In many keyboard reviews, a intro gives we a spiel on how critical it is to have a “gaming” keyboard in sequence to play PC games. Such keyboards stress a X array of milliseconds their imagination switches will save we on greeting times. If you’re one of a many people who have switched from rubber architecture to automatic switches, you’ll notice an apparent disproportion in typing peculiarity that mostly translates into softened comfort and accuracy. However, unless you’re a top-level veteran gamer, chances are we won’t notice many of a disproportion in your greeting time—or any of a other attributes that gaming keyboard manufacturers guarantee their products will improve. The usually genuine advantage offering by gaming keyboards is anti-ghosting.
So, now that we’ve shot this whole difficulty in a leg, what about gaming keyboards creates them value buying? Their demeanour and feel positively help. Nobody wants to uncover adult during a LAN celebration toting a $20 keyboard they borrowed from an accounting department, and some preference facilities do come in accessible while playing. However, such differences, and a impact they have on a final gaming experience, tend to dark when compared to software.
Today’s gaming keyboards and mice come versed with programs that concede we to customize and raise your knowledge over what a matte-black finish and imagination switches can provide. Of course, not all pattern program is combined equal. Some config programs don’t offer many customization. Some are merely saved settings menus. But other programs, like a Corsair Utility Engine (CUE), yield an roughly vast volume of customization that truly does raise a gaming experience.
We’re going to take a tighten demeanour during Corsair’s $119.99 K68 RGB, though know a biases going in. Bells and whistles are cool, though program will make or mangle a experience.
When disconnected, a Corsair K68 RGB looks like a customary mid-range gaming keyboard, detached from a grip-textured space bar…
The keyboard is matte-black, with a Corsair trademark centered above a duty keys, and a fixed, non-braided USB wire centered behind a logo. To a right of a logo, you’ll find a liughtness composition symbol and Windows close key, as good as indicator LEDs for Num, Caps, and Scroll Lock. Keep going to strech a volume control buttons, that are backlit, as are a media control buttons directly underneath them. Keycaps are concave, with a black on any pivotal (numbers and F keys included) etched so they concede a backlighting to gleam through.
The keyboard comes with a detachable, grip-textured wrist rest…
Unlike many wrist rests during this cost range, a K68’s is not magnetic. It attaches around dual pinchable cosmetic prongs that shave into a K68’s underside. Unlike some captivating wrist rests, this pattern won’t incidentally detach when we strike it. On a other hand, it’s heavy to insert or remove. The wrist rest is textured for gripping, though it’s still tough plastic, creation it usually incrementally some-more gentle for typing than a corner of your desk.
The keyboard’s backside is zero fancy…
Two rubber feet insert nearby a bottom, and a set of flippable feet recess during a top. Only one tallness environment is offered, so we go either elevated or flat. A array of tiny holes dot a backside of a keyboard.
Performance and Features
The K68 is impressively tough. Both a red and RGB models were built with insurgency in mind, earning an IP32 certification. This means that a K68 should be stable opposite repairs from H2O sprayed adult to 15 degrees from vertical. Essentially, a spill-proof (officially homogeneous to rainfall of adult to 3mm per minute), though not waterproof—a useful underline for gamers who suffer their appetite drinks during gameplay. According to Corsair’s documentation, a K68 has dual lines of invulnerability opposite spills. A piece of rubber silicone protects a middle areas of a keyboard, and a keyboard’s innards underline channels that route your libation from critical components to drainage holes in a bottom of a keyboard.
Under a durable exterior, we find one of a keyboard’s tip attractions: Cherry MX Red switches, that underline an actuation force of 45g and an actuation indicate of 2.0mm…
Cherry Reds are typically elite by FPS players for their quick, still responsiveness.
Alongside a excellent switches, a K68 has 100 percent anti-ghosting with full pivotal rollover. When a pivotal is “ghosted,” a keystroke doesn’t register and so goes undetected. This ordinarily occurs when mixed keys are pulpy during once. Key rollover refers to how many keys can be pulpy during once and still register in a system. Full pivotal rollover allows all keys to be pulpy concurrently and still be detected.
The strange K68 is matching to a K68 RGB, save for a miss of RGB backlighting and attendant Corsair Utility Engine program that creates a RGB lighting, well, shine. What creates CUE so desirable? The unconstrained control it offers users over backlighting and macros.
Admittedly, when we downloaded CUE for a K68 RGB, we found a tradition pivotal lighting a bit of a pain to figure out. Corsair advertises that a keyboard’s backlight colors can be customized down to a particular key, and this is positively true. It’s Corsair’s doing that’s so unintuitive. Like clearly any other keyboard pattern app, CUE provides a array of preset patterns from that users can choose. All a common faces, such as “rainbow spiral” or “ripple,” are present. Note that these elementary lighting modes can be activated and manipulated (speed, duration, and direction) around function-key shortcuts, even if we don’t implement CUE. However, CUE provides even some-more customization. For example, we can covering mixed lighting effects and classify them by priority. Lighting layers on a tip would be some-more visually apparent than reduce layers.
