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Corsair K100 AIR Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Feb 13, 2023 at 10:02 am
Latest change: Test bench update May 12, 2023 at 10:00 am
Corsair K100 AIR Picture
8.9
Gaming
7.4
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
8.3
Programming
7.4
Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K100 AIR is a mechanical gaming keyboard with a low-profile design and a brushed aluminum frame. This keyboard uses tactile butterfly-style switches, which offer a typing experience similar to many laptop keyboards. It also supports a maximum polling rate of 2000Hz using a wireless connection or up to 8000Hz when connected with its cable. Extra features include per-key RGB backlighting, dedicated media controls, and versatile wireless connectivity with the ability to pair multiple devices simultaneously, including computers, consoles, and mobile devices.

Our Verdict

8.9 Gaming

The Corsair K100 AIR is an outstanding gaming keyboard. It has impressive overall build quality and exceptionally low latency, supporting a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz using a wired connection or 2000Hz with a wireless connection. The low-profile, butterfly-style switches have a light tactile bump to overcome before actuating. However, they still feel very responsive due to an extremely low pre-travel and total travel distance. The low profile design of this keyboard also makes it comfortable to use without needing a wrist rest, although the keycaps themselves feel less high-quality than other aspects of the board.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Low-profile design is comfortable to use without a wrist rest.
  • Exceptionally low latency.
  • Has a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz when connected with its cable.
Cons
  • Only available in a tactile switch type.
  • The butterfly-style switches are mechanically complex and removing the keycaps may damage them.
7.4 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K100 AIR is a satisfactory choice for use with mobile and tablet devices, but its size and weight make it unsuitable for use on the go. That said, its tactile butterfly-style switches provide a satisfying typing experience. Overall the keyboard also feels very well built and supports multi-device pairing for up to three devices simultaneously.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Connects wirelessly and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • The butterfly-style switches are mechanically complex and removing the keycaps may damage them.
  • Not very portable option due to its size and weight.
7.8 Office

The Corsair K100 AIR is great for office use. It feels very sturdy and has a sleek, low-profile design that's comfortable to type on without a wrist rest. The low-profile switches provide a satisfying tactile typing experience that's relatively quiet, and the keycaps are very stable. However, the keycaps don't feel as high-quality as those typically found on keyboards at this price point.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Low-profile design is comfortable to use without a wrist rest.
  • Connects wirelessly and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • Only available in a tactile switch type.
  • The butterfly-style switches are mechanically complex and removing the keycaps may damage them.
8.3 Programming

The Corsair K100 AIR is an excellent keyboard for programming. It has impressive overall build quality, supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously, and allows you to program macros to any key, either directly on the keyboard or using the customization software. Its low-profile design makes it comfortable without needing a wrist rest, and the low-profile butterfly-style switches provide a satisfying tactile typing experience. The keycaps are very stable and have shine-through legends, which is helpful if you like to work in a darker room. However, the keycaps also don't feel as high-quality as the rest of the keyboard.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Low-profile design is comfortable to use without a wrist rest.
  • Connects wirelessly and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • Only available in a tactile switch type.
  • The butterfly-style switches are mechanically complex and removing the keycaps may damage them.
7.4 Entertainment / HTPC

Though not designed specifically for it, the Corsair K100 AIR is very good for use with a home theater PC setup. It connects wirelessly and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously. It also has dedicated media keys and shine-through keycaps so you can see the legends in a darkened room. However, it's fairly large and surprisingly heavy for its size, so it isn't the easiest keyboard to move around.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Connects wirelessly and can pair with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • Fairly large and somewhat heavy for use with an HTPC setup.
  • The butterfly-style switches are mechanically complex and removing the keycaps may damage them.
  • 8.9 Gaming
  • 7.4 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.3 Programming
  • 7.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated May 12, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.2. This update introduces new Backlight Features and Backlight Clarity test boxes. We've also added a new Switches test box, added additional test comparisons to our Hardware Customizability test box that we introduced with our last Test Bench. For an in-depth look at our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  2. Updated Mar 22, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.1. This update adds several new tests addressing Hardware Customization, Macro Keys And Programming, and Wireless Mobile Compatibility. We've also added new objective evaluations to the Typing Noise test, and we've simplified several tests and removed several others that were no longer relevant. For an in-depth look at all our changes, you can see our full changelog here.
  3. Updated Feb 13, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Feb 08, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Feb 02, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Jan 27, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Jan 10, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair K100 AIR Wireless is only available in a black colorway. You can see the label for the unit we purchased and tested here.

