There are many excellent gaming keyboards on the market right now, but the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire MK2 stands out. It’s attractive, pleasant to use, and packed with useful features for the cost.
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Since its debut in 2013, Corsair’s K70 keyboard has undergone a number of revisions. It all started with the Vengeance K70 and branched out into other models like the Rapidfire and LUX, which feature the same standard RGB flair.
In this review, we take a look at the SE variant of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2, another offspring in this line.
There has been a relatively conservative update to the popular K70 in the form of the RGB MK.2. Keycaps and keys were replaced and speed switches were introduced for the K70 LUX and Rapidfire, respectively. The K70 RGB MK.2 should probably be seen as more of an update than a replacement.
Instead of starting from scratch, Corsair took the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach and instead made a few minor improvements to an already solid base, deeming it worthy of the MK.2 designation.
Alright, so let’s get going!
Pros and Cons
The Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 is a gorgeous, fully-featured, and forward-thinking gaming keyboard.
- Amazingly beautiful layout
- The Choosing of a Critical Flipper
- Best-in-class hardware
- Advantageous add-ons
With its minimalist form, genuine Cherry MX switches, and vibrant rainbow backlighting, the Corsair K70 RGB was a near-ideal gaming keyboard. Corsair spent a number of years perfecting the K70 RGB Mk.2 before releasing it, and the time and effort paid off.
The K70 RGB Mk.2 is a stunning monitor that also happens to be highly practical and cutting-edge. There will be some customers who are put off by the fact that it costs $180, making it one of the most expensive gaming keyboards available. This is one of the best mechanical keyboards money can buy thanks to its sturdy construction and premium mechanical switches, which should last you for years of gaming.
Unless you have your heart set on waiting for Corsair’s forthcoming wireless mechanical gaming keyboards, the K70 RGB is probably the best peripheral you can buy right now.
|illumination of each key individually||RGB|
|Rate of Polling||1000 Hz|
|Flip switches||Speed Cherry MX|
|Conduit for USB Devices||USB 2.0|
|Sort of Cables||Braided|
|Flip the keyboard||100% anti-ghosting, full key (NKRO)|
|Differentiated Codes||Locking the screen, a button for accessing various media formats, and a key for accessing|
|Software||iCue for Corsair|
Corsair’s usual packaging style is utilized. Anyone who has previously purchased a product from Corsair will recognize the familiar yellow and black color scheme.
The front features a near-lifesize image of a keyboard, with useful details along the sides and bottom.
Information is expanded upon on the back.
The keyboard, a removable wrist rest, and instructions are all included in the package. The SE version is missing the keycap puller and the FPS and MOBA keycap sets. On the other hand, you can get a set right here.
The K70 RGB MK.2 doesn’t look too different from the original, save for the SE model. The SE variant really stands out because it ditches the standard black and gunmetal color scheme in favor of silver.
The keycaps are also white, double-shot PBT. This contributes to the keyboard’s high-end feel, which is fitting given its $180 price tag.
This Reddit thread is full of useful information for anyone curious about double-shot keys. Here’s another piece the author has posted to Imgur. Sets of double-shot PBT keycaps are also available on Corsair’s website.
Similar to other Corsair keyboards, the K70 MK.2 has a sturdy aluminum chassis. The Corsair logo now appears on top, which is one major distinction. Instead of being a simple piece of plastic, this is now a translucent cutaway with RGB lighting.
The wrist rest is mostly the same as before, but it is larger and has a more rubberized texture. In my opinion, the wrist rests on a Razer keyboard are more comfortable than those on a Corsair keyboard, but that’s just my opinion.
Corsair reworked the bottom plate under the chassis to include a cable routing system, presumably for use with wired mice and headsets. It’s a nice touch, but people who constantly rearrange their keyboards are unlikely to benefit from it.
Corsair did move the media keys, moving them to the right side of the keyboard and making them slightly bigger. The media controls on the left have been replaced by a profile switching knob.
Further, we’ve doubled the amount of internal storage available for profiles to 8MB. Brightness control and a WIN lock key are located next to the profile button.
We’re not too upset that Cherry MX switches are still the only option for keyboards from Corsair. However, the K70 MK.2 has a wider variety of options than the K70 Rapidfire.
The K70 MK.2 offers five different toggle switches: silver for Speed, red for Normal, brown for Normal, blue for Silent. The floating, raised design of previous Corsair keyboards’ keycaps returns, adding a touch of style and making cleanup a breeze.
The K70 MK.2 is controlled by Corsair’s iCUE software, which is familiar to users of the company’s other products. There’s a learning curve and some quirks with iCUE.
