Corsair’s newest flagship mechanical keyboard, the Corsair K100 RGB, is an updated and improved board compared to its previous counterpart, the Corsair K95 Platinum XT RGB mechanical keyboard.
Corsair has listened to its users, and the improved design comes with a standard bottom row, clean and sleek PBT keycaps, a cushioned and premium wrist rest, as well as other subtle changes that we’ll get into later in the review.
The Verdict: 9.5/10
The new Corsair K100 is for anyone who wants to take their gaming performance to the next level with its Cherry MX Speed Silver switches and hyperfast 4000Hz polling rate. It has features that allow you to connect Elgato Streamdeck features, interchange the keycaps, record macros, change between profiles, and so much more.
For non-gamers who find themselves using the number pad often and needing a full-sized mechanical keyboard with comprehensive software, the K100 is definitely worth a look.
Despite its high price tag of over $200, it definitely has a premium feel compared to other Corsair boards and even competitive full-sized boards.
You can check out all of the features and more here if you’re interested in purchasing the board.
In The Box
Inside the box, which now features a lime-green color scheme rather than the banana-yellow of the Corsair K95 Platinum XT RGB, there are multiple different parts. The box is really large compared to other boards as well.
- Keyboard – The keyboard has an updated design compared to its predecessor, which makes it more sleek and professional to use on your desk.
- Detachable magnetic wrist rest – The plush covering features a new premium design that ditches the outdated style of the previous one.
- Plastic keycap puller – Not recommended you use this because it will scratch your keycaps, get yourself a nice wired keycap puller.
- FPS and MOBA keycaps – Textured and contoured keycaps to improve performance and feel of the relevant keys for gaming.
- Plastic cover that can be used as a dust cover – This is made to protect the keyboard during transportation, but it can also be used as a dust cover to protect your keyboard from cat/dog hair and overnight dust.
- Warranty information
- Safety information
- Manual – This is standard information that tells you more information about the board if you forget a certain feature.
The Corsair K100 has a premium feel, look, and weight. The top of the case itself is made of black brushed and anodized aluminum. It’s not shiny at all and looks matte from afar, which adds to its overall aesthetic with matching keycaps.
Updated Kickstands and Bottom Case
In the back, the board has four large rubber feet to prevent slipping when gaming in those intense situations.
Alongside this, it has height-adjusting kickstands of two different angles rather than just one (that the K95 had). Now you have more options to change to if the native angle isn’t enough.
There are multiple channels in the back to route your wires if you choose to use USB-passthrough for devices such as charging your phone, game controller, headset, and more.
Updated Sleek Design
The K100 features a floating keycap style design, which allows you to see the RGB from the side of the switch. It illuminates your desk setup brightly, unless you choose to lower the brightness of course.
On the side, there are 44 lighting zones that can be customized within the iCue software to personalize the ring lighting.
There are accent angles on the sides as well as the updated forehead. It has a subtle Corsair logo for the branding rather than the entire Corsair name. The top also has a programmable control wheel, which you can learn more about down below.
The K100 ditches the strange divot on the part of the board nearest you. It also adds to its new look with It also adds small little additions here and there that just screams premium when and if you notice it.
If you look closely on the left side of the board, it says // K100 in a stylized font, real small.
When I first noticed it, I was thoroughly impressed at the amount of detail that went into designing this board.
Detachable Wrist Rest
The detachable wrist rest is now attached magnetically rather than mechanically via clipping in.
It ditches the plastic outline. All you can see at first glance is the plush covering around the memory foam.
There is a vertical logo going down the very middle, similar to how luxury car designers add subtle branding on their car accessories such as door handles and angled wings.
It’s super easy to slide on and off, and you don’t have to worry about breaking the connection mechanism. It’s all black, very breathable, and sits at an ergonomic angle that supports your palms rather than digging into them.
The top left of the front of the board features the profile switch key. If you’re using this keyboard with other people, you can each have your own profile and color style too.
There is a new feature, the iCue control wheel, that has different colors and the iCue logo in the middle. This thing is super cool and makes this keyboard extremely unique and versatile compared to other full-sized boards.
For quick access to Windows lock, you can quickly press it because it has a dedicated button on the top left as well. If you’re in game, you can always turn that on to make sure you don’t accidentally leave the game window.
The macro, mute, windows lock, number lock, caps, and scroll lock indicators are now at the top of the board on the left and right side of the Corsair logo.
On the top right, you have the mute key (which is super easy to access too) and the dedicated volume roller for quick changes to volume without having to go into your computer settings to change.
The keycaps of the K100 are doubleshot PBT. They are oil-resistant and feel smooth to the touch.
In addition to this, they updated their legends (the font that goes on the keycaps) to a smaller, less squarish, font. It’s much cleaner and less childish.
The modifiers (Enter, Shift, FN, Alt, Ctrl, etc.) are in all-caps still, but the font looks better. Honestly, I would’ve loved them to be in title case, where only the first letter is capitalized.
Also, they finally feature a standard layout. You can now replace every key, even the bottom row, of this board to aftermarket keycaps such as ePBT, GMK, YMDK, any fancy keycap you would like (only if you want to, of course).
