Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts
The Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard is functionally identical to the Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE that Benchmark Reviews has previously tested; the only difference is that this keyboard is equipped with standard clear-body Cherry MX Red key switches instead of the custom Rapidfire switches. As I noted in my previous review, the difference between the standard MX Red and Rapidfire switches is pretty subtle:
“It’s important to realize that as far as typing feel goes, Cherry MX Speed switches feel exactly like Cherry MX Red switches: they’re both linear, 45g switches with 4mm of total travel. The only difference is that the Speed switches actuate at 1.2mm from the top of the key stroke, rather than 2mm from the top of the stroke.”
Dedicated gamers may prefer the Rapidfire switches, but I think for most people it would be hard to tell the difference. Still, Corsair is all about choice, so pick the version you’d prefer.
My only hardware complain is that both keyboards have a thick USB cable that’s stiff and difficult to route cleanly around your desktop.
While there’s little difference between the K70 LUX RGB and the K70 RGB Rapidfire, the new version of CUE is a welcome improvement, with a dramatically improved user interface that makes dealing with its deep well of features a lot easier. Corsair has even improved the contrast of the controls and lettering to make them more visible, with is a big help.
My only real CUE complaint remains its inability to assign actions to modified keys– that is, using the Shift, Alt, or Ctrl keys in combination with another key. Especially for a keyboard without dedicated macro keys such as the K70, this would be a big help.
Corsair K70 LUX RGB MX Red Keyboard Conclusion
The Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard is a heavily-built and feature-filled gaming keyboard aimed directly at enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise. Thin side bezels keep it smaller than most other 104-key keyboards, and the thick aluminum top plate and clear Cherry RGB switches give it a lot of eye appeal. Corsair continues to use genuine Cherry MX switches in their enthusiast keyboards, and while one can debate whether Cherry switches are worth the price premium over the Chinese clone switches used in many other keyboards, there’s definitely a market for “the real thing”. Given that, it’s still surprising that the warranty for this keyboard is only two years, when many of the clone-switch competitors have five-year warranties.
While the non-LUX K70 RGB keyboards have internal processors and memory and can be loaded with profiles that will operate without CUE, this version requires CUE to be running if you want anything other than a static lighting configuration. This isn’t a big deal for most users, but should you want to take your keyboard to a different or non-Windows computer, you can pay $10 more for the non-LUX version.
I’ve always liked the design and construction of Corsair’s K-series keyboards, with their thick, anodized aluminum switch mounting plate serving as the top of the keyboard, without a separate plastic bezel. This design, combined with the clear-bodied Cherry switches, means that lighting effects are visible from the side of the keyboard, which is cool.
The entire keyboard just reeks of quality, even using metal for components like the knurled volume scroller which virtually any other company would have made of injection-molded plastic.
This is an expensive keyboard, but if you’re a serious gamer or simply want a visually spectacular and extremely customizable keyboard for any reason, it’s worth it.
+ Genuine Cherry MX Red
+ Massively capable CUE enables astonishing lighting effects and other actions, synchronized among all your Corsair peripherals
+ Included optional key caps for FPS and MOBA gamers
+ Snap-on wrist rest
+ USB pass-through port (although only USB 2.0)
– Thick, clumsy USB cable
– Requires CUE to be installed and running.
– Very expensive enthusiast product
– Cannot define macros using modifier keys
– 2-year warranty?
Final Score: 9.10 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
COMMENT QUESTION: What do you demand most from a gaming keyboard?