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When it comes to gaming keyboards, one manufacturer is definitely above all others. Not only do Corsair models boast an elaborate design that has been copied many times, but the build quality is usually unparalleled. Recently though, the feature that sets apart its products is the quality of the companion software, which has been improving with each iteration.
A very popular model among Corsair’s mechanical lineup was the K70, whose only fault was a monochrome LED. In the age of RGB lighting, this was approach was soon considered outdated and therefore Corsair introduced its successor, the K70 RGB MK.2 (Check on Amazon.com). This keyboard is a complete redesign of the K70, but still recognizable as a successor of that model.
Corsair went through tons of data of user feedback in order to further improve the new model and optimize its functionality. In addition, Corsair has also incorporated some features that have trickled down from its current flagship model the K95 RGB Platinum (Check on Amazon.com).
The result is that the new K70 is still a solid performer with an enviable spec sheet but also a considerably more modern design.
The new key aspects of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 include features such as the improved industrial design with a new-generation aluminum frame, similar to the K95 RGB Platinum. This frame also sports the cable routing system on the underside. The media keys have an improved feeling and the volume wheel is larger and even fancier.
This version also comes with 8MB of onboard memory where you can store up to three profiles and switch between them without the need of additional software.
An absolute surprise was the price… since it remained the same despite all the new features and much better overall design.
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 – Design
Fresh out of the box the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 is a keyboard made of anodized aluminum that is robust and oozes quality. However, it is not until we connect it to the PC and its RGB LED lights turn on that we can really appreciate its design.
On top, right in the center, we find the Corsair logo, now illuminated (before it was just a piece of plastic). On the left, we find 3 buttons, one for changing profiles, one that shifts between 4 levels of light intensity and one that disables the Windows key (gaming mode). Meanwhile, on the right, we have 5 multimedia keys and the volume wheel.
The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 also includes a set of alternative keycaps for the QWERASDF keys, perfect for improving ergonomics in FPS and MOBA games, but less so for typing.
However, the true soul of this keyboard lies under its keys where we find the Cherry MX switches. You will be able to choose between 5 different types (Red, Brown, Blue, Silent, and Speed) of normal switches and 2 different types of low profile ones (Cherry MX Red Low Profile and Speed Low Profile) if the standard ones don’t satisfy you. Also, as a side note, this keyboard supports Full-Key Rollover anti-ghosting technology!
On the back, we have a USB port, perfect for connecting a mouse or USB headset, although not ideal for an external storage device since it’s only USB 2.0.
Cherry MX mechanical switches
So much has already been written and said about the Cherry MX mechanical switches that I won’t go into it too deep. When I don’t test a keyboard I use a Corsair K95 Platinum with Cherry MX Browns (for me they are perfectly balanced for work and gaming) as my daily driver. Nowadays there are plenty of alternatives for Cherry: Logitech’s Romer-G switches are a bit quieter (but no more quiet than Cherry’s MX Silent), Kailh’s switches are a bit cheaper, but the feeling of the original Cherry switches feels to me just right. Cherry MX switches are for me the safest starting point. They give the most freedom of choice and have the best price to quality ratio.
For typists, I would advise the MX Blue or Brown variants. MX Blue feels the best thanks to the tactile bump and click, but they are also loud and sub-optimal for FPS games.
In my view, the MX Browns are the safest choice: they have a nice touch for typists, balanced performance across all games, and no extra sounds that can become annoying.
MX Reds have no click, no feedback, are perfect for FPS games, among other things, but less suitable for typists.
MX Speeds are actually MX Reds on steroids; they have an even faster actuation point which is ideal for fast games, but the ease with which you sometimes unintentionally actuate a switch makes typing extremely clumsy in my experience.
MX Silent is similar to MX Reds, but with a soft landing when you push the button all the way down. This makes them quieter and for that, they cost a few dollars more.
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 – CUE software
Like all Corsair peripherals, the K70 RGB MK.2 also uses the very sophisticated “Corsair Utility Engine” or CUE that lets us customize almost every aspect of the keyboard. This includes not only setting the polling rate, brightness and lighting effects, macros and key functions, etc. but in addition to hardware configuration, the CUE software also offers monitoring tools where you can track important data.
The Corsair CUE software in combination with a Corsair RGB keyboard (such as the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2) is currently the most powerful combination in the gaming market. In addition, Corsair has spent a relatively large amount of time in the development and simultaneous integration of all its hardware components on one screen. If you have more than one Corsair products in your PC, you can use this software to control and color match all of them.
The Corsair keyboard can be completely occupied with macros, whereby the operation here is somewhat more complicated due to the many options, as well as the lighting. You just have to familiarize yourself with the CUE software. For example, the inexperienced user should not immediately realize how to put a macro on a button, because the option is actually displayed nowhere. Knowing that you just have to click on a button on the virtual keyboard, it’s not complicated at all.
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 – Verdict
The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 (Check on Amazon.com) is a Strafe RGB MK.2 (Check on Amazon.com) with an aluminum finish, or a K95 Platinum (Check on Amazon.com) without macro keys and no RGB LED edge. Both of these keyboards (the Strafe and the K95) are just excellent.
So where does all that leave the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2? It is a beautiful and solid performer, with excellent software support, a comfortable wrist rest, handy multimedia keys and top of the range RGB illumination. We also appreciate Corsair’s choice to stay true to Cherry MX switches, because in our view you can’t go wrong with them. Even better: The K70 RGB MK.2 now offers more choice: Brown, Blue, Red, Silent, and Speed (2 more than the previous model).
The extra macro keys make the K95 Platinum quite big while the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 is just perfect. Also, its aluminum finish makes it a bit chicer to look at than the plastic one on the Strafe.
All these make the K70 RGB MK.2 strike the perfect balance in Corsair’s current lineup!