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Corsair's K70 RGB MK.2 keyboard reviewed


A classic design gets smarter

Corsair is one of the companies responsible for the renaissance of mechanical keyboards among the enthusiast set, and its arsenal of Cherry MX-underpinned products has only grown as time goes on. I've been using the original K70 RGB as my daily driver since its introduction nearly four years ago. Aside from one major incident in which I had to reset that board's firmware to get it working again, I've enjoyed nothing but typing bliss from the K70 nearly every day I've been putting glyphs into an editor. In fact, I have little doubt the K70 RGB will still be cycling through RGB LED rainbows years after 16-core processors are mainstream and we're jacked into VR headsets all day. It's undeniably a classic design that's built to last.

The need for novelty from PC hardware springs eternal, though, and even classics need a little freshening-up now and again. Corsair has been doing just that of late with its brand-new K70 RGB MK.2 and Strafe RGB MK.2 keyboards. We've already reviewed the Strafe RGB MK.2 in depth, but we also have a K70 RGB MK.2 in the lab that's fallen to me to test out—a burden I'll gladly accept.

Compared to the all-plastic body and white keyswitch underlay offered by the Strafe RGB MK.2, the K70 RGB MK.2 uses a black-anodized brushed-aluminum top plate with the floating key cap design that's a trademark of the K70 series. The dual-zone RGB LED Corsair logo at the top of the board is shared with the Strafe RGB MK.2 and K95 Platinum, and it's a nice touch.

My particular board has Cherry MX Speed switches under its caps, a load-out that earns this particular K70 MK.2 Corsair's Rapidfire badge. Although Speeds are primarily marketed to gamers that need the fastest response times possible from a Cherry MX key switch, my RSI-ravaged wrists appreciate the feather-light touch and high actuation point of these switches. Some might wish for stronger tactile feedback or extra resistance from their keys, of course, and Corsair has those folks covered with the K70 RGB MK.2's menu of MX Brown, MX Blue, or MX Red switches.

Switch types aside, the typing experience from the K70 MK.2 is as impeccable as ever. Each key press is smooth and sure from top to bottom, and I never noticed any give or groaning from the K70's chassis—just the gentle sound of keycaps bottoming out on aluminum. If you work in a shared space, the MX Speed switches shouldn't invite comments about that one coworker with the noisy keyboard like Cherry Blues might.

The K70's other big change over the Strafe can't be as easily seen at first. Its bottom plate inherits the four beefy rubber feet and X-shaped cable channel of the K95 Platinum. I can't say I noticed any problems with my other K70s scooting across a desk while I was pounding CPU benchmark analysis into our CMS, but the K70 MK.2's baseplate design is as reassuring and solid as ever. It certainly prevents the keyboard from sliding around on my desk too much when a cat inserts herself between my keyboard and monitor base, an occurence that tends to scoot my K70s off the desk when they have their front feet raised.

Where the K95 Platinum's chassis design giveth, it also taketh away. The K70 RGB MK.2 lacks the flip-out front feet of the original K70. Those fold-out supports raise the front edge of the keyboard deck and make the height of each key uniform under the fingers. That's another boon to my wrists, since I don't have to move my hands in more than one dimension (forward-back) to reach any given key in the main array of the K70's clickers. Without those feet, the MK.2's staggered key heights seemed to tire out my wrists much quicker than the flattened-out K70s in the TR labs. I doubt many used these feet, but I'll miss them.

Corsair also includes a wrist rest with the K70 RGB MK.2. I don't use wrist rests, as they're not conducive to the best typing posture. Learn how to float your wrists over the keyboard, folks—minimize that flexion and extension! If you do insist on resting your hands on something as you type or just want a place to rest them between typing sessions, the K70 MK.2's is solid enough. Since mine will be living in the box, I'm not worried about it.

The raised media control buttons on the K70 MK.2 are certainly easier to hit than on past Corsair boards, although I wish the company had gone even a step further and made the media buttons of equal height with the rest of the keys on the board. As Nathan pointed out in our Strafe review, the volume roller on this board no longer has any detents, unlike the one on K70s past. I'm not that bothered by this change, as I'm paying attention to the on-screen volume indicator in Windows rather than the knob itself. I found it easy to precisely control the volume of the connected PC even without detents. I don't think one is losing either way between the K70 and the K70 MK.2 in this regard.

Like the Strafe RGB MK.2, the K70 RGB MK.2 includes a USB 2.0 pass-through port that relies on a separate plug to do its thing.

Also as with the Strafe RGB MK.2, Corsair includes two sets of contoured key caps that provide a tactile idea of whether one's fingers are on the right keys in rapid-fire situations where looking down to re-orient one's hand would be the difference between life and death. If you need strong tactile reassurance that your hands are on the WASD or QWERDF keys, the K70 MK.2 is ready to serve.