Corsair K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi evaluate: a compact, feature-rich gaming keyboard

Read Time:9 Minute, 10 Second

One of many core appeals of mechanical keyboards is their customizability. With the best keyboard, there’s an virtually infinite quantity of elements to improve, swap out, or customise to get a keyboard that exactly fits your wants. There’s clearly nothing flawed with utilizing a keyboard precisely because it comes out of the field, however generally it’s simply plain enjoyable to tinker.

Sizzling-swappable keyboard switches take this customizability a step additional. Slightly than having every key’s swap soldered to the board (which means you need to whip out a soldering iron to vary it), hot-swappable switches may be eliminated with a easy pulling device. It makes changing them as straightforward as altering a keycap. The function has turn into increasingly more frequent on fanatic boards, but it surely’s nonetheless comparatively uncommon on keyboards from mainstream or gaming manufacturers.

That makes Corsair’s K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi an attention-grabbing accent. At first look, it appears so much just like the sorts of mechanical gaming keyboards that Corsair has been producing for years with its aggressive gamer font and RGB lighting. However beneath, it’s the primary keyboard from the corporate that features hot-swappable switches. It means it presents a potent mixture of Corsair’s gaming-focused options like low enter latency and the customizability of fanatic boards.

At $179.99, it’s costly, and its compact 60 p.c structure received’t be for everybody. However it ticks a whole lot of containers should you’re prepared to pay the worth.

The Corsair K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi may be very recognizably a Corsair product. It’s solely black except for its flashy RGB lighting, and every of its keys is styled with an aggressive all-caps font. Up prime, there’s a single USB-C port for charging and connectivity, a bodily on / off swap, and a small dock for the keyboard’s 2.4GHz USB dongle.

There’s no swap to place the keyboard in a macOS structure mode and no Mac-specific keycaps or legends. It is a Home windows-focused keyboard — comprehensible given Corsair’s give attention to gaming. Two toes on the underside of the keyboard allow you to set it at a steeper angle should you want.

Between its USB dongle, the flexibility to avoid wasting as much as three completely different Bluetooth connections, and good old school wired connectivity, there’s vary of connectivity choices. That stated, a few of them aren’t as responsive as others. You’ll have to make use of wired connectivity to get the keyboard’s most polling price (the place it’ll scan for keystrokes internally at 4,000Hz and report them to your PC at 8,000Hz), however it could actually solely report at 2,000Hz when utilizing its 2.4GHz dongle. Corsair doesn’t say what the keyboard’s polling price is over Bluetooth, however usually, the wi-fi commonplace isn’t identified for its low latency.

From left to proper: USB receiver, on/off slider, and a USB-C port.

An included switch-puller allows you to take away the keyboard’s mechanical switches.

Corsair is simply promoting the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi with both linear Cherry MX Pink (which is what my evaluate pattern had) or gaming-focused linear Cherry MX Pace Silver switches, however the truth that it’s hot-swappable means you’ve a whole lot of different choices should you’re prepared to purchase switches individually. You may swap in different Cherry switches, like tactile browns or clicky blues, or much more esoteric neighborhood choices, like Holy Pandas or Gazzew Boba U4s. The world is, really, your lobster.

Corsair contains the required swap puller within the field with the keyboard (there’s additionally a keycap puller) for eradicating the switches, and I used to be in a position to substitute a pair with relative ease. The one drawback right here is that solely three-pin (aka plate-mount) switches can match within the keyboard’s circuit board, which means that you just’ll need to clip the plastic legs off five-pin (PCB-mount) switches to get them to suit. It’s not the top of the world, but it surely means you’ll have to choose your alternative switches rigorously or be ready to perform a little modding. It’s not perfect when the promoting level of hot-swap is simplicity.

It’s additionally, clearly, attainable to swap out the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi’ keycaps. There’s no quick must because the keycaps that include the keyboard are sturdy double-shot PBT and permit the keyboard’s RGB backlighting to shine via. Additionally value noting is that as a result of every of those keys has a secondary perform, there are a whole lot of further legends printed on the edges of the keycaps. Substitute the keycaps, and also you may need a tough time remembering your keyboard shortcuts. Lastly, the keyboard’s switches are oriented to be north-facing, which can create compatibility issues with some Cherry-profile keycaps.

