If you’re looking for an affordable RGB keyboard, the Corsair K55 is a solid option.
The K55 is an attractive membrane keyboard that comes with a generous set of features and won’t break the bank.
The membrane foundation may be an off-putting feature for those who prefer a mechanical chassis.
What’s In The Box?
The keyboard was packaged in a typical Corsair box, with the product image prominently displayed upon opening. The box follows the same two-tone design seen on other Corsair products, with a vibrant yellow front and black sides. It has some keyboard features on the back. The board is well-protected by the thick, sturdy box, but I would have appreciated an additional cloth bag.
Within, you’ll find:
- Keyboard for Gamers: Corsair K55 RGB
- Pose for the wrist
- Help File
- Consistently high standards of construction
- Excellent buy
- Comprehensive set of essential features
- Adjustable light settings
- The membrane-based, as opposed to the mechanical-based
- The glossy plastic surface shows every scratch.
- The wrist rest could use some improvement.
The Corsair K55’s low, sub-50 dollar price tag is the first thing you’ll notice about it. Even so, cheap doesn’t always mean worthwhile.
Just what do you get for your money? I’m curious about how well it operates. Will it hold? In regards to cheap hardware, a certain amount of skepticism can be expected.
Should you buy this keyboard, or hold out for something better?
We can’t decide for you, but we can help you weigh the K55’s pros and cons, from its aesthetics to its performance.
|Lights behind the keyboard||RGB|
|Schematic Representation of a Keyboard||NA|
|Methods With Unique Keys||With its six macro buttons and light-dimming controls, this remote has it all.|
|The Turning of a Key||It has a rubber top.|
|Weight and Measurements||Dimensions: 480.2 x 166.3 x 34.6
|Inverting the keyboard||Eight Selected Factors|
First, let’s take a look at the K55’s aesthetic features. In spite of being on the less expensive end of gaming keyboards, the bright backlighting gives the impression that it cost much more than it actually does.
With the exception of the glossy strip that runs across the top of the keyboard, the K55 is constructed almost entirely of matte black plastic. This is visually appealing and interesting, but be sure to have a microfiber cloth handy, as it is prone to collecting fingerprints and dust.
To the naked eye, it appears to be adequate. OK, but let’s dig a little deeper. Overall, it’s a nice style, albeit one that’s a touch square and skinny. Nothing in the way of rounded corners, raised finger grips, or other ergonomic features should be expected. The K55 may be a slab, but it’s a very sleek slab.
The K55’s RGB backlighting is a big part of its high-end aesthetic, making the keys stand out against the keyboard’s matte black finish.
Instead of individual lights for each key, there are three large areas of illumination. These areas can be configured to display a rainbow of colors, from solid to pulsating and fading hues.
When you flip the K55 over, you’ll see that it has four rubber pads for stability and two retractable feet to elevate the back end, both of which are fairly standard keyboard features but are still appreciated.
In addition to the standard key layout, this keyboard features a detachable wrist rest made of what Corsair calls “soft rubber” at the base.
The wrist rest is not hard, but it’s also not particularly comfortable. Still, it serves its purpose if you need a wrist rest. It’s textured, too, for a little extra grip that’s worth sacrificing a little comfort for.
Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT review: Keys
The tactile feedback from the keys on the Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT is sure to be a point of contention amongst gamers. I won’t get into the never-ending “membrane vs. mechanical” debate, but I will say that mechanical keyboards, in my opinion, are superior in comfort, performance (especially when gaming), and durability.
That said, it’s not cheap. After spending a thousand dollars or more on a brand new PC, this isn’t always possible for new PC gamers.
Accordingly, the question is whether the keys of the K55 RGB Pro XT stand or fall on their own. Finally, the answer is “kind of.”
The K55 RGB Pro XT, like many membrane keyboards, is great for typists thanks to its responsive and accurate keycaps. Using the K55 RGB Pro XT, I was able to increase my word count and accuracy on a Typing.com test from 108 to 124, with a 99% success rate, compared to using my regular Logitech G915.
The experience of typing on the K55 RGB Pro XT, however, is less satisfying and, at times, exhausting than that. The keys are a bit stiff when depressed and when released, so they don’t respond well to light touches. My wrists hurt from typing out lengthy notes for a product briefing, and I was disheartened to find numerous typos when I reviewed the document later.
