Hands On with Corsair at CES: RGB LED Backlit Keyboards and Moreby Jarred Walton on January 13, 2014 5:19 PM EST
- Posted in
- Trade Shows
- Cherry MX
- CES 2014
Corsair had plenty to show at their suite, but I’ll be honest: the RGB LED backlit Cherry MX switch mechanical keyboard was by far the coolest looking thing I saw. Press release photos simply don't do the thing justice, as it looks spectacular in person. Ian already covered most of what Corsair announced, but I had the chance to go hands on with the products.
The idea is pretty simple: build a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, but instead of single color LEDs, put an RGB LED array on each key. What’s more, each key can be controlled individually, so you can literally program anything you want for the keyboard backlighting. The backlighting provides a full range of 16+ million colors on each key, so in that sense it’s just like a 24-bit display, but the complexity requires an additional microchip controller.
Corsair had a demo running that cycled through all sorts of color options, and there’s likely an API in development to let modders/hackers get the most out of their new toy/keyboard. The as yet unnamed keyboard should be available with your choice of Cherry MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches. Pricing isn’t yet determined, but I suspect it will be pretty steep, given the n-key rollover and the need for four extra wires to each switch just for the RGB LEDs! My guess would put the price between $200 and $250, so we’ll see if that ends up being accurate in the next few months when the keyboard actually launches (though there’s no firm release date yet); the promo video can also be viewed on YouTube.
Of course there were other keyboards and mice on display, some old and some new. For those that prefer the feel – and cost – of membrane keyboards, Corsair also launched the Raptor K40 keyboard that also features RGB backlighting with 16.8 million color possibilities, but it doesn’t have per-key backlighting. It does have 18 programmable macro keys with three keybanks (54 total macros), n-key rollover, and dedicated multimedia keys, and it will be priced far more affordably at $80 MSRP. The other keyboards (pictured in the gallery) have already launched, so I won’t spend time on those.
Moving over to the mouse side of things, I think the only new offering is the Raptor M45 gaming mouse. It offers a suite of high-end features, including adjustable weight, a 5000 DPI Pixart PMW3310 optical sensor, large glide pads, a textured surface, and seven programmable buttons with macro support. Mice are such highly subjective things that I hesitate to say much, other than they felt good in hand. I like lighter mice personally, so I haven't really figured out the need for added weight, but to each his own. There are also DPI switches to quickly adjust your DPI on the fly. Pricing is $60 MSRP with availability expected later this month.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Death666Angel - Monday, January 13, 2014 - linkConsidering the backlight faults my K90 (one flickering, two broken) had and the plenty of bad reviews it has for the same issue, I will not touch any Corsair LED products. Shame really, they are pretty nice otherwise, but for 80€ I expect a product that has the advertised features functional and without having to participate in a lottery for a good batch.
raidmaxx - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - linkThese are meant to be implemented differently so it is rarer that will happen, Linus explains in his youtube video. I don't know if to believe it or not.
YazX_ - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - linklinus is an armature, you should always listen to pros -like Anadtech- instead of listening to that noob.
kmi187 - Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - linkI'm going to guess you mean amateur, and not the part.
Not a fan, but not against him either. However the guy does a good job explaining things in the simplest terms so the lesser educated can understand. And most importantly they don't get the feeling they are dumb as viewers.
That is not something everyone can do, and Linus is damn good at it.
raidmaxx - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkYeah well sometimes I want an easy explanation, I don't need detail on everything plus he's a good communicator no matter how intelligent you are.
raidmaxx - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - linkWell I'm here aren't I? I wouldn't say he's an amateur, in fact he's a big fan of Anand, he was even on his show so he must be doing something right.
spat55 - Sunday, May 4, 2014 - linkLearn to spell before calling people noobs or armature? Did you mean Amateur?
wsjudd - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - linkN-Key rollover is a standard feature for mechanical keyboards, including all of those that Corsair has produced since they started making mechanicals two years ago. For that reason, I wouldn't expect the price to be higher for its inclusion!
JarredWalton - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - linkThe four wires per key for RGB LED will bump the price up significantly.
stoatwblr - Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - link1 wire for the entire led bus, with an embedded controller per led. The same tech is used in the latest ropelights/led strips and they're not particularly expensve