If you’re a PC fan who follows a releases of Corsair’s and others’ new PC-gaming peripherals, we competence have had this unequivocally examination in a store or online:
“Is there a new Corsair keyboard or rodent out?”
“No. Not this week.”
Of course, Corsair doesn’t emanate keyboards or mice on a weekly, or even a monthly, basis. But a maestro builder of ever so many gaming peripherals and resource parts, in new years, has released a new or upgraded keyboard each time it has come adult with a new, commercial feature. Whether it’s a new form of automatic pivotal switch (like a “Cherry MX Speed”), or adding adequate RGB-lighting options to risk detain for sharpened off fireworks yet a permit, Corsair finesses whatever a new underline is into some-more keyboards to grow a already vast stable.
All this is a lead-up to a fact that Corsair has usually finished it again, here in a K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The keyboard blueprint isn’t new, and conjunction is a pattern software. But since disaster with what works? Instead, a underline behind a K68’s entrance is, ostensibly, increasing H2O and dirt resistance. Indeed, one of Corsair’s promotional images flaunts it…
But usually how water-resistant it is, and what Corsair means by “dust-resistant,” are applicable factors, matters that we’ll plead in a Features section. For now, let’s take a peek during a K68 on a outside…and dry.
Here’s a initial sight during a keyboard yet a water…
This is what we could good call a “Corsair Classic” look, and a unequivocally informed one it is, too. The keys are all backlit, yet this is not a multicolor or RGB keyboard; all was illuminated in red in a exam unit. The usually notable disproportion is in a bank of 7 media-control and -playback keys, in a top right corner…
And for a new Corsair automatic keyboard with backlighting, a MSRP of usually underneath $100 (it’s $99.99) is rather low. However, that means some other “luxury” earthy pattern elements that Corsair’s higher-priced mechanicals sport have been separated on this one. There’s no USB pass-through port, and no headphone or microphone inputs. Similarly, a frame, while feeling solid, is a brew of steel and plastic. It’s as large as ever—matte black, aside from a logo—and a measure are roughly a same as other full-size Corsair keyboards (the ones that conjunction discharge a series pad on a right, nor supplement macro keys on a left): 17.9 inches across, by 6.7 inches front to back, by 1.6 inches high.
There’s also a detachable wrist rest, that adds 1.6 inches to a depth…
As we can see, a wrist rest has a unequivocally slim rubber cloaking over plastic. We didn’t find a hardness overly comfortable, and it adds usually wrist support, not any kind of cushioning.
Not that a fingers are routinely given to slipping off a spacebar, or that a routinely sized bar is tough to find, yet this can’t hurt.
On a other hand, a K95 also had a span of feet that non-stop to a outward edges of a keyboard chassis, and we praised that feature. The suspicion was that if we were to pull a keyboard brazen by accident, a feet weren’t going to overlay down on you. Not so, here…
That said, a flip resource for a feet is many tighter on a K68 than in progressing models, harder to both open and close. We attempted a spin best to obstacle and tighten them while in use, yet we had no success. This is one set of keyboard feet that won’t snap sealed on we by mistake.
Finally, a K68 doesn’t have a thickly braided cord of some of Corsair’s some-more upscale keyboards. We cite that kind of outdoor covering, that helps conflict random repairs from pointy edges and objects around your desk. But a rubber covering of a K68’s 85-inch cord is comparatively thick, and it does a reasonable pursuit of protection.
The large underline that Corsair is touting for a K68 is H2O and dirt resistance. It reads well, yet a demon is in a details—or in this instance, in what’s meant by dust, and how many H2O is endangered when it hits a keyboard (and during what pressure).
Let’s start with a dirt resistance. Corsair tags a K68 with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 32, where a initial digit, 3, refers to solids. That series means a keyboard provides insurance opposite objects incomparable than 2.5 millimeters, or roughly a tenth of an in. across. These are particulates on a sequence of tiny crumbs, that are apparently a whole lot coarser than your customary dirt particles. IP is a very minute dimensions system—and, in it, dirt is privately referenced with an IP of 5, “dust protected,” or 6, “dust tight.”
