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  • METALMORPHASIS - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    With my $7 dollar USB keyboard. Reply
  • Ebonstar - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    A great many people have no problem with the keyboard they use. Mechanical keyboards are generally for those that need precise / fast typing or some other perk such as Cherry blacks for gaming. Certainly I wouldn't have a problem recommending a cheap membrane keyboard for a family member knowing they don't need to pump out 100+ wpm on a regular basis. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Then don't start using mechanical keyboards. I started using them about a year ago and using a membrane keyboard is like torture now. Ignorance is bliss if you're trying to save money. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    He's just trolling.

    I mean, how could he be doing anything other than trolling? Who would read a review about a mechanical keyboard that he knows will cost far more than he's willing to spend? If he's not trolling, he has a serious self-esteem issue and feels the need to denigrate others to make himself feel better.

    In either case, he's not really interested in whether or not the keyboard would provide him with a better experience. He came here to elicit emotional reactions (troll), or sneer. Either way, he's not interested in what people recommend.
    Reply
  • martin5000 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Or maybe he just has a different opinion to you? Reply
  • Sunsmasher - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Right Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    different opinion FROM you Reply
  • Bownce - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    In Russia, opinions TO you! Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Which is why there should be a couple of warnings then a full ban to people that troll. Reply
  • espaghetti - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I eat a lot at my desk.
    Dropping juice from my filet mignon on my $15 HP keyboard, I shrug.
    Spill anything on brushed aluminum that costs $129 and I'm going to express an emotional reaction.
    Not willing to change my eating habits, so i buy a cheap keyboard every 3 or 4 years.
    It hasn't hurt my KDR in my FPS games one bit. :)
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    I think you hit the key on the head. It seems that this is a nice keyboard but $129 is simply not justifiable for most people. I mean, what does this have that the dated G15 does not? This is 10 year old technology found elsewhere for less. I like the backplate to keep it clean, but it is not worth $50. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    You miss the complete point of it having mechanical keys. Reply
  • azguy90 - Thursday, February 23, 2012 - link

    The G15 was a good keyboard, but it was not mechanical... there is a world of difference between a mechanical and dome switch keyboard, and a good mechanical board is expensive. The two keyboards aren't even comparable. Reply
  • mattlach - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    YUCK!

    That is absolutely disgusting!

    No one gets anywhere near my desk with food, and they don't get to touch my keyboard unless their hands are clean and grease free.

    If I leave my desk to eat, my hands get washed before returning to my keyboard.

    The very thought of using a keyboard that has been eaten at or touched with dirty hands is disgusting.
    Reply
  • Metaluna - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Oh god, don't get me started on the guy I used to share a computer with when I worked in a research lab in grad school. Every time I sat down at the computer, the mouse was coated with greasy *something*. I mean it was literally crusty. I don't know if it was fried chicken grease, potato chips, or what, and I don't want to know. I don't consider myself a huge neat freak, but I used to leave a big bottle of Windex in the desk just to clean up after this slob. Reply
  • coolkev99 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Don't work in deskside IT support. You'll see and.. :shudder:. touch keyboards so nasty, so dirty, so gross w/stuck on grimy gunk that you'll want to call in a CDC quarantine. Reply
  • realneil - Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - link

    I cannot afford one of these Keyboards, but I read the article anyways. Guess I'm a troll. I found it an interesting read,....the K60 looks like a winner to me.

    I'd love to have it, but it's more than I can spend right now.
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I started using mechanical keyboards when I took over a Data Processing department in 1977. Most of my professional career was spent using IBM mechanical keyboards.

    Think in terms of millions of lines of code.

    I am currently using a IBM Model M Space Saver (no numerical keypad), Part No. 1391472, manufactured on November 19, 1987. The savings in desk space are appreciated.

    I have used keyboards with Cherry Blue switches and they are perfectly satisfactory.

    I have also used conventional dome-type keyboards that are also satisfactory. In fact, the PS/2 keyboard at my workbench is a Micro Innovations model that came from a case of 10 keyboards I purchased on ebay for about $25.

    The long and the short of it is, keyboard type is a matter of personal preference.

    All can be good.

    Since I don't do much involving numbers, I find the "Tenkeyless" models to be more convenient than the full size keyboards with numeric keypads.

    In any case, the best selection of mechanical keyboards I am aware of is:

    http://www.elitekeyboards.com

    Forums on mechanical keyboards can be found at

    http://geekhack.org/
    Reply
  • Metaluna - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I agree it's possible to make a decent dome keyboard (e.g. Apple, Lenovo, probably some other scissor-type laptop keyboards), it's just that hardly anyone bothers. If you're making a dome keyboard, you are probably focused on absolute lowest cost with almost no allowance for ergonomics or durability. As long as it can withstand average use for a typical 3 year life cycle, you're good to go.