The software could be more user-friendly, but it has a lot of useful options once you figure out how to use them.
Static, ripple, and rainbow lighting are just some of the effects that can be customized. You can also statically assign each key to a specific color. If you’re having trouble finding the WASD keys in the dark, you might want to try changing their color. You can also synchronize the lighting effects on your Corsair mouse and headset.
Corsair has also begun collaborating with programmers to add lighting effects tailored to individual games to their keyboards and other hardware. We’ve seen this trend continue with recent releases like Far Cry 5.
Corsair never uses imitation Cherry MX in any of their keyboards; only genuine switches are provided. The options, however, are typically restricted, for a variety of reasons; even the stellar Strafe only provides two distinct kinds of key-switches.
Being able to switch between five different Cherry switches—Speed, Red, Brown, Silent, and my personal favorite, the underappreciated Blues—makes the K70 RGB Mk.2 one of the best keyboards I’ve reviewed. Too much time would be wasted explaining the nuances between each of these switches, so let’s just say that you’re bound to find one that you like.
The K70 RGB Mk.2 has a wide variety of switch types, including both silent linear switches and loud tactile ones. It would be difficult to overstate the usefulness of this feature, given that most other keyboard models only provide one switch type, at most two.
My usual typing speed with Logitech Romer-G switches is 121 words per minute with three errors; with Cherry MX Blues, I was only able to achieve 116 words per minute. Note that Cherry MX Blues are just one type of keyboard available for the K70 Mk.2, so your actual typing speed may vary depending on the type of keyboard you prefer to use.
The Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) software powers the K70 RGB Mk.2, which I have both praised and criticized for its extensive feature set and opaqueness. The more I use this program, the more I lean toward the “highly recommend” 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.
CUE definitely has a learning curve, and the interface could be more user-friendly. The extensive lighting options may seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of things, the possibilities are endless. Games can have their own profiles, macros can be recorded, and virtually any key can be remapped. If you plan on taking the keyboard with you, you can choose between three pre-set profiles, or you can create as many custom profiles as you like and store them on a computer.
For a long time, the CUE’s amazing lighting pattern customization has been what sets apart Corsair’s RGB keyboards from the competition. You can easily set up color waves, breathing colors, or static colors; I set up a pattern in which the entire keyboard rippled in a beautiful, unpredictable rainbow every time I typed.
However, the most entertaining part was experimenting with different gradient configurations. In order to make the keyboard alternate between shades of blue, I used a simple timer to set it to flash between pastel blue, deep blue, and purple. Because these hues signify my favorite races in StarCraft: Remastered—the Protoss, the Terrans, and the Zerg—I felt confident linking this to my profile.
Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown, Silent, and Speed switches are all compatible with the K70 MK.2. Our current unit uses Speed switches, which aren’t all that different from the Reds.
The 1.2mm actuation point of Speed switches allows for slightly quicker key pressing than the 2mm actuation point of Red switches. If you’re used to the Red variety, you’ll probably adapt quickly to the Speed variety.
From regular writing to video games like Destiny 2 and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, I’ve put the Speed switches through their paces.
The fast, straight presses are easy to spot, and they don’t have any particular musical preferences. Once your fingers are acclimated to the Speed switches, they provide a responsive and springy feel.
These switches are designed so that you can operate them without depressing them all the way to the bottom. Adapting to Speed switches does require some dexterity.
With the help of Aqua’s KeyTest, we were able to examine the functionality of the in-built N-key rollover mechanism. The results of our tests showed that key presses made at the same time were recognized without any gaps. No ghosting was apparent, so the anti-ghosting feature was effective. It’s great to see that Corsair is going all out with its NKRO functionality, even though most gamers only need a 6KRO or 10KRO keyboard.
When a single key press is read as multiple presses, this phenomenon is known as “key bounce” or “chattering.” The keys on a mechanical keyboard often “bounce” for a short period of time (5 ms) before they settle, causing multiple electrical contacts to be made and broken. To ensure that only one press (up and down motion) is sent to the PC, the firmware must be able to filter out the other inputs. Switch Hitter was utilized in our chit chat testing.
None of the keys on my Corsair K70 MK.2 Rapidfire keyboard chattered, and they all responded to a single press. When a key is fully depressed, it takes that key its own amount of time to return to its resting position.
Gaming and Productivity
However, anecdotal evidence suggests that playing first-person shooters, multiplayer online battle arenas, and electronic sports titles on the Corsair K70 MK.2 Rapidfire is a pleasurable experience. We played a few multiplayer rounds of PUBG and Battlefield V, and the faster key response did seem to give us an edge in making split-second decisions. The ability to customize RGB for certain in-game occurrences is helpful for limiting visual distractions and getting a feel for the world with only your peripheral vision.
