The Corsair K70 RGB was a nearly perfect keyboard, featuring a sleek design, authentic Cherry MX switches and a colorful array of rainbow backlights. After a few years of fine-tuning the design, Corsair has released the K70 RGB Mk.2, and the company’s efforts paid off.
Beautiful, functional and innovative, the K70 RGB Mk.2 has something for everyone. At $180, it’s one of the most expensive gaming keyboards on the market, and that’s admittedly going to be a deal breaker for some buyers. But with a durable chassis and high-quality mechanical switches, this keyboard is an investment that could keep you gaming for many years.
Unless you’re specifically holding out for Corsair’s upcoming line of wireless mechanical gaming keyboards, it’s hard to imagine a better peripheral than the K70 RGB.
The K70 RGB Mk.2 is almost identical to the less expensive Corsair Strafe RGB Mk.2. Like the Strafe, the K70 is a full-size keyboard, about 17 x 6 inches without the wrist rest, or 17 x 9 with it. There’s very little wasted space on the attractive black chassis, and it’s actually about an inch smaller than many comparable peripherals, while still maintaining comfortable spacing between the keys.
What sets the K70 Mk.2 apart from the Strafe Mk.2 is that the chassis has an aluminum surface rather than a plastic one. This might not be worth an extra $30 by itself, but it definitely makes the keyboard both durable and refined. The K70 Mk.2 looks right at home both in a gaming setup and on an office desk, and its slightly elevated keys give it just a little bit of aesthetic flair.
In addition to a full set of discrete media controls (and a volume wheel, rather than inelegant buttons), the K70 RGB Mk.2 also features a USB pass-through and a few buttons to control Game Mode button locks, brightness and profiles. The keyboard also includes textured keys for the WASD map, as well as a few surrounding keys, which could be helpful for FPS and MOBA gamers. (The spacebar is textured by default, but for everything else, you can swap between smooth and textured key caps.)
From quiet, linear switches to noisy, tactile ones, and anything in-between, the K70 RGB Mk.2 delivers something for every kind of gamer.
Corsair never cuts corners on key switches, offering authentic Cherry MX and nothing but. However, the options are usually limited, for whatever reason; even the excellent Strafe offers only two different key-switch types.
What makes the K70 RGB Mk.2 one of the very best keyboards I’ve ever reviewed is that you can choose from five different Cherry switches: Speed, Red, Brown, Silent and my personal favorite, the underappreciated Blues. It would take too much time to go into detail about the differences between all these switches; suffice it to say that you are almost guaranteed to love at least one of them.
From quiet, linear switches to noisy, tactile ones, and anything in-between, the K70 RGB Mk.2 delivers something for every kind of gamer. It’s hard to overstate just how useful a feature this is; most other keyboard models offer one switch type, or two if you’re very lucky.
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With Cherry MX Blues, I scored 116 words per minute with three errors, as opposed to my results with my usual Logitech Romer-G switches of 121 words per minute with three errors. Take this data with a grain of salt, however, as Cherry MX Blues are only one option for the K70 Mk.2, and your typing speed will probably depend on what you’re comfortable using.
The K70 RGB Mk.2 runs on the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software, which I’ve both praised for its extensive feature set and criticized for its opacity. Having played with this software a little more, I’m leaning more toward the praise side of the spectrum.
With this keyboard’s springy, responsive switches and comfortable key caps, I shot down foes in Overwatch as easily as I managed my base in StarCraft.
There’s no denying that CUE has a learning curve, and it could be laid out a little more intuitively. But once you learn your way around, you can do some incredibly cool things with the extensive lighting options. You can also set up profiles for individual games, record macros and reprogram just about every key. There are three built-in profiles if you want to take the keyboard with you; otherwise, you can program as many as you want and save them on a computer.
What’s always set Corsair’s RGB keyboards apart from the competition is the CUE’s incredible ability to customize lighting patterns. I set up a pattern in which the entire keyboard rippled in a beautiful, unpredictable rainbow every time I typed, but it’s just as easy to set up color waves, breathing or static colors.
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Customizing gradients is where I had the most fun, though. By setting up a simple timer, I was able to make the keyboard cycle through a light blue, a dark blue and a purple. This was perfect for linking with my StarCraft: Remastered profile, as these colors represent the Protoss, the Terrans and the Zerg, respectively.
I tested the K70 Mk.2 with Overwatch, StarCraft: Remastered, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and World of Warcraft to see how well it performed across multiple genres. Unsurprisingly, the keys worked like a dream. With this keyboard’s springy, responsive switches and comfortable key caps, I shot down foes in Overwatch as easily as I managed my base in StarCraft. The keyboard doesn’t favor one particular genre over another, and the media keys make it extremely easy to play your favorite music or podcasts in-game while you’re grinding for experience points. (Let’s not pretend we’ve never done this.)
The K70 Mk.2 is as close to a perfect gaming keyboard as I can currently imagine.
Because there are no dedicated macro buttons, hard-core MMO gamers might prefer a model like the Corsair K95. But since you can reprogram any button on the K70 Mk.2, and program macros right in the CUE software, there are plenty of ways to sidestep the lack of extra keys.
Aside from its high price and initially tricky software, Corsair’s latest keyboard is nearly without flaw. I have high hopes for the company’s upcoming line of wireless gear, and I’m sure the company will think of more wired improvements as time goes on, but the K70 Mk.2 is as close to a perfect gaming keyboard as I can currently imagine.
From its incredible variety of switches, to its durable design, to its helpful bells and whistles, the K70 RGB Mk.2 is beautiful to behold and a joy to use. Research what kind of key switch suits you, and expect a premium experience to match a premium price.