Corsair K100 RGB Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Nov 09, 2020 at 08:19 am
Corsair K100 RGB Picture
9.6
Gaming
2.8
Mobile/Tablet
8.2
Office
8.2
Programming
5.5
Entertainment / HTPC
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Corsair K100 RGB is a fantastic gaming keyboard. It's very well-built and feels comfortable to use, plus it comes with a detachable padded wrist rest. It's compatible with the Corsair iCUE software, which lets you customize the RGB backlighting and set macros to any key you want. It has many extra features like dedicated media keys, a volume control wheel, a multi-function iCUE wheel, and six dedicated macro keys. The Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit feel light and responsive to type on, and it's also available in the new Corsair OPX linear switches, which may provide a different typing experience from our unit's switches, though we haven't tested them.

Our Verdict

9.6 Gaming

The Corsair K100 is fantastic for gaming. This very well-built keyboard is comfortable to use, and it has customizable RGB backlighting. The Cherry MX Speed switches have a low operating force and a short pre-travel distance, and the latency is extremely low. It's also available in Corsair OPX switches, which are advertised as having a shorter pre-travel distance and should feel a bit more responsive. All of the keys are macro-programmable, and there are six dedicated macro keys on the left side.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • Dedicated macro keys.
  • Good ergonomic features.
  • Extremely low latency.
Cons
  • Switches provide no tactile feedback.
2.8 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K100 isn't designed to be used with mobile devices or tablets.

8.2 Office

The Corsair K100 is great for office use. It's a comfortable, well-built keyboard that comes with a padded wrist rest and two incline settings. The Cherry MX Speed switches provide a light typing experience that shouldn't cause fatigue when typing for a long time, although typos might be more common due to the short pre-travel distance. They're quiet to type on, so it shouldn't be bothersome in an office setting.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Good ergonomic features.
  • Quiet to type on.
  • Extremely low latency.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance might cause more typos.
8.2 Programming

The Corsair K100 is great for programming. It has excellent build quality with a padded wrist rest. Also, it has full RGB lighting that can be customized to your liking, all of its keys are macro-programmable, and it has six dedicated macro keys on the left side of the board. The Cherry MX Speed switches feel light to type on, and it's also available in Corsair OPX switches which are advertised as having a shorter pre-travel distance and should feel even more responsive.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Dedicated macro keys.
  • Good ergonomic features.
  • Extremely low latency.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance might cause more typos.
  • Switches provide no tactile feedback.
5.5 Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K100 is disappointing for HTPC use. It's wired-only, so you'll need to sit close to your TV to use it. It also lacks a trackpad, meaning you may need a mouse to navigate the on-screen menu. On the plus side, it has full RGB backlighting and dedicated media keys, making it easy to skip tracks or play/pause content.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • Extremely low latency.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • No trackpad.
  • Rather large for a HTPC keyboard.
  • 9.6 Gaming
  • 2.8 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.2 Office
  • 8.2 Programming
  • 5.5 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jul 22, 2021: Added information about keycap material in Build Quality.
  2. Updated Feb 04, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.6" (3.9 cm)
Width 18.5" (47.0 cm)
Depth
6.5" (16.5 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
9.3" (23.5 cm)
Weight
2.87 lbs (1.300 kg)

The Corsair K100 is a full-sized keyboard that takes up a significant amount of room on your desk, but you can remove the wrist rest to save space.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

Update 07/22/2021: While the majority of the keys on the board are made of PBT, the macro keys and the extra keycaps in the box are actually ABS keycaps. We updated the text accordingly.

The Corsair K100 has excellent build quality. Its plastic base and metal top plate exhibit a slight amount of flex, but it's hardly noticeable when using it as intended. The doubleshot PBT keycaps feel solid and hardly wobble. While all the black keycaps are made of PBT, the dedicated macro keys G1-G6 and the extra FPS and MOBA keycaps included are made of ABS. The incline feet are thick and grippy, and they shouldn't collapse when moving the keyboard around. It comes with a cushiony wrist rest that attaches magnetically.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
Maximum Incline
Wrist Rest Detachable

The Corsair K100 has good ergonomic features. It's a straight board with two incline settings and a comfortable padded wrist rest that attaches magnetically.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Great
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. It has 44 RGB zones on the strips of lighting on the left, right, and the top-side edge of the board. You can customize the RGB effects and colors through the Corsair iCUE software.

