Home » Corsair K100 RGB keyboard review: Speed is the name of the g
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Corsair K100 RGB keyboard review: Speed is the name of the g

In the hunt to search out one of the best gaming keyboard, you could have many choices. Should you go full-sized or tenkeyless (TKL)? Wired or wi-fi? What shade of the rainbow ought to the important thing switches be? The listing goes on. Depending on the way you reply these questions, Corsair’s newest flagship, the K100 RGB, is both the keyboard of your goals or your worst nightmare. 

The K100 is stacked with 110 keys to sort on — together with a devoted row of customizable G keys, 44 zones of RGB, an iCue-powered wheel dialer, Corsair’s proprietary OPX optomechanical switches, wired reference to USB passthrough, and a removable cushioned wrist relaxation. If there’s an “Everything however the kitchen sink” keyboard, that is it. 

That mentioned, the K100’s starting price of $229 shouldn’t be for the faint-hearted, and I would not advocate the keyboard for everybody. But if you may get used to its unconventional navigation instruments, conquer the delicate but rewarding software program expertise, and sacrifice sufficient desk house, then the K100 might very nicely be your endgame keyboard.

Like

  • Keyboard is customizable to your coronary heart’s content material
  • Up to eight,000Hz poling charge
  • Optical linear switches are responsive and constructed to final
  • Detachable wrist relaxation

Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Optical linear switches are loud and never splendid for typists
  • Full-sized keyboard plus wrist relaxation takes up numerous house
  • iCue software program is cluttered

Specifications

Dimensions

18.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 in (470 x 166 x 38 mm)

Weight

2.98 lb (1.35 kg)

Keyboard dimension

104 keys (full-size) plus six macro keys 

Key swap

Corsair OPX optomechanical switches or Cherry MX Speed (linear)

Keyboard materials

Aluminum body

Connection

Wired through two USB-A 3.0 connectors (one for USB passthrough)


There’s no query that the Corsair K100 RGB is a colossus of a keyboard. Weighing slightly below three kilos, it is heavier than most full-sized boards, and the size do not make the portability any higher. Still, for those who plan on setting and forgetting the K100, then your greatest concern ought to be making desk house to suit the keyboard and its accommodating wrist relaxation. The assessment unit that I examined got here with Corsair’s new OPX optical-mechanical switches, however the K100 additionally is available in a Cherry MX Speed variant. No matter which model you purchase, you will be typing on linear-based keys. 

Design

The Corsair K100 RGB offers a standard full-sized, 110-key setup in a brushed aluminum physique that feels as premium because it seems. Like its predecessor, the K95 RGB Platinum XT, the K100 has a devoted row on the left facet for G keys, a quantity scroll wheel on the higher proper, and 4 media management buttons beneath. Adding to the combination is a brand new iCue wheel dialer on the higher left, which has a button on the middle to alter between modes and capabilities. Altogether, the keyboard offers the essence of a glorified Bop It toy. You can scroll, spin, click on, and faucet it to your coronary heart’s content material. 

corsair-k100-rgb-keys.jpg

With colorfully-lit keycaps and a cushioned wrist relaxation, the Corsair K100 RGB is as suited as flagship keyboards get. 


June Wan/ZDNet

At the middle of the K100 lies a grid of double-shot PBT keycaps, every housing Corsair’s OPX optical-mechanical switches. If that is your first time searching for a mechanical keyboard, then all of that jargon might have simply flown over your head. 

In abstract, double-shot (or, double-layered) PBT keycaps are a number of the most sturdy choices in the marketplace, and Corsair claims that those on the K100 can face up to as much as 150 million key presses. Compared to conventional mechanical keyboards that last as long as tens of hundreds of thousands, the K100 units a brand new measure for sturdiness. 

Double-shot PBT keycaps are additionally pricier than customary, single-layered ones, costing round $50 for a top quality set. If there’s any cause for Corsair to cost $229 for a keyboard, these keys are one responsible. 

Also: Everything you might want to learn about mechanical keyboards

Every key on the K100 is very customizable, each bodily and digitally. Through the iCue software program, which I’ll go extra in-depth with afterward, you possibly can remap any key on the board, set macros, and even designate an RGB lighting impact per swap. This stage of modifiability is uncommon for pre-built keyboards. 

corsair-k100-rgb-icue-dial.jpg

The iCue dialer on the highest left of the keyboard permits you to management numerous packages and capabilities. 


