vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
Countdown to 2019 and win big with the HEXUS Epic Giveaway [x]
facebook rss twitter

Review: Corsair Vengeance K70

by Parm Mann on 10 December 2013, 13:30

Tags: Corsair

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab57b

Add to My Vault: x

Key-By-Key Illumination

Whichever model you choose, you can look forward to backlit keys with per-key programmability, through which you can illuminate/highlight a specific set of keys. Four brightness levels are available - and they're needed as maximum brightness is far too strong to live with - and Corsair has managed to keep software out of the equation.

Instead, you can toggle all the lights on/off using a dedicated button, and by holding the backlight customisation key for a couple of seconds, you can choose which keys to illuminate simply by pressing them. Light bindings are saved to on-board memory so you needn't worry about losing your settings, and on the whole the backlight system works well.

Our only reservation is one that's common with all mechanical keyboards: the individual LEDs are placed above the Cherry MX switches, resulting in uneven illumination across the entire key. Corsair has used an obvious workaround - letters are simply positioned higher on the keys - but a better solution is now just around the corner.

Contoured Gaming

There's no software configuration to speak of, so Corsair continues to rely on hardware customisation. Chief among these are the bundled contoured and textured keycaps for WASD and 1-6.

The 10 optional keycaps are easy to install using the provided keycap replacement tool, and as was the case with the K60, the idea is that the extra definition will make it easier to locate the all-important WASD keys.

In our experience, the concept works well when gaming, and we like the fact that Corsair has done away with the rubberised top for a plastic keycap that's more in keeping with the rest of the board.

The textured top still provides plenty of definition, but the keys now feel more familiar. It's good news for gamers, but if, like us, you also do a lot of typing, the contoured keys may prove to be a nuisance: we don't enjoy typing with them installed, and rather than chop-and-change on a regular basis, we've ultimately resorted to not using them at all.

Summary

Corsair can be applauded for listening to consumer feedback and delivering a product that caters to the needs of gamers. Building on the strengths of the original K60, the upgraded Vengeance K70 raises the bar with a full mechanical layout, a choice of Cherry MX switches and key-by-key backlighting.

Solid build quality, great looks and dedicated multimedia controls all add to the appeal, yet while there are clear improvements, we haven't quite reached mechanical perfection. Corsair has refrained from adding programmable macro keys - they're reserved for the top-of-the-line Vengeance K95 - and the USB passthrough functionality hasn't been upgraded to SuperSpeed 3.0.

Minor niggles remain, but really, anyone in the market for a high-end mechanical keyboard should be giving the Vengeance K70 some serious consideration.


The Good

Available with a choice of switches
Key-by-key backlighting
Sturdy aluminium top plate
Good multimedia controls
Comfortable full-size palm rest
No software required
Looks great

The Bad

USB passthrough isn't SuperSpeed
Lacks programmable macro keys


HEXUS.awards


Corsair Vengeance K70

HEXUS.where2buy

The Corsair Vengeance K70 mechanical gaming keyboard is available to purchase from Scan Computers*.

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Our only reservation is one that's common with all mechanical keyboards: the individual LEDs are placed above the Cherry MX switches, resulting in uneven illumination across the entire key. Corsair has used an obvious workaround - letters are simply positioned higher on the keys - but we're surprised nobody has put forth a better solution.

But someone already has…
http://hexus.net/tech/news/peripherals/63285-cherry-corsair-partner-colourful-mx-rgb-keyboards/
…and some were put off by the absence of backlit keys.
I consider this a feature. I'm still using my original Saitek Eclipse keyboard from way back when, and the one thing that annoys me is having to redisable the back-lighting on every reboot. As a touch typist, finding homerow isn't a problem for me at all, even in pitch black. So I have my eye on the K65 as a replacement (don't punch a crazy load of numbers in often so tenkeyless is fine too, an advantage, even, less desk bulk obstructing the mouse).
'USB passthrough isn't SuperSpeed' Does it need to be? Its a keyboard. Not an external hdd. I can't imagine a keyboard being able to take advantage of 5Gbit/s… ever. Correct me if I'm wrong but I am correct in thinking this?
“The Brown and Blue key-switch varieties are only available on the silver board…”

Correction - the brown and blues are only available on the gunmetal grey keyboard. I know this because I'm typing on the brown switch gunmetal K70 right now and desperately wanted the browns on the silver one (or black even) in preference. If it ever comes out on silver I'll be a little miffed…

My personal take? First time with mechanical and love it. I really wanted a few media keys and volume roller but truth is I hardly touch them. The new WASD V2 keyboard has no excess buttons but has media functions available as Fn combinations with the Ins, Home, PgUp etc buttons. An elegant alternative.

As a touch typist I almost never have the backlighting on but it does look cool. Nit picking but the Shift symbols above then top row number come out brighter than the numbers themselves due to the LED positioning.

3 other gripes: firstly, I can't disable bright white caps, scroll and num lock indicator lights (well, unless I turn num lock off, but I don't want to).

Secondly, I really noticed how compact this is compared to my old OEM Logitech. The Function keys are too close to the number row and the Ins, Home, PgUp cluster, arrow keys, num pad and main keys are all too close together. My hand often goes blind to these keys and often mistypes. Never with the logitech. The wider gap inbetween key clusters is actually useful for delineating key position, despite a slight increase in side.

Lastly, a 3 port USB hub would be awesome. (e.g. flash drive, mouse, USB headphone DAC etc.)
Hope you're listening Corsair for the K75… :)

@Luke7
“'USB passthrough isn't SuperSpeed' Does it need to be? Its a keyboard. Not an external hdd. I can't imagine a keyboard being able to take advantage of 5Gbit/s… ever.”
Sounds apologist to me. What if I wanted to plug in my slim SSD enclosure into the keyboard for fast transfers? It's v conveniently placed and the extra speed wouldn't go amiss. Really, USB 3.0 came out over FIVE years ago. I thought we were trying to encourage the spread of improved standards…
Luke7
'USB passthrough isn't SuperSpeed' Does it need to be? Its a keyboard. Not an external hdd. I can't imagine a keyboard being able to take advantage of 5Gbit/s… ever. Correct me if I'm wrong but I am correct in thinking this?

This is referring to the USB ports on the keyboard itself. It might well use 5Gbit/s if whatever you're plugging in wants to run at such bandwidth