This isn’t to contend that an IP 3 rating for solids is invalid for a keyboard. Far from it, yet it’s been a knowledge that Corsair’s keyboards—many of that have their keys placed good above a frame—have prolonged hexed this feature, or during slightest a pattern that de facto confers it. The customary Corsair pattern already reduces a odds of dust, grime, and food pieces from gumming adult a works. (We commented helpfully on it in a examination of a Corsair K95 RGB Platinum—as good as other, non-Corsair units that possess this feature, such as a Razer BlackWidow X Chroma.) But as distant as dirt is concerned, a K68’s IP rating of 3 doesn’t contend many about how it will mount adult to tangible powdery dust, glorious grit, or sand.
Corsair also claims increasing H2O resistance, formed on an IP rating of 2 for liquids. This means that dripping H2O won’t have any effect, if a enclosing is slanted during an angle of 15 degrees from a customary position to promote runoff. (An IP 3 rating for liquids would have meant spraying water, and an IP 4, for striking water.) So it can withstand small, peaceful dribbles that are immediately spotless up. If we incidentally douse some droplets of coffee, tea, or your favorite energy dash on a keyboard, we shouldn’t have to worry about short-circuiting any switches, so prolonged as we mop it adult during once. And that’s as distant as it goes, from a despotic IP-rating indicate of view.
In integrity to Corsair, a new silicon piece seals surrounding a pivotal switches should urge H2O and dirt resistance, by dint of fixation obstructions in a approach of tiny particulates removing in among a circuitry. We can’t pronounce to how prolonged a seals should final underneath unchanging use, as a association doesn’t residence this. Indeed, a IP ratings that Corsair drops on a K68 so lowball their new unit’s resistances, it sounds by their clarification as yet a K68 achieves zero some-more than other keyboards that usually place their keys above a keyboard frame. For a record, yes, we tested this by drizzling H2O on a unit’s keys, and wiping a rivulets away. There were no issues to report. As for a particles, we couldn’t do many over a bagel-eating simulation; it wasn’t probable to serve adult a sandstorm in a office.
A few other critical facilities are good value mentioning. The initial of these is a Corsair Utility Engine 2 (CUE2) program that supports a K68. It’s been lonesome so extensively and regularly in prior Computer Shopper reviews of Corsair keyboards and mice that we’ll usually promulgate a features…
The recently renovated pattern focus is large on self-advertisement, as we can see above. (To sense what we are saying there: We had a K68 commissioned alongside a Corsair Glaive RGB mouse; a program urged us to check out a new Corsair Void Wireless headset and an RGB-outfitted Corsair rodent pad.) That said, once we click on a suitable commissioned device, it gives we a raft of options.
Let’s quickly check out a Actions screen, accessible from a add-on on a left…
You can remap any key, as a legends suggest, including a numeric-function ones, and even extended keys such as a arrow keys, Insert, and Home. Want to pierce any of a K68’s 7 media keys anywhere else on a keyboard? Add a timer, or content strings? Launch an focus by dire a key? You can do these things, as well. There’s also a profile-switching option, since like so many Corsair keyboards, this one lets we store an total series of executable-specific profiles on your drive. This is a accessible underline when you’re personification a diversion that has mini-games with opposite order sets, where we would advantage from changing a pivotal layout.
The Macro Editor, in turn, supports a operation of engaging features, such as adding sounds, and a ability to place a span of macros on a singular key. (In a latter scenario, one macro activates when we press down, one when we release.) This is unequivocally useful if you’re alternately firing and kiting in a MOBA, or swapping between a span of guns in a shooter or movement title.
If you’re into messing around with pivotal lighting, you’ll find many options on a CUE2 Lighting Effects tab…
Beyond those displayed in a picture above, some of a effects in a list embody ones that request to multicolor/RGB Corsair keyboards (Spiral Rainbow, Rainbow Wave, and Color Wave), that won’t do we many good with a single-color backlighting here. You can also see above a span of selections for triggering lighting by pulpy pivotal (with possibly a pivotal lighting adult alone, or in a sputter effect). All this is good and good, yet it’s not as yet you’re going to spend many time looking during your keyboard while playing, so many of this underline set is effectively usually bling. However, it’s probable to associate lighting effects with a macro. So, for example, we can emanate a macro that flashes several keys on a K68 when a timed power-up in a diversion comes behind to full strength.