There aren't any variants of this keyboard, but Corsair produces a related keyboard called the Corsair K100 RGB. The Corsair K100 RGB offers very similar features and gaming performance but has a more conventional high-profile design, includes an added wrist rest, and is available in several different kinds of switches.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K100 AIR is a high-end mechanical gaming keyboard with a much thinner design than the majority of gaming keyboards available. It's even thinner than similarly-priced flagship low-profile options from other major manufacturers, including the Logitech G915 and the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro. Compared to these two keyboards, the Corsair K100 AIR supports a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz using a wired connection (or 2000Hz when connected wirelessly) to ensure the lowest possible latency while gaming. It also uses butterfly-style mechanical switches, which are very stable and feel high quality, but they're also more mechanically complex than the more conventional mechanical switches found on either the Logitech or Razer keyboard. These butterfly-style switches are only available as a tactile type switch, while both the Logitech and Razer models have linear, tactile, or clicky switch types available.

For more options, see our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards. Or, for more options from Corsair, check out our picks for the best Corsair keyboards.

Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED

The Corsair K100 AIR and the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED are low-profile mechanical gaming keyboards. The Corsair is a bit thinner and offers slightly better gaming performance with marginally lower latency and a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. It also allows you to program macros to every key, while the Logitech keyboard only allows macro programming on dedicated keys. On the other hand, the Logitech is available with linear, tactile, or clicky switch types, while the Corsair is only available in a tactile switch type.

Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro

The Corsair K100 AIR and the Razer DeathStalker V2 Pro are low-profile mechanical gaming keyboards. The Corsair is thinner and has better overall gaming performance with lower latency and a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. On the other hand, the Razer has linear, tactile, and clicky switch types available, while the Corsair is only available with a tactile switch type.

Corsair K100 RGB

The Corsair K100 AIR and the Corsair K100 RGB are high-end gaming keyboards with similar gaming performance and feature sets. However, the K100 AIR is a wireless keyboard with a much thinner low-profile design and is only available with a butterfly-style tactile switch type. On the other hand, the K100 RGB is a wired-only model with linear, tactile, or clicky mechanical or optical switch types available. It also includes a row of macro keys on the left side of the board and a wrist rest.

Keychron S Series

The Corsair K100 AIR and the Keychron S Series keyboards are low-profile mechanical keyboards. The Corsair is a wireless model designed specifically for gaming. It has lower latency and a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. On the other hand, the Keychron S Series keyboards are wired-only models for more general use. They also feature hot-swappable PCBs and are available in stock red, brown, or blue switch types, while the Corsair is only available with a tactile switch type.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
0.6" (1.6 cm)
Width 17.2" (43.6 cm)
Depth
6.1" (15.5 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.65 lbs (0.750 kg)

The Corsair K100 AIR has a fairly standard full-size footprint, but it's extremely thin compared to most gaming keyboards.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

This keyboard has impressive overall build quality. The chassis is very slim and made of plastic, but it feels quite sturdy and isn't flexible. The top of the keyboard frame is made of aluminum and has a stylish brushed metal finish, but it easily shows any fingerprints. On the underside of the keyboard, there are two plastic incline feet and a long rubber strip that do a decent job of keeping the keyboard in place on your work surface. Corsair doesn't advertise what kind of plastic the keycaps are made of, but they feel more like lower-quality ABS rather than PBT. They have a pleasant texture and feel extremely stable while typing. They also have shine-through legends to let you see the legends lit by RGB lighting in darker environments.

Corsair warns users against removing the keycaps as the butterfly switch mechanism underneath is complex, and removing the keycap can inadvertently disassemble the switch below it. We encountered this issue during testing and needed to carefully reassemble two switches after removing the keycaps.

7.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
6.5°
Home Row Height
13.5 mm (0.5")

The Corsair K100 AIR has decent ergonomics and is comfortable to type on without a wrist rest due to its low profile. There are also two plastic feet you can pop out to provide two additional incline settings.

