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Corsair K60 and K90 Mechanical Keyboard Review

Manufacturer: Corsair

Fast Input and other Electrical Tests

One way to measure how successful a keyboard has been designed is to spam it with predictable commands and measure what it detects. One of the most obvious methods is to strike keys with a banking card such that one side of the line of keys is struck before the other. Since there is no guarantee that a keyboard will perform better left to right as it would right to left – and it turns out that some do not – the tests are performed once in each direction. If a keyboard is inconsistent in one direction compared to another that could be a sign of problems.

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I can't explain it -- but the Rosewill RK-9000RE Cherry MX Red had a bad day...

It was not a strong performer the first time around, and worse this time.

If you want to check out the raw inputs -- they are online in a Google Doc.

Well, the joke is on me. I wanted to show the difference between higher-end mechanical keyboards and a membrane keyboard. Recently I acquired an old Microsoft multimedia keyboard from the very early 2000’s. Apparently it was actually manufactured for a time and market where keyboards were not just designed to be cheap.

The Microsoft Multimedia keyboard performed just as well as the mechanical keyboards despite being based on membrane-dome technology. The keyboard did struggle slightly in right-to-left keystrokes but in general the keyboard was surprisingly good. Microsoft consumer hardware was once amazing – although they are not terrible these days – and this is apparently one of those examples.

As for the Corsair K60 and K90 --

The Corsair K60 and K90 keyboards handle rapid input extremely well. This test has a quite large range in error and cheap keyboards fall off in score in an instant. Throughout my testing I have found that a score above 75% should be a good indicating threshold of a high precision keyboard. The Corsair K60 and K90 are comfortably above that barrier in both keystroke directions.

I have also not found any case of any reasonable combination of keys jamming the input. Using AquaKey I put claims of NKRO or other many key “anti-ghosting” methods to the test because “up-to” means honestly nothing. Corsair seems to have been honest in their claims that each key is isolated from one another. It seems like the only limits are the bus and the few macro key combinations that Corsair baked in the keyboard.

Speaking of which: expect several ctrl + alt + shift + (key) commands to not be possible and, if somehow accidentally pressed, expect it to be possible that other keys pressed at the same time to be reporting as stuck down until you unplug the keyboard. This practice really annoys me but I can see why Corsair would want to avoid adding extra keys. At least it was an intentional design choice.

For a first-time release, Corsair appears to have put just as much concern into the internals as they have put into the external design.

September 5, 2012 | 08:36 AM - Posted by Branthog

For less money, I'd strongly advise considering a Leopold Tenkeyless. Best of all, they don't have all those crappy "media buttons" that have plagued keyboards for more than a decade. They're about $99, designed by the same guy who designed the beloved Filco keyboards, and have tended to be a popular new replacement for Filco.

Even better, they are solid robust keyboard that don't have the gimmicks of the current mainstay keyboards (ie, the keyboards from companies that are trying to cater to "leet gam0rz lol" like Coolermaster, Razr, etc).

Don't get me wrong, you could do worse than these Corsairs, but I wouldn't spend $100+ on a first-out product filled with all the superfluous crap they jam into them.

September 5, 2012 | 03:02 PM - Posted by Mark (not verified)

I'v had this keyboard and mouse combo for almost a year, pre-ordered them months in advance and I will tell u this is the best mouse and keyboard I'v ever used. This Cherry Reds are god-like.

September 6, 2012 | 02:35 PM - Posted by Activate: AMD (not verified)

I have a K90 for gaming and I love it. I wish some of the extra keys were mechanical, but about 99.9% of your keypresses will be on the mechanical keys so its kind of a moot point. I like the feel of the keycaps and the way that the whole thing is raised off the surface rather than being recessed in it to make it much, much easier to clean. As far as typing, the Cherry Reds aren't known for their tactile feedback, but if you're used to typing on a membrane keyboard you're used to bottoming out your keys. I've found that the continuous weighting of the reds combined with the solid feedback from bottoming out makes the typing experience much better than any membrane keyboard available. The blues may be better if you don't bottom out, but that takes even more adjustment time and somewhere along the way you'll lose your sanity from the clicking. I own keyboards with blacks, reds and blues and I wouldn't bother with any but the reds again (still need to try browns though!)

Bottom line: the K90 checks all the right boxes for me: mechanical, backlit, full wrist rest and num-pad. There really isn't any other product that fills all those criteria. The build quality is gravy.

September 6, 2012 | 04:41 PM - Posted by fvbounty (not verified)

My feelings exactly, I've had my K90 when they first came out and love it! Great Keyboard...

December 12, 2012 | 11:16 AM - Posted by TEEBOLTONE (not verified)

I've had the K90 keyboard with a RAT 7 for gaming on two 27inches monitors and it's awsome. If you are thinking about getting this keyboard go get it ...
Althout the W key didn't have it's led working... That is the sort of thing you are not expecting when you pay that price...

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