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Old 03-29-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default Corsair Vengeance K60 Mechanical Keyboard Review

When Corsair releases a new product line, it's never for a "me too" reason. Instead, the company clearly strives to deliver interesting products that people, especially gamers, crave. The Vengeance line-up of keyboards and mice is no exception, and we're kicking off our coverage of them with the K60 mechanical keyboard.

Check our Jamie's full look at Corsair's K60 mechanical keyboard and then discuss it here!
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:58 AM   #2
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Nice review! I came very close to picking one of the K60's up at Fry's... I wasn't happy that not all the keys are Cherry switches though, and I figured Brown switches were more my style. But designing the keyboard so anything that gets between the keys just slides right out was a big design plus in my opinion.

I'm typing this up on a Cherry MX Brown keyboard that arrived today... and I gotta say I love this keyboard for gaming AND typing. My WPM feels like it has gone way up, I have less typos, and the keys just take so little pressure to depress but still give tactile feedback so I don't have to depress fully either and can move onto other keys. I'm going to miss those multimedia keys though!
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:21 AM   #3
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Yeah, going for years on rubber domes then switching to mechanical - huge difference. I wouldn't mind getting in one of the Blue or Brown switches for comparison, see how a typist key compares to these gaming keys. Love the low activation pressure, but as I said, makes sloppy typing a pain; something I'm still trying to adjust to. At least it'll make me a better typist as a result (Heh... right...).

I did forget that in the review. I spilt a drink on one of these and it just ran right off the board. Pull the keys off, mop it up, leave it to dry - it's like nothing happened. There are also subtle changes in the key geometry too, like the F keys are actually on a lower plane. I'll cover it better in the K90 review coming up later.

I don't think the lack of a full mechanical set is a bad thing, since it does save on costs. I rarely use the F keys these days, but I do use 'Esc' and 'Del' a lot. But hey, the same keyboard does provide a very clear difference in the feel of both types of keys (Red and Rubber).
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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Default Issues being rectified by Corsair

The key streaming issue you mentioned is actually being looked at by Corsair. Over on their forum you can see that this issue has been noted, they do not feel that is is normal for Cherry Reds.

An expected solution in the form of updated firmware or the like is coming soon.

I have been using mine since the end of December and love the keyboard - but will love it even more when they come out with the expected fix!

Nice review...
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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My concern is that the update might kill some of the sensitivity of the keys. But the key streaming issue hasn't occurred over the last week, despite using the board exactly the same way and frequency. This is what lead me to belive it's the switches settling rather than a firmware issue. But if it can be solved via firmware, then cool - again though, so long as it doesn't affect the sensitivity. I do like the near instant activation...

This isn't the first mechanical board to suffer this issue, but it is the only board I know of that uses RED switches. So who knows.

Thanks for the feedback by the way.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #6
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Well, maybe it's just me but in the < week I've been using this Cherry MX Brown, my typing has improved both in speed and in accuracy. I'm still in love with this thing because of it. The few times I've done practice scrims with my TF2 highlander team have also just felt better.

My ONLY complaint is that out of Corsair and every other mech keyboard model I've seen, not a single one uses spacing on the caps key! Apparently I used that space to tell when my hand was positioned correctly on the WASD in shooters, so I'm still working to adjust to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tharic-Nar View Post
I don't think the lack of a full mechanical set is a bad thing, since it does save on costs. I rarely use the F keys these days, but I do use 'Esc' and 'Del' a lot. But hey, the same keyboard does provide a very clear difference in the feel of both types of keys (Red and Rubber).
Yeah, but the funny thing is keyboards that are entirely Cherry keyed can be had for the same price so there's no actual savings passed onto the customer. I've seen keyboards using all four cherry key types at the same price as the K60, and many or most offer full mechanical key sets. I paid about $10 more for mine. The Corsair at least has the basic multimedia keys though, on the flip side. Those are rather rare for mechanical keyboards when I was shopping around, so I'm having to create a ton of media player / system volume hotkeys on my numpad...
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:32 AM   #7
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Yes - there are full-Red Cherry keyboards at good prices, but not with a thick slab of brushed aluminum on top, the well-designed audio-control keys, and the extra red keys.

The K60 is on sale at one of the nations biggest electronics brick & mortar shops right now for $95.98. Corsair is a large enough company with enough distributors to where you can usually find it at noticeably less than list price.