    On the other hand, if your market cares enough about keyboard feel to want mechanical switches, they are probably also not going to mind paying extra for all the other things that go into a quality keyboard, like good keycaps and a solid baseplate. These could improve dome keyboards too, but it's probably not worth it, since most people who care enough about keyboard feel to spend the extra money are probably going to want mechanical switches anyway.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I agree, the MS Sidewinder X6 and X4 have a nice quality feel to them and just recently some of the keys are showing signs of failure in the X6 and glad I got the X4 during black friday for $25. I like the red backlighting and the keys are solid and clicky compared to other rubber domes.

    Still, I would rather have a mechanical keyboard as it lasts longer and, to me, better key feel. I just need one that has red backlighting.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    I've used mechanical keyboards. I even owned an IBM model M style keyboard.

    I currently use a $15 Microsoft ComfortCurve 2000. I prefer it to all others, including the IBM style mechanical; I find the extra travel distance on mechanical keyboards annoying. Mechanicals sound nice, but don't feel as nice.
    Reply
  • mattlach - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Agreed.

    If you are happy with your membrane keyboard, and are not willing to spend more on keyboards, then I highly recommend never trying them.

    Once you get used to a mechanical switch keyboard, there is no going back.

    My problem is that I am used to IBM buckling spring type keyboards, and now switching to even mechanical cherry or topre type switches feels not good enough.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I'm thrilled for you. Reply
  • Lemure - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    As are most people, but after using a mechanical keyboard such as the IBM model M or any preference of cherry switch for like a month, they realize that rubber domes actually feel like crap and are uncomfortable.

    $100 is not much if you sit in front of a computer for hours everyday and it's not going to break for 5-10 years which actually makes it a cheap investment. Hell I still have a second hand model M from the 90's that works fine. It's like sitting in a $10 folding chair for 8 hours a day or having a good office chair.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    It's a matter of personal preference, not objective superiority.

    I loathe mechanical keyboards personally, due to the long travel, noise and usually clicky feel.

    If you, like me, prefer minimal key travel, minimal noise and soft touch rather than clickyness you shouldn't use mechanical keyboards.

    I'd say this much though, a good mechanical keyboard lasts a lot longer than conventional dome ones. On the other hand it's not like buying a new doem keyboard every 5 years will kill your budget.
    Reply
  • Mygaffer - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    No, objective superiority belongs to the mechanical! Reply
  • Exodite - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    On longevity, yes.

    On anything else, no.
    Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Also price over time and consistency over time. Reply
  • Tetracycloide - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    Shouldn't use conventional domes if you prefer minimal key travel, minimal noise, and soft touch either. For that you want a scissor switch keyboard which is hardly the convention when it comes to desktop keyboards. Reply
  • malazan - Monday, March 26, 2012 - link

    With my $7 dollar USB keyboard.

    All that means is, is that you're a peasant with no idea what quality is....
    Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=10321...

    Typing this using the k60, and a lot of the "paint" on the keycaps are fading sadly... hopefully there's a solution soon (new keycaps sent out) since it's advertised as laser etched

    and also, i didnt catch it in the review, but the red/orange keycaps for 1-6 do not have !@#$%^ on them, which is silly since the pic on the box does... and also the wrist wrest is pretty useless and i had to buy a 3rd party one
    Reply
  • sor - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I don't have one of these keyboards, but I have experience with laser etched plastic keys and other laser etched items, and the etching tends to smooth out and/or fill in with gunk, making the letters fade. Grease especially can make laser etching fade significantly. Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    read the link... corsair admits it's a problem and they've identified it... they're just looking for a solution Reply
  • sor - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Read my post. Both your post and the op on your link seem to imply that they keys are painted and that 'laser etched' means no fading. I disagree that laser etched means no fading. That is all. Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    pretty sure it's paint... i can literally scrape off the white junk with my fingernail Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Exactly. All "Laser Etched" means is that there was a little recess burned out with a laser to put the paint in. It could still be cheap paint, or not have cured properly, or the surface was otherwise improperly prepared so adhesion was poor.

    Theoretically, the recess would allow for a thicker, more substantial amount of paint, and more precise lettering, but there are no guarantees in the process. A high quality paint on a properly prepared surface can last quite a long time, regardless of etching. However, the most basic lettering (no etch) is done to save money, and it's common to save money in materials and processes too (read: cheap out), so "painted on" letters tend to be less reliable not only because the paint is thinner, but the process is lower quality as applied by the manufacturer.

    In my opinion, a premium keyboard should have Double-Shot caps (a cap with the character cut out, then a different colored cap with the character raised on it, pressed up underneath it. The characters are them solid plastic and no kind of paint is needed), any other process is a "cutting corners" one and shouldn't even be considered. (Most manufacturers disagree with me about that.)

    Build. It. Right. The first time.

    ;)
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Does anyone actually sell a doubleshot keycap model? OC.net's mechanical keyboard guide (best braindump I'm aware of on the subject) states that due to cost only one company was selling them; but doesn't actually list any with it in their rundown of models available in 09. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    There are some companies that still do it but are very expensive.

    Nothing seems to beat dye sublimation for longevity.
    Reply
  • Ebonstar - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I do like the K60, I type as fast as I do on the cherry blue keyboard I have here, and appreciate the raised keys makes cleaning and de-dusting a lot easier. However the keyboard does suffer from a particular problem in that a key can be registered as 'stuck' and needs a repeat press to unstick.

    http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=10261...

