- 18 dedicated macro keys
- Six dedicated multimedia keys (STOP, PREVIOUS, PLAY/PAUSE, NEXT, MUTE, VOLUME UP/DOWN roller) Function Keys
- USB (1000 Hz USB report rate) Wired
Really nice keyboard 11/04/2013
This review is from: Corsair Raptor K50 Gaming Keyboard (CH-9000007-NA)
Very clean look. I really like the squared off edges, the finish, and the fact that the front edge of the keyboard is straight, rather than having a bulge like other brands.
This keyboard is quite heavy, which is a good thing, since it doesn't move around on your desk like the lighter ones do.
I actually like that the keys have some texture to them, and that they are stiffer than most other keyboards I have used. I don't think I would call them spongy, but they do take a little more effort to operate that you might be used to.
The fact that the bottom of the keys are raised above the deck of the keyboard is a really nice feature. Never again will you be trying to shake crumbs, dust, or anything else out of the keyboard. A quick burst from a canned air duster and anything that fell between the keys is gone.
In addition to the extendable feet on the back of the keyboard, there are also feet on the front . I don't much care for the feel of it with these extended, but I'm sure someone out there will like it.
The backlighting on this keyboard is much more even than on my old Logitech G110, although it could be quite a bit brighter. In a dark room, it is very nice, but it tends to get washed out by ambient light unless you select a high contrast color like light cyan or teal.
Like most other gaming keyboards, this has a button to disable the Windows key. There is nothing worse than hitting the Windows key at a critical moment instead control and getting kicked out of your game only to find yourself dead when you get back.
The configuration software is pretty easy to use, and is quite powerful. There is no documented limit to the size of a macro that you can assign to a G-key but I created one with 100 steps without issue. You can even name the function so you don't have to analyze the steps to remember what it does.
There are a number of very handy "advanced" commands that you can add to macros like Show Desktop, Lock Computer, and Launch Program.
You can set up different profiles which can be manually selected or linked to an application. There is no documented limit to the number of profiles you can create, but I created 50 without a problem. Within each profile, you can have 3 "memories" which you can switch between using the M1, M2 and M3 buttons. I found that this doesn't quite work as expected, though - see cons.
Another really neat feature is the ability to save your configuration in hardware, which means that if you connect this keyboard to another computer, it works exactly the same way, even if it doesn't have the keyboard driver installed! Note that only 1 profile can be saved to hardware.
Pros continued in Other comments....
On this keyboard, the F keys are shifted to the right, leaving a large space between F1 and ESC. Most games extensively use of the function keys, which means that you are going to have to relearn the position of the F-keys, or maybe adjust your in-game settings to shift them (your old F2 becomes F1, etc...). Looking at other gaming keyboards, it seems that most vendors are taking some creative liberties with the F-keys, so maybe I am just nit-picking.
As you can see in the product image, the G-keys on the left are in a 3x6 matrix with no separation. It is going to take a good amount of practice to hit these keys correctly without looking at them. On other keyboards, these keys are grouped and have some separation between them to help you find them.
I found the optional wrist rest to be very uncomfortable. It has a slippery feel to it that is just plain strange. It is also covered in tiny holes that are going to fill up with sweat and dust. Yuk.
The installers for the driver and firmware updater are rather strange. Both warn "Make sure you are using firmware v1.0.4 or later!" but before you install these, you have no idea what version you are running. Since I had no choice but to ignore this warning, I installed the drivers, ran the configuration application and discovered that the firmware was 1.01. Despite the old firmware, everything seems to work fine, so I don't know what the deal was about the warning. The firmware also updated to 1.07 without issue, despite the same dire warning.
I found it unusual that mouse-over tips were not included in the configuration application. I know it's a little thing, but it's so easy to add, why not just do it?
The profile system has a couple bugs/shortcomings. Perhaps I am not using it right, but here are some oddities that I found:
- When you link a profile to an application, the G-key macros are changed, but the backlight is left unchanged. I found that if I press a different M button after switching applications, the backlight will change to that memory's color, but it will never change automatically.
- There is no "default" profile, so once you switch to an application that is linked to a profile, you will be stuck on that profile until you switch to another application that linked to a different profile or you open the configuration program and manually select a different profile. A workaround for this is to define a profile with what you want as defaults and assign it to the application C:\Windows\explorer.exe. Then simply clicking on the desktop reverts you profile back to your defaults. A much better approach would be for Corsair to add a default profile that is selected anytime an non-associated application is selected (Corsair, are you listening? This sounds like an easy fix).
Do we really need the W-A-S-D and arrow keys to be a different color?
Ran out of room in Pros...
This keyboard has a USB port on the back that is directly connected to a second USB plug so you can add a higher power device without worrying about overloading a single USB port on your computer or damaging the keyboard. The USB cables are covered in a very nice braided sheath. You can see how they did this in the product images.
The volume roller and multimedia keys worked without any configuration at all. I would have relocated the keys to the top, though, since they seem a bit out of place tucked behind and almost under the numeric keypad.
--- Other Comments ---
Don't be mislead by the image in the Overview tab that shows the keyboard with multiple different color keys at the same time, they are only illustrating the variety of colors. The entire keyboard is the same color.
It is strange that most of the previous negative reviews focused on how inflexible the USB cord is. While I agree it is rigid, it is well suited for a keyboard which doesn't typically move. Now on a mouse, it would really be bad, but for this, I think it is clean and effective.
Overall, I am very impressed with the build quality of this keyboard. As a gamer myself, I can see that the shifted F-keys are going to be the hardest thing for me to adjust to since there is now a blank space where the F1 key was on my Logitech G110. I may end up just remapping the keys rather than trying to relearn their locations, we'll see how it goes.
Given the flexibility of the G-key programming, this keyboard is certainly not limited to gamers. I could totally see myself using this at work, where I type all day, just because of its build quality and feel.
Corsair, please fix the backlight color switching glitch, and add a default profile!
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