I'm not saying these other keyboards aren't great choices in their own right, but IMHO the aluminum is what really delivers for the extra money. It's not the least bit thin, or silver-painted plastic or the wretched piano-black gloss finish that is on so many keyboards these days - much more solid and durable.

This gives off a truly premium vibe and contributes to an odd sense of owner satisfaction that is usually found in (gasp!) Apple products - or so I've heard...

One last note - regarding the "hybrid" nature of the keys, some being mechanical and some dome. Corsair uses a tuned silicone dome for those keys instead of the cheaper rubber dome. They are designed to be longer lasting than standard domes as well.

I'm no engineer, but I wouldn't think there was any cost-savings in building a keyboard that has both types of keys, especially considering the extra attention Corsair paid to the dome keys. Their design choices kept them from sharing a common basic layout with existing mechanical keyboards and merely using aluminum as a top layer and throwing in the extra red keys - which are completely unlike any custom keys I've ever seen, with their checkered texture and angled tops. Many existing mechanical keyboards are sold under more than one brand with little to no difference other than the logo.

As many keyboards as Corsair is planning on selling, might they actually pay a slightly lower price to Cherry than they currently do per key if they ordered enough to do all keys on every keyboard? A larger quantity discount? Heck, that's probably reaching, but I tend to believe them when they say they chose the mixture of keys for functionality, not cost-cutting.

I might be being naive about that!

(BTW - I have some reason to believe that a theoretical firmware update won't cause any issues with sensitivity. Sorry for being so cryptic on the subject... )
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratosrally View Post
As many keyboards as Corsair is planning on selling, might they actually pay a slightly lower price to Cherry than they currently do per key if they ordered enough to do all keys on every keyboard? A larger quantity discount? Heck, that's probably reaching, but I tend to believe them when they say they chose the mixture of keys for functionality, not cost-cutting.
Hmm, that's probably reaching indeed. No way of knowing without asking them... and them giving an honest answer

I have no idea of the building processes behind keyboards so I'm not qualified to give an answer to that. But what I don't think exists is a functional benefit to having both sets of keys on a keyboard as opposed to having just one. So, the functionality argument doesn't convince me.

The cost argument on the other hand makes a whole lot more sense to me. I still think that $90+ didn't make it exceptionally cheaper compared to other mechanical keyboards. But the build quality of the K60, as reported on this review, certainly ended up raising the final price to the consumer. So all things being equal, if all keys were Cherry Red it's easy to assume the keyboard would come out more expensive.

Personally I do like what Corsair did here. There's effectively very little reason for certain keys on the keyboard to be mechanical. Of course this may be a problem to users who like to play their games with exotic key configurations. But generally speaking that's not the case and everyone sticks to the traditional wasd setup and key configuration tweaks are generally minor and don't involve the K60 rubber dome keys.

What I don't think exists is any functional benefit. Just a cost efficiency one.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Well, maybe it's just me but in the < week I've been using this Cherry MX Brown, my typing has improved both in speed and in accuracy. I'm still in love with this thing because of it. The few times I've done practice scrims with my TF2 highlander team have also just felt better.
I'm impressed that it actually improved your accuracy. Speed I can understand, but accuracy isn't something I'd imagine would be improved with a better typing experience. I am using an inexpensive Logitech KB but don't typo unless I am just rushing through things. I am wondering though if I'd also see an improvement in moving to a mechanical KB. A couple of Cooler Master mechanical KBs will be hitting the doorstep soon, so I'll soon find out.

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Yes - there are full-Red Cherry keyboards at good prices, but not with a thick slab of brushed aluminum on top, the well-designed audio-control keys, and the extra red keys.
You sure do know your keyboards!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratosrally View Post
This gives off a truly premium vibe and contributes to an odd sense of owner satisfaction that is usually found in (gasp!) Apple products - or so I've heard...
I'm not sure it's odd, per se. As consumers we do like to own products that we're confident are top-rate, which Corsair's KBs seem to be. It's just that little things that makes us feel a bit happier; nothing wrong with that!

Thanks for all the feedback! I hope to see you come back to the forums and chime in. It's clear that you have a passion for hardware - or at least KBs

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What I don't think exists is any functional benefit. Just a cost efficiency one.
I lean towards that also. For a lot of people, it's hard to accept that a $100 USD KB is worth it in a world where people can just run to Wal-mart and pick up a $20 model, so I am sure Corsair wanted to keep the K60 as low as possible without cutting too many corners.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks for all the feedback! I hope to see you come back to the forums and chime in. It's clear that you have a passion for hardware - or at least KBs
Thanks for the invite, I've taken the opportunity to join your community...

