Corsair K100 RGB Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Nov 09, 2020 at 08:19 am
Corsair K100 RGB Picture
8.1
Mixed usage
9.4
Gaming
1.0
Mobile/Tablet
8.0
Office
8.2
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Corsair K100 RGB is an outstanding gaming keyboard. It's excellently 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

8.1 Mixed usage

The Corsair K100 RGB is great for mixed usage. It's a very good office keyboard thanks to its comfy wrist rest and light typing experience, and the Cherry MX Speed switches are quiet to type on. The switches' low actuation force and short pre-travel distance make it very light and responsive, which is ideal for gaming and programming. It also comes 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.
  • Good ergonomic features.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance might cause more typos.
9.4 Gaming

The Corsair K100 RGB is exceptional for gaming. This excellently built keyboard is comfortable to use, and it has customizable RGB backlighting. The Cherry MX Speed switches have a low actuation force and a short pre-travel distance, which results in a light and responsive keyboard. 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.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Dedicated macro keys.
  • Good ergonomic features.
Cons
  • Switches provide no tactile feedback.
1.0 Mobile/Tablet

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

8.0 Office

The Corsair K100 RGB is very good for office use. It's a comfortable, well-built keyboard that comes with a padded wrist rest and one incline setting. 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.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance might cause more typos.
8.2 Programming

The Corsair K100 RGB is great for programming. It has excellent build quality with a padded wrist rest to reduce fatigue. 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.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance might cause more typos.
  • Switches provide no tactile feedback.
  • 8.1 Mixed usage
  • 9.4 Gaming
  • 1.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 8.0 Office
  • 8.2 Programming

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)
Weight 2.9 lbs (1.3 kg)

The Corsair K100 RGB 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

The Corsair K100 RGB 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. 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
Incline Settings
1
Wrist Rest Detachable

The Corsair K100 RGB has good ergonomic features. It's a straight board with one incline setting and a padded wrist rest that attaches magnetically.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

It has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. It has 44 RGB zones and a strip 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
Detachable
No
Length 5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Not Detachable

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

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

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

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Extra Controls
Wheel
USB Passthrough
Yes
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes

The Corsair K100 RGB 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
Actuation Force
42.7 gf
Pre-Travel
1.32 mm
Total Travel
3.34 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 RGB 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.

Software and Operating System
9.1
Software and Operating System
Software
Software iCUE
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Backlight Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The Corsair K100 RGB 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 RGB 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 RGB 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 an exceptional 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.

Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT are both outstanding gaming keyboards. The Cherry MX Speed linear switches on our K100 have a low actuation force and a short pre-travel distance, which is great if you want a light and sensitive keyboard. The Cherry MX Blue switches on our K95 require more force and have a longer travel distance, which might feel more tiring to press but helps prevent typos.

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 actuation force and travel distance to your preferences.

Corsair K70 RGB MK.2

The Corsair K100 RGB is slightly better than the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2. The K100 has dedicated macro keys, a more comfortable wrist rest, and the Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit have a shorter travel distance than the Cherry MX Brown switches on our K70. However, the K70's switches provide tactile feedback, unlike either of the switches available on the K100.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Corsair K100 RGB and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are both exceptional gaming keyboards, but the Corsair has dedicated macro keys, a multi-function wheel, and it has a lower pre-travel distance. However, the Razer is available in more types of 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 K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K100 RGB is better than the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The K100 feels much better built, and it has RGB lighting while the K63 only has blue lighting. The Cherry MX Speed switches on our K100 should feel lighter and more responsive than the Cherry MX Red switches on our K63 due to the actuation force and travel distance. However, the K63 can also be used wirelessly, unlike the K100 that can only be used wired.

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