Even though Cherry MX Reds have been the standard for gaming switches, their 2 mm pre-travel is significantly longer than the Speed’s 1.2 mm. Because of this, the Speed’s lower actuation point may require some time spent training your reflexes if you are used to Red switches.
Once you get the hang of the Speed switches, the Corsair K70 MK.2 Rapidfire is a joy to use for typing. Typographical errors crept into this review sporadically, even though we’ve been using a computer regularly for months. Assigning keys to repetitive tasks like pasting specific blocks of text without having to type it all over again or recalling clipboard history is a great productivity booster, and iCUE’s macro programming feature makes this possible.
The K70 Mk.2 is as close to a perfect gaming keyboard as I can currently imagine.
Dedicated macro button-loving MMO gamers may want to look elsewhere, at a product like the Corsair K95. The K70 Mk.2’s lack of extra keys is easily circumvented, however, by the ability to reprogram any button and create macros directly in the CUE software.
There is an undercurrent of apprehension in our evaluations whenever we bring up key switches; what if the reader has preferences for switches that differ from our own? What if you’re on the lookout for something cuddly, yet oddly rough? If so, you’ll appreciate the use of Cherry’s MX Red low-profile switches. Instead of the satisfying and incisive linear action of the full-size edition, they opt for something else. They are probably assigned the same hue because of their similar sizes, weights, and acoustic profiles, which explain why they move so stealthily and unnoticed. However, you shouldn’t expect the same typing experience that you would get from a full-size keyboard.
Here’s the thing, though: even if we aren’t blown away by the switches (and we aren’t), they still make for a very good typing experience. They have a high actuation force, which is surprising given their slim profile, but they also provide sufficient resistance to forestall accidental key presses. The visually constrained keycaps are surprisingly well-suited to typing, thanks to a harsh angle in their dished tops that provides a very definite key feel. As a result of the lack of crispness and the short travel, typing on this keyboard is surprisingly easy and relaxing.
Finally, let’s not forget about the space bar. Very little noise is generated by its bracing, and Corsair has gone to the trouble of giving it a textured finish that matches the wrist rest and the alternative gaming keys included in the package. Although it may be distracting at first, this actually improves the precision of touch typing. We recognize the effort put into this minor adjustment.
We recognize that some gamers feel strongly either for or against short-throw switches. Having the right instrument in your hands is crucial, and nothing beats the satisfying click of a full-height mechanical switch. However, we really liked using it for gaming; the low-profile Reds are stiff enough to resist resting fingers while there is sensitive actuation. Also, not everyone prefers a longer throw, but the difference isn’t as pronounced as you might think. These switches have the same travel as their full-height counterparts within a narrow range of 0.8mm. While these Cherry MX Red low-profile switches may be shorter than the scissor switches or low-profile membrane designs of the past, they are still a significant upgrade.
In fast-paced games like, uh, Doom II (hey, we all have our obsessions), the K70 MK.2’s design and execution left us wanting. Squishy inputs, no matter how accurate and quick they may be, can’t quite pass that message back up your fingers to your brain; at least, that has been my experience. Nonetheless, the keyboard is optimized for play: Even if you enter data clumsily, full anti-ghosting and 1ms polling will catch it and display the correct results.
When compared to its predecessors, the K70 RGB MK.II doesn’t deviate all that much, but the improvements are significant. The availability of numerous switching options is one of the most notable shifts.
As a result, Corsair will likely sell more K70 keyboards to people who were on the fence about buying one because they couldn’t use their preferred switch.
Furthermore, Corsair does deviate from its standard black and gunmetal aesthetic by providing a Special Edition that is silver and white.
The silver and white is very eye-catching, coming from someone who has always favored the black, gunmetal, and monochrome style. You won’t fully appreciate the lighting until you see how the silver chassis reflects it.
In any case, this is a high-end product, so the price tag reflects that. A very pricey keyboard, the SE model will set you back a whopping $180 at list price.
A K70 RGB MK.II in its standard configuration can be purchased for around $160. The price tag on a high-end keyboard may be prohibitive for some.
The K70 MK.II only modestly improves upon a previously fantastic plank. The K70 MK.II is a gorgeous keyboard that provides one of the best typing and gaming experiences available, and it retains all the features that made the original K70 so great.
Check out our most recent recommendations or the gaming keyboard section for more information on mechanical keyboards.