Dimensions (mm) 471 x 165 x 40 (W x D x H)
Format Extended – 111 keys
Switch type Corsair OPX or Cherry MX Speed Silver
Switch life 50+ million keystrokes
Extras USB 2 pass-through, 44-zone RGB lighting strip, multimedia buttons, six gaming keys
We first looked at the Corsair K100 in a standalone review back in Issue 208, where we were impressed by its combination of premium features and impressive performance. Stacked directly up against the very best competitors, though, does it still impress?
Perhaps most obviously, this keyboard has quite a few extras that put it above many of the others on test. Down the left edge of the keyboard is a column of six extra gaming keys, which are ideally positioned for firing off macros and other extra game commands. Then, in the top left corner, there’s a dedicated button and dialthatworks in conjunction with Corsair’s iCUE software to provide extra features, such as backlighting brightness control, skipping music tracks and switching apps.
In this location there are also buttons for switching profiles and locking the Windows keys. In the top right, there’s a handy volume wheel and mute button, while at the back is a shiny black plastic section that hides the indicator lights for the Windows key, Scroll, Caps and Num lock buttons. At the back of the keyboard is a USB pass-through, although it’s onlyUSB2.
All told, it’s quite a useful selection, although the quality of the buttons along the top edge is a bit disappointing – they’re akin to mouse buttons, with a very shallow clicky feel that feels slightly out of place against all the heavy duty mechanical keyboard switches.
The gaming keys on the edge also have pros and cons. They’re undeniably useful as extra keys, but they’re not really close enough to be practical to hit mid-game while still trying to keep your hand largely hovered over the WASD zone. I also found that, even after prolonged use, I’d occasionally place my left hand too far to the left, as my little finger would head for the gaming keys rather than the left Ctrl key, which is the usual reference point for placing my hand during gaming.
Elsewhere, this is a stylish and well-built keyboard, with its brushed aluminium top giving it a premium feel, although it can’t quite match the look of previous Corsair keyboards with their even thicker slab of aluminium, even if the new design has a much smoother finish. You also get masses of RGB lighting, with all the keys backlit, in addition to a 44-zone strip of lighting around the rear and side edges of the board.
For key switches, Corsair offers its own OPX optical mechanical switches, which have a very light and tight 45g actuation force and 1mm actuation point (3.2mm total travel), or you can get Cherry MX Speed Silver switches that are similarly fast (45g, 1.2mm, 3.4mm).
We tested the OPX switches and we found them a touch too light at first – they’re rather unforgiving of even the lightest accidental touch, but they’re clearly very fast and ideal for gaming. Plus, once we got the feel for the keys, they proved very speedy in our typing tests, though not meaningfully quicker than other more tactile alternatives. Finishing off the premium feel, the keycaps here are doubleshot and use PBT plastic, so they should last a lifetime.
This is a premium keyboard in all the ways you’d expect, with a solid, attractive design, RGB lighting and plenty of extra features. But then you’d expect that for a non-custom keyboard costing £. At that price, it’s hard to call this keyboard a bargain, but when keyboards that still cost the better part of £ offer just a basic set of keys, this board certainly doesn’t offer bad value either.