Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Corsair is arguably responsible for bringing RGB keyboards into the spotlight, and now its best keyboard yet, the K95 Platinum, takes things to another level with an integrated light bar. In addition to providing over 16.8 million color options, covering basically the entire keyboard, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is also equipped with Cherry Speed Switches, 8MB of memory to store profiles and a military-grade aluminum frame.

However, you need to consider the high $199 (£179, AU$349) price tag that this elegance brings with it. It’s a lot of money for a keyboard, but we’re sure there will be plenty of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. And, while the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum does offer plenty of attractive features – Corsair’s complex software is still kind of a pain.   

Design

At its core, the K95 RGB Platinum shares relatively the same shape, design and aluminum build as its predecessor, but there are key differences.

The most apparent change is the fact that the Platinum is much narrower, thanks to cutting the number of macro keys from 18 to a mere six. Some might not like the reduction, but let’s be real, you’ll actually be able to reach all the macro keys when you just have a single column of them.

Users will also be able to program up to three sets of macros all stored on the keyboard’s own 8MB of built-in memory rather than relying on Corsair’s software. This makes it that much easier to just bring the keyboard to a friend’s house or gaming event and instantly feel right at home.

Dropping down to just six macro keys puts the K95 Platinum into more direct competition with more affordable options, like the $169 (£159, AU$199) Razer Blackwidow Chroma.

However, this keyboard still kills it when it comes to shortcut buttons. You have a volume wheel, media controls, lighting toggles and gaming modes all within easy reach. Despite the cheaper, $179 (£159, AU$279) Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum, we prefer the simpler setup of Corsair’s flagship.  

CUE the pain

Corsair’s overly complicated software has always been painful to use, but it has gotten better over the last couple years. Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) now offers plenty of templates to have colors pulse, wave and rain across the keys.

Beyond that, you can get into a much more technical level of creating custom color shows per key with intricate triggers, but this is where Razer Synapse takes the lead from a usability perspective. At the very least, users can retreat to community created templates to build and learn from there. 

Luckily, creating macros is a much more straightforward task and CUE gives you plenty of tools to make custom keystrokes.

Everything in its place

The Corsair K95 RBG Platinum comes with possibly one of the best wrist rests ever bundled with a keyboard. Made with the same military-grade aluminum as the peripheral itself, the wrist rest offers plenty of support.

Meanwhile, a reversible and magnetic rubber pad offers a smooth micro-finish on one side and a rougher texture on the other. Unfortunately, this wrist rest also easily attracts dust, crumbs, oils and all manner of detritus – so, it requires almost constant cleaning.

Corsair has also added an “X” arrangement of two-cable channels molded into the underside of the keyboard. Interestingly, they’re not made for routing the peripheral’s own cable, but keeping your headset wire (or anything plugged into the dedicated USB passthrough) out of the way.

Lighting, of course, has been upgraded significantly with a new 19-zone light bar that runs along the top of the peripheral’s frame. It’s a gorgeous, if superfluous, touch – we’re mostly impressed with the way colors wash across Corsair’s transparent logo.

Speed king

The K95 RGB Platinum follows in the footsteps of Corsair's K70 RGB Rapidfire keyboard in its focus on speed. Featuring Cherry's new, linear MX Speed switches, the keys are highly responsive and take just a light press to actuate.

In fact, the switches actuate with just 1.2mm of movement and 45g of force.

So, basically, the keys bottom out faster and require much less pressure, making them well suited for twitch shooters or any game that requires fast reflexes. They take a bit of getting used to for regular typing, but honestly this keyboard is best when you’re playing games anyway.

Final verdict

The Corsair K95 RBG Platinum really is the Rolls Royce of gaming keyboards both in its styling and its $199 (£179, AU$349) price tag. Even though it feels a little less special with only six macro keys, no other keyboard matches it with a classy all metal build quality, handy shortcut buttons or disco lighting. If you can stomach the price and complex software, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is well worth its premium price.

First reviewed January 2017.



from TechRadar - Technology Reviews http://www.techradar.com/reviews/corsair-k95-rgb-platinum