At CES 2018, Corsair showed off some interesting products that don’t exactly buck the company’s trend of slowly trying out new things, but there’s at least one thing in here that’ll set pants on fire. No prizes for guessing that it’s a keyboard, but it’s not just any old keyboard. Corsair’s CES 2018 lineup included peripherals, new cases, a new power supply design that seems to be catered to GPU mining, and a really neat redesign for their all-in-one liquid cooling units.
There it is, pictured above – Corsair’s brand new K63 wireless mechanical keyboard. Wireless mechs have been around for a long time, but they’re always built by some Chinese OEM that puts only the bare minimum of thought into the software, and they’re always equipped with some oddity that makes them unsuitable for gaming – maybe it’s input lag, maybe battery life, or perhaps the Bluetooth chipset doesn’t work that well. We’ve already had one wireless mech keyboard from Logitech, but it lacks any backlighting and isn’t available locally yet. It also costs $150, so perhaps that’s why some people are hesitant to buy it judging by the Amazon reviews.
Corsair’s K63 Wireless offers similar capabilities to the Logitech G613, including the ability to use either Bluetooth or direct wireless connections in addition to USB. Battery life is fairly low at just 15 hours of continuous use with backlighting on, or 75 hours with it off, but this is the first stepping stone to figuring out how to get this done efficiently and cheaply. It took ten years to perfect the wireless mouse, but it won’t take that long for wireless mechanical keyboards. The switches on offer are only Cherry MX Reds for now, but Corsair might offer different switch types in the future with different designs. Tenkeyless is a nice compromise for those who don’t necessarily need a numberpad, and I think this particular keyboard is going to get a lot of traction.
Pricing for the Corsair K63 Wireless is set at $109.99, which is much cheaper than Logitech’s offering. Corsair also offers a redesigned lapboard that fits the K63 in neatly for only $59.99, and you save ten bucks on the K63 combo with the Lapboard in the same box.
Corsair’s Dark Core mouse family is a new branch in their catalogue of wireless gaming mice, but with a twist. The cheaper of the two is the regular Dark Core, a 1GHz wireless mouse with both Bluetooth and wireless direct connectivity, allowing you to switch between two devices at any time. The Dark Core’s shell is slightly customisable, allowing users to switch out the side grips for a different design with magnetic mounts. You could have both a thumb and pinky rest, or none at all. It charges with a USB-Mini cable, and the battery offers up to 24 hours of constant use, presumably with the RGB backlighting also enabled.
If you look closely at the left-side of the mouse, you’ll see that the thumb buttons have been replaced with a D-pad switch for page navigation or custom use in games, with a recessed button in the middle to activate the sniper mode, temporarily reducing the DPI for more accurate mouse movements. It only has two directions for now, but there’s nothing stopping Corsair from adding in another two directions for a proper D-pad on the side.
The more expensive version is the Dark Core SE. They’re effectively the same, but the SE version is compatible with the Wireless Qi charging standard, which pairs up pretty well with Corsair’s accompanying new Qi-capable mousepad, the MM1000Qi. Unlike other wireless charging mousepads from the likes of Logitech and Razer, Corsair’s version only has a charging coil in the top-right corner, marked by a set of concentric circles. Place the Dark Core SE on there, and the mouse will begin to charge. That does mean that it has a battery to charge, but at least the SE won’t be useless if you decide to lug it with you on a trip or to a LAN. It still charges over USB as well, which is neat.
This brings the total number of wireless charging mouse and mousepad options to four (five with another competitor from Mad Catz, eventually), which includes Logitech’s Lightspeed G703, and G903 mice, as well as Razer’s new Hyperflux solution. They’re all competitively priced and all very close to each other in terms of pricing as well. Corsair’s offering seems to be the most sensible of the bunch. The Dark Core and Dark Core SE will retail for $80 and $90 respectively, while the MM1000Qi mousepad will set you back an additional $80.
Corsair’s new power supply is the creatively titled AX1600i, a 1600 Watt Platinum-rated power supply for those of us who mine with our graphics cards. I’m sure that there are people out there who need a 1600W PSU for something other than mining, but it does seem like this is aimed at miners specifically. It has support for up to eight PCIe auxiliary power connectors fed from the single-rail design and comes with a ten year warranty, along with Corsair’s Link software which allows you to monitor everything the PSU is doing, including logging statistics to file for examination later. Miners, this might be something you’d want to pick up for your rig with eight Radeon RX 580s all sucking juice to mine Ethereum.
Corsair’s redesign of their watercooling AIOs looks pretty neat. The new Hydro H150i Pro (left) and the H115i Pro (right) esentially take the radiator designs from past Hydro coolers and mate them to a new block and pump, complete with RGB LEDs and a few more smarts than before. Both AIOs will now turn off the power supply to the fans completely when temperatures are low, and the pump will run at lower speeds to reduce noise at the same time. The CPU block is also ever-so-slightly larger to accommodate AMD’s Threadripper and Intel’s X299 processors, both of which are much larger than previous designs.
Finally, there’s Corsair’s new SPEC-OMEGA chassis. Building off the SPEC series design language, this is an ATX design with a slant towards clean-looking builds and moves most of the storage behind the motherboard for easier cable routing. A full-panel, lightly smoked tempered glass cover exposes the innards for RGB enthusiasts to show off their rigs and hard loops, while a recessed front I/O panel makes it look clean despite the busy front-end. I like Corsair’s designs in the SPEC series, even if the cases themselves might not be suitable for every build. The SPEC-OMEGA is the first one that I’d probably have no issues with recommending, although the lack of a front vent means the front air intake at the bottom is all that’s open for intake.