Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire registers keys with blinding speed

Corsair is updating its popular K70 keyboard this morning with a model that's built for speed. The K70 RGB Rapidfire features a new type of Cherry key switch—the MX Speed RGB—that only has to move 1.2 mm before it registers a key press. Corsair claims that short stroke makes the MX Speed RGB switch among the most responsive on the market, and there may be something to that claim. Gaming peripherals competitor Razer says its in-house mechanical switches have a 1.9-mm actuation distance, for example, and regular Cherry switches need two millimeters of travel to trigger. Otherwise, the MX Speed RGB's 45-gram weight and linear operation sound similar to Cherry MX Reds.

New keyswitches aside, Corsair didn't mess with the K70 RGB's winning formula too much. The Rapidfire still features the same aluminum top plate and open deck as its predecessors, and a cluster of dedicated multimedia keys still sits in the upper-right corner of the board. Corsair did add a USB pass-through port to the Rapidfire, though, a feature that was missing from the original K70 RGB. The Rapidfire's space bar is now textured for easy identification under the thumb. Corsair also updated the font it's using on the Rapidfire's keycaps to make it larger and more legible.

Like the original K70 RGB, the Rapidfire's per-key RGB LED backlighting can be configured to display a dizzying array of colors and animations using Corsair's CUE software. Corsair warrants the K70 Rapidfire for two years, and it says the Rapidfire will carry a $169.99 suggested price when it hits store shelves. We have a Rapidfire in our labs for review now—in fact, you're looking at it in the image above. Stay tuned for our impressions.

Comments closed
    • Mr Bill
    • 3 years ago

    When you evaluate these keyboards, please make comments about impressions about how much light gets through keycaps and makes key lettering visible vs how much just lights up the area around the base of the keys and might even make the key lettering harder to see.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    Love the look of these Keyboards. But waiting for the switches I want.

    • OrangeDickFace
    • 3 years ago

    Does the color reproduction of the LEDs seem better than on the original K70 RGB? I remember there was a problem with the led controller where the LEDs used to flicker when you had them refresh at full speed because they wouldn’t reproduce all the colors, and they had to put out an updated firmware to fix it, and even after that there were still some issues.

    • tanker27
    • 3 years ago

    The new software lets you do some things crazy like the colors will change on key press. Looks crazy for full on touch typing in the dark. 😉

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    For the purposes of comparison, what is the actuation distance for standard Cherry MX red/blue/brown type switches?

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      It’s 2mm, sorry. I’ll add that to the piece.

        • hechacker1
        • 3 years ago

        Is that the full distance to bottom out the key, or the distance required for the key to register?

        I have a Rapidfire with Cherry MX Red’s, and I don’t have to completely press down the key.

        I’m actually worried that 1.2mm would feel too much like a laptop keyboard with no travel?

          • DancinJack
          • 3 years ago

          Actuation = register. Not bottom out.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 3 years ago

    Is RGB a big selling point to TR readers? I think most of us are physically aged past 15 where a keyboard with a rainbow-strobe effect isn’t appealing. Do you nerds actually want this??

      • superjawes
      • 3 years ago

      It’s so pretty, though…

      • droid126
      • 3 years ago

      I’m 25, but I’ve been reading Tech Report since I was about 15. I like RGB Keyboards. I would probably play with the various backlight animations for a few days then just pick a color. gadgets doing something cool just because they can and nerds buying it is like a tradition

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      I still use the K70 RGB I reviewed a while back as my daily driver. I don’t use the crazy backlight animations that you can enable on it, but being able to match my peripheral colors across devices is nice. I have a Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum mouse with RGB LEDs, so coordinating the keyboard and mouse colors is simple and satisfying.

        • tanker27
        • 3 years ago

        Yup I have the same K70 RGB. Most keys are blue, ESDF are Red, ESC is Red, F keys are green. Nothing too fancy and all colors are static.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        I’m of this same mindset. I definitely don’t go overboard, most of the systems I build don’t even have case windows. But I HATE the “standard” blue LED color scheme of most computer parts. I switched out the blue power and hdd LEDs on the front of my Silverstone PS07B case with red ones. Accordingly I like to match that color on my keyboard and would do the same if my mouse were lit.

        Coordinated lighting and/or component colors can give a cohesive effect to a system without going Extr3me G@m3r with it.

        Having the ability to highlight the WASD keys and/or other surrounding keys that users typically hit in games could be helpful.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 3 years ago

        I have the non rgb K70 with brown switches and a g502 Proteus core. Nice setup. I love the combination.

      • EzioAs
      • 3 years ago

      For me, the temptation of RGB LEDs isn’t that I can have multiple colours light up, but rather I can choose one colour that I like and set all LEDs to the same colour and if I get bored of that colour in the future, I have the option to choose other colours.

      It’s quite tempting really, but definitely not tempting enough to spend $170. Plus, my original K70 is still fine and I suspect I will keep using it until it breaks.

      EDIT: Apparently I’ve been ninja’d by Jeff.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 years ago

      Physically I’m decades past 15…but my maturity level is probably below that number. 🙂 Actually, my eyes respond strongly to color, so my calendars and spreadsheets are very color coded–and my OP on the strobe effect was purely for humor. I do want color zones for gaming or for the number pad though.

      • Voldenuit
      • 3 years ago

      Hehe, I don’t even have a backlit keyboard on my rig and that suits me fine (Rosewill 9000 MX Red). I do appreciate the backlit keyboard on my yoga, though.

      • Sabresiberian
      • 3 years ago

      Not sure why some people think all you can do with RGB keyboards is make moving rainbow patterns. . .

      I’m 60, and I use a Corsair K95 RGB. I like to match my key colors to what I use them for in the games I play.

      • MrDweezil
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah I don’t get it. I have a standard (non-RGB) K70 and other than the day I bought it I haven’t even turned the backlight on.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      I could see this being useful for games like Arma or DCS that need ALL THE KEYBINDS.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 3 years ago

    Can’t wait for the review. If there’s a “disco” strobe setting in the software then this automatically goes on my holiday gift wish list.

      • Gyromancer
      • 3 years ago

      I can already confirm that there is in fact a spinning rainbow LED mode. It spins really quickly and is actually sort of distracting, but if that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s there.

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        Can it induce seizures?

          • Gyromancer
          • 3 years ago

          We might have to add a seizure benchmark to our testing procedures…

          • Neutronbeam
          • 3 years ago

          If it’s any good it can!

        • Neutronbeam
        • 3 years ago

        Sold!

      • superjawes
      • 3 years ago

      I’ve yet to download any additional profiles for my RGB, but I know that they are out there. The defaults include the rainbow spin (per Gyromancer’s comments), as well as wave effects, visor sweeps, and type lighting–one of the type settings includes a ripple out from the pressed key and is awesome.

      So basically, if you want a specific lighting effect, it is either out there or you can make it yourself.

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