The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90

We recently re-entered the world of peripheral reviews, specifically mechanical keyboards with our brief rundown of Rosewill's RK-9000 mechanical keyboard (complete with Cherry MX Blue switches). Rosewill's design was as basic as it gets, but the keyboard felt solid and for many of us there's just no substitute for a mechanical switch when it comes to having a comfortable typing experience. But our visit with Rosewill was just a warm up.

Today we have Corsair's Vengeance K60 and K90 gaming keyboards in house. Corsair opts to use Cherry MX Red switches in an effort to find a more suitable balance between typing and gaming needs, and they bring a little more style and class than we're used to seeing in gaming peripherals.

Out of the gate, Corsair is offering two different keyboards targeting two different types of user, but it's worth noting that these two keyboards are very, very similar. The "base model" K60 is targeted towards FPS players. Corsair starts with an aluminum backplate behind the keyboard, with all of the keys raised off of it--there's no tray for crumbs/hair/general-filth to get stuck in! Corsairs uses Cherry MX Red switches for the bulk of the keyboard (the document navigation and F1-F12 use traditional membrane-style switches), and there are dedicated media keys and a "Windows Lock" button above the number pad.

There's also a dedicated wrist rest just for your left hand, and the inside of it holds replacement keycaps for number keys 1-6 plus the WASD cluster along with a keycap remover. These replacement keycaps have rubberized surfaces and incline slightly towards the left hand, the theory being that this will be ideal for gaming use. Finally, the keyboard actually uses two USB ports: one for the keyboard proper, and one used as a dedicated passthrough for a USB port above the F12 key. Corsair offers the K60 for a recommended $109.

Meanwhile, the fancier K90 is geared towards RTS and MMO players. The K90 takes the aluminum base, switch layout, and connectivity of the K60 and adds individual LED backlighting behind each of the keys with four levels of illumination (off, low, medium, and high) toggled by a brightness button next to the Windows Lock button.

Beefing things up, Corsair adds eighteen configurable keys to the left of the keyboard as well as an in-hardware macro recording and playback function (configured and toggled by the four macro buttons above the Escape and F1-F3 keys). What I really like about the K90 as opposed to other gaming keyboards with configurable keys is that the G1-G18 cluster is actually substantially lower than the rest of the keyboard. While the keys of the keyboard proper are all raised off of the aluminum surface, the gaming keys are recessed, making it much harder to accidentally hit one when trying to hit the Tab, Shift, or Ctrl keys.

Finally, Corsair adds a full-length removable wrist rest (a convenience that's becoming increasingly rarefied these days) and dashboard software for configuring the keyboard downloadable from their website. Appropriate to the inclusion of fancier features, the K90 will set you back $129.

The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90 in Action
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  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    That's what I noticed as well. It seems like it would be easier to clean and keep it that way. Just a shot of compressed air and boom, no more crumbs/ dust.
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Look at pictures in the gallery. The K90 is built the same way.
  • Mikuni - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Would love a K60 + the K90 backlighting. Got a Logitech G510 and very rarely using all those macro keys, would be better off without them without making the KB so large.
  • Mr_Bird_Man - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Not all of us are gamers, I am looking forward to a review of the only buckling spring keyboard I know of on the market today. I am curious what technology from the dawn of the PC era looks like to all you young kids out there. I have mine, and it is going no where.

    Funny how something like a keyboard can elicit such a strong emotion. I have laptops, monitors, all sorts of other toys and trinkets, but it is my office keyboard that I feel the most attached to, and it is my keyboard that I show off more than dual monitors, docking stations, internal 3G, or any other gizmo out there.

    Oh, and when you do the review, test one in the old-school beige color. They look much better than the black/gray that is common for most keyboards today.
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Actually, have you checked out Unicomp's black/grey boards? Black housing with grey key caps, and the caps have metallic flakes in them. Subtle, but classy. Now if only I could type on it for more then fifteen minutes without my finger joints hurting. Why can't they make low force buckling springs?
  • mi1stormilst - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I spent between $30 - $69 before pounding on a Logitech K120 at Staples. This thing cost me $15.00 and I love it.
  • modsci - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    It's just a keyboard, it's not a cpu, a gpu or anything remotely close. Yes if you write code or some similar intense input job then sure fine get what makes it easier. The majority of general computer users aren't effected by this and I have to wonder why it's been put on a site that is supposed to review tech for enthusiasts and gamers.
    Have we lost our way? Are we now becoming an infomercial? Just seems like there's some other under lying purpose here that is off course of what I'm used to seeing from a review site. Have to wonder if there's an incentive for the number of units sold due to certain articles. And it's sad having come to this site for over 10 plus years for information it has evolved into something like this.
  • cmdrdredd - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    This is tech for gamers. So...why not tell you if it's worth looking at?
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    AT caters to power users who aren't gamers. See their reviews on high end servers for virtualization clusters and the like.
  • erple2 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Then look at the reviews for CPUs and GPUs, and you see that there are a lot of gaming benchmarks in the lot, so ...

    Looks like there are plenty of gamers out there in Anandtech land.

    While the Server reviews are marvelous and insightful, I'd say that I really come here for "what GPU to buy today and tomorrow" more than which virtualization tech to use.

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