Possessing a unique, novel design, is the Corsair brand's latest mechanical keyboard product enough to convince the mechanical keyboard market – which is "stagnant" in design – to move to a new path?
Currently, mechanical keyboards have become quite popular, no longer an "extravagant" toy as before thanks to the rise of Chinese switch and keyboard manufacturers. However, this has caused the market to gradually become saturated, the products are similar, both in terms of design and experience, without specific substances. With extensive experience in the field of mechanical keyboards in particular and gaming gear in general, Corsair, the US technology firm understands that innovation is essential.
In an era when using a laptop keyboard when going to work in the morning and using a separate keyboard when going home at night is not a rare thing, after spending most of the day with a compact, on-screen keyboard. Short keys, surely many people will feel uncomfortable with the "pit" size, the longest and most important key journey is the uncomfortable cry of the majority of mechanical keyboards on the market. However, the typing experience of laptop keyboards cannot be "approved" like mechanical keys. With the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile keyboard launched in Vietnam not too long ago, Corsair promises to change this. Users will have a low-end, flat-design laptop-like product but still offer the full mechanical keyboard experience thanks to Cherry brand's new Low Profile MX switch.
VnReview product today is the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile version of Rapidfire (to distinguish it from the red switch version), the price is 3.9 million.
New design but still need to improve more, play games, type text well
The K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile basically retains many of the predecessor's design traits. The surface of the keyboard (plate) is made from aluminum with fingerprint-resistant scratch-resistant fingerprints that look quite masculine. There is aluminum plate but K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is quite light, only 1.08 kg. However, unlike the SE version, K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is only black, not white, but in my opinion, black is still the most suitable, the detailed reason I will mention later in This review.
The K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile comes with a slim and low profile to match the keyboard's design
Corsair comes with a removable plastic armrest, soft-touch fingerprint lines are quite good, but to synchronize with the keyboard's slim and light design, this armrest is much thinner. compared to other products of the company, creating a sense of uncertainty. In addition, when placed next to the keyboard's scratched aluminum plate, the armrest looks quite "out of place", which I think Corsair could have done better.
The underside of the keyboard no longer has the wire track, a cut compared to the standard K70 RGB Mk.2 version
Another unfortunate point on the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is the underside of the keyboard with no slots for convenient wiring. In addition, the two keystrokes have only one step, but in return, the rubber feet are quite large, so even though the keyboard is quite light, when used, it doesn't drift.
Two ends of USB cable, one for keyboard connection, one for USB Pass Through feature
The K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile cable is wrapped despite being very sturdy but slightly hard, and unfortunately it is not a removable Type-C cable, convenient for moving or replacing when broken or broken as a Current high-end keyboard numbers. The cable has two inputs, one for the keyboard signal transmission, one for the USB Pass Through feature, which allows you to take advantage of the USB port on the top edge of the keyboard, but because it is not gold plated, the connector pins are It may rust after a long time of use.
The cable is still not a removable USB Type-C type
But these are not new points. The new thing we need to consider here is the completely new keycap and key switch of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile. The product has two versions using the MX Low Profile Red and MX Low Profile Speed switches of the famous Cherry brand. This switch pair was introduced at CES 2018, and K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile was the first product to mark the exclusive partnership of this switch between Cherry and Corsair.
Cherry MX Speed Low Profile Switch – Heart of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile
According to Cherry, the company's goal of launching the Low Profile switch pair is to provide the same typing experience as the company's other switches that users are familiar with even more compact in size. In fact, I almost don't feel the difference when I click on the MX Speed full-size switch and the MX Speed Low Profile. The full-size MX Speed switch has a 3.4mm key stroke, 1.2mm key pick-up point and 45g pressing force, while the MX Speed Low Profile switch has parameters of 3.2mm, 1.0mm, and still requires pressing force. 45g.
Cherry did this with a 35% smaller switch than the full-size version. That's quite a respectable achievement, and it could open a new future for mechanical keyboards on laptops. Today, the mechanical keys on a laptop are still something far away, equipped on bulky gaming laptops, and even expensive products have yet to offer a complete experience.