June Wan/ZDNet

Speaking of uncommon, the K100 has an iCue management wheel that, I initially assumed, would have the ability to navigate between macros and home windows layouts. The actuality is that there are solely eight A/B capabilities that the management wheel can dial via, together with brightness ranges, observe jogging and choosing, vertical scrolling, zoom, and extra. Each mode is color-coded via its ring of RGB, and the dialer itself is made with textured aluminum. I discovered the management wheel to really feel wonky and free, and in some circumstances, the sharpness of the outer ring made turning it somewhat painful.

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A facet row of six macro keys will be programmed like that of the Elgato Stream Deck. 


June Wan/ZDNet

There’s additionally a row of G keys on the leftmost facet of the K100, which takes benefit of Elgato’s in style Stream Deck software program. From G1 to G6, you possibly can map the keys to a devoted perform, sensible residence routine, IFTTT immediate, you identify it. If you are a streamer, the keys make for wonderful overlay buttons, so you possibly can swap out of your fundamental digital camera to in-game feed with a click on. The solely actual problem I had with the additional row of keys was the necessity to regulate my muscle reminiscence. Since I used to be used to having my “Esc” and “Ctrl” keys on the farthest fringe of the keyboard, I’d sometimes faucet G1 or G6 as a substitute.

Also: 5 methods the Elgato Stream Deck can streamline your workflow

Performance

Corsair’s OPX optical-mechanical switches are a number of the most delicate ones that I’ve examined. Through infrared indicators and linear mechanics, the K100 detects keystrokes with an actuation drive of 45 grams at an actuation level of simply 1.0 mm. That beats out the likes of the Razer Huntsman V2 and SteelSeries Apex Pro which charge at 1.5 mm and a couple of.0 mm, respectively. By utilizing a laser to actuate presses, players will discover the K100’s accuracy and responsiveness of the keyboard’s 4,000Hz polling charge very favorable. Meanwhile, typists like myself, who typically want tactile and clickier inputs to start with, will expertise the occasional mistouch and typo. 

I’d additionally prefer to name out the loudness of the K100’s OPX switches. Coming from a Logitech MX Keys, the Corsair is drastically louder to sort on, although some will discover that, and the hole nature of linear switches, pleasurable. I want a extra silent keyboard expertise, particularly for these late-night gaming classes. See beneath for a sound and typing take a look at of the K100. 

While the sooner actuation level takes some getting used to, the typing expertise of the K100 is clearly not for all. Like most gaming keyboards, the keycaps are a lot taller and thicker than the low-profile nature of productivity-themed boards and laptops. This signifies that except you sit excessive sufficient to have a pure typing posture, the bundled wrist relaxation is a should when utilizing the K100. Fortunately, Corsair has crafted a wrist relaxation that’s cushiony and padded sufficient to maintain your arms comfy for hours on finish. As seen within the video above, I discovered the right wrist relaxation distance to be an inch away from the K100 keyboard. 

Software

Like most mechanical keyboards, the Corsair K100 RGB is at its finest when synced to companion software program. In this case, the iCue app permits you to modify a bevy of options, together with the lighting results, the way you need components of the keyboard to glow, key assignments, and naturally, the management wheel. While the software program will be unintuitive, like how the “Lighting Effects” and “Hardware Lighting” tabs are near the identical factor, you possibly can positively obtain the best structure after fiddling round. 

corsair-k100-rgb-lighting-effects.png

The RGB lighting of the K100 is so intricate you can designate a shade or impact by the important thing. 


June Wan/ZDNet

From my expertise, the out-of-box configuration for the K100 is greater than sufficient to get via clerical duties, photograph modifying, and gaming. But for those who’re adventurous and search a keyboard that is as personable on the within as it’s on the surface, then the iCue software program ought to fulfill your wanderlust. Just know that almost all modifications can require four- to five-step processes (as proven within the picture above), so endurance is vital. 

Also: Best mechanical keyboards: How does the Corsair K100 stack up?

corsair-k100-rgb-side-lighting.jpg

Glowing lights encompass the edges and again of the K100 keyboard.


June Wan/ZDNet

Bottom line

At $229, the Corsair K100 RGB shouldn’t be for everybody. In many circumstances, the additional buttons and dialers will be considered as gimmicks and make you query whether or not there’s simply an excessive amount of on one plate. But for the area of interest of lovers and players who can reap the advantages of the added inputs and blazing-fast actuation velocity, the K100 is nearly as good because it will get. 

Alternatives to contemplate

Along with our working listing of one of the best mechanical keyboards, listed here are some worthy options to the Corsair K100 RGB: