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Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed May 03, 2024 at 10:38 am
Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS Picture
8.2
Gaming
7.9
Office
7.3
Mobile/Tablet
7.9
Programming
6.0
Entertainment / HTPC
8.2
Raw Performance

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS is a wireless mechanical gaming keyboard and the first compact (75%) model in Corsair's wider K65 lineup. The K65 PLUS follows an emerging trend in the gaming keyboard market to incorporate several elements typically found on custom keyboards, including sound-dampening foam and pre-lubed switches. It also has a hot-swappable PCB, which allows you to easily change out the stock Corsair MLX Red switches. This keyboard also features a multi-function control knob that you can use to adjust media volume or backlight brightness, as well as for zoom in/out and scroll up/down functions. You can customize various settings using the configuration software, including key assignments, custom macros, and RGB lighting effects. Additionally, you can save settings directly to the keyboard's onboard memory, so you don't need to have the software running in the background.

Our Verdict

8.2 Gaming

The Corsair K65 PLUS is an impressive gaming keyboard. It has excellent build quality and great raw performance that provides a responsive experience for playing titles in all genres at a casual or competitive level. It also has full RGB backlighting that you can configure along with a range of other settings using the configuration software. However, the stock keycaps aren't shine-through, so you can't read legends in darker settings.

Pros
  • Impressive raw gaming performance.
  • Excellent build quality.
Cons
  • Stock keycaps don't have shine-through legends.
  • High profile design; can be fatiguing to use for long periods without a wrist rest.
7.9 Office

The Corsair K65 PLUS is very good for office use. It has excellent build quality and connects wirelessly with its 2.4 GHz receiver or Bluetooth. It also supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously. This keyboard has relatively quiet linear switches and layers of acoustic foam inside the case, so it's unlikely to bother those around you in most office settings. However, it may still be too loud for particularly noise-sensitive environments.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Supports Bluetooth and multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • High profile design; can be fatiguing to use for long periods without a wrist rest.
7.3 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K65 PLUS is decent for tablet or mobile use. It has excellent build quality and supports multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously. There's also a storage compartment for storing its 2.4 GHz receiver while it's not being used, which can help ensure you don't lose it in transit. This keyboard is also quite heavy, and its high-profile design can make it somewhat unwieldy to carry around or slip into bags.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Supports Bluetooth and multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • Isn't very portable, as it has a high-profile design and is fairly heavy for its size.
7.9 Programming

The Corsair K65 PLUS is very good for programming use. It has excellent build quality and connects wirelessly with a 2.4 GHz receiver or via Bluetooth. It has no dedicated media keys, but you can program macros to any key using the configuration software. It also has full RGB backlighting, although its stock keycaps aren't shine-through, so you can't read the legends in darker rooms.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Supports Bluetooth and multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • No dedicated macro keys.
  • Stock keycaps don't have shine-through legends.
  • High profile design; can be fatiguing to use for long periods without a wrist rest.
6.0 Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K65 PLUS is acceptable for an entertainment or home theater PC setup. It has excellent build quality and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth with up to three devices simultaneously. It also has a fairly compact (75%) form factor, although it's quite heavy for its size, and its high-profile design makes it somewhat awkward to use from a couch. Additionally, there aren't any dedicated media keys and while the keyboard has full RGB backlighting, the stock keycaps aren't shine-through, so you can't read the legends in a dark room.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Supports Bluetooth and multi-device pairing with up to three devices simultaneously.
Cons
  • No dedicated media keys.
  • Isn't very portable, as it has a high-profile design and is fairly heavy for its size.
8.2 Raw Performance

The Corsair K65 PLUS has impressive raw performance. It has superb single-key latency performance and a 1000Hz polling rate using a wired or 2.4 GHz wireless connection. Its multi-key press input latency is also very good. However, its multi-key release latency is poor. This isn't likely an issue for most people playing most games, but it can impact performance if you specifically play games with inputs that trigger on release instead of press (some rhythm games, for instance).

Pros
  • Superb all-around single-key latency performance.
  • Very good multi-key latency performance.
Cons
  • High multi-key release latency, which can be an issue for playing rhythm games.
  • 8.2 Gaming
  • 7.9 Office
  • 7.3 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.9 Programming
  • 6.0 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 8.2 Raw Performance
  1. Updated May 03, 2024: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 29, 2024: Early access published.
  3. Updated Apr 19, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Apr 08, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Apr 02, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS is only available in a black colorway, and there are no variants at the time of writing. If you come across a variant of this keyboard, we encourage you to reach out to us in the comments so we can add it to our review. You can see the label of the unit we bought and tested here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS is a compact 75% model in Corsair's longstanding K65 lineup of mechanical gaming keyboards. While Corsair's previously-released models in this lineup are (65%) models, this is the first compact (75%) option in the lineup. The K65 PLUS WIRELESS continues Corsair's approach of incorporating elements that are often found on custom keyboards into a prebuilt gaming keyboard. These elements include pre-lubed switches and stabilizers, high-quality PBT keycaps, sound-dampening foam, and more hardware customizability than many of Corsair's older keyboards. This general approach closely mirrors that of several other large gaming brands that have released similar wireless models, like the ASUS ROG Azoth, and wired models, like the Razer BlackWidow V4 75%.

For more recommendations, see our picks for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards.

Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS

The Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS and the Corsair K65 PLUS MINI are both wireless mechanical gaming keyboards. The K70 has a smaller 60% form factor and has better raw performance with a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz (4000Hz effective polling rate). It also has shine-through keycaps, so you can read legends in darker rooms. On the other hand, the K65 PLUS WIRELESS has a larger 75% form factor and better overall build quality, as its keys don't wobble quite as much. It also has a control knob that allows you to zoom in/out or scroll through content and adjust settings such as backlighting brightness or media volume.

ASUS ROG Azoth

The ASUS ROG Azoth and the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS are wireless gaming keyboards with compact (75%) form factors. Both keyboards are quite similar in their approach, but the Azoth performs better and provides a better typing experience overall, thanks to its softer-feeling gasket mount design. It also features a programmable OLED screen and shine-through keycaps, so you can read the keycap legends in darker rooms. Comparatively, the Corsair has a multi-function control knob that you can use to zoom in/out or scroll through content and control media volume and backlighting brightness.

Razer BlackWidow V4 75%

The Razer BlackWidow V4 75% and the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS are similar gaming keyboards with compact (75%) form factors. The most significant difference is that the Razer is wired-only, while the Corsair is a wired model that connects with a 2.4 Ghz receiver or via Bluetooth. The Razer performs better overall and supports a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. It also comes stock with tactile switches and has a scroll wheel feature, while the Corsair has linear switches and a multi-function control knob that you can use to scroll or zoom and control backlighting and media volume.

GLORIOUS GMMK PRO

The GLORIOUS GMMK PRO and the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS are gaming keyboards with compact (75%) form factor and similar raw gaming performance. The Corsair is a wireless model that comes stock with linear switches and has no configuration options at purchase. On the other hand, the GLORIOUS is much more configurable at purchase. You can choose from a wide range of build options, including switches and keycaps. Both keyboards also have a control knob in the top left corner, but the knob on the Corsair knob is more flexible and allows you to scroll and zoom in on content or change settings such as volume and RGB brightness.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Compact (75%)
Height
1.5" (3.7 cm)
Width 12.6" (32.0 cm)
Depth
5.4" (13.7 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
2.07 lbs (0.940 kg)

The Corsair K65 PLUS has a Compact (75%) form factor. It takes up less space than a conventional full-size keyboard and still has a set of arrow keys and some keys from the Navigation cluster, but it doesn't have a Numpad.

8.5
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The Corsair K65 PLUS has excellent build quality. The frame is made of polycarbonate with a steel top plate. It has a slightly springy top mount design, and the frame feels very sturdy and doesn't flex or creak.

The keycaps have dye-sublimated legends and are made of PBT plastic with a dry, pleasantly textured surface. All keys are fairly stable, with only minimal wobble that isn't noticeable while using the keyboard normally.

Four rubber strips on the back of the keyboard do a good job of keeping the keyboard in place, and there are additional rubber pieces on the flip-out feet.

There are also layers of acoustic foam and a silicon pad inside the case that help minimize unwanted sound profile elements and case ping.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
3.5ยฐ
Medium Incline
6ยฐ
Maximum Incline
9.3ยฐ
Home Row Height
32.8 mm (1.3")

This keyboard has a standard, high-profile design. It doesn't come with a wrist rest, but there are two flip-out feet on the back of the board that provides two additional incline angles.

9.1
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Screw-in
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1u
Hot-Swappable Switches
Yes
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
5-pin Cherry
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes

This keyboard offers superb hardware customizability. Its hot-swappable PCB allows you to change the stock switches for 3-pin or 5-pin switches. It also has relatively easy-to-access screw-in stabilizers, and the switches have a Cherry MX-style cross stem, which offers wide compatibility with aftermarket keycaps. The LEDs on the PCB are North-facing, which can cause compatibility issues with some Cherry profile keycaps.

10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

You can change between preset lighting effects using keyboard shortcuts or access more in-depth customization using the configuration software. Some lighting effects are only usable with a wired connection. For more details, see the Configuration Software section.

4.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

While the backlighting is very bright (in part thanks to some reflection off the metal top plate), the overall backlight clarity is poor because the keycaps don't have shine-through legends. It's particularly unusual because the LEDs are North-facing, which provides better clarity for shine-through keycap sets. For reference, we've taken a photo with several of the stock keycaps replaced with shine-through keycaps for reference.

The white-only backlighting has a blueish-purple hue, which is worth keeping in mind if you're interested in color-matching the lighting with other peripherals or pieces of hardware in your setup.

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 comes with a braided USB-A to USB-C charging cable. The cable isn't particularly flexible, but it retains only minimal kinks from its packaging.

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

Corsair advertises this keyboard has a maximum battery life of up to 266 hours using the 2.4 GHz wireless connection with all backlighting off.