    A fix apparently coming soon. Not sure how this will be applied to a K60 as it doesn't need / use any software unlike the K90.
    Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I get that occasionally too, still i like the keyboard =P... first mechanical ever... it's nice Reply
  • Beenthere - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    They've become nothing more than a marketing operation. Sell anything to naive consumers regardless of the quality. Even their RAM is starting to show issues, which never existed to any degree in the past.

    It would appear that they are looking to be the Wally World of the PC Biz. You've got to want a keyboard really badly to pay $100 for a Chinese sweatshop product that cost less than $10 to manufacture. :(
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    Is everything you say got to be stupid? I'm not a fanboi of Corsair, but it seems to me that their power supplies are good quality and less than others. They make nice cases and I don't know where you get the ram issues from. Tell me where you buy a mechanical switch keyboard (utilizing Cherry switches) for $10 (or $20). I don't know why you single out Corsair as the lone manufacture in using Chinese factories. It seems to me that EVERYONE uses China labor to make their products. Anyways, it's probably another one of your "agendas" that is responsible for this post. I'm thinking Forrest Gump when I read your posts. (my apologies to Forrest) Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately some Corsair PSUs are OK and some are problems. The only way to tell is by reading a proper review of the exact PSU model.

    Corsair's H2O CLCs have poor thermal efficiency compared to a quality HSF, are a poor value, are noisy because you must run multiple fans or a single fan on high to cool the radiator. And of course there is the real liability of a water leak destroying hundreds of dollars of PC hardware as people have experienced.

    Now Corsair is hawking mechanical keyboards and they don't look all that good especially for the $100 price tag.

    Yes it is unfortunate that many U.S. based companies are more than willing to use slave labor to generate windfall annual nonuses for the CEO. These unscrupulous CEOs/companies should be boycotted and told exactly why they are being boycotted.

    Money talks and B.S. walks. If consumers refuse to buy goods produced in Chinese sweatshops under deplorable slave labor conditions, the companies will grow some ethics or go broke. Consumers have complete control over the laws of supply and demand.

    Big Box stores are a perfect example of unscrupulous companies.

    It's not my problem that some folks can't deal with reality - it's their's. ;)
    Reply
  • FaaR - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Are you seriously asserting that nobody ever had any problems, at all, with Corsair RAM in the past? That's ludicrous, and factually incorrect, as I've personally had several sticks of 1066MHz Dominator XMS2 DDR2 sticks roll over on me. One set of slightly newer revision sticks also refused to work with my previous older revision set.

    You're toting 100% anecdotal evidence as some kind of pattern - current and historical - which is just laughable as a practice.

    And btw, before you dismiss me as some kind of Corsair puppet, those dead and/or incompatible sticks are the only products of theirs I own. I was considering the K60, but after reading of the keycaps with no symbols on them, stuck key problem and fading print I'm thinking I'll just pass. I want backlighting too, and the K60 lacks that.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I did NOT say no one has every had issues with Corsair RAM. Don't read things into my posts, read what I wrote. ;)

    FWIW, most of my current PCs have Corsair RAM that has worked flawlessly. The only bad DIMM I have had in years was a Crucial DIMM. I have used and recommended Corsair RAM for many years because it was pretty reliable.

    Yes some folks have had issues particularly on Asus mobos, but that seems to be the mobo and not the RAM. In recent days Corsair seems to be having more issues with their Vengeance product line in particular.

    As far as their other products the results have been mixed at best. Their PSUs have had issues - particularly the models not produced by Seasonic. Their Antec produced closed-loop-coolers have also had issues, in particular leaks. They also have poor thermal efficiency, are a poor value and are noisy compared to a quality HSF.

    Now Corsaie is marketing mechanical keyboards for $100. to the naive. If these products make you happy then that is what you should buy but I can not in good conscience recommend these products to anyone. As i said Corsair is becoming just a marketing firm using Chincese sweatshop labor to produce products of questionable quality.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Find the least expensive mechanical keyboard out there, and how much does it cost? Looking for anything with Cherry MX switches, the best I can find is $79, and that's for a generic keyboard that doesn't have a 10-key (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0068INSUM). I know not everyone likes 10-keys, but if you're buying something with mechanical switches I'd assume you're looking at it more for typing than gaming, in which case I'd guess 10-keys are potentially useful (I use mine in spreadsheets all the time). So, $10 more for the K60 isn't totally out of line with regards to pricing (http://www.pcrush.com/product/Keyboards-and-Keypad... Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Always gotta go to the Egg:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    Awww.... they no longer list the Qumax Xarmor U9 with MX-Browns that's priced at $79. Nuts, the browns were the best I've ever typed on.
    Reply
  • Rand - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I'm a fan of USB ports through the monitor (on the side anyways), but I can't say I really see the appeal to a USB port on the keyboard.

