Which Corsair keyboard is best?
Corsair is an American hardware company that has long been popular for its range of peripheral devices. More recently, it has gained a cult-like following for its high-quality keyboards, which have become a staple in many gaming setups.
Whether you need a premium full-size keyboard with every feature imaginable or a streamlined tenkeyless option that doesn’t take up much space on your desk, there is a Corsair keyboard for you. They have models to suit every budget as well.
The majority of people buying a Corsair keyboard plan on using it for gaming, and if you truly want to dominate your opponents, you’ll be best served by a model with a short actuation distance, high polling and key scanning rates and dedicated macro keys. The Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard checks all those boxes.
What to know before you buy a Corsair keyboard
Rubber dome vs. mechanical keys vs. optical switches
When it comes to Corsair keyboards, you can choose from models with rubber dome switches, mechanical switches or optical switches.
Rubber dome switches are more common in general usage keyboards than gaming models because they are affordable, quiet and offer a comfortable typing experience. However, they aren’t as durable as mechanical or optical keys, nor do they actuate as quickly, which means they aren’t the best option for serious gamers.
The majority of gamers opt for mechanical keys because they are fast, durable and come in linear, clicky and tactile options. Liner switches are quiet and have a smooth and consistent keystroke. Clicky switches make a loud, satisfying noise and have a slight bump that helps you feel when the keystroke has been registered. Tactile switches sit in between these, offering moderate noise and a noticeable bump when the keystroke is registered.
Optical switches are slightly less popular than mechanical keys, but are actually more durable and often even faster. However, they tend to feel somewhat hollow when pressed and many gamers don’t find them satisfying.
Keyboards come in three form factors: tenkeyless, full-size and extended.
Tenkeyless keyboards are the smallest of the three because they lack a number pad. Sometimes the row of function keys may be removed as well to make them even more compact. This can free up space on your desktop for other devices, but it also limits their functionality, as there are fewer keys to work with.
Full-size keyboards are the standard keyboards that came with desktop computers and even most laptops for so long before there was such a large focus on portability. In addition to all the standard keys, they also have a number pad and arrow keys at the very least, but some also have additional keys such as page up, page down, dedicated media keys and more.
Extended keyboards have all of the keys of a full-sized keyboard but will also feature a row of dedicated programmable macro keys, most often along the left side.
Features to look for in a Corsair keyboard
Programmable macro keys
Programmable macro keys make it easier to quickly perform tasks or game actions. Rather than having to press a combination of keys and/or mouse clicks, you can set up a macro shortcut that replicates this sequence when you press a single key or two. On some Corsair keyboards, these programmable keys are part of the standard alphanumeric keys, while on others there are dedicated keys for it.
Axon hyper-processing technology
Speed is a top priority for gamers, which is why many opt for wired devices over wireless ones. Even just a few milliseconds can sometimes mean the difference between beating your opponent or losing. To improve speed, some of Corsair’s more premium keyboards feature Axon Hyper-processing Technology that allows them to deliver your inputs up to four times faster than a standard keyboard, sometimes in as little as half a millisecond.
Like essentially all other gaming equipment, Corsair keyboards are available with RGB backlighting. They usually have many zones for which you can adjust the color and brightness individually using the company’s iCUE software. iCUE also allows you to set up different user profiles and sync lighting across multiple Corsair devices.
Ergonomics are very important when gaming, especially for those who do it for hours at a time with few or no breaks. Keyboards with a wrist rest offer much-needed support, which can reduce the risk of wrist pain. The wrist rests are usually removable too, so you can move them out of the way when not needed.
Whether you are limited in USB ports or simply already have so many peripheral devices connected they are all used up, a keyboard with a USB pass-through can help. This allows you to connect your new keyboard without losing out on a USB port that you may need for connecting other devices.
How much can you expect to spend on a Corsair keyboard?
Entry-level Corsair keyboards with basic features and hardware start around $50. If you want a more premium model with high-end mechanical keys, wrist rest and the company’s best performance-enhancing software, expect to spend $100-$200.
Corsair keyboard FAQ
Does Corsair offer a warranty on their keyboards?
A. As long as they are purchased from an authorized seller, Corsair keyboards come with a two-year warranty for the original purchaser, which is non-transferable. During this time, they guarantee the keyboard will be free from manufacturer defects or they will repair or replace it for free.
Do Corsair keyboards work with Apple computers?
A. Not only are Corsair keyboards compatible with Apple computers, but the company makes dedicated software for macOS that offers the same level of control and customization of your keyboard as Windows users get.
What is the best Corsair keyboard to buy?
Top Corsair keyboard
What you need to know: This feature-packed mechanical keyboard offers everything gamers need to dominate their opponents.
What you’ll love: It boasts the company’s Axon Hyper-Processing technology for exceptionally fast data transfer rates, has six dedicated macro keys and the switches are guaranteed for 100 million strokes.
What you should consider: Some may find the keys too sensitive because of the short 1.2-millimeter actuation distance.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Corsair keyboard for the money
What you need to know: Despite being one of Corsair’s more budget-friendly keyboards, the K60 still offers many premium features.
What you’ll love: The black aluminum frame is both sleek and durable, and the RGB lighting dynamically reacts to in-game events. It also offers 100% anti-ghosting so all your keystrokes will be registered, even with very rapid inputs.
What you should consider: It lacks dedicated media keys.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The K95 Platinum XT is a top-quality option that offers most of the same features as Corsair’s best gaming keyboards but at a slightly more palatable price.
What you’ll love: It has 19 illumination zones that are individually adjustable for color and brightness, and it comes with a removable wrist rest covered with a breathable material that is ideal for marathon gaming sessions.
What you should consider: For just a little more money you can get the K100, which has a notably lower click latency.
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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