Overview of the K70
- New Cherry MX Speed mechanical switches.
- RGB backlighting.
- Media and volume control buttons.
- Detachable wrist-rest.
- USB pass-through port.
- Aluminum body.
This is a review of Corsair’s newest mechanical keyboard, the K70 RGB Rapidfire. The biggest feature of this keyboard is the new Cherry MX Speed switches, which are exclusive to Corsair.
This is a similar exclusive deal to the Cherry MX Silent switches on the Corsair STRAFE Silent which we also reviewed.
The Cherry MX Speed switches are also available in the K65, and both the K65 and K70 Rapidfire are available in RGB and Red LED backlighting.
Corsair K70 Rapidfire Unboxing
The box is designed similarly to other Corsair keyboards, but you’ll notice this one has the new Rapidfire logo. Also on the front of the box is a diagram illustrating the main selling point of the keyboard – the shorter actuation distance of the Rapidfire line.
The trend of shorter actuation points was started by the Razer BlackWidow line of keyboards, which they marketed as faster reaction times for gamers by shortening their Razer-branded switch by .around 2mm to 1.9mm.
Earlier this year, Das Keyboard’s new line of gaming mechanical keyboards launched which featured the Division Zero X40, they dropped their Alpha Zulu actuation distance to 1.7mm.
Corsair has (hopefully) taken things to their furthest (or shortest?) possible conclusion of hitting 1.2mm of travel distance to activate the key in the name of “faster gaming reflexes”.
The Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire is a full-sized keyboard, though you can find a tenkeyless variety in the K65. The K70’s RGB backlights can only be controlled via the Corsair CUE software, and not on the keyboard itself which is a bit disappointing. It would be nice to cycle between the built-in color profiles without having to bring up the software every time. There is a button to adjust the backlight brightness though.
The keyboard has an adjustable polling rate of 8ms, 4ms, 2ms, or 1ms. You’ll want to leave it in 1ms mode unless you’re having issues; the lower the delay the faster your computer will potentially receive the input.
This keyboard can also be put into a “BIOS mode”, which is basically just a compatibility mode that you can switch to if you find that your BIOS isn’t receiving input from your K70.
On the bottom of the keyboard, you can see that the wrist-rest is detachable if you find that such a thing only gets in the way, or if you have a better wrist-rest you prefer.
One of the best features of the K70 for someone who really cares about keyboard ergonomics is the flip-out feet at the bottom to give the keyboard an angle closer to perfectly flat. This will potentially save you a ton of strain on your wrists should you choose to use them.
From the side, you can see that the K70 Rapidfire already has a not-too-steep profile, to begin with. You can also get a glimpse at some of the texture on the soft wrist-rest and the clear switch-housing which will let some more of the RGB lighting spill out from the switches.
The K70 Rapidfire has a USB pass-through port in the back of the keyboard to the right of the braided USB cable. You’ll have to plug in a 2nd USB cable to your computer in order to use it.
The slider beside the USB port is the polling rate selector. As we said earlier, you’ll probably just want to leave this on 1ms unless you’re having issues.
One thing that we always appreciate is dedicated media control buttons. The K70 RGB Rapidfire has 6 of them – stop, play/pause, forward, backward, mute, and a volume adjuster. It’s always useful to be able to quickly adjust your volume or music without having to leave your game.
Cherry MX Speed Switches Review
Now, for the most important part of the review – especially for a keyboard that’s using new and exclusive mechanical switches. Just how good are the Cherry MX Speed switches?
Let’s start by saying that the Cherry MX Speed switches are also known as “Silver”. They are a linear switch with an actuation force of 45 cN. They’re essentially a Cherry MX Red switch with a shorter travel distance.
Cherry MX Speed Switches for Typing
For starters, you really notice the shorter travel distance. We found the difference with the Razer switches to be negligible, but there’s no way you can a 40% reduction in travel distance with these Speed switches.
Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? It really depends on how you plan on using the keyboard. We found that we could accidentally register keystrokes just by brushing a key as our hands moved across the keyboard.
This was highly unusual and not something we’ve experienced with other switches. While it was annoying, it didn’t happen enough to be terribly frustrating.
Despite the extra sensitivity of the switches, our typing test still reached 101 WPM without significantly more typos than using regular Cherry MX switches, which would indicate that the switches don’t seem to be much of an issue at all.
View the typing test below –
Cherry MX Speed for Gaming
The main reason why most people are interested in the Rapidfire is for the potential advantage when it comes to PC gaming. While a 40% reduction in travel distance sounds impressive, it doesn’t mean your reactions are going to be 40% faster. Travel distance makes up a pretty small portion of your overall reaction time.
That being said, if you’re in the market for a new gaming keyboard, you might want any small advantage you can muster. We didn’t find the keyboard uncomfortable to use by any stretch, so it’s certainly worth looking at.
We’ll wait for some more science to come out on just how many milliseconds these Speed switches save you before fully endorsing them, but they certainly can’t hurt.
Regardless of just how much faster the Corsair Rapidfire and Cherry MX Speed switches make you, this is still the fastest gaming keyboard on the market. All the other features make it a damn good one, too!
Corsair K70 Rapidfire Keys
When it comes to keycaps, the Corsair K70 is definitely bringing its A game. The standard keycaps feel solid and look great with bold lettering that doesn’t try too hard. Another big selling point for gamers though is the contoured and textured gaming keysets included with the keyboard.
Designed specifically for FPS and MOBAs, these keycaps feel excellent for gaming sessions where you don’t want your fingers to slip or move off your hotkeys. The spacebar is also textured, which feels great.
Corsair K70 RGB – Rapidfire Backlighting
With the K70 RGB Rapidfire, Corsair still delivers some of the best RGB backlighting in the business. The lighting is bright and vibrant, and the lighting profiles you can build with the Corsair CUE software is very impressive.
We made a video of all the standard lighting profiles on the CUE software when we reviewed the STRAFE which you can check out here –
One cool new feature for the CUE software is the ability to integrate with their Corsair VOID line of gaming headphones and display a visualizer for your sound on your keyboard.
Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire Review Overall Verdict
All things considered, the Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire is an amazing gaming mechanical keyboard that should be on any gamers list. We consider it up there with the Corsair STRAFE RGB as the best buys for a gaming keyboard.
The STRAFE is a bit cheaper but doesn’t come with Cherry MX Speed switches, nor does it have an aluminum body, detachable wristrest, or flip-out feet to give the keyboard a flat angle.
Ultimately it will be up to you to decide if those features justify the extra price tag for the Rapidfire, but either way you can’t lose. We hope you enjoyed this Corsair K70 RGB Rapidfire review, be sure to leave us a comment on how you feel about this keyboard.