While carrying “ripple” play over “spiral rainbow” was cool, we still wanted to set a possess patterns. Individual pivotal lighting options are located in a “static color” preset. In other keyboard applications, immobile tone allows we to name one tone for a whole keyboard. Corsair’s take on “static color” is distant some-more engaging though rather hidden. The forever useful Help Text symbol sensitive us that we could allot a tone to a pivotal or groups of keys. We found that if, with tone assignment engaged, we click on one key, that pivotal takes on a comparison color. If we click and drag, a box appears that allows we to name mixed keys. From there on, it’s a elementary matter of boring your rodent over a organisation of keys and selecting a right color. While this is sincerely simple, it would have been useful if a Help Text symbol explained entirely how to use this feature.
Now, maybe you’re like us, and we consider it would be cold to have WASD illuminated in an irritable red while a classical “rainbow spiral” continued in a background. But wait, we can’t usually drag over WASD though also selecting Q and E. But if we click one key, and afterwards click another, it deselects a initial key. It turns out we can reason a Ctrl pivotal to name mixed keys around click—a shining underline that would be even improved if a program explained how to use it.
With a lighting facilities entirely figured out, a possibilities for customization and tradition patterns are probably limitless. You can light adult any pivotal we enterprise in over 16 million colors and use a presets to fill in vacant spots on your keyboard once we run out of artistic ideas. With a initial ambiguity of navigating a software’s interface out of a way, CUE’s lighting complement delivers scarcely gigantic possibilities.
CUE has one of a many fleshed-out macro pattern collection around, installed with a accumulation of imagination features. The macro content underline allows we to enter bodies of content as one macro rather than carrying to record a particular actions of any keystroke. This proves quite useful for RPG players who’d like to set adult their skills though cluttering their macro profile. The remap pivotal underline does usually what it says. For those who cite arrow keys over WASD, remapping a arrows to duty as WASD prevents we from carrying to change a control intrigue for any new diversion we play. Like many macro editors, we can have mixed profiles, vouchsafing we simply switch to a opposite set of macros for opposite games. The media launch focus timer allows we to set a timer that can play a sound, capacitate an option, or trigger a lighting effect. For instance, we had fun environment adult media timers to change a keyboard lights to let us know when a cooldown on abilities ends in Overwatch.
The macro editor also annals rodent movement, clicks, and corkscrew circle movement. Our favorite use of this underline was environment a macro to unequivocally fast make Team Fortress 2’s Scout perform a discerning 180 and glow his shotgun to take out annoying Spies attempting a backstab. CUE’s macro editor also allows we to set a double macro, that means we can connect dual macros to a same key, executing both simultaneously. Example: We combined a imagination lighting outcome on a keyboard whenever we used a 180-degree anti-Spy spin.
Moving on from a macro editor, a Performance add-on allows we to invalidate certain pivotal bindings while “Windows lock” is activated. The Windows close underline prevents a Windows pivotal from being used. Without Windows lock, we competence incidentally minimize your diversion by dire a Windows pivotal when we meant to press Ctrl, that is ordinarily a “crouch” pivotal in many FPS games. The list of bindings that can be infirm includes Alt + Tab, Shift + Tab, and a many critical one, Alt + F4. Alt + F4 is a multiple that closes your stream window, so gripping that one infirm is a intelligent idea.
If all of a above sounds like a referendum on CUE rather than a K68 RGB hardware, greatfully know that, in a minds, a dual are inextricably linked. If we usually wish to speak about a hardware, yeah—the K68 is a satisfactory unit. The MX Red keys are well-spoken and comfortable. Build peculiarity is Corsair’s usual, definition superb. Now, for $90, would we design a K68 to underline some-more engaging facilities than backlighting, media keys, and a rather unimpressive wrist rest? Not necessarily. For a no-name code perplexing to benefit a foothold in a gaming keyboard market, we’d design to see $60 to $80 for automatic switches with these specs and plain features. For a reward name and build like Corsair, generally with a IP32 resilience thrown in, $90 seems fair.
That takes us to a K68 RGB. Now, we’re asking: Is a RGB lighting and control value an additional $30? We’ve shown adequate use instances above to give we a clarity for how we competence answer that doubt for yourself. For us, a answer pennyless down to dual elements: it’s fun to watch, and it improves a clarity of a diversion play. Not a opening —the clarity of a ability to see what’s what and where to press. More clarity means fewer mistakes and so improved results. Is it a night-and-day difference? Of march not. But are those mostly unsubstantial advantages value $30? For many, including us, yes.
Of course, a CUE lighting customization goes palm in palm with Corsair’s macro editor. We adore a timers for switching lighting profiles, and that underline that executes dual macros with one pivotal should be customary emanate for any critical gaming keyboard. Fortunately for Corsair, it’s not. If Corsair usually did a improved pursuit with a UI and/or documentation, we would call a program side of this product officious irresistible.
In a end, what we unequivocally get with a K68 RGB is a peculiarity of a $160-to-$170 gaming knowledge for roughly 50 dollars less. If we like a Cherry MX Red feel, and if a CUE use described here starts we salivating, we would be tough pulpy to suggest a improved option.
Corsair K68 RGB
This durable automatic keyboard offers good software. The tradition lighting is a bit wily during first, though once we figure it out, a possibilities are endless.
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