Corsair has been one of the biggest players in the world of mechanical keyboards for years, and two of its units currently occupy our Elite list. One of them, the K70, has been updated, and Corsair has also introduced a sleeker model with low-profile mechanical switches.
The MK.2’s low-profile variant is available with Cherry MX Low Profile Speed or Red switches. Meanwhile, the full-height version also comes with full-sized Speed or Red switches, plus Silent, Blue or Brown options.
The model reviewed here is the Low Profile Rapidfire version. Its Cherry MX Low Profile Speed switches have a tiny 1mm actuation distance and 3.2mm overall travel. They still have the 45g operating force of normal Red switches, and no tactile bump, and the 1mm actuation is 0.2mm less than the Red switches in the other Low-Profile K70. It’s also 0.2mm less than the full-height Speed switch. Cherry’s other full-height keys actuate at 2mm.
The shorter actuation distance is evident, with a noticeable relative lack of travel, but it’s not a problem – the speed level is impressive, and the solid construction means the keys have decent build quality and weight – realistically, most people just won’t notice the difference after they’ve used the low-profile switches for a little while.
Gaming certainly isn’t impacted negatively – you still get solid actuation. The low-profile buttons have a marginal lack of crispness compared with the full-height versions, but it didn’t hinder our experience. They’re also miles better than the membrane designs often found on other low-profile keyboards. You’ll only want to head for the K70’s full-height options if you want heavier keys with tactile bumps.
The keys also retain the usual full-key rollover and 100 per cent anti-ghosting. Corsair includes two sets of textured buttons in the box as well, for FPS and MOBA gaming, alongside a key-removal tool. Elsewhere, the K70 hasn’t changed much. The brushed aluminium fascia is excellent, and the main unit’s plastic construction is sturdy.
The underside has reliable rubber pads, but the plastic wrist rest remains a little weak.
The entire unit is 29mm tall – around 10mm shorter than full-height mechanical keyboards, which makes it look pleasingly sleek, while making it more practical to put in a bag. Media buttons and a handy volume roller sit above the keys on the right-hand side, as before. On the left, you’ll find three buttons (which used to be on the right) that alter the brightness, deactivate the Windows key, and switch between three hardware macro and lighting profiles.
If you want to use more profiles, record macros or customise the lighting, though, you’ll need to use the Corsair iCue app. It’s intuitive, with the usual bevy of options for individual key customisation and picking numerous lighting patterns. Our complaints are minor. It’s 2019, for instance, and the K70 still uses slow USB 2 for its pass-through connection. We’d also change the font on the keys, which now looks a little dated.
There’s an awful lot to like about this updated Corsair K70. The low-profile Cherry MX Speed switches are fast, and retain the crisp action of full-sized mechanical hardware, so the majority of players can use these shorter switches without issue. They’re the best option if you want the fastest mechanical experience available.
Elsewhere, Corsair retains its sturdy, smart design, with good features and software. The K70 also retains its high price, though, so bear in mind that you could ditch some of the extras and find cheaper mechanical hardware elsewhere. However, the K70 remains one of the best keyboards around. Its features, build quality and design are excellent, and the switch to low-profile hardware is successful. We’re confident that the versions with full-sized switches will be just as good too.
Overall score 87%
Connection Wired, USB
Cable 2m, braided
Material Aluminium, plastic
Switch type Cherry MX Low Profile Speed
Extras USB 2 pass-through, wrist rest, additional textured keys
The low-profile keys are fast, satisfying and sturdy, while the rest of the K70 is as solid and well designed as ever.