The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90

We recently re-entered the world of peripheral reviews, specifically mechanical keyboards with our brief rundown of Rosewill's RK-9000 mechanical keyboard (complete with Cherry MX Blue switches). Rosewill's design was as basic as it gets, but the keyboard felt solid and for many of us there's just no substitute for a mechanical switch when it comes to having a comfortable typing experience. But our visit with Rosewill was just a warm up.

Today we have Corsair's Vengeance K60 and K90 gaming keyboards in house. Corsair opts to use Cherry MX Red switches in an effort to find a more suitable balance between typing and gaming needs, and they bring a little more style and class than we're used to seeing in gaming peripherals.

Out of the gate, Corsair is offering two different keyboards targeting two different types of user, but it's worth noting that these two keyboards are very, very similar. The "base model" K60 is targeted towards FPS players. Corsair starts with an aluminum backplate behind the keyboard, with all of the keys raised off of it--there's no tray for crumbs/hair/general-filth to get stuck in! Corsairs uses Cherry MX Red switches for the bulk of the keyboard (the document navigation and F1-F12 use traditional membrane-style switches), and there are dedicated media keys and a "Windows Lock" button above the number pad.

There's also a dedicated wrist rest just for your left hand, and the inside of it holds replacement keycaps for number keys 1-6 plus the WASD cluster along with a keycap remover. These replacement keycaps have rubberized surfaces and incline slightly towards the left hand, the theory being that this will be ideal for gaming use. Finally, the keyboard actually uses two USB ports: one for the keyboard proper, and one used as a dedicated passthrough for a USB port above the F12 key. Corsair offers the K60 for a recommended $109.

Meanwhile, the fancier K90 is geared towards RTS and MMO players. The K90 takes the aluminum base, switch layout, and connectivity of the K60 and adds individual LED backlighting behind each of the keys with four levels of illumination (off, low, medium, and high) toggled by a brightness button next to the Windows Lock button.

Beefing things up, Corsair adds eighteen configurable keys to the left of the keyboard as well as an in-hardware macro recording and playback function (configured and toggled by the four macro buttons above the Escape and F1-F3 keys). What I really like about the K90 as opposed to other gaming keyboards with configurable keys is that the G1-G18 cluster is actually substantially lower than the rest of the keyboard. While the keys of the keyboard proper are all raised off of the aluminum surface, the gaming keys are recessed, making it much harder to accidentally hit one when trying to hit the Tab, Shift, or Ctrl keys.

Finally, Corsair adds a full-length removable wrist rest (a convenience that's becoming increasingly rarefied these days) and dashboard software for configuring the keyboard downloadable from their website. Appropriate to the inclusion of fancier features, the K90 will set you back $129.

The Corsair Vengeance K60 and K90 in Action
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  • METALMORPHASIS - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    With my $7 dollar USB keyboard.
  • Ebonstar - Saturday, February 18, 2012 - link

    A great many people have no problem with the keyboard they use. Mechanical keyboards are generally for those that need precise / fast typing or some other perk such as Cherry blacks for gaming. Certainly I wouldn't have a problem recommending a cheap membrane keyboard for a family member knowing they don't need to pump out 100+ wpm on a regular basis.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Then don't start using mechanical keyboards. I started using them about a year ago and using a membrane keyboard is like torture now. Ignorance is bliss if you're trying to save money.
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    He's just trolling.

    I mean, how could he be doing anything other than trolling? Who would read a review about a mechanical keyboard that he knows will cost far more than he's willing to spend? If he's not trolling, he has a serious self-esteem issue and feels the need to denigrate others to make himself feel better.

    In either case, he's not really interested in whether or not the keyboard would provide him with a better experience. He came here to elicit emotional reactions (troll), or sneer. Either way, he's not interested in what people recommend.
  • martin5000 - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Or maybe he just has a different opinion to you?
  • Sunsmasher - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

  • MobiusStrip - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    different opinion FROM you
  • Bownce - Friday, June 29, 2012 - link

    In Russia, opinions TO you!
  • Omega215D - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Which is why there should be a couple of warnings then a full ban to people that troll.
  • espaghetti - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I eat a lot at my desk.
    Dropping juice from my filet mignon on my $15 HP keyboard, I shrug.
    Spill anything on brushed aluminum that costs $129 and I'm going to express an emotional reaction.
    Not willing to change my eating habits, so i buy a cheap keyboard every 3 or 4 years.
    It hasn't hurt my KDR in my FPS games one bit. :)

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