Review: Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire gaming keyboard, speed kills (the competition)

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While Corsair has been a mainstay of high-quality PC components for decades, it has only been the last few years we have seen the Corsair Gaming brand start making headway in the PC peripherals market. Corsair has done an amazing job in listening to their community and tweaking their recipe ever so slightly to take what was already an amazing flagship mechanical keyboard and elevating it to the next level. With the latest iteration of the K70 RGB Rapidfire, Corsair has left everything we loved about the original K70 RGB and added all of the things that we loved even more about the more affordable grade STRAFE then added a new RAPIDFIRE twist to the Cherry switches that will be sure to satisfy the most competitive of gamers. If you think the whole “RAPIDFIRE” branding on this thing is just a catchy word or branding gimmick… you are in for a treat.

The Technical Stuff

Let’s dive right into what sets this keyboard apart from anything else we have seen from Corsair in the past, and that is the brand new Cherry MX Speed Switches. German switch maker Cherry and Corsair have become best bros as of late. Cherry switches are of the highest quality utilizing 18k gold-plated cross-point switches that provide protection against mechanical keyboards and LED’s worst nightmares, corrosion and ESD (Electrostatic Discharge).

Built upon the fundamentals of Cherry’s premium switches, we have seen them start to get a little fancier with the production of the MX Cherry Silent switches and now the MX Cherry Speed switches. The new speed switch is meant for highly competitive gamers where every millisecond counts. The actuation distance of this switch is a mere 1.2mm, which is .3mm quicker with the exact same amount of force as its more expensive Steelseries rival QS1 switch.The past few weeks I have put this keyboard through its paces in primarily first person shooters

The past few weeks I have put this keyboard through its paces in primarily first-person shooters Counter-Strike Global Offensive and the Doom Beta. Switching back and forth between the K70 RGB with MX Cherry Reds and the MX Cherry Speeds was eye opening. While the difference in speed won’t take you from enthusiast to pro immediately, I did feel a distinct advantage with the RAPIDFIRE when it came to exertion effort and precision. My key hits felt sharper and more precise. A small bonus that I found was that the shorter actuation makes the board marginally quieter than my original K70 with Cherry Red Switches. Aside from the new switches expect more of the same from this keyboard like the 100% anti-ghosting rollover and the ability to create complex macros on each key. I think the most welcomed upgrade to the K70 RAPIDFIRE is awarded to the USB passthrough which Corsair was a little late to the party on. To their credit the most recent version of their STRAFE board did have it, so it was only a matter of time before it came to the flagship.

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Lighting

Then K70 RAPIDFIRE keyboard is released with two different LED color versions. The RGB version is obviously loaded with the 16.8 million color LED lighting that gives you full command of the rainbow to customize your gaming experience in a cornucopia of different ways. If you are only interesting in the speed and performance or aren’t concerned with the full spectrum of customization there is a version available with only red LEDs for about $30 cheaper. While the LEDs themselves have not changed, Corsair has made some modifications to the font of the keys that makes a large difference in the brightness of the keyboard. Last year we shot a comparison video of the K70 and the STRAFE keyboards and noticed that the STRAFE was noticeably more bright primarily because of the more bold font they used. While I have played with creating my own lighting effects on the K70 and K65s in the past, I have pretty much determined that I’d much rather visit the Corsair forums and download other people’s amazing creations. The interface is easy to use and the link between coordinating the LEDs on your mouse, keyboard and headphones is simple and ridiculously cool.

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The Aesthetics

At first glance you may look at this new K70 RGB and think that it looks exactly like the previous models. While yes, the general aesthetic of the keyboard has not changed too drastically, the devil is in the details. Like I mentioned before, the font has increased in both style and boldness. The aluminium chassis is just a joy to hold. I don’t think enough can be said in general about the feeling of holding a high-quality aluminium chassis when compared to plastic. One other small detail that I enjoyed is the textured spacebar. Inspired by the space bar, I opted to install the FPS and MOBA keycaps for my review. They are very well done and the angle of the key caps was very ergo-friendly for the natural curvature of my fingertips.

Final Reaction

From top to bottom the Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Keyboard is a very worthy new flagship product for gaming. It’s the natural evolution of their already awesome line of keyboards. I have used this keyboard as my main input device for gaming, writing, and editing, and in every area it has been an improvement. My fear was that the new MX Cherry speed switches would cause me headaches when it came to standard typing, and thankfully, this has not been the case whatsoever. While the faster actuation speed will not take you from FPS scrub to MLG god immediately, it will safely give you a small advantage when it comes down to those last second twitch movements or getting that spell off a split second before your opponent. In life slow and steady may win the race, but in gaming Ricky Bobby said it best: If  if you’re not first, you’re last.

Rating: 5/5 Atoms

NR-5-Atoms-A

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.