There was a time not too long ago that I was vehemently against upgrading my nine-year-old keyboard. I’ve come to dislike mechanical keyboards somewhat thanks largely to the aggressive typing sound they deliver. I once tested a mechanical keyboard at a client’s office and I was rather embarrassed to later discover the team stayed clear of me that day as they all thought I was about to snap someone’s head off. Used to your advantage, this could be a great office tactic. Jokes aside, mechanical keyboards can get some taking used to – until now that is.
At the end of last year I was sent a brand new Corsair keyboard to review but thought nothing of it at first, I just added it to the review stack I was working on. Then, one evening in early December I was duelling for a chicken dinner in PUBG when, with virtually no health left, I stepped around a tree for cover which unbeknown to me, was just outside the blue zone. I died. So did my beloved keyboard just shy of a decade’s worth of loyal use. I won’t go into the details, but I think it is safe to say that I ragequit that night.
Some keys no longer worked on that keyboard and I needed to make another plan. Fortunately, the Corsair keyboard was close at hand.
At first glance, the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile keyboard looks almost identical to the original K70. This keyboard’s solid construction and weighty feel is nicely contrasted with its slimmer low-profile key design. I was intrigued.
In my mind, mechanical keys such as the much-loved Cherry MX series felt a little chunky but the Low Profile K70 RGB MK.2 was different. This one sports the new Cherry MX Low Profile Speed key which was launched last year and is around 35% flatter than the original Cherry MX key. This felt like a massive improvement, especially since I type on a notebook for most of the day. What I found impressive is that even though the key travel is much shorter, each keystroke still gives a beautifully muted mechanical click.
It should be noted that a non-low-profile version of the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 keyboard is also available with the option to choose one of the Cherry MX key varieties. The price difference is only a few hundred rand.
Looking at the keyboard aesthetics, the K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile features a beautiful black brushed metal finish with playback and volume controls situated on the top right-hand side. There are also three function keys that decorate the left side of this keyboard. These keys control RGB brightness and RGB profiles, and there’s a Game Mode button lock. At the back of the keyboard, you’ll find a USB pass-through which is handy for quick access to a USB – even if it is just USB 2.0.
Also bundled in the box you’ll find a set of additional keycaps that are slightly different to the ones fitted on the keyboard. These extra keys are slightly angled and cover the WASD keys and the keyset around it. The effect is a set of gaming keys that feel responsive to the touch and wrap around the keys you use most for gaming. For typing, the normal keyset offers a better experience but swapping between the keys is not too much of an effort as each key can pop off effortlessly with an included tool.
Another feature that stands out for me is the textured space bar and palm rest. These small touches create a keyboard experience I’ve not had before.
Controlling the RGB on this keyboard can be done in one of two ways. You can press the function button on the top left side of the keyboard to cycle through a few standard pre-sets, or you can install Corsair’s iCUE software that will allow you to customise and programme more intricate configurations.
For gamers who move around or those on the pro circuits, there’s even 8MB of built-in storage on this keyboard that you can use to save various game profiles.
When it comes to memorable keyboards, the K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile stands out as one of the best keyboards I’ve used to date. At around R2,500, depending on where you buy it, this keyboard is not the cheapest on the market but I think the Low Profile mechanical keys are worth the extra investment. For both gaming and heavy typing usage, this mechanical keyboard will give you the best of both worlds.
If you've been hesitant to upgrade to a mechanical keyboard, the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile will certainly convince you otherwise. It's perfect for gamers who don't like mechanical keyboards and if you can afford the hefty price tag, this keyboard should outlast most of the components in your PC.