Previously, Corsair had a nonstandard bottom row that prevented users of their board from changing out the keycaps. Now you can personalize the board to your liking with the RGB colors as well as the keycap colors and design.
The switches available in the Corsair K100 are Cherry MX Speed Silver RGB switches.
These are guaranteed 100 million keystrokes with the new updated Cherry MX switches.,
These switches are fast, at an actuation distance of 1.2mm (0.8mm shorter than Cherry MX Reds). They can be difficult to get used to at first if you plan on typing a lot on this board.
They are linear switches with a decreased actuation distance. They have a spring force of 45g, equivalent to Cherry MX Reds.
When combined with the AXON technology, the response time on the K100 is faster than Razer’s Optical Red switches.
The stabilizers of the K100 are lightyears ahead of its predecessor, the K95.
Corsair is finally taking notice that so many people are complaining that the stabilizers.
The stabilizers are the same plate-mounted, Cherry-style stabilizers. But for some reason, they lack the loud rattle that was present before.
There’s no extra lube, no special plate design, nothing. But I guess who cares how they did it, it just sounds better.
CORSAIR AXON Hyper-Processing Technology
This is complicated stuff, so I’ll try my best to explain it. Many gaming mechanical keyboards advertise a polling rate of 1000Hz. This means that the keyboards reports its data or usage to the computer 1000 times in one second.
With the new AXON processing, the polling rate is 4000Hz. That’s 4 times as fast as other mechanical keyboards on the market. It just means your keyboard talks to your PC more often.
With lighting, the keyboard now supports up to 20 layers of lighting effects. Now I doubt anyone needs that, but the fact is, you can do it.
We’re not tricking anyone here, so the polling rate out of the box is 1000Hz to make sure the keyboard is compatible with older PCs.
However, if you go into iCue, you can change it to 4000Hz to maximize its full potential.
Programmable Control Wheel
The programmable scroll wheel is an amazing feature. I can see so much usefulness come out of this. More keyboards need to take notes from Corsair and integrate something similar as well.
The wheel can cycle through different modes by pressing the middle button, and rotating the wheel will adjust the settings.
For example, if you are in brightness mode, rotating the wheel left will decrease brightness and rotating it right will increase brightness.
The following modes are available just from inside the board itself: brightness, track jogging (moving through a timeline of a song or video), track selector, and macro recording.
There are different software modes as well, and you can access these in the iCue software to write them to different profiles: switching applications, vertical scrolling, horizontal scrolling, zooming, and there are also custom options that you can create and save.
6 Dedicated Macro Keys with Elgato Software Integration
Similar to the K95, there are 6 macro keys on the left side of the board.
With the Elgato software, you can program these keys to switch between scenes, play effects, etc.
If you don’t stream, these can just be regular macro keys. They can open applications, type certain strings of letters/symbols, and more.
You can do macro recording on the fly when using the Macro Recording mode on the wheel. The instructions for this are also in the manual.
It’s really convenient and easy to use, if you use macros often.
8MB Onboard Storage (And What That Means For You)
Unlike the K95, the K100 lets you do more with the 8MB on storage. There are way more options.
The K95 was limited to five profiles. With the K100, there’s no limit to profiles. The amount of things you save to the board are limited by the size only.
For example, you can add a bunch of different functions to the wheel if you choose to. You can record more macros if you want. You can add a bunch of lighting profiles too.
With the new system, up to 200 profiles can be saved. However, that does depend on the complexity of each profile.
Each profile saves different settings in hardware actions, hardware lighting, dial control, and performance.
The USB port is on the back of the case, right next to where the cable exits through.
It is a USB 2.0 port that can support many devices such as charging phones, attaching headphones, mouse, accessories, controllers, and more.
Onboard RGB Options
If you don’t want to download the large iCue software, then there are some more options to change RGB on the board itself.
To change between effects, you hold FN and press keys 1-0. Each number has a different effect. You can also increase/decrease the speed or rotate the effect left/right too. Check the manual for these different color options.
The K100 uses Corsair’s iCue software, which is a bulky download. However, you don’t need to keep it for long if you don’t want to.
After saving all of your desired profiles to the board itself, you can uninstall the software after finishing.
Of course, it’s always convenient to have the software handy to change options quickly, but that’s up to you.
Despite this mechanical keyboard being probably the most expensive out-of-the-box mechanical keyboard I’ve ever seen, it really performs at a special level.
The designers gave a ton of thought into its design as well as functionality with the new iCue control wheel that lets you excel at video editing, watching or listening to media, and productivity in general.
It’s not just for gamers, but for gaming, there are serious advantages with the Elgato software integration buttons, the fast and responsive Cherry MX Speed Silver switches, and the hyper fast 4000Hz polling option.
So it’s up to you. This is the best Corsair keyboard that I’ve ever used, and I can say that proudly since I didn’t like anything on the K95. Was that too harsh? Maybe, but it lets me realize how much improvement the K100 has over the K95.
Anyways, you can check the board out here for the hefty price tag that it’s worth.