From what I can tell from reviewing other membrane gaming keyboards, I haven’t been particularly fond of their keys. The Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT is, at the very least, as good as the alternatives. However, I still wouldn’t want to have this as a desk accessory for the next three years.
Features and Performance
How about we discuss the mechanics, or lack thereof? The K55 is a membrane keyboard, which means that instead of mechanical switches, it uses rubber domes under the keys.
While this may be a dealbreaker for those who prefer a more familiar experience, it does feel smooth and produces a softer sound, which may appeal to other users.
The K55’s raised buttons and eight-key rollover are reminiscent of mechanical keyboards. This is a useful addition for games with complex controls that require the use of a lot of buttons at once.
The K55’s six programmable macro keys on the left are a welcome addition for any user, but especially gamers and those who perform repetitive tasks like photo or video editing.
The macro record button, conveniently located on the glossy strip at the top of the keyboard, allows for the programming of these macro keys to be done outside of the software.
In this area, you’ll find compact keys for recording macros and adjusting lights, in addition to multimedia control buttons.
However, these buttons aren’t as sturdy as the rest of the keyboard’s keys, and they also aren’t backlit, so they can be difficult to see in dim lighting.
The lightness you’d expect from a device with the K55’s slim profile. It’s not the best choice if you prefer a heavy-duty keyboard that won’t budge under pressure.
However, it stays put thanks to the rubber feet, and the construction is solid enough to withstand even the most intense gaming sessions.
The K55 is a plug-and-play keyboard, meaning its primary functions (like its lighting and macros) can be accessed with no additional software.
The K55 can be used with Corsair’s iCue software, giving users access to additional features and customization options.
iCue lets you set macros for your keyboard’s shortcut keys, change the color temperature and brightness, and record your own macros. Though it’s possible to accomplish the same goals by typing, iCue streamlines the process.
Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT vs. Corsair K55 RGB Pro
There is a slightly more affordable alternative to the Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT, the Corsair K55 RGB Pro. Instead of having individual RGB lighting and patterns for each key, the Pro model has lighting for five zones that can cycle through six different options.
It’s a significant setback, but the Pro is only $50 compared to the Pro XT’s $70. Performance and appearance-wise, there is no difference between the two models.
Even though it lacks the Cherry MX Red switches that are known for their speed, the K55’s keys are surprisingly well-suited for gaming. The K55 felt quick enough to keep up with the action in first-person games like Overwatch and Destiny 2. The keys have a nice spring back after being pressed, and I never had trouble using them to navigate the game. The keycaps’ surface area could be more concave, but otherwise, they’re great. Metal reinforcements beneath keycaps for longer keys, like the space bar, are a welcome addition. Even though larger keys on membrane boards are known to cause wobbling, the K55’s keys are completely stable.
Even though I’m not a huge macro user, I did test out the K55’s macro buttons and found them to be reliable. In this price range, a keyboard with a set of six dedicated macro keys is extremely rare, making it a compelling feature for players of massively multiplayer online games. They will come in handy, and setting them up with the K55’s on-the-fly button is a breeze.
Not like more expensive Corsair boards, the K55 doesn’t come with any extra keycaps that are specifically designed for gaming. For the price, that’s to be expected, and with the money you’re saving, you can find a lot of unique choices online.
The Corsair K55 generally holds close to its $50 MSRP, but it occasionally drops to $40 on special occasions:
- Visit Amazon.com for the Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard.
- Visit Amazon (UK) to purchase the Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard.
There are many advantages to purchasing the Corsair K55 RGB keyboard. The two-tone black plastic design is basic but effective, and the build quality is excellent.
In this price range, the lighting is both visually appealing and highly adaptable. The K55 is more than just flashy illumination; it also features a wrist rest, macro buttons, and media playback controls.
The K55 does not make a lot of clicking noise, which may or may not be a drawback, depending on your personal taste.
It’s not mechanical, but it’s very quiet if that’s your thing, and the keys are very consistent and soft. The K55 is a fantastic choice for budget-conscious gamers and those just starting out with PC gaming.