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Corsair creates some of the best peripherals on the market, like excellent gaming keyboards and mice. The company stands out, especially for its gaming products. The only exception so far was the excellent Corsair K63 (Check on Amazon.com), a mechanical (gaming) keyboard with Cherry MX Red or Blue switches. Now, the company has launched the Corsair K83 Wireless (Check on Amazon.com), a multimedia keyboard ideal for the living room thanks to its versatility.
Corsair K83 Wireless – Design
In the package, we find the keyboard, a USB dongle and a micro USB cable that charges the keyboard or for a wired connection. The keyboard itself is premium. The surface is brushed aluminum, while the rest is made of plastic, which is why it is so light, which makes it ideal for the living room.
The keyboard itself is backlit so you can easily use it in the dark. The layout is similar to a normal keyboard, except that instead of a NUM pad it sports a touchpad. The touchpad gives out a good feeling and is quite responsive. More about that later. You can use the two mouse buttons underneath it, or use the L and R buttons on the back and rear. Above the touchpad, you can even find a joystick. This can be used together with the L and R keys to navigate an interface or even play games. It is not ideal for fast pace shooters but is OK for strategy titles or something similar.
Operating the PC or TV with this configuration is intuitive and relatively straightforward.
Next to the joystick, we find the backlight and F-Lock button. Above them is one of the main features of many Corsair keyboards: the metallic volume wheel, which does a fantastic job at adjusting the volume.
Corsair K83 Wireless – Features
A multimedia keyboard must be compact and light: the K83 Wireless weighs just 482 grams and is long enough (381mm) to position it in your lap while sitting comfortably on the sofa. Its reduced height (125mm) and thickness (28mm) make it quite discreet and easy to store.
The integrated touchpad is of good quality and supports Windows 10’s gestures. It is also very precise but we find that its circular shape, instead of the classic rectangle one, offers less usable area.
Corsair claims that the K83 has an autonomy of 40 hours, although the battery runs out way faster when the backlighting is turned on. In any case, we were delighted to find LED lights on such a keyboard; we just regret not being able to change the light intensity directly from the keyboard; you have to go through the Corsair iCue software for that.
The K83 also sports wireless connectivity. The high-speed 2.4GHz USB dongle is equivalent to a wired connection (1000Hz/1ms) and therefore ideal for video games. The Bluetooth 4.2 Low Latency module can connect with up to two devices. Thus the K83 Wireless can pair with three devices (1×2.4GHz, 2xBluetooth) simultaneously and switch between them with a press of a button (F5, F6, and F7).
Corsair K83 Wireless – Verdict
It works, but… Corsair’s K83 Wireless Entertainment keyboard turns out to be a solid solution for controlling an HTPC. However, Corsair’s marketing department claims that this is a “gaming” keyboard, which is clearly not! This is not a gaming keyboard and it is not even a good controller replacement.
It is still suitable for the rare game that is turned based and can benefit from many buttons. The K83 is an interesting hybrid, but it has too many limitations. It is a solid multimedia keyboard but for couch gaming, there are way better solutions out there.
The dealbreaker for me is the price: (Check on Amazon.com). A combination of a more affordable HTPC keyboard, such as the Logitech K830 (Check on Amazon.com) and a gamepad or the Valve’s Steam controller (Check on Amazon.com) costs less and can do more. And if you really want to play on the sofa, you can go for the Roccat Sova (Check on Amazon.com), Razer Turret (Check on Amazon.com), or Corsair’s Lapboard (Check on Amazon.com). Even if “the” perfect solution for couch gaming does not exist, each of these devices ultimately seems more versatile and thus makes more sense.