0.7
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
No
Stabilizer Fixation
Non-Customizable Design
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
Non-Customizable Design
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Non-Customizable Design
Switch PCB Socket
Non-Customizable Design
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Non-Customizable Design
10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

This keyboard has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

The white-only backlighting on this keyboard does have a slightly cold, greyish tone, but the keycaps have shine-through legends, so you can easily see the primary legends in the dark.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wireless
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard has a detachable, braided charging cable that retains some kinking from how it's packaged.

10
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
3
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable

Corsair advertises that this keyboard has a battery life of up to 50 hours with the backlighting on and a maximum of 200 hours with the backlighting off.

8.2
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 4
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
Yes
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

This keyboard has an array of extra features, including a digital screen on the top that indicates the status of wireless, encryption, battery, and macro settings. This keyboard also allows you to program macros directly on the keyboard or with the customization software. Additionally, it has Full Key (NKRO) and Anti-Ghosting, which means it will register simultaneous keypresses and multiple key combinations held down simultaneously.

This keyboard supports maximum polling rates above 1000Hz, which is standard for most gaming keyboards. Using a higher polling rate means your keyboard communicates more frequently with your computer, ensuring the lowest latency possible. However, it also consumes more power from your keyboard and system resources from your computer. The maximum polling rate on this keyboard using a wired connection is 8000Hz, and the maximum polling rate using a wireless connection is 2000Hz.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K100 Keyboard
  • USB-A to USB-C braided charging cable
  • USB wireless receiver
  • User manual and warranty card

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile Tactile
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Tactile
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
62 gf
Actuation Force
39 gf
Pre-Travel
1.0 mm
Total Travel
2.0 mm

The switches on this keyboard provide a satisfying tactile break to overcome right at the beginning of your keypress. They take a bit more force to actuate than standard Cherry MX Brown switches. Still, they are relatively light to press and feel very responsive once you overcome the initial tactile bump, thanks to their extremely low pre-travel and total travel distance.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

This keyboard has great typing quality that feels similar to the experience of typing on good-quality laptop keyboards. The switches provide a very smooth and immediate-feeling actuation after overcoming the tactile bump at the beginning of each keystroke. There's decent spacing between each key, considering the keys on many other low-profile keyboards are typically much closer together. The keycaps themselves are extremely stable. They have a fair amount of grip and don't feel too cheap compared to other ABS plastic keycaps. They don't feel as high-quality as those typically found on other keyboards at this price point. The typing quality is consistent between different keys, although there's a minor rattling sound when using the spacebar that isn't present with other keys. However, this is fairly typical.

8.6
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
47.8 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile Tactile switches on the Corsair K100 AIR Wireless make this keyboard quieter than many mechanical keyboards with tactile switches but louder than most laptop keyboards with similar designs.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
0.5 ms
Latency Receiver
0.7 ms
Latency Bluetooth
11.0 ms

This keyboard has exceptionally low latency that's more than suitable for gaming in any genre using either a wired or wireless receiver connection. This test was conducted at the highest maximum polling rate (which is how frequently the keyboard sends information to your computer), as higher polling rates ensure the lowest latency possible. For a wired connection, the maximum polling rate is 8000Hz, while the maximum polling rate for a wireless connection using the USB receiver is 2000Hz.

Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name iCUE
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes
Onboard Memory
Yes
Profiles
6+

This keyboard uses Corsair's iCUE software, which is fairly easy to use and well laid out. It offers plenty of adjustable options, including key rebinding, macro programming, and RGB lighting adjustment. The software also has tutorials on how to use many of the configuration options, and you can save your custom settings to the keyboard's 8MB of onboard memory.

Like the software options from other major manufacturers, this software receives criticism for requiring frequent updates and taking up disproportionate system resources. You may find this software frustrating if you prefer more lightweight software options or no software at all.

10
Software and Operating System
Computer Compatibility
Windows
Fully Compatible
macOS
Fully Compatible
Linux (Ubuntu 22)
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Windows, MacOS & Linux

This keyboard is compatible with all major operating systems. However, the software is only compatible with Windows and macOS. On Windows, Linux, and Android, all keys work as expected. On macOS, the Print hotkey acts as 'F13', while Print Screen and Scroll Lock hotkeys don't work.

10
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Fully Compatible
iOS
Fully Compatible
iPadOS
Fully Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Android, iPhone & iPad

On iOS and ipadOS devices, all keys work except for Pause, Print Screen, Insert, and Scroll Lock.