Design
Cable & Connector
Detachable
No
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The thick braided cable has two USB-A plugs: one to connect to your computer and the other for the USB passthrough.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries

The Corsair K100 is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel Yes
USB Passthrough
Yes
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

The Corsair K100 has many extra features. All of its keys are macro-programmable, including the volume wheel, profile switching button, and media keys. It also has dedicated macro keys on the left side of the board. It features a unique iCUE wheel that lets you adjust brightness, rewind or fast forward media, scroll through applications, and zoom in or out of windows, but you can also remap all of these to other actions. The RGB lighting around the wheel changes color as you cycle through the different functions so you know exactly which one is active.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K100 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Wrist rest
  • Extra keys (2x W, 2x D, A, S, E, R, F, Q)
  • Keycap puller
  • User manual and warranty card

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Speed
Feel
Linear
Operating Force
42 gf
Actuation Force
41 gf
Pre-Travel
1.1 mm
Total Travel
3.4 mm

The Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit are linear, provide no feedback, and feel very light to type on. The pre-travel distance is very low, which results in a very responsive feel, but it may cause more unintentional strokes to be registered. The keyboard is also available with Corsair OPX switches which are advertised to have a shorter pre-travel distance.

8.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The Corsair K100 has excellent typing quality. The linear switches don't require much force to actuate, but the low pre-travel distance may result in more typos. There's also no tactile feedback when a key is actuated. The doubleshot PBT keycaps feel stable and nice to type on. The switches shouldn't cause much fatigue, and the included plushy wrist rest also helps with reducing any fatigue.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit are quiet. It shouldn't bother anyone around you in a silent office. While we haven't tested it, we expect the variant with the Corsair OPX switches to be just as quiet.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
0.5 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The Corsair K100 has extremely low click latency, which is great for even the most competitive gamers.

Software and Operating System
9.8
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name iCUE
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software and Onboard
Ease Of Use
Easy
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

This keyboard is compatible with the Corsair iCUE software, which offers fantastic customization features. You can reprogram any key to a macro or a preset action, and you can customize the RGB with different colors and effects. Corsair claims you can save up to 200 individual profiles to the onboard memory. You can easily program the six dedicated macro keys to perform any task you want. It also has integration with the Elgato Stream Deck, allowing you to perform tasks like launching a program or recording a clip.

7.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Partial
Linux Partial
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

The Corsair K100 is fully compatible with Windows. Only the Pause Break, Scroll Lock, and Print Screen buttons don't work on macOS. Since the software isn't compatible with Linux, the G1-G6 macro keys are disabled by default, but you can still program them on a Mac or PC first and save them to the onboard memory beforehand in order to use them on Linux.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair K100 is available in two different switch types. Although we tested the Cherry MX Speed switches, this keyboard has a Corsair OPX variant called the Corsair K100 RGB Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard which features Corsair's new optical switches. The Corsair OPX switches are also linear, but they're advertised as having a shorter pre-travel distance than the Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit, resulting in an even more responsive feel. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K100 RGB is a fantastic full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard and is among the best we've tested. However, some people may not like its linear switches due to the lack of tactile feedback, and unfortunately, it isn't available in this switch type. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best keyboards for programming.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The Corsair K100 RGB and the SteelSeries Apex Pro are both exceptional gaming keyboards. Both are excellently built and highly programmable, but the Corsair has six dedicated macro keys, whereas the SteelSeries doesn't. However, the SteelSeries has a unique feature that lets you customize the pre-travel distance for each key.

Razer Huntsman Elite

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Razer Huntsman Elite are both outstanding gaming keyboards. They're both full-sized, come with a wrist rest, and have dedicated media keys. The Razer is available with clicky and linear optical switches, while the Corsair is available with two types of linear switches, including an optical one. The Corsair offers better typing quality because of how sensitive the linear switches are on the Razer, but that means the Razer is more responsive for gaming. 

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog and the Corsair K100 RGB are both exceptional wired gaming keyboards; however, they're also quite different. The Razer uses Analog Optical switches that can function like an analog joystick, and you can customize the pre-travel distance to your liking. On the other hand, the Corsair uses more traditional Cherry MX Speed switches and is available with Corsair OPX switches as well. That said, the Analog Optical and the Cherry MX Speeds are both linear switches that require about the same amount of force to actuate and don't provide any tactile feedback. Feature-wise, the Corsair has an extra column of dedicated macro keys that the Razer lacks and a dial that you can customize to perform various functions.

Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT are similar gaming keyboards, but the K100 is much better because it has much lower click latency. The K100 is only available with two types of linear switches, but the K95 is available with clicky and tactile switches as well, so those switch types offer better tactile feedback for typing.

Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Logitech G915 LIGHTSPEED are both fantastic gaming keyboards with different features. The Corsair is a wired keyboard with a USB passthrough, and the Logitech is a wireless option with multi-device pairing. They each have dedicated macro keys, but you can reprogram every key on the Corsair, which you can't on the Logitech. The Corsair is available with two types of linear switches, while the Logitech is available with low profile clicky, tactile, and linear switches.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2

The Corsair K100 RGB is better than the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 for gaming, mainly due to its lower latency. Also, the K100 has dedicated macro keys, making it a great option for MMOs. The K100 is available with two types of linear switches, while the K70 is available in a variety of Cherry MX switches, so you can get the ones you prefer. The K100 has a multi-function wheel, and the included wrist rest is more comfortable.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are both exceptional gaming keyboards. The Corsair has a few more features, such as a column of dedicated macro keys and a multi-function wheel that you can customize to perform various functions. The Corsair is available with two different types of linear switches, which have a low operating force but don't offer any tactile feedback. On the other hand, the Razer is available with clicky, linear, and tactile switches.

Corsair K70 RGB TKL

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Corsair K70 RGB TKL are both fantastic for gaming. The K100 is bigger because it's full-size, has a numpad and wrist rest, and there are also dedicated macro keys on the left side, which the K70 doesn't have. The K100 also has a USB passthrough, so you can connect your peripherals directly to the keyboard, and it has better typing quality because the Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit of the K70 feel a bit more sensitive than those on the K100. Overall, they're very similar in performance, so choosing one over the other comes down to size preference.

Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro

Gaming-wise, the Corsair K100 RGB is better than the Razer BlackWidow V3 Pro. The Corsair is available in two types of linear switches, which are light to press, while the Razer is available with linear and clicky switches. In terms of features, the Corsair has a USB passthrough and dedicated macro keys, which the Razer lacks. However, the Razer is a wireless keyboard, which is great if you want to keep a clean, wire-free setup, and it can be paired to multiple devices simultaneously so that you can switch between them easily.

HyperX Alloy Origins

The HyperX Alloy Origins and the Corsair K100 RGB are two fantastic gaming keyboards. The Corsair has dedicated media keys and a wrist rest for better comfort. It also has lower click latency, but most people won't notice a difference between the keyboards. They're each available with linear switches, and the Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit of the Corsair has a lower pre-travel distance than the HyperX Red switches.

ROCCAT Vulcan Pro

The Corsair K100 RGB is better than the ROCCAT Vulcan Pro. The Corsair provides a better typing experience, every key is macro-programmable, and it feels better-built. On the other hand, the ROCCAT is smaller and takes up less space on your desk.

Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT

The Corsair K100 RGB is a much better gaming keyboard than the Corsair K55 RGB PRO XT. the K100 is a mechanical keyboard that feels much better-built, has an additional incline setting, and has a padded wrist rest, a USB passthrough, and a wheel in the top right. It also has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and it's available with linear Cherry MX Speed or linear Corsair OPX switches. On the other hand, The XT is a non-mechanical keyboard with rubber dome switches, a hard plastic wrist rest, and while it has individually backlit keys, it only has five RGB lighting zones.

EVGA Z15

The EVGA Z15 and the Corsair K100 RGB are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards. They both have fully customizable RGB backlighting, dedicated media keys, a volume control wheel, and all of their keys are macro-programmable. However, the Corsair also has a USB passthrough and a programmable multi-function dial. It also has slightly lower latency, although the difference isn't significant enough to be noticeable. On the other hand, if you like the option of changing the switches whenever you want, the EVGA is hot-swappable.

Razer Huntsman

The Razer Huntsman and the Corsair K100 RGB are two fantastic gaming keyboards. They're both full-sized and have many of the same features with macro-programmable keys and RGB lighting. The Corsair is available with linear switches while the Razer is only available with clicky Razer Optical switches. The Corsair offers better typing quality and also comes with a wrist rest.

Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard are two keyboards with different designs and features. The K100 is a wired full-sized model that has full RGB lighting, while the K63 just has blue backlighting. The K100 has a unique wheel for volume control, a USB passthrough, and much lower latency. However, the K63 is a wireless model with multi-device pairing with up to two devices at once. The K100 is available with linear Cherry MX Speed and Corsair OPX switches, and the K63 is only available with linear Cherry MX Red switches.

EVGA Z20

The Corsair K100 RGB and the EVGA Z20 are remarkable mechanical gaming keyboards offering similar performance and feature sets, but the Corsair is a marginally better keyboard overall. The Corsair has a sturdier-feeling build, PBT keycaps, software that's compatible with Windows and macOS, and slightly lower latency, though the difference is unlikely to be noticeable. It's available with either Cherry MX Speed switches or Corsair's linear OPX Optical switches. The EVGA is available with either clicky or Light Strike LK Optical switches. It also has a time-of-flight sensor that you can configure to perform certain functions when you approach or move away from your keyboard. Unfortunately, it has ABS keycaps that are prone to developing shine from finger oils.

+ Show more

Discussions