Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Review
Corsair's keyboards have been a mainstay in the gaming world for years and years now, with both professionals and casual consumers alike really loving what they've got on offer. Today we're taking a look at the K70 MK.2 Low Profile which houses the new Cherry MX Low Profile mechanical switches. Those have a much thinner profile and a lower actuation point and overall travel distance when compared to standard Red switches. Read our full review to find out all about these switches, and about whether or not this keyboard and its features will suit you personally.
"By optimizing your palm position through lower key height and accessibility optimized multimedia controls, the all new Low Profile keyboard design brings your palms closer to a parallel position for a more natural feel."Corsair
Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile - First Impressions
The Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile (I'll stick to calling it K70 for this review; the board comes with a very wide variety of different switches though) looks and feels premium when you first unbox it, there's really no doubt about it. From the brushed aluminum finish to the beautifully backlit logo: there is no doubt that you're holding a high end gaming keyboard. The only thing that kind of breaks this feeling is the included wrist rest. It's not bad (and not every manufacturer even includes a wrist rest, so I'm not really complaining) but there are definitely better feeling wrist rests out there. That's only a minor gripe though.
While the 'in your face' font of this board might not please everyone I don't have any problems with it at all as I personally prefer bigger and more legible fonts over smaller and more subtle ones if I had to choose. The board itself has dedicated media keys, including a very nice volume rocker and onboard controls (and thus storage) for changing between profiles, changing the brightness of the lighting (you can also turn it off entirely) and activating gaming mode so that you can't accidentally press the Windows key during intense moments. While this is obviously not a regular office style keyboard it does look pretty tasteful, with Corsair shying away from going for an overly garish gamer-oriented look. The only visible branding on the board is the Corsair logo on top, and that combined with the sleek looks and premium finish make this keyboard a classy looker if you're asking me.
The housing of the K70 MK.2 is made out of plastic but the entire top part is covered with a decently thick sheet of brushed aluminum. That doesn't only look nice; it also makes the keyboard all the more durable. Corsair says on their website that this is aircraft-grade aluminum, and while I am not an aircraft engineer (nor am I any sort of engineer) I can definitely say that this is a sturdy feeling keyboard overall. There's little to no flexing or creaking at all when I apply pressure on the sides of the board.
The RGB lighting isn't the brightest I've ever seen when you use it with the included keycaps but it does look really nice and smooth. The people at Corsair aren't slouches when it comes to RGB lighting and the K70 definitely looks gorgeous if you're a fan of these kinds of things.
Corsair provide a ton of extra stuff with the K70 RGB MK.2. Inside the box you'll find the wrist rest (which, again, isn't fantastic by any stretch of the imagination, but it is included so all good in my book) along with a keycap puller and two sets of textured keycaps (one for FPS gaming and one for MOBA gaming) if you'd like your main gaming keys to have that little extra grippy touch. Obviously you also get the usual documentation in the box.
I have to say that I'm impressed with everything they included here. While you might not use the wrist rest or extra key caps they are there should you want to, and the addition of a keycap puller is always a welcome one in my book, since everyone who takes care of their gear will need one at some point.
Size & Dimensions
Features and build
Obviously the K70 MK.2 is a keyboard that's not intended to be used as an ultra-portable solution for people who are constantly traveling. It's a 'battlestation' type board, and it has all the features you'd expect out of a product like that. It's also plenty durable, though. As I said earlier on in the review: it's topped with an aluminum plate and the rest of the keyboard is made out of a pretty thick plastic material, so if you want to take this show on the road you won't have to worry about it being able to take a bit of abuse.
The K70 MK.2 has a USB passthrough port (which is towards the middle on the back side of the board) along with full media controls and on-board storage for up to three different profiles so it's really easy to have different setups for a variety of different genres, for example. Personally, I believe that a 'home base style' keyboard should have media controls and a USB passthrough port, and while I don't automatically disqualify full size keyboards that don't have these features I do always love it when they are included, so as far as I'm concerned this is the perfect setup.
On the bottom of the keyboard it's your standard fare: you get four large rubber feet to prevent the plank from sliding around and a pair of adjustment feet so that you can slightly angle the entire thing if that's what you want. I would have liked to see some cable routing options here though. The included cable is pretty thick and unwieldy, so it would've been nice to have the option to rout it towards a certain side or angle for a cleaner look. This isn't a deal breaker or anything, it's merely something they can consider when designing future iterations of this product.
When they're doing that they could perhaps also take a look at the included wrist rest. I won't knock it; it feels fine to use and the slightly rubberized texture doesn't get sticky or uncomfortable after long gaming sessions, but there are undoubtedly better stock wrist rests out there. It's cool that they included it, but there is some room for improvement here, that's what I'm trying to say.