I'll get my system specs up when I can, and browse all the relevant sections of your forums.

I hope you'll get a CM Storm Trigger keyboard to test - it loos like a real winner, backlit and with a 10key (unlike their first mechanical release, the QuickFire Rapid)

http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/keyboards/Trigger/
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forums, stratosrally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratosrally View Post
I hope you'll get a CM Storm Trigger keyboard to test - it loos like a real winner, backlit and with a 10key (unlike their first mechanical release, the QuickFire Rapid)
Yes, I do have that en route along with the QuickFire Pro. It'll be my first real experience with mechanical KBs so I'm sure I'll be referencing Jamie's review and the thoughts in this thread when testing them out. Never thought I'd get excited about a KB, but alas, it's happened.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard Stratosrally!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratosrally View Post
The K60 is on sale at one of the nations biggest electronics brick & mortar shops right now for $95.98. Corsair is a large enough company with enough distributors to where you can usually find it at noticeably less than list price.
I gotta agree with this. I tried to test out the full range of Cherry MX keys, but NOBODY has mechanical keyboards in stores (A few carried a few Razor products, but again no demo units). I live in the 7th largest US city, not some rural community so that should be saying something. I had to take a long drive to a Fry's Electronics.... only to find out they only had Razor and Corsair's K60 / K90. Even then they did not have any mechanical demo keyboards, but I was allowed to open a returned box to play with it for a bit. All I will say is that if Corsair had a Cherry MX Brown model I would've bought it on the spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
'm impressed that it actually improved your accuracy. Speed I can understand, but accuracy isn't something I'd imagine would be improved with a better typing experience. I am using an inexpensive Logitech KB but don't typo unless I am just rushing through things. I am wondering though if I'd also see an improvement in moving to a mechanical KB. A couple of Cooler Master mechanical KBs will be hitting the doorstep soon, so I'll soon find out.
The better accuracy is partially a fault of the Logitech keyboard I was using. If I didn't hit the key perfectly dead center, it would sometimes "hang" and not fully depress... this was becoming more and more common the longer I used the keyboard and had me ready to throw the thing through the wall out of frustration. Given it was Logitech's premium model keyobard just made it all the worse. The breaking point was when I realized I was having to pound keys to ensure they triggered... and during games I can't do that, so I was often just getting killed outright because keys were not registering.

Again if I typed dead center on the middle of the key, it would work fine... but I don't sit dead center on the keyboard and if I'm reaching across for a key I probably won't hit it dead center either. Ever since I got this mech board I can type faster because I'm not having to stop and fix half the typos I used to, as well as the keys generally being much, much more responsive and taking only a quick touch to trigger as opposed to a forceful press.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I tried to test out the full range of Cherry MX keys, but NOBODY has mechanical keyboards in stores (A few carried a few Razor products, but again no demo units). I live in the 7th largest US city, not some rural community so that should be saying something.
This is a problem. One of the reasons I still don't have a mechanical keyboard is exactly because I couldn't yet get a real feel for the different Cherry keys. Stores that allow someone to test-drive a keyboard are extremely rare and none ever fell into my radar.

And yet, for a typist it's essential because the different keys will change completely the way we've been typing so far. We need to understand what type will we feel comfortable on, or if the keyboard build and layout has any influence. And we can't trust anyone's opinion on this. It is entirely a personal choice.

For many years now I've been wanting to get the hell away from rubber dome keyboards. I can't stand them anymore. Their poor build, how fast they loose their qualities, how noisy they become (a lot more than many mechanical ones), and the whole change keyboard every 6-9 months routine. But I know how they feel. Until I can put my hands on a mechanical keyboard, there's no way I can just blindly choose.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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Well, if you can't find a Frys or Microcenter around, I'd suggest just ordering the most likely candidate online and hoping ya like it. Because even if you don't and have to exchange it for some other keyboard, I think the difference is well worth it in the end. After having to use this one for awhile (with the clarity of hindsight), I would do that myself. To put that into perspective I'm one of those guys that hates to return working things to the store unless there's either something wrong with it or it wasn't as advertised, but in this case I consider having this mechanical keyboard critical. I can actually enjoy typing again!
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