    Not sure if it's ideal for games but I'm pretty stuck on keyboards with a slight 'wave' to them, took some adjusting at first but I'm very fond of them now.
    Reply
  • nickersonm - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    It's useful for the mouse cord; with it partially folded up, it slightly lessens the mess of stuff behind one's desk. Reply
  • Menoetios - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    I was seriously considering getting one of these as my first mechanical keyboard, until I found out about how the function row and nav keys use membrane switches. I use those keys on a fairly regular basis, and membrane switches typically won't last as long as the mechanical switches. When I'm spending that much on a keyboard, it's nice to have the longevity argument of the mechanical switches, but throwing a bunch of membrane switches on there throws that out the window. Ended up going with a more basic, all-mechanical keyboard that I absolutely love. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Agree. How you can put together this keyboard and decide that a select set of keys should be membrane is beyond me. It's not just the reliability of mechanical keys that make them desirable. It's the ergonomics of that make them special. Less fatigue and more precise keystrokes are important properties when choosing a mechanical switch keyboard. Exactly how much did Corsair save by using membrane switches on 12 keys? Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    22 keys, actually. Reply
  • Sttm - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    The design is stupid because the 18 extra keys are useless when you cannot hit them quickly and comfortably while maintaining your left hand on top of WASD for proper movement. Removing your hand from the movement keys during the high level of play that would necessitate a $100+ keyboard is a big no no.

    Unless maybe you bind the movement keys over there, but then how do you gain anything from that? You'd have less keys in a more awkward placement; and a much harder time hitting the modifier keys.

    The designers should stop adding extra keys that cannot be hit without moving your hand far to the left and start adding extra keys where you can hit them, the area below the space bar comes to mind, put 4 keys down there, have them be able to be set up as modifiers, that then opens up another 40 or 50 key binds for in game; while maintaining proper hand placement. Or possibly making the F Keys thin, and a row of thin G keys below that, but angle them so they are easy to tell apart by feel.

    Every time I see that left hand side bulk placement of G Keys the only thing I can think is how stupid it is. C'mon manufacturers innovate!
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I get what you are saying, but I don't have a problem with it. I use the G-keys extensively on my G15, and also use the WASD keys on occasion. That being said, I'm weaning myself off using them for movement, and more and more use the mouse. Certainly turning is best done with a mouse, and with programmable buttons on them, you can use them to go forward, backward, and strafe, as well.

    One thing I do that is different than a lot of people - I don't use keys that change the function of a key in a fight (shift, alt, ctrl). Every action that requires a key press is done with one stroke. Extra programmable keys work great for that - and I don't need to use 2 hands for an action (one to press the function key and one the action key). Basically, in a fight I have one hand free to perform any action, and one free to perform any movement. It takes re-training yourself, especially if you are a keyboard turner, but it makes for better play in the end. (No put-down to keyboard turners here, I was one for years, and those who know how to do it right can do pretty well.)

    ;)
    Reply
  • bunnyfubbles - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    whats with all these full size keyboards anymore, who really uses the numpad outside of some sort of accounting job?

    I can understand it on the K90 as MMOs can utilize a ton of keys, but still, I'd love to see at least another model, say the K30, that was tenkeyless or perhaps even smaller. That little bit of space saved is just so much more ergonomically comfortable
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I use my computer for math. Excel, budgeting, etc. I use the hell out of the ten-key.

    One of the things Anand and Jarred have been breeding out of my as a writer is an assumption that my usage model represents everyone.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Maybe a detachable option like what's available on the MS Sidewinder X6 would be nice. Attach when needed and detach and stow away when it's not. Since there are no mechanical keyboards like that then I would also have to get a full sized keyboard. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I've got an X6, and I actually hate the detachable 10-key. It's a nice idea, but in practice you might as well just skip the 10-key entirely. Every time I move the keyboard around, it seems the 10-key gets left behind. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    To be honest I just realized I stowed my num pad in the drawer for the past 4 months.

    It does become convenient when I need to use the calculator or typing lists that includes numbers but I just reach for my smartphone for calculator purposes.

    The X4 doesn't take up that much more space despite having a full layout. Yeah, even though I don't use it much, having the num pad is nice for those just in case moments.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Here's my question, as I'm coming from a basic membrane based keyboard, and looking to purchase a new Cherry MX based keyboard.

    What would you say is the best switch for FPS based games? Reds? Blacks? Browns?

    What about something like Starcraft 2, where you can get frantic with APM (hitting peaks of 200 actions per minute?)

    I was initially intrigued with the idea of MX brown because they provide feedback in the actuation. That would let me know for certain that I've clicked a certain key. I think that would be advantageous for typing and RTS type games.

    But for an FPS, I'm thinking I often smash buttons down and hold them, and the actuation may not be a good idea. Somebody in a forum called the browns "floaty" because of it.

    I'm just curious of what people would recommend. FPS would be my first concern. This K60 looks pretty good for that, but of course it seems all subjective.

    But coming from cheapo, spongy, membrane based keyboards, I'm betting anything will be better.
    Reply
  • rajaf - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I have a cherry black keyboard (the ThermalTake Meka) and I play Starcraft 2 on the aspiring semi-pro (:p) level. I can say that there is a world of difference coming from your regular rubber domed keyboard.