The Low Profile design makes it easier to place your hands when playing games or typing
Good gaming experience thanks to the short key stroke, requiring light pressing force
Due to the very short key and key stroke, the actions such as typing text or playing games on the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile are quite "happy". Switches of MX Speed are often used by gamers because of their ability to "spam skills" (repeatedly pressing one or more keys to perform the action), but for someone who often has to work with text like me, The typing experience is still quite comfortable even though I have a "bottom-out" routine (type all the keystrokes instead of just typing to the point of receiving the key).
Speaking of bottom-out, not only is the key-stroke shorter, the sound of the key when bottom-out is much smaller and quieter than most keyboards today. Playing games at night or working in the office is also much more pleasant, both for you and the people around you.
The keyboard height is only 29mm, significantly lower than the conventional mechanical keyboards
Regarding keycap, to synchronize with the new Low Profile switch, Corsair has developed a new keycap set that has never been on previous products, much lower than other mechanical keyboards. Combined with the redesigned key body, smaller switch, the height of the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is only 29mm, compared to 40mm of a conventional mechanical keyboard. Therefore, when I first started using it, I had a little difficulty in getting used to it, but when I got used to it, it was very comfortable.
The stylized space key is quite interesting
Keycap of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is made of ABS plastic, so it adheres to sweat, and will have the shadow phenomenon when used for a long time. Laser-etching characters, not double-shot printing, may lead to "code down" if not carefully taken care of. The Corsair's large, bold font, probably won't fit everyone's interests. The space key of the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is stylized with steel-like lines, both increasing aesthetics and protecting the keys most frequently used.
The font of the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is big and bold – the Corsair tradition. However, the extra characters of the keyboard are printed below the main character, so the LED light is uneven
The most annoying point on keycap of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is that the extra characters of the key (such as @, #, $, …) are engraved below the main character, instead of on the side as keycap of other keyboards. This makes the extra characters receive less light from the LED. This is not too big a problem, but it is clear that Corsair could have avoided it.
In addition, there is a point to note about the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile keycap, which is similar to Corsair's other mechanical keyboard products, the last key size is different from the traditional layout, so users want to replace keycap will have to find Corsair layout-specific kits, which will be more expensive and a bit harder to find. Fortunately, unlike Cherry's ML switch, the MX Low Profile switch still has a plus-shaped stem, so customizing the keyboard with keycap is not difficult.
The bundled game keycap feels pretty good, but due to the lack of regular gaming, I rarely use it
Corsair offers two sets of keycap, one for shooters with four WASD keys, one for MOBA games with six QWERDF keys. These keys are roughened like keys with edges that are raised, but since I don't usually play games and because they are not designed as low as the other keys, typing text is quite difficult, so I don't use them a lot of.
The roller controls the volume very conveniently, with the mute key on the side and the media key sequence below
Cluster of three keys changes profile, brightness and activates key lock
On the other hand, the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is no different from the standard K70 Mk.2 version: we have 4 media keys located above the numpad ranges, mute key, metal volume up and down roller It looks pretty in the top right corner. In the middle of the upper edge is the Corsair logo, now with custom LEDs instead of just the metal pieces like the early K70 keyboard. On the left is a cluster of three profile change keys, LED brightness change and key lock activation button (disable Windows keys, Alt + Tab, Shift + Tab, Alt + F4, one key can be selected) or multiple key clusters at once).
The logo of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile has LED lighting, and of course is adjustable
Although there are no dedicated macro buttons like the more expensive K95 series, the number of media keys on K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is quite complete, you do not need to use the Fn key as other keyboards. The keyboard also supports the N-key rollover feature, which identifies all keys at the same time, the almost-must-have feature for gamers.
Eye-catching LED system
I greatly appreciate the K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile LED system. In fact, this is probably one of the most beautiful LED system keyboards I've ever experienced. To do that, Corsair has incorporated the following elements:
The housing part of the switch is made of transparent plastic …
… compared to the black housing of Kailh switch from China
First, the MX Low Profile switch introduced by Cherry is "optimized for light". Indeed, the housing part (plastic lid) of the switch is made of transparent plastic so the light is easier to penetrate. In the market, especially products from China, housing parts are usually made of black plastic and LED bulbs must be taken out, so the light will radiate unevenly by products that put LED lights under the switch. Transparent plastic housing. In addition, the design of the slightly raised switch to expose the housing also makes the light more sparkling.
