The K70 RGB is roughly the same mechanical keyboard Corsair released last year, with a nice weight, superb build quality, and sleek metallic finish, and comes with the choice of blue, brown, or red Cherry MX switches. The difference from its plainer sibling, however, is its customizable LED lights. Users can control the lighting scheme of the keyboard in a highly detailed way, be it the color of individual keys or the lighting effects that sweep (or don’t sweep) over the keyboard.
Tailoring the K70’s lighting to your taste isn’t easy. The board is plug and play, but getting cool effects from lightning needs some serious effort on your part.
The K70 contains Red Cherry MX switches. There are other options available through Corsair’s website, but in my experience, Red keys work best for day-to-day gaming and typing.
Cherry MX Red switches feature a smoother and quieter typing experience compared to their clunkier Blue or Brown switch counterparts. Regardless of what type of switch you decide to go with, you’ll like the matte finish on the keys. The material does a superb job of keeping fingerprints or smudges from sticking to the keys.
The K70 keyboard is a Corsair classic, with a sleek, brushed-aluminum industrial look that stands out from the competition.
The K70 RGB also features the new Corsair Gaming logo.
The K70 supports layers of lighting. In the background you can set everything as one color, assign lighting to individual keys, or group certain keys together.
Then there’s the foreground layer. Here you can assign one of four effects to occur every time you press a key: It either turns a solid color for a certain amount of time, creates a gradient between multiple colors, or spawns a wave or ripple of color.
Besides the typical 104 keys of a full-sized keyboard, the K70 RGB also has seven extra keys and a volume control knob. Four of them are media control keys (Play/Pause, Stop, Forward, and Back), one is the volume mute button, and the two smaller keys towards the center are the windows key lock and the backlighting brightness control. Three very small white LED lights serve as the three standard key lock indicators (Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock). The LED lights of the indicators are the only lights that are not customizable on the K70 RGB as, most likely due to their tiny size, Corsair was forced to install just white LED lights under them.
Under the aluminum chassis we find excellent assembly work. The soldering job is textbook, without a single flawed point. Not unsurprisingly, the processor inside the Corsair Gaming K70 RGB is not a commonly seen Freescale processor, like the one we found in the Vengeance K70, but instead it’s an NXP LPC11U37F-501. This microcontroller has about the same processing power as the commonly used Freescale MC9S08JM32, but it has four times the flash memory, six times the static RAM, and eight times the USB RAM.
When programming a mode, the user can access three major tabs: Assignments, Performance, and Lighting. The Assignments tab allows for the programming or remapping of every key on the keyboard, including the media keys. The Actions List button brings up all the actions that the user has programmed (macros, timers, etc.) and they can be drag-and-dropped on any key. Keys can also be repurposed to switch modes and/or profiles.