    However I had to try out a couple of others before this one. Llucky me I work in a computer hardware shop so I tried a K90, a Razer BlackWidow and a SteelSeries 6Gv2 before settling on the Meka. I think that you have to do the same to find out which one you are most comfortable with. It's a really subjective thing, so it's hard to give any advice.

    All I can tell you is that when I was doing research on the switches, it is usually agreed that the blacks are the best for any sort of gaming and the reds are best for typing. And the browns are a good middle ground. I find that I dislike the reds and I do not care for the browns feedback either. The blacks just feel solid to me, and really really responsive. I am certain that my average APM has gone up since using this thing :D
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    The lack of any try before buy options probably is holding back any growth options. I've never seen one available in retail; and $100ish is too much to pay sight unseen. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Yah the modern method of buying hardware does have its drawbacks. I've had this thought myself.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Dribble - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    You're getting mixed up. The Blue's are best for typing. The red's are identical to blacks only with a lower actuation force (i.e. need less pressure to type with them).

    (typed on a K60)
    Reply
  • mbraun - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I'd recommend Cherry MX brown switches for RTS games like Starcraft, check out the Filco Majestouch 2 tenkeyless. FPS players may favor the Cherry MX red ones. Buying two high-end keyboards for two types of games seems rather extreme. In the end it's up to your personal preferences - any mechanical is better than a rubberdome keyboard. Just try out different keyboards and make your own choice, you're the only one who can decide if a certain kind of key feedback is right for you. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    After doing some research, I'm looking at Cherry MX red options. Unfortunately, it seems there are few choices.

    I'm mainly concerned with FPS performance, since I play RTS less often (though lately I have been playing more SC2 trying to ladder).

    This reviewed keyboard is an option, but I do wish there were more tenkeyless options. I almost never use the tenkey, and it mostly just gets in my way of how I want to naturally position my mouse and keyboard.

    But either way it's not a big deal. I guess I should try to find them in stores available for display, but I can't think of any stores that cater to "gaming" or professional keyboards. Mostly they just have cheapo keyboards, and logitiech membrane stuff.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Most stores will carry the Razer Blackwidow which uses mx blues. Best Buy definitely has them. I have yet to see any retailer carry the Stealth edition with the Browns.

    If you live near a Fry's or Microcenter then most likely they'll carry different types of mechanical keyboards. Newegg is a great option for lower prices but you're gonna have to know what you want unless you don't mind returning items to an online retailer should it not suit you.

    This is all assuming you are in the US.

    Anyway, the Blues I find to be floaty as they travel some distance before actuating. The browns I feel are a nice all-round option. I had the blacks and they were nice for gaming but typing was a bit weird, especially since it's stiffer and lacks a click.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Yeah I live about 40 miles from a Fry's. I wonder how's there in store selection. I guess it's worth a trip to find out. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    I guess I'll have to visit the local BB. I never thought to look there; assuming their selection would be as worthless as Staples is and CircuitCity's was before it went bust.

    I'm ~5 hours from a Microcenter and 8 from a Fry's (other way around??); so scoping them out isn't really an option. Would be cheaper to just order 4 different models, RMA 3 and eat the shipping/restocking fees.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Newegg doesn't always charge restocking fees if you give a pretty valid reason for RMA.

    Best Buy only carries the Razer Blackwidow keyboards that are MX-Blue and nothing else mechanical from Razer or others. At least the regular Blackwidow is priced reasonably and sometimes it goes on sale. Even without the sale it's cheaper than Microcenter ($79 vs MC's $89) though MC has more of a selection.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    When I first read about the Corsair Vengeance keyboards, I was pretty excited. Could this be a mechanical-switch keyboard that would replace my excellent but membrane keyed Logitech G15s?

    The answer is - no. The G keys, which I use extensively when playing World of Warcraft, are membrane switches, not mechanical. It's a big let-down, for me. The keyboard looks beautiful, but it's going to take one heck of a keyboard for me to give up the ones I have. Really, I have no reason to replace them other than getting more coolz toyz anyway, they are going strong and I expect they will last quite a long time. They are both 3 years old, and if they continue the way they have, I don't expect to actually need to replace them for another decade, or more.

    Why have any membrane keys on the board at all? Why the cheap finish on the keys? I can just see some accountant, or marketing, whining and crying about how expensive a keyboard is going to be if it has all mechanical switches and high-quality key caps, but to me, it's the height of ridiculousness to make an enthusiast-level keyboard and cut corners.

    If Corsair really wants me to give up my G15s (clearly the K90 is aimed right at the heart of the market here as it's extra key bank is identical to Logitech's, and they even call them by the same name) and buy one of theirs, or two since I have 2 gaming computers, they need to:

    1) Make ALL the keys mechanical

    2) Put key caps on that will look good for the decade or more my G15s are going to last; no cheap finishes or lettering! (I actually don't think I'd like that the G-keys are lower than the rest of the keyboard. When I play, I use the whole keyboard - the left side of it with my left hand, of course, which must go back and forth from the standard keys to the G-keys.)

