When it comes to keyboards, every peripheral company believes that its flagship keyboard is the best of the best. Oftentimes, however, not much is done to make the keyboard stand out from the pack. For Corsair, it’s hopeful that its new flagship K100 gaming keyboard will be the last one PC gamers will need for a long time.
Retailing for $229 USD, the K100 is one of the more expensive flagship keyboards available. That said, you get an understanding for the price the moment you open the box. The keyboard is on the heavier end due to its brushed aluminum build, weighing in at just under three pounds. Luckily, because of the weight and the grips underneath, you’ll never have to worry about it slipping and sliding during use.
A use for any case
Functionality wise, there’s a lot you can do with the K100. The keyboard has 110 keys, including six macro keys, dedicated media controls with a volume roller, and a debuting multi-function iCUE control wheel. Fully programmable, the wheel allows you to perform tasks like quickly swapping iCUE profiles, changing applications, scrolling websites, scrubbing through video and audio in a program like After Effects, and more. It’s a great tool that does plenty for both gamers and creators alike.
The aforementioned macro keys can be programmed using either the iCUE software or the Elgato Stream Deck software. You can store up to 200 profiles on the keyboard depending on the complexity, which allows you to have different macros set for nearly every piece of software you intend to run. Even the media keys and volume wheel can be remapped. Circling back to the control wheel, you’ll easily be able to switch between them on the fly, too.
The keys themselves feel great whether typing or gaming. The key quality is on par with or better than almost every keyboard available. The quickness of use is second-to-none with Corsair’s proprietary OPX keyswitches, bringing a 1.0mm actuation distance with just 45g of actuation force. It also boasts an impressive 0.5ms response time, which is faster than most Cherry MX keyswitches. As is the case with many gaming keyboards, there are also additional key caps that you can swap out for a quicker feel when playing various MOBA or FPS games.
For those of you that like RGB — which, if you are looking at this keyboard, you obviously do — you’ll be happy to know that the K100 is as vivid of a keyboard as there is. The per-key RGB lighting is completely customizable thanks to the iCUE software that allows for thousands of combinations to give your setup a unique look. It also features a 22-Zone rear RGB lightedge and 11-Zone right and left RGB lightedges.
If I have to be negative on something with this keyboard other than its price, then I’d have to look no further than the USB passthrough. In 2020, you’d think that for a keyboard that costs over $200 USD, Corsair would give at least a USB 3.0 passthrough for users. Even a 3.1 USB-C port would’ve been great to see, but anything better than a 2.0.
Corsair K100 Verdict
Corsair’s K100 keyboard is, without question, one of the cleanest looking and nicest sounding keyboards on the market. Each key press feels great, and it’s incredibly comfortable with, or without, the magnetic palm rest.
The added macro keys and the ICUE scroll wheel make for incredible flexibility whether you want to use it for gaming or productivity. The price may scare you, but it’s hard to not recommend the K100 even with that in mind. It’s the most feature-rich and customizable keyboard on the market, and it has the functionality and build quality to become the last keyboard you buy for the next 5-10 years, at least.