves will often be a bit squished together. Expect tiny arrow keys or a small return key. This can be fine for some but they can be frustrating to type on for others.
Comfort is another overlooked aspect of searching for a keyboard. While many gaming keyboards won’t label themselves as ergonomic, most brands are now taking the time to create keyboards and mice that are comfortable for prolonged use.
Some things to look out for include wrist supports and adjustable legs to change the angle of the keyboard. Removable wrist supports are handy because they allow you to adjust according to what’s the most comfortable position for you. However, this will drive up the price a bit so it might be a good idea to test them out in a store to see if you really need them.
What really makes gaming keyboards special is the number of extra features you can play around with. You’ll often find remappable keys, dedicated macro keys, fully customizable RGB lighting, and even wireless technology on more premium models.
Although some of these are offered in most base models, features such as per-key RGB customization and wireless technology can often drive the price of your keyboard upwards. It’s worth making a quick note of what you can and cannot live without on a keyboard before you go shopping - this way you’ll be able to easily filter your results to find that perfect match.
Mechanical vs. Membrane
Depending on whether you prefer a membrane keyboard or a mechanical one, this can have a huge effect on the number of options you’ll have available. Generally, membrane switches are usually reserved for only the most budget of keyboards in the gaming brand.
With many gamers preferring the tactile response from mechanical switches compared to the mushy feel of membrane, most high-quality keyboards have made the switch to mechanical switches. There are different types of switches for everybody too, you can get silent switches, heavy switches, linear switches, and even clicky switches. It’s all down to personal preference on which is best for you.
Some keyboards will even allow you to change these switches out at will, but you will need to pick up two different sets of switches to do so. With mechanical switches also being more durable, we’d definitely recommend going this route for your new gaming keyboard.
We hope our buyer’s guide today has helped ease a bit of the stress that comes with picking up a new keyboard. As it’s something that you’re going to be using every time you’re on your computer, we know it has to be perfect.
Corsair is a great brand to put your trust into and the amount of options they have available is impressive. We’re sure that even if none of the keyboards we listed today takes your fancy you’ll have no problems finding one that does.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Corsair gaming keyboards though if you still aren’t too sure on what to pick up, take a quick look at their other products or even some of their competitors such as Logitech and Razer for ideas.
What do you think of our choices today? Did you end up grabbing one of these keyboards? Let us know down in the comments section below, we love hearing your thoughts. If you are still a bit stuck, why not head over to our Community Hub to get some ideas from your fellow readers.