    3) Provide a variety of Cherry switches to choose from

    4) Do something about the lighting issue. The G15 keys are a bit dim for my tastes at their highest setting, but bright enough I can see them fairly easily. I'm not keen on the idea of a light that doesn't shine through the keys, either, though I haven't used a keyboard with the kind of back-lighting the K90 has. It seems to me though that lighting the spaces around the keys would actually make seeing the faces of the keys harder. Being that I still need to orient myself by sight - I know, learn to type! - seeing the face of the keys is rather important to me.

    5) Clean up the software interface

    I'm sure there are plenty who would squeal at having to pay $150 or more for such a keyboard, but considering how long a good one lasts (or even a cheap one), the cost over time is reasonable enough to me. That being said, I'd like to see a warranty that reflects the lifetime a mechanical keyboard should have. The one provided for the Vengeance series is twice that Logitech provides for the G15, and I get that warranties have to consider idiots that abuse their devices, but I'd really like to see Corsair show high confidence in their high-end keyboards by providing a long warranty. 2 years certainly isn't a deal-breaker for me - but, as I said, I need some serious reasons to stop using my G15s in preference for another keyboard.

    As it stands, I'm still hoping Logitech will start building mechanical versions of the gaming devices I've come to enjoy so much (the G15 and G13).

    ;)
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Ah I see now the light does shine through the keys, it just also lights up around them, too. Not the best thing in my opinion, but not as bad as I thought. Looks like they mostly need to tone it down. I'd prefer the light only came through the characters though. Reply
  • mbraun - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I really appreciate that mechanical keyboards do get some attention lately. Everyone who's a serious computer user should think about getting one, i bet the vast majority won't ever buy some 10$'ish excuse for a keyboard again.

    However, i doubt that professional users (sysadmins, programmers, writers...) would/should consider a Corsair oder Razer branded keyboard. They may look fancy and have a ton of worthless features like a bazillion extra keys, displays, multicolor illumination etc. but they are still cheap consumer products with low quality keycaps and overall construction that may only last a few months at hardcore usage. $100 is the entry-point for mechanical keyboards, low-end so to speak. It's even more money when thinking about the average lifespan of such consumer products. What about reviewing some serious keyboards like a Realforce?
    Reply
  • Kiste - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Why are these things named "Vengeance"? I don't get it. It's a keyboard, just a damn keyboard.

    This is a pretty moronic product name, though the Powercolor "Evil Sniper" videocard from way back still takes the cake.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Hey, cut them some slack, will ya?

    Not everyone can come up with a super-cool name like "Kiste".
    Reply
  • Kiste - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    That's kind of the point:
    Why does a keyboard need a "super-cool" name. I'm getting sick an tired of gaming hardware with product names and package designs specifically targeted at 15-year old boys.

    The average age of the PC gamer is probably 30-something and some companies like Logitech get it. Razer is sort of unoffensive. Garish nonsense like "Vengeance" keyboards and "Fatal1ty" soundcards and "Killer" NICs on the other hand I find bordline insulting and I would never buy it, even if it was the proverbial Jesus of it's respective product category.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Put that way, I tend to agree with you. Corsair started the "Vengeance" name with their memory sticks. We have "HyperX, "Ripjaw", "Xtreme" from other RAM companies - it's all rather silly, I mean, we aren't talking spaceship drives or chainsaws, we're talking RAM.

    I guess the best thing to do is laugh at it. Or with it, maybe it's a big joke to the marketing people at Corsair, too.

    ;)
    Reply
  • eXces - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    What about ghosting? How many simultaneous key press will the keyboard register? Reply
  • mrbean1500 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    20 key rollover Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Are they using a custom driver; I thought 6key was a limit of the standard cross platform spec? If so, do they have mac/linux drivers as well, or does the keyboard fall back on a default 6 key mode? Reply
  • Azethoth - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    1) ESDF support in addition to the noob WASD keys.
    2) The K90 needs replaceable keys as well.
    3) A Mac driver would be nice. Right now typing on my Macbook Pro sucks compared to the PC with K90

    Amen to the WTF state of the software. I am a programmer and I find it unusable. The direct key recording is the only thing that can be said to actually work.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I've never understood the WASD keys when the arrow keys make more sense Reply
  • Traciatim - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Arrow keys don't have a bunch of other keys that you can bind around them and also you don't have easy access to your number row (usually for switching weapons, or different abilities depending on the game).

    Arrow keys are essentially useless unless you're playing pac-man.
    Reply
  • hechacker1 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    In addition, I use WASD even though ESDF is somewhat superior in the number of extra keys surrounding it for binds.

    I use it because I don't have to fiddle with bindings and can use the defaults. My brother uses the arrow keys, and I see him doing keyboard gymnastics just to crouch or jump in FPS games because of the lack of easy to bind nearby keys.

    In a lot of games, developers never think to show alternatives to WASD, so often the instructions and tutorials will only have those in mind. It can make it confusion.