North-facing, 3-pin switches.

Virtually each key has a secondary perform printed on its facet.

The K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi is a really compact keyboard. It makes use of a 60 p.c structure, which implies that it lacks further devoted keys like a perform row, numpad, and even arrow keys. The result’s a keyboard that’s optimized for space-confined desks and even massive desks once you need to completely maximize the quantity of area your mouse will get.

When you’re a gamer who generally runs out of mouse area due to a giant keyboard, a compact mannequin like this may be actually useful. However, for others, such a restrictive structure is much less perfect, and I struggled to make use of the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi as a piece keyboard over the previous week. All of its “lacking” keys are accessible by way of a perform key on the underside proper of the keyboard, however having to press two keys simply to entry arrow keys is tiresome, and it solely will get worse when you’ll want to add extra modifiers. I incessantly needed to press as many as 4 keys concurrently whereas working, and it felt very inefficient. I wouldn’t suggest this keyboard for workplace work.

Neither is it a very nice keyboard for typing. Though Corsair is utilizing unique Cherry switches, that are sturdy and long-lasting, the development of the keyboard makes them sound low cost and plasticky, and so they don’t really feel nearly as good as competing compact keyboards from Epomaker or Keychron. That’s doubly so for bigger keys, whose stabilizers sound clinky and metallic.

The K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi feels much more at dwelling once you’re utilizing it for gaming, the place you don’t miss the additional keys and (in principle) you’ve essentially the most to realize from its decreased enter latency. However I stay skeptical that most individuals can really feel the advantages of polling charges above 1,000Hz. I examined the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi through the use of it to play Overwatch on a 120Hz OLED show, first in its wired 8,000Hz polling mode (which must be manually enabled in Corsair’s iCue software program) after which with its 2,000Hz dongle, and I couldn’t understand any distinction between it and a normal 1,000Hz keyboard. It’s reassuring that there appears to be no enter lag penalty for utilizing the keyboard wirelessly, however you shouldn’t go in anticipating a giant improve.

One side of the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi that I didn’t count on to be helpful, however have been, are its mouse shortcuts. By default, urgent the Fn key together with WASD strikes your mouse across the display, and there are additionally shortcuts to hurry the mouse’s motion up and sluggish it down, in addition to for left and right-clicking. It’s inexact sufficient that I’d by no means suggest anybody strive taking part in a sport like this, but it surely’s a neat function for folks like me who’ve to manage a gaming PC beneath their TVs with a wi-fi keyboard and trackpad. It means the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi is a helpful little device that sofa players may need to use for booting up a sport to then play with a controller, though, at $180, it’s very costly in comparison with a budget wi-fi keyboard / trackpad combos which can be available.

Battery life is OK however not distinctive, primarily based on Corsair’s estimates (my testing concerned commonly plugging the keyboard in by way of USB to check latency, so I wasn’t in a position to run it down constantly throughout my evaluate interval). It guarantees as much as 32 hours with backlighting on, rising to 200 hours with it off. So count on to cost it weekly for the privilege of preserving its lights on or a bit over as soon as a month in any other case. That’s nothing in comparison with Logitech’s (in any other case lower-specced) $150 MX Mechanical Mini, which presents 15 days with backlighting on, or 10 months with it off, however roughly according to the RGB mannequin of Keychron’s $65 K12 (as much as 240 hours with backlighting off).

You may modify the lean of the keyboard.

My pattern got here with Cherry MX Pink switches.

With its compact 60 p.c structure, the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi is a keyboard that’s by no means going to be for everybody. It’s nice that Corsair has caught up with the rising pattern in direction of hot-swappable switches, however should you’re on the lookout for a compact keyboard that you just’ll want to make use of for equal elements productiveness and play, then my recommendation could be to — at a minimal — get a barely bigger 65-percent board that features an arrow cluster. No quantity of customizing switches or keycaps goes to make up for the lacking keys.

Used primarily as a gaming keyboard, the K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi fares so much higher, and it’s good getting the customizability of an fanatic mechanical keyboard with out giving up the standard of life options of a giant model like Corsair. However $180 is so much to pay for a keyboard solely for gaming. The Corsair K70 Professional Mini Wi-fi could also be a really customizable keyboard, however in the end it’s not a really versatile one.

Images by Jon Porter / The Verge

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.