The Performance shade is flattering passed during a moment. Its categorical use is to configure that pivotal combos are also infirm when a Windows-key invalidate underline (“Winlock”) is on: Alt+Tab, Alt+F4, and a like…
You activate/deactivate Winlock around a dedicated symbol to a left of a media keys.
While some of a some-more costly Corsair mechanicals, such as a K95 RGB Platinum, make use of a extreme-gamer-minded Cherry MX Speed switches, a K68 comes with Cherry MX Red ones. They’re indeed utterly similar, with a light actuation vigour of 45cN, and a linear response that presents no fist indicate before activation. A Cherry MX Red switch activates when it’s pulpy by 2mm, as against to 1.2mm for a MX Speed keys—but a kicker is that roughly no one presses keys usually to a indicate of activation. We subdue them a whole way, or scarcely all a way, to make certain we don’t skip any by mistake—in that case, 2mm or 1.2mm are effectively a same thing.
While several keyboard companies, such as Logitech and Razer, as good as Corsair itself, like to surveillance their newest switch types, a fact that they’re all comparing their ostensible improvements to Cherry MX Red should tell we something about usually how good suspicion of it is. For tingle gaming, it’s supportive and great. We find it a bit too trigger-happy for typical typing, yet your mileage might vary. You usually have to try a opposite forms in a store to “get” a distinctions. The discerning summary: MX Red takes a lighter hold than a 3 many common other forms (Cherry MX Brown, MX Blue, and MX Black).
Finally, Corsair states that this keyboard supports N-key rollover. This means no matter how many keys we press concurrently (or in tighten vicinity to one another), all should register, with nothing of your keystrokes being lost. It’s substantially overkill—when is a final time we deliberately pulpy even 8 keys during a same time, many reduction 20 or more?—but if this is something we want, a K68 provides. We tested it regulating a online Microsoft Ghosting Demo, and it achieved as promised.
We tested a K68 opposite a operation of games in opposite genres: DOTA 2 (our tack MOBA), Grim Dawn (representing a movement RPGs), Ashes of Singularity (an RTS), Torment: Tides of Numenera (a some-more composed RPG), and Endless Space 2 (a turn-based plan game). Our reactions were a counterpart of those we’ve had regulating several prior Corsair keyboards, including those mentioned progressing in this review.
Put simply, a Cherry MX Red switches have a good feel, and CUE2 is a best stream pattern apparatus in a business if you’re unequivocally critical about shortcuts and elaborate machinations. We generally like being means to configure an total series of game-specific profiles, so that totally opposite macro sets bucket when we play DOTA 2, Grim Dawn, and Ashes of Singularity. We were also gratified that Corsair adds a ability to spin all a lighting flint into something a dedicated gamer will find useful, around macros.
The executive claims behind a K68’s release, however—the dirt and H2O resistance—we find underwhelming. As we minute above, a IP ratings that Corsair claims don’t request to practically sized dust, and they usually cover drizzling liquids, not a kind of dash outcome you’ll get if a full dash spills on your keyboard. It’s positively probable that a company’s new seals are some-more strong than that, yet if so, Corsair is being rather regressive in a claims, if we review a IP-rating glorious print. In short, we can usually take a association during a word, and it promises no some-more than several other manufacturers of automatic keyboards.
Still, even if we negligence a environmental-resistance hype, what we’re left with are best automatic switches and top-notch ancillary software, both for a plain price. This keyboard has dedicated media keys and a handsome, stout design, from a manufacturer with a proven record of removing it right. In short, don’t come to a K68 for H2O and dirt insurgency initial and foremost. Consider those, um, (droplets of) gravy. Come to it for an excellent, inexpensive entry-level gaming keyboard, and we won’t bewail your squeeze one bit.
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