    I use to use alternative binds for the longest time, but eventually I just went with WASD and dealt with it. Now I can't imagine using anything else for simplicity's sake.
    Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    For me, my left hand falls naturally on the WASD area compared to ESDF. Also, as I am still using the Sidewinder X6 and X4 (some keys are beginning to malfunction on the X6) the WASD keys contain 4 illuminated dots and physical bumps on the W key to let me know where I am. Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Yes but for typing it is on esdf. Generally the index finger key (F) will have a bump on it etc. WASD is strictly a gaming thing. But yeah, dunno why the default layout is always inferior. Habits I guess. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    I'm mouse as a lefty and since I almost never play FPS type games using the arrows and binding extra functions to buttons 3-5 is almost never a problem. I suppose I could retrain myself to either use IJKL, or the numberpad; but since I almost never play games where I need that many buttons it's never been worth the effort. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    My thought here is - mouse in right hand, WASD in left. Using the left hand for arrow keys is a bit awkward, and moving your hand off the mouse means you can't use it for looking around and whatever else you use a mouse for.

    In Borderlands, you need to use both the keyboard and the mouse when in a vehicle - and it works great, one of the best vehicle control systems I've used in a PC game.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Southernsharky - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I like the fact that the K60 has no tray that stuff can get into. For me that is a big reason to buy it. But is the K90 the same way?

    I had mechanical keyboards back in the 80s and miss them and would like to buy a new one.
    Reply
  • JohnMD1022 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I have a few refurbished IBM Model M keyboards, full size, available.

    JohnMD1022@yahoo.com
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Look at pictures in the gallery. The K90 is built the same way.

    http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/1748#2
    Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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? Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    This is tech for gamers. So...why not tell you if it's worth looking at? Reply
  • 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. Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Metaluna - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Huh? CPU and GPU advancements over the past 5+ years have so vastly outpaced the needs of "the majority of general computers users" that ergonomics is *all that's left* in many usage scenarios these days. Unless you think the majority the hundreds of millions of PC users are playing high-end games.

    Heck, I'm an electrical engineer, and pretty much all I use my work laptop for these days is MS Office, text editing, and VNC. Most real work is done by submitting jobs to a compute server farm where a load balancing engine selects an available machine to run on based on memory and CPU requirements.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I disagree with you emphatically, and the amount of response this review and the Rosewill RK-9000 review have gotten is proof these things are important to many users. Reply
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Maybe it's time to start kicking trolls and banning them. Probably the type of people to poo poo PSU articles as well. Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Let's not assume that someone who doesn't find keyboards too exciting is a troll.

    I doubt 99% of PC users would ever consider paying $100 for a keyboard. By Dustin's own comments the prices are excessive on these two keyboards.
    Reply
  • nickersonm - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    We spend most of our time on computers using input and output devices (KB, mouse, monitor). Thus, if the internals of the PC are relatively adequate, which does it make more sense to spend money on: good quality for something you'll be using for literally thousands of hours (or tens of thousands), or a 20% upgrade to the speed of your processor which you'll only notice under heavy load? A realistic cost-benefit analysis will generally point towards spending money on parts you interact with most. Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Yeah its "just" a keyboard. Guess what the most frequent computer use injury is? That's right, repetitive stress. Maybe you want to reconsider the money you are "saving" by buying a $15 keyboard or mouse in that light?

    Here is a link:
    http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/OccHealth/Re...

    The bottom line is after 7 years you have lost $52,326 compared to someone who just broke their arm. Those cherry switches look real cheap suddenly right?
    Reply
  • Conficio - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    @modsci
    Look at it this way. Many computers have squeezed all quality out of the product in order to advertise a low price.
    Look at laptops with crappy screens that especially when used on your lap wash out if you are not looking at them straight on. But then you can't as the hinge doesn't even permit to open appropriately for environments like an airplane or a train commute.
    The same is true for keyboards. People that use the computer many hours of the day, typing more than a few URL's and then browsing and clicking, do realize that they do not need to update their computer every three years any more. Because for writing documents, much of programming and a lot of games the older machine is just fine. However, some quality upgrades can make a huge difference, keyboards, monitors, SSDs come to mind.
    And last give the authors here some credit, they write about what they are interested in. And by the nature of their job (being an author), they type a lot. So they have a personal and natural interest in the subject matter. And believe me that is a good thing, that is what makes Anandtech so much better over many other review sites, where being first out or lacing things with "cool" words and "excitement" is the main theme. Here you get thorough reviews. And feel free to skip an article if you are not interested.
    Reply
  • Kegetys - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I got myself a K90 some time ago and the first one was bricked by the firmware updater (others seem to have had similar fate). It said the update succeeded but still the keyboard stopped working completely. Experience with Corsair support after this was pretty bad, I wouldn't want to deal with them again. They ask you to not return the keyboard in the install sheet and use their support instead, which is pretty strange considering their support and RMA procedure... After returning the keyboard to the retailer and getting a new one, I do like the feel of it for both typing and gaming so I am quite happy with it as that is the most important thing. I find the wrist rest to be too small though, and the macro keys as they are implemented now are almost useless. The software is just bad to use, buggy, lacks features and feels very much like some kind of pre-alpha version.

