Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Corsair K70 RGB mechanical keyboard review: Plenty of potential undercut by terrible software

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 2, 2015
Corsair's K70 RGB and K95 RGB should be the best RGB mechanical keyboards thanks to real Cherry MX switches, but the software side is a broken nightmare.

The K70 RGB has as much light pollution as the Las Vegas Strip. All those pretty colors you set up? They shine right out from underneath each key, through the clear plastic front, and straight into your eyes. It can look cool in a Tron sort of way, but mostly it's just distracting.

The real tragedy of the K70 is on the software side, though.

First, credit where credit's due: You can do some really cool things with Corsair's software. There's a lot of flexibility compared to both Logitech and Razer's offerings.

But it's the kind of flexibility most people will never discover, because it's an absolute mess of a program. There are no easy presets for someone who just wants to jump in and play around. Instead, you've got to immediately delve into a program that hides essential tasks behind multiple menus, doesn't explain what it's doing, and is all-around a pain to use.

You can't even change the keys all to one color easily, because the keyboard comes preset with a white-and-red default color scheme. Little do you know that you actually have to delete the groups that Corsair originally set up, or else the colors you're trying to put on the keys will lay on top of the default colors instead of replacing them.

It's a nightmare, brought on by one of Corsair's coolest features: The K70 supports layers of lighting. In the background you can set everything as one color, assign lighting to individual keys, or group certain keys together.

Then there's the foreground layer. Here you can assign one of four effects to occur every time you press a key: It either turns a solid color for a certain amount of time, creates a gradient between multiple colors, or spawns a wave or ripple of color.

You could, for instance, set it up so the entire keyboard is red, then set it so every time you type, a wave of green goes across the board. Or you could make it so the Arrow keys are never lit until you press them, at which point they turn red for ten seconds. Or you could make the whole board into a psychotropic acid trip, with a million different colors and ripples and waves going off all at once.

It's not like the K70 replaces one color with a different one for these effects. Going back to our red keys, green wave example for instance--the keys don't just switch from red to green and then back again. Instead, the keyboard melds the two colors as best it can.

I say "as best it can " because while the idea is great in theory--a real winner of a way to show off RGB capabilities--Corsair flubbed something along the way. Instead of a smooth, 16.8-million-color spectrum, the K70 has noticeable "stepping" in color. I don't know what's going on here, but I assume that something either hardware or software-related is throttling the color output.


Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.