Keycap of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is very low, so the lettering face is closer to the LED lamp, combined with the design to reveal the switch foot to help the light escape more.
The second is keycap. As mentioned above, the font of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is quite big and bold, so the light penetrates more. Not only that, the Low Profile design helps the keycap face closer to the LED, so it will obviously be brighter than the usual size keycap. Finally, the keycap of K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is only black, so the light is better controlled. If the keycap is white, the light will spill over the keycap face, not just through the typeface, it will look worse, but perhaps this depends on each person's feelings.
The edge of the aluminum frame absorbs light and brightens well, making it feel like there's another row of LEDs
The third is the plate of the keyboard. This section of plate is made of scratched aluminum, so it is better to absorb light and light up. The plate is black, along with the black keycap, so when used in the dark space it will look much more "fanciful". In addition, Corsair is also very smart when designing two edges at the top and bottom edges of the keys, light from housing will shine into these two edges, feeling like the keyboard has two more rows of lights, looks pretty exciting.
ICUE Software's main interface, with the list of connected devices above
Previously, Corsair had two software to manage its gaming gear, one was CUE Software, one was LINK, and each software had its own role. Users have long called for the company to integrate the two software together, and earlier this year, it was expected that Corsair would be realized, with iCUE Software. All Corsair gaming gear can be controlled and programmed, from Corsair keyboards, headsets to headphones, power and heat sinks, etc., to be managed through iCUE. While still in the development phase, iCUE still works well in most cases, and is still being updated on a regular basis.
The interface of iCUE has been reformed quite a lot, it looks more minimalist, but still does not support Vietnamese. The Corsair devices connected to the computer will be displayed in the upper corner, as you can see in the picture below that I am connecting Corsair's K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile and Harpoon RGB mouse.
Profile selection interface (left). The keyboard has 8MB of memory, which can hold up to 3 profiles, and users can import other people's profiles and apply them to their device.
ICUE's customization ability is quite high, so users, especially those who have never used iCUE before, will take a long time to get used to. With the keyboard, you can set the macro, set the LED color for each key, the brightness of the entire lamp (3 levels) and the frequency of sending the keyboard's signal to the Polling Rate.
Powerful LED customizable interface, allowing users to apply multiple effects at once and more
However, most notable is the keyboard's ability to customize the powerful RGB LED, adding a plus point to the lighting system that I have appreciated. You can create different layers of colors and effects, even when customizing those effects (and how long it lasts). K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is also equipped with 8MB of memory to store up to 3 different profiles (though it will be limited in the complexity of the setup but they are still quite useful, especially is when you have the habit of carrying the keyboard everywhere. Importing / exporting profiles is also very simple, you can completely set the settings of others on your keyboard, opening up almost unlimited customization capabilities.
Another important point is the ability to synchronize the LED color of gaming gear with the in-game in-game scene of the player. For example, with the game Far Cry 5, when you swim under the sea, the lights of the system will turn green, or turn yellow when Molotov bombs enemies. Although the number of compatible games is still quite small, this promises to be a very interesting feature in the future.
LED effect on Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile when playing Far Cry 5
If you are looking for ways to get a typing experience like a laptop with the strength in neatness, lightness and smoothness, you still have to possess all the advantages of mechanical keyboard in the journey of keys, bounce and feel. K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is definitely the best choice at the present time – much better than the rubber foot mini keyboards that you often see in the market. I do not dare to confidently claim that the Cherry MX Low Profile switch will be able to topple conventional switches, but this Corsair keyboard has proven that it is a worthy choice, at the same time. pioneered a whole new trend in the mechanical keyboard market.
Other brands like Cooler Master or Ducky have announced their own plans for the Low Profile keyboards in the near future, so if you love the Low Profile switch, maybe you should wait a bit for more options. choose more. Still, with a durable design, the well-known Cherry switch and highly customizable, highly customizable LED lighting system, K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile is still a great product in the high-end mechanical keyboard segment.
+ Beautiful design, sturdy
+ The feeling of typing is new, smooth and less sound
+ Bright, beautiful LED, highly customizable
+ Enough media control keys
– The arm rests with a bit of thinness, giving a feeling of uncertainty
– Keycap ABS less durable than PBT, double-shot non-printing characters will be blurred over time