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.
Corsair has been adding a wide range of products to its portfolio over the last couple of years with a clear intention to introduce something new, rather than just release simple OEM re-brands. Moving on from audio, the company has introduced gaming peripherals, keyboards and mice, with the first models joining select memory products under the Vengeance branding.
Let’s get to some of the cool facts and specifications with the K60. It’s a mechanical keyboard utilizing Cherry MX Red switches, has a 1ms response time, 20-key rollover, includes a set of replaceable textured keys and also a palm rest. There is also a small set of media keys, too. It’s the little details though, that separate it from the rather large collection of existing keyboards on the market.
The K60 features a standard layout for the most part. It’s not a huge lumbering beast with 400 different media keys that you’ll never use for opening e-mail, a browser, word documents, media players and all that junk. We have a taskbar for that. It does include playback and volume controls, things that are used.
The lack of media keys also means there are no drivers to install; it’s pure plug’n'play.
The included palm rest certainly adds to the space requirement, but it can easily be detached; though it actually does serve a useful purpose outside of its designated resting feature.
The faceplate is a good thick piece of aluminum with the rest of the body being plastic. It does have a good weight to it with plenty of grip, so it’s not going walkies when you leave the room.
The volume control is a large, metal, textured scroll wheel. The buttons themselves are not mechanical, but rubber dome keys. It’s worth mentioning now that not all keys on the K60 are mechanical, which will be explained in more detail later.
The Insert, Home, Del keys, etc, are again not mechanical, since they are not entirely common keys to press. Also bear in mind the placement, they’re very close to the ‘Print Screen’ set above. Just in camera shot at the very top is a button used to lock the left Windows key – useful in a fist mashing frag-fest.
Back to the palm rest, we see the secondary function in action. It holds the replaceable keys, as well as the key-pick tool. I’ve already replaced the keys, and as such have put back the originals. You can just make out the new keys in the adjacent shot.
The palm rest is rubber-coated with a textured finish. It can handle the odd sweat-storm quite well, too. It’s lightly contoured for that ergonomic factor. The keys themselves we’ll go through in more detail on the following page.
As is becoming a common feature on high-end keyboards, there is no USB hub, but a pass-through instead; as such, the keyboard requires two USB ports.
The difference between a hub and a pass-through is important for a few reasons. If it were a passive (unpowered) hub, the extra USB port would share the same power as the keyboard, which could cause issues with high powered devices. Additionally, due to the fast response time, the keyboard would flood the USB bus, which again, would cause issues with other devices with a high poll rate – such as a high-end gaming mouse. It’s the little things that matter.
On the following page, we’ll go over what makes the Cherry Red keys so special and give feedback from our subjective testing.