Corsair K70 and K65 compact keyboards. Which is right for you?

Corsair has been busying releasing lots of cool products this year. As more people work and game from home, it’s important to have awesome tech. This year, Corsair released...

Corsair has been busying releasing lots of cool products this year. As more people work and game from home, it’s important to have awesome tech. This year, Corsair released a few new keyboards in their RGB mechanical keyboard lineup.

After the K series received an update in the K100 last year, fans have been asking more from this range. We got our hands on the K70 and K65 to give you the rundown.

Corsair’s K series

The Corsair K series is Corsair’s full lineup keyboards. The K50 range features your standard gaming keyboards. Head to the K60 range and up, and it’s all mechanical gaming keyboards. The K100 is the top of the range keyboard, featuring optomechanical switches, iCUE controller, and full media board. But what if you don’t need all those things?

If you’re a gamer, chances are you can make do without all the crazy iCUE controllers and unlimited profiles. If you’re gaming on the go then you’ll probably want something a little more compact. That’s where the K70 and K60 series comes in handy.

The K60s and K70s are usually smaller keyboards with less add-ons. They take up less retail estate, and there are various options to choose from. Let’s take a closer look at the K65 and K70. 

Size matters

Corsair’s K70 and K65 are both compact keyboards designed specifically for the hardcore gamers. Many of the pros believe larger keyboards with number pads are unnecessary when your primary goal is to game. The numerical pad serves little purpose while gaming. There’s also little need for audio controls as most sound is controlled by the gamer’s headset. Finally, there’s realistically very minimal games requiring the use of function keys.

Thus, by removing a lot of these “useless” features, you get a keyboard with a smaller form factor. The K65 is the ultimate in small compact keyboards. By removing all function keys, audio controls, and number pads, you are left with a keyboard purely for gaming. It’s so small and perfect for travelling around; as a pro player, a journalist, or even a business person who simply likes to work from a keyboard. And if you really need the function keys, you can still use `FN` with the numbers across the top.

Unlike the K65, the K70 has included a few more features to make life a little easier, and a little less compact. If you’re working from home, you’re a gamer by night, and have a day job, the K70 is the perfect combo. Not only is it smaller by removing the number pad, you also still receive a lot of the features of a full-sized keyboard: function keys and audio controls. This is the little brother to the K100, with a similar layout.

If you want a full-sized keyboard, both the K60 and K70 series have these options. For the K60, check out the K60 Pro keyboard. It’s a full-sized, without all the fancy audio controls. As for the K70, see the K70 MK.2 keyboard.

Switches and key strokes

One of the hot topics for discussion among the gamer community is “what keys are the best”? Do you like “clicky” sounds or “clacky” sounds? Are your keystrokes soft, or rigid?

Both the Corsair K65 and Corsair K70 come in two types: Cherry MX Red, and Cherry MX Speed. I got both to try out. The Red keys are “softer”, whilst the Speed has a tad more “rebound” to them. That’s because the Speed, also known as Silver, have a 0.8mm travel speed less than the red. This means they are slightly more sensitive. However, most people won’t be able to tell the difference in sensitivity unless you’re a super pro gamer.

Instead, it’s up to you which one you like the “feel” of more. Personally, I use Silver and Purple switches. Both have a completely different feel. Sometimes I prefer one over the other for gaming, but it depends on my mood. The best option is to try each of the different keys and see which one you like the best.

Luckily, the K65 and K70 only come in two different switches. So, you shouldn’t have a hard time choosing one to purchase.

Customisation

It’s not a gaming keyboard without a few customisation options. Out of the box, the Corsair K65 and Corsair K70 have some different options for both physical and digital customisation.

Physically choices

Out of the box, the Corsair K65 gives you a neat choice between two space bars. Choose the standard, all black key, or a funky “Radiant” space bar. You’ll also receive a Corsair logo keycap which you can use to change out any of the keys. Most people like to switch out the `ESC` key. The box comes with a keycap puller so you can safely remove the keys without damage. The K65 now also comes in white.

Everything you need right out of the box. Including USB-C cable, extra keycaps, and keycap puller.

As for the Corsair K70, it wouldn’t be the little brother to the K100 without some keycap options. Like the Corsair K100, the K70 comes with textured FPS and MOBA keys. This means you can switch out the WASD and QERF keys, making it easier to identify your main game keys. Not only are these keys textured, they are also raised slightly higher, giving you better control while you game. You’ll also get a key cap puller with the K70.

USB-C cable, plus textured keycaps and keycap puller all come right out of the box.

If you’re into really customising your keyboard, you can check out Corsair’s range of PBT keys, for only US$29.99 (A$49.00). These pair perfectly with any of the Corsair keyboards and come in mint green, hot pink, black, white, Elgato blue, and red. You can buy multiple packs to mix and match your favourites.

Digital options

Like all Corsair’s keyboards, the K65 and K70 are compatible with the iCUE software. This means you’ll be able to customise your own lighting profiles, synch to your music and more. In particular, the keys on the K70 are raised, meaning the RGB lights shine through more giving you more of that “ahhh” when you’re gaming.

The K70 gives you a few more options for customised lighting profiles. There’s a switch at the back to store two profiles, and a button on top to cycle between your profiles. Not only can you have lots of profiles setup, you can even choose how you want to switch between them, neat!

Profile slider on the back to choose your profile.
Profile button on top to cycle between profiles.

The keys on both keyboards are individually backlit, meaning you can choose any one of the 16.8 million colours for each individual key on your keyboard. You can truly make yours unique! And if the RGB is annoying while you’re playing, you can simply turn it off.

Price and Convenience

Before we jump into the price, there’s one more thing I want to say about convenience. Both keyboards have detachable USB cables making them very good for transport. If you’re travelling (when COVID allows us to!) these keyboards are great for moving around. They are also perfect for stashing in the cupboard or on a shelf to pull out and use with a console. I can’t stand typing in my password on a controller. Being able to whip out a keyboard is super convenient.

Finally, onto the price. We’ve talked a lot about how great these keyboards are. If this sounds like your kind of kit, then you better have some dollars handy. The K65 starts at A$159.00 (US$109.99) for all four variants. Whether you choose between white or black, Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Speed, you won’t have to let price be a factor for your choice.

The K70 however does have a slight price difference between the two switch types. Whilst both keyboards are usually US$139.99, at the time of writing, there’s a special deal on the Cherry MX Speed keycaps. You can get $20 off if you buy it on the Corsair website. For our readers in Australia however both keyboards go for A$209.00.

Both the Corsair K65 and Corsair K70 are at the higher end of the market in terms of pricing. But it’s worth it if you have the cash to spend and you want a super slick keyboard with great form, sturdy design, and lots of customisation options. If you happen to pick up one of these keyboards, send us pics of your setup! 

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Hardware

Mish is the Hackathon Queen, having participated in more than 100 events. Between being a Developer and Twitch streamer, Mish also finds time to pursue her keen interest in driving entrepreneurial culture in Melbourne's Melbourne’s esports industry and has founded several tech companies.
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