Corsair Vengeance K60 keyboard

It has been a couple days since I broke out the Corsair Vengeance K60 mechanical gaming keyboard. I probably should have written up the review a little sooner, if only I hadn’t been so preoccupied with gaming on it. Underneath the laser etched key caps are Cherry MX Red switches, which I’ve fallen in love with. If you’re not familiar with mechanical switches or how a mechanical keyboard differs from a standard rubber dome keyboard, have a read of our “mechanical vs rubber dome” article.



Specs:

  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • Interface: USB
  • Size (LxWxH): 438x163x24mm
  • Switches: Cherry MX Red
  • Cable: 2m braided
  • Polling rate: 1000Hz max
  • Key actuation force: 45g
  • Key rollover: 20
  • Key chars: laser etched

The first thing that struck me when opening up the packaging was just how attractive this keyboard is, sporting a brushed aluminium front plate and trayless design. Almost all keyboards have a tray beneath the set of keys – a dip down beneath the rest of the chassis surface – but not the Vengeance K60. This presents as ultra contemporary and also makes for far easier cleaning than usual.

Upon plugging in and getting down to business I was instantly wowed by just how responsive the keys were at 45g. Tap-tip-tapping on the K60’s keys feels precise, efficient and quite frankly is an absolute pleasure. Initially I was running into some higher than usual typographical errors due to brushing other keys, but after a short period I was writing not only flawlessly but quicker than ever before. I clocked in at a personal best 107 words per minute, some 5 above what I had accomplished on Cherry MX Black keys.

What I particularly enjoy about these Cherry MX Red switches in the context of gaming is that I don’t feel like I’m battling them at any moment. Moving around in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive I felt that not only was pressing my WASD combination care free through their linear path, but that I merely needed to leave my finger in position to keep it activated, rather than hold the key down. While preferences vary, personally I found this pressure requirement and keystroke path virtually perfect.

“Tap-tip-tapping on the K60’s keys feels precise, efficient and quite frankly is an absolute pleasure.”

The K60 is lighter than some of the heavy duty mechanical boards on the market, such as the previously reviewed Tt eSPORTS MEKA G1, but at approximately 1.2 kilograms it still rests quite firmly on both my plastic and wooden desks, experiencing no unwanted movement during play. I’m still pining for back lighting and while not a huge detriment, it’s a nicety that I miss, especially when late-night gaming.

It’s not all peaches and cream for the Vengeance K60, however. While almost all keys are mechanical, the function keys as well as block of keys containing PrtScn, Delete, End and so-forth are only rubber dome keys. This will rub some enthusiasts up the wrong way, understandably so. While this initially irked me too, in principle predominantly, I quickly got over it as it had no effect on my gameplay – all of my important, commonly used keys are covered.

Pros:

  • Quality construction
  • Trayless design
  • Sensitive mech switches
  • Dedicated media controls
  • Windows key lock
  • Laser etched key caps
  • 20KRO (key rollover)

Cons:

  • No back-lighting
  • Not all keys are mechanical
  • Some may notice a higher level of typographical errors due to red switch sensitivity

You’ll see red-tipped key caps featured in this review’s gallery. These replace numbers 1 through 6 as well as WASD. Because key caps for mechanical switches are mostly standardised, you can buy all kinds of interesting modifications including caps with custom colours, custom words, Darth Vader’s helmet embossed on them and even far crazier things than that.

These textured red key caps from Corsair slot neatly inside the “ergonomic wrist wrest” for safe keeping. I had written them off as gimmicks, but my mind was changed once attaching them. The texture and inclination of keys made me feel even more comfortable in game. There was a pronounced sense of control that had me feeling instantly empowered. I was surprised that I liked them, and even more surprised that the inclination of keys wasn’t inconveniencing or compromising my typing either.

As for the wrist rest that houses these key caps, I found IT less than ergonomic due to its shortness in comparison to the size of my hand. It’s a shame, because if my palm wasn’t hanging off of the back end, I do think it would have been something I would have used. An option to buy a standard wrest like what comes with the K90 would have been appreciated.

The red WASD key caps remained a permanent fixture of my K60 during the period of review, but not the numbers 1 through 6, as the typically accompanying symbols such as “@” and “$” are not included on them. Switching to the red caps was quite timely I might add, because after merely half a day of gaming on the regular WASD keys, the letters had began to turn grey. After some research I discovered that this is a known issue due to the white material that was used to fill the laser etch. Corsair is happily replacing boards with this problem via RMA request.

On the topic of keys and control, you can push down up to 20 of them simultaneously. This feature is coined “key rollover” and is advantageous for gaming, where it’s common for many keys to be pressed at once. Most USB keyboards only have 6-key rollover, or “6KRO”. It’s a common misconception that 6KRO is a limitation of the USB bus, which is inaccurate. Corsair Vengeance keyboards utilise the full USB specification report length, which most don’t, that allows up to 20 keys to be pressed simultaneously without problem.

Corsair have left the Windows key in place for those that use and love it, but have cleverly installed a button to disable it. It was possible to keep it in its usual location because instead of replacing it with a function key for media control like some other boards, a set of dedicated multimedia buttons are present along with a volume scroller. The icing on the cake is a single USB pass-through on the back of the board, which I currently have my mouse plugged into so as to give my cable a little more slack.

Final thoughts:

Moving from a rubber dome board to any mechanical board is usually a treat in itself, but the Corsair Vengeance K60 is likely to impress even current owners of mechanical keyboards. If you haven’t yet had a Cherry MX Red experience, it’s something you really need to do.

Costing $135 at the time of writing this, this figure places the K60 very close to the same price point as many slightly cheaper mechanical boards without the design innovations or features that make this keyboard so great. In fact, I’d happily pay more for it, which is why we’re stamping it with Pantheon’s award of recommendation.

Supplied by: Mwave.com.au