The included extra key caps have the same sort of rubber texturing to them as what you'll find on the space bar and they're a nice inclusion. They don't feel too different from the regular caps where it can become annoying to use them for regular productivity but they give you a nice and grippy texture for when you're gaming. Not everyone will like these caps, but that's why they're optional.
If you install Corsair's iCUE software you can fully customize the backlighting as well as create macros, save profiles, and so on. This all works fine, and Corsair's software really is very expansive and detailed, perhaps even too much so. I don't consider myself a newbie when it comes to these sorts of things, but it took me a bit of time to figure out how to get the RGB lighting to do exactly what I wanted it to do. Once you've gotten used to the software the possibilities are nearly endless, but do be aware of the fact that there's a (slight) learning curve here.
Performance and every day use
Note: my testing board has the Low Profile Red switches, though the Mk.2 is also available with other switches. Click here to learn more about different switch types.
The most noteworthy feature of this particular version of the K70 Mk.2 is obviously the fact that it has the Low Profile switches. These have a lower actuation distance and lower overall travel than regular Reds, and boy are they fast. When I first started using this board I really needed some time to stop myself from accidentally typing too many letters. That's probably down to a combination of me not using Red switches all that often and the fact that these switches actuate much faster than regular Reds, but I do feel like it's one of the faster keyboards that I've used so far.
The typing (and gaming) experience can best be described as a mixture between using a laptop-style keyboard and standard (linear) mechanical switches. There's not a lot of tactility here at all, so if you're looking for that 'clicky clacky' kind of feeling you're better off going for a different switch type, but if you're after speed and a lightning fast actuation this is a definite option.
The required actuation force of 45G means that these keys aren't prone to accidentally actuation when resting your fingers on them either; the extremely fast feeling comes from the shorter travel distance and lower actuation point. I can't say that these are my favorite switches ever (since I do like some tactility to my keyboard switches) but I can imagine these are a straight hit for people who like the feeling of standard Reds and/or people who want a linear switch with a shorter travel.
This is a very silent board as well. The lack of a tactile click on these switches along with the nicely implemented Cherry stabilizers underneath the spacebar and so on make for one of the quietest mechs I've used so far. In the sound test to the right you can hear me typing some sentences, but do note that I have a pretty heavy touch when I'm typing, so if you're a light typist then you could probably get it to sound a little bit quieter still.
Something that I really like here is how the switches sit directly atop the backplate, meaning that they're not 'entrenched' in a cutout. This makes cleaning the keyboard a breeze (just blow out the dust with a can of compressed air) and as someone who goes crazy whenever I see a hair stuck between my keys this is something that I really love, and aesthetically it also gives the keyboard a certain pleasing aesthetic.
In any case: this keyboard will not let you down if you're looking for a fast and linear switch which gives you a middle-of-the-road experience between flat laptop keys and a mechanical switch. It performs flawlessly in game and with full N-key rollover you're not gonna have any problems with ghosting or the likes. The Low Profile switches won't be for everyone, but that's the case with every mechanical switch.
About the whole Low Profile aspect, then; is there a huge difference? For me, there is and there isn't. I don't notice any ergonomic benefits to having this flatter style of keyboard, nor did my ingame performance improve when using this keyboard, but your mileage may obviously vary. If you're more keen on the flat design of laptop keyboards versus the bulkier feeling that you get from mechanical keyboard then this could be the one for you, but if you don't have a strong preference there's not a whole lot of difference to be felt if you're only talking about the wrist feeling. The switches, as I mentioned earlier, do obviously provide a very unique experience.
Conclusion & Recommendation
The Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is an interesting product, and not in a bad way.
It's a very well-built full size keyboard that has pretty much everything you could want out of a 'stay at home' type of keyboard, including USB passthrough, media controls, and a wrist rest so in essence this is a really great package. The Low Profile switches on this particular copy won't please everyone, however. If you're after a tactile feeling you're better off getting this one with some other type of switch, but if you've got a need for speed this combo of laptop-style flat keys and a mechanical switch will probably please you immensely.
As with most products that I review there are some areas where they can improve. The wrist rest isn't anything special at all, and I would have loved to see some cable routing options on the bottom of the board, but this is objectively a great product. It looks and performs beautifully so if you're looking for a premium full sized board this could definitely be the one for you. Do note that it can take quite a while to get used to these Low Profile switches if you're a heavy typist and/or you're used to heavier switches, but this board is also available with more classic Reds and other switches if you're not keen on trying the Low Profiles.