    If I were to choose now I would probably get the K60 instead and some separate wrist rest for it, though the software will hopefully be improved in the future.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    As with Corsair SSDs they probably rushed these keyboards to market without proper validation of the software. If that's the case expect lots of headaches and RMAs if you use the updates. All marketing and no engineering it appears? Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    It's interesting that only one mechanical Cherry keyboard has a decent rating by (1) user on NewEgg. While Cherry switches may be liked by some not too many people seem to like Cherry keyboards on NE except for a couple Cherry membrane boards that got good reviews.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...
    Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    What? There's a Cherry keyboard there with 8 ratings with a combined score of *5* eggs. The one on top is the only one I see with a poor rating, and *that* is by *one* user whose complaint had nothing to do with the switches (it seems it rattled, a reasonable complaint, and also the keys were small, not a reasonable complaint when you've purchased an ultraslim keyboard).

    Also, user ratings on Newegg are not a reasonable foundation for making any kind of objective evaluation of a product or company.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    The good rated Cherry mobos are a MEMBRANE style, not a mechanical key, except for the one person I mentioned who liked one model.

    People's opinions are their opinions. Who are you to say if their opinion is not valid?????
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    People do complain about the build quality of Cherry OEM boards, but it's the quality of the case, PCB, caps, etc. Put the same MX switches in a Rosewill board and everything is roses.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Sub...
    Reply
  • Conficio - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Does anyone know of a mechanical keyboard that is more in the $100 range with a split keyboard design like the Microsoft Natural Keybaord Elite?

    I love those and would trade it in for a mechanical, but all I can find is $250+ and that is too steep a price.
    Reply
  • adamantinepiggy - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    When I am busy doing work on the PC, not one damn person ever comes up and asks me stupid questions lie whether I'm busy at the moment. People KNOW when I'm busy working from the auditory carnage!!! Reply
  • Zds - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Interesting review!

    Being a person who likes his UI devices respond perfectly, I have long been fan of switch keyboards, and it's nice to get reviews of then. My habit of having drinks at desk also goes through membrane keyboards at rate of one per 1.5 years..

    Anyway, the keyboard that I've relied upon for past 5 years is Raptor Gaming keyboard, based on gold-plated cross-point switches. It does not have macros or leds, but the *keyboard* in it is very, very good. So I am skeptical on Corsair being on different level.
    Reply
  • Cygus - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    i have seen in a long time! Yuck! Corsair, you need a new design team! Reply
  • Vepsa - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    I would love it if a company made an ergonomic keyboard with mechanical switches. I cannot really type on a standard keyboard w/o pain (not from carpal tunnel, from arthritis in my fingers) so it would be a godsend to be able to get a solidly built mechanical switch ergonomic keyboard. Reply
  • methudman6 - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    When I was 5 years old my dad gave me a computer with a mechanical keyboard. The keyboard lasted me for 10 years before it broke. I was then 15 and very disappointed to find out that stores did not sell mechanical keyboards anymore. As others have mentioned here, once you get used to a mechanical keyboard you just can't go back. Not only does it feel much better but it also significantly improves your typing accuracy and speed.

    Anyways I'm really happy to see that more companies are starting to make mechanical keyboards. I would like to see one that is designed for professional use in the office - maybe one that is a little bit softer so as not to be extremely loud and I don't need any of those extra gaming keys and flashy LED lights.
    Reply
  • ddecker902 - Friday, March 23, 2012 - link

    Bought a K90 keyboard around the end of February. Had a stuck key, I'd hit backspace and it'd keep backspacing. This was consistent.
    Returned it and got another one about two weeks ago. Same behavior, only more keys were affected.

    Can't recommend it. Seems to me to be badly made.
    Reply
  • **USA** - Monday, May 21, 2012 - link

    You will be sorry if you buy this keyboard! The letters faded from the keys in 3 weeks and it is VERY, VERY noisy! Their customer service refused to replace the keys. Reply
  • dilmonen - Sunday, July 01, 2012 - link

    Really interesting to see the resurgence of all the mechanical switch keyboards.

    Been using a couple of models with the Cherry switches from DeCK for years now.

    I've got their 82 key toxic with 21 key number pad & a white Legend DeCK.

    http://www.deckkeyboards.com/
    Reply
  • tpayne37664 - Saturday, September 15, 2012 - link

    I have read a lot about these boards and the mice also. I got a k90 and m90 and had to return 1 m90 and 1 k90. the k90's seem to have a habit of coming with dead led's and the m90's seem to be prone to failed firmware flashing which the software you download says "upgrade firmware before installing drivers" I replaced the m90 with another 1 and did not update firmware and it works great programming works too. The k90 i decided to opt for a different non programable board a CM Storm QuickFire Pro and pulled my old razer nostromo out and dusted it off for macro's no real difference in macro buttons as both k90 and nostromo have membrane keys for the programmable keys also the f keys and home cluster of keys on k90 are membrane Reply
  • taltamir - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    BUYER BEWARE
    This keyboards have a huge and serious firmware bug that is still not fixed and corsair wont own up to.

    Check: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=11017...

    I bought this expensive keyboard based on this review and was very disappointed due to said firmware bug. This review should really have pointed out its existence.
    Reply

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