5.5
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes

While this keyboard doesn't have dedicated macro keys, you can program macros to any key using the configuration software or with hotkey combinations directly on the keyboard. You can reference these combinations in the online manual on Corsair's website here.

Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball No
Scroll Wheel
No
Control Knob
Yes
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps & Scroll Lock

This keyboard has a wide range of extra features. There are two physical switches on the top edge of the keyboard, the first of which on the top left changes between connection types. The second switch on the top right side toggles between Windows and macOS compatability modes. There's also a storage compartment for the USB receiver next to the connection mode switch, which can be very helpful if you travel with your keyboard.

On the left edge of the keyboard, there's an LED indicator for battery life and a physical button to turn the backlighting on and off.

Additional features include non-dedicated media controls on the function row and a set of three LEDs next to the arrow key cluster that indicates when Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Windows Lock are enabled.

Lastly, there's a control knob that you can use to adjust media volume, adjust backlighting brightness, zoom in/out, and scroll up/down through content.

For a breakdown of all features and a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, you can reference a digital version of this keyboard's user manual on Corsair's website here.

Design
In The Box

  • USB-A to USB-C braided recharging cable
  • 2.4 GHz USB-A receiver
  • Keycap/switch puller
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

The Corsair K65 PLUS has impressive typing quality. It has a top mount design, which provides a slightly softer and more consistent typing feel compared to a tray mount design found on most gaming keyboards. The PBT keycaps feel very durable and have a pleasant, slightly textured finish. All alphanumeric keys are quite stable, with only minor wobbling that isn't noticeable when using the keyboard normally. There are also no audible rattles from the stabilizers on larger keys, and both the switches and stabilizers are pre-lubed from the factory and feel fairly smooth overall. However, we did note some very minor scratchiness on some individual keys. For more details, see the Keystrokes section.

7.8
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
51.3 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

This keyboard is reasonably quiet and unlikely to bother those around you unless you're in a particularly noise-sensitive environment.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
CORSAIR MLX Red
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Linear
Analog
No

This keyboard comes with CORSAIR MLX Red mechanical switches. It also has a hot-swappable PCB, so you can easily change these switches out for other 3-pin or 5-pin switches if you like.

Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
44 gf
Actuation Force
44 gf
Pre-Travel
1.9 mm
Total Travel
3.8 mm

The linear Corsair MLX Red switches are lightweight and have a moderately short pre-travel distance, making them feel quick and responsive in-game. These switches are pre-lubed from the factory and feel fairly smooth and consistent. During testing, we noted that several individual switches are slightly scratchier-feeling. However, this inconsistency is very minor and unlikely to be noticeable for most people while typing or gaming normally.

Performance
9.1
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
3.3 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ยฑ0.5 ms
Wired
3.3 ms
Receiver
4.8 ms
Bluetooth
10.4 ms
PCB (Estimated)
1.6 ms

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS has superb single-key latency performance, making this keyboard very well-suited for playing titles in any genre at a casual or competitive level.

7.9
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Receiver
Key Press
5.9 ms
Key Release
32.9 ms

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS provides very good additional key press latency performance when you're already pressing and maintaining multiple keys. However, it also has very high key release latency, which is an issue if you play games that trigger on key release, like rhythm games.

8.7
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Receiver
USB Polling Rate
1,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
1,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
Yes

This keyboard's maximum polling rate is 1000Hz, and data transmission isn't bottlenecked by other latency components when connected wired or wirelessly via its 2.4 GHz receiver.

6.7
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
8.8 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
16.4 ms

This keyboard has adequate chord split performance over a 2.4 GHz wireless connection, which is the connection type we expect most people will use with this keyboard. However, we also tested the chord split performance using a wired connection. You can see the wired connection results here.

Using a wired connection provides significantly better 4โ€”and 8-chord split delay performance that's much better suited for playing games that require multiple simultaneous inputs, like rhythm games.

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 configuration software. This software is easy to use but somewhat clunky and not particularly intuitive. It lets you customize various expected settings, including key assignments, custom macros, lock key behavior, and RGB backlighting. Note that you have full access to certain RGB lighting effects when using this wired keyboard but more limited access to certain RGB effects when using the keyboard wirelessly.

You can save custom settings, including key assignment and RGB settings, to onboard memory. Saving to the onboard memory means you don't need to have the software running at all times in the background, and you can carry over your settings to other computers without the software installed.

It's worth keeping in mind that iCUE, much like the software options from other major manufacturers, receives widespread criticism from some users online as it requires frequent updates and can take up disproportionate system resources. This software may be frustrating to use if you prefer more lightweight software options or no software at all.

Note: Corsair indicates that certain SKUs of the CORSAIR K65 PLUS distributed within the Asian market aren't compatible with Corsair's iCUE software. For more details about this issue and a list of all affected SKUs, see Corsair's website here.

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

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS keyboard is fully compatible with all major operating systems.

In Windows, the software is available, and all features work as expected. For macOS, there is compatible Mac software available, and nearly all features work as expected, except the control knob, which doesn't work while iCUE software is running. For Linux, all features work as expected.

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

This keyboard is fully compatible with all major mobile operating systems, and all functions work as expected.