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Corsair K65 PRO MINI Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Sep 21, 2023 at 01:01 pm
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
Corsair K65 PRO MINI Picture
8.9
Gaming
6.8
Office
2.6
Mobile/Tablet
7.3
Programming
2.8
Entertainment / HTPC
9.4
Raw Performance

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is a wired mechanical gaming keyboard that continues Corsair's K65 lineup. This keyboard has a Compact (65%) form factor that includes dedicated arrow keys and several navigation cluster keys. It also has a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz and uses Corsair's linear optical OPX switches. Its stock keycaps are made of doubleshot PBT plastic with shine-through legends, but it also includes an alternate ABS plastic spacebar with a shine-through pattern.

During testing, we encountered several technical issues with this keyboard's FN keys, backlighting customization, and firmware update process. These issues have also been widely reported by others online. For more details, see the Configuration Software section.

Our Verdict

8.9 Gaming

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is an excellent gaming keyboard. It delivers exceptionally low latency performance with a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz and extremely sensitive optical switches, making it well-suited for playing fast-paced, competitive games. It also has impressive overall build quality with durable PBT keycaps and individually backlit keys with shine-through legends that are easy to read in darker rooms.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Exceptionally low latency.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
Cons
  • Folding feet offer only a single incline angle.
6.8 Office

While it isn't specifically designed for this use, the Corsair K65 PRO MINI is decent for office work. It has impressive overall build quality with durable PBT keycaps and two layers of sound-dampening foam inside the case. Unfortunately, while its optical switches are well-suited for fast-paced gaming, they have very short total travel pre-travel and will likely feel too sensitive for everyday typing.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Switches are very sensitive and easy to bottom out, which can be uncomfortable for everyday typing.
  • Folding feet offer only a single incline angle.
2.6 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is a wired-only keyboard that isn't suitable for use with tablets or mobile devices.

7.3 Programming

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is decent for programming use. It has impressive overall build quality, individually backlit keys, and shine-through legends that you can easily read in darker rooms. Unfortunately, it's a wired-only model that doesn't support multi-device pairing. Additionally, the optical switches are very sensitive and have short total travel and pre-travel, making them feel overly sensitive for typing. Also, because of its compact form factor, it lacks a dedicated function row, which can be an issue if your workflow depends heavily on F keys.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Switches are very sensitive and easy to bottom out, which can be uncomfortable for everyday typing.
  • No dedicated F-row.
  • No dedicated macro keys.
  • Folding feet offer only a single incline angle.
2.8 Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is terrible for an entertainment or home theater PC setup since it's a wired-only model, requiring you to sit quite close to your computer to use it. And while it has impressive overall build quality and individually backlit keys with shine-through keycaps, it lacks dedicated media controls.

Pros
  • Impressive overall build quality.
Cons
  • No dedicated media keys.
  • Wired-only.
9.4 Raw Performance
  • 8.9 Gaming
  • 6.8 Office
  • 2.6 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.3 Programming
  • 2.8 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 9.4 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: We've concerted this review to Test Bench 1.3.1, which adds a new estimated PCB latency test to the Single-Key Latency section and a new Analog test to the Switches section of this review. You can see the full changelog here.
  2. Updated Oct 16, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.3, which overhauls how key input is evaluated. We've added new tests for Single Key Latency, Multi Key Latency, Data Transmission, and Chord Split. We've also introduced a new Raw Performance usage and adjusted how the Gaming and Office usage scores are calculated. You can see the full changelog here.
  3. Updated Sep 21, 2023: Review published.
  4. Updated Aug 29, 2023: Early access published.
  5. Updated Aug 24, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  6. Updated Aug 10, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  7. Updated Jul 28, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is only available in a black color option, and no variants are available at the time of writing. You can see the label of the unit we bought and tested here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is a continuation of Corsair's K65 lineup of mechanical gaming keyboards. This new model has a slightly larger footprint and includes dedicated arrow keys and several navigation keys, which its predecessor, the Corsair K65 RGB MINI, lacks. Additionally, while the previous version used mechanical switches, the new K65 PRO MINI uses Corsair's linear optical OPX switches— optical switches typically being more durable and offering a potential performance benefit as they don't require traditional debouncing like a mechanical switch.

This keyboard leverages these extremely lightweight, low pre-travel optical switches with its maximum polling rate of 8000Hz to minimize gaming latency, while its Compact (65%) layout seeks to strike a balance between the greater functionality offered by larger 75% or TKL form factors and more minimal 60% layouts which typically require you to memorize more hotkey combinations.

For more recommendations, see our picks for the best keyboard, the best mechanical keyboard, and the best gaming keyboard.

Corsair K65 RGB MINI

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the Corsair K65 PRO MINI are wired mechanical gaming keyboards in the same product lineup. The K65 RGB MINI is slightly smaller and has a compact (60%) form factor. It's available in several linear Cherry MX mechanical switch options. On the other hand, the K65 PRO MINI uses CORSAIR linear OPX optical switches. It's also slightly larger with a compact (65%) form factor, so it has dedicated arrow keys and several navigation keys, which the K65 RGB MINI lacks.

Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI and the Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS are mechanical gaming keyboards. The K65 PRO MINI is a wired-only model that uses Corsair's linear OPX optical switches. It's also slightly larger with a compact (65%) form factor, so it has dedicated arrow keys and several navigation keys, which the K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS lacks. On the other hand, the K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS is a wireless model with a compact (60%) form factor and is available with Cherry MX or Cherry MX Speed mechanical switches.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are wired mechanical gaming keyboards. The Razer has a compact (60%) form factor and is available with linear or clicky Razer optical switches. On the other hand, the Corsair is only available with linear optical switches. It also has a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz and a slightly larger 65% form factor, so it includes dedicated arrow keys and several navigation keys, which the Razer lacks.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are wired mechanical gaming keyboards. The Corsair uses liner OPX optical switches and has a higher maximum polling rate of 8000Hz. It's also slightly larger, with a compact (65%) form factor that includes dedicated arrow keys and several navigation keys, which the SteelSeries lacks. On the other hand, the SteelSeries uses optical OmniPoint 2.0 switches, allowing you to customize individual keys' pre-travel distance.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Compact (65%)
Height
1.5" (3.7 cm)
Width 12.4" (31.5 cm)
Depth
4.2" (10.6 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.46 lbs (0.661 kg)

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI has a Compact (65%) form factor. It has dedicated arrow keys and includes several keys from the navigation cluster, including a Page Up, Page Down, and Delete key.

Note: This keyboard is slightly larger than its predecessor, the Corsair K65 RGB MINI, which, despite its name, actually has a smaller Compact (60%) form factor.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

This keyboard has impressive overall build quality. The bottom case is made of plastic, the faceplate is made of brushed aluminum, and the entire deck exhibits minimal flexing. The majority of the keycaps are made of doubleshot PBT plastic, except for the keycap with the Corsair logo in the top right corner and the alternate "Radiant Spacebar," both of which are made of thinner ABS plastic, which feels cheaper and less durable.

Four rubber strips on the underside of the keyboard do a fairly good job of keeping the keyboard in place while using it, and there are additional rubber pieces on the bottom of the plastic flip-out incline feet.

Additionally, there are two layers of sound-dampening foam inside the case, but the impact this has on the sound and feel of the keyboard is minimal compared to many other keyboards with added foam layers.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
Home Row Height
31.2 mm (1.2")

This keyboard provides acceptable ergonomics with a standard, high-profile design. There isn't an included wrist rest, but plastic flip-out incline feet on the back edge of the keyboard provide a single incline option.

8.9
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
Yes
Stabilizer Fixation
Plate-Mounted
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
6.25u
Size Of Right Mod Keys
1.25u
Hot-Swappable Switches
Yes
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Non-Cherry Pinout
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
No

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI provides impressive hardware customizability. It has plate-mounted stabilizers, and the switches have standard Cherry MX Style switch stems and standard-sized spacebar and right modifier keys. While technically, the PCB is hot-swappable, it's only compatible with CORSAIR OPX switches. Note that these switches lack traditional pinouts, so you can orient the switches South-facing for better compatibility with some aftermarket Cherry MX-Style keycaps.

In their stock configuration, the switches are oriented North-facing, which provides better clarity for the stock shine-through keycaps.

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 backlit keys. You can customize the lighting directly on the keyboard using hotkey combinations or using the configuration software.

Note: The above images include the ABS 'Radiant Spacebar,' which is included in the box as an alternative spacebar with a shine-through pattern. The default PBT plastic spacebar, installed by default out of the box, does not have a shine-through pattern. You can see a comparison image of the stock PBT spacebar and the patterned 'Radiant Spacebar' here.

8.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

This keyboard provides great backlight clarity, and the keycap legends are easy to read in darker rooms. That said, some minor obstructions are visible, and the white-only lighting has a slight blueish tint.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 6.1 ft (1.9 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard includes a detachable, braided USB-A to USB-C cable. It retains some kinks from its packaging.

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

This is a wired-only keyboard; you can't use it wirelessly.

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

This keyboard has no dedicated macro keys, but you can record macros to any key directly on the keyboard or using the configuration software.

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

This keyboard has various extra features, including caps and scroll lock indicators, a PlayStation compatibility mode, and 8 MB of onboard storage for saving macros and custom profile settings directly to the board.

This keyboard also supports a variety of secondary hotkey functions, many of which are labeled on the front of keys. You can find a full list of hotkey combinations in the user guide that you can see in digital form on Corsair's website here.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K65 PRO MINI keyboard
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Alternate ABS plastic "Radiant Spacebar" with shine-through pattern
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality
Key Spacing
19.0 mm (0.748")

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI offers good typing quality overall. The PBT keycaps feel very durable and have a standard OEM profile and a pleasant, slightly textured finish. Key stability is fairly good, with relatively minor wobbling, and despite being a compact keyboard, the layout doesn't feel cramped. The stabilizers are satisfactory but make a noticeable rattling sound, especially with the default PBT plastic spacebar. Using the alternate ABS "Radiant Spacebar" makes the sound profile slightly less high-pitched but doesn't mute the rattling. This type of stabilizer rattle is very common for gaming keyboards at this price point.

There are also two layers of sound-dampening foam inside the board, but this foam doesn't quite absorb sound or significantly affect the feel compared to some keyboards with added layers of case foam.

8.1
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
49.4 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI is quiet and unlikely to bother anyone around you. Note that we conducted this test with the stock default PBT plastic spacebar installed.

If you're interested in a sound comparison between the default PBT plastic spacebar and the alternate "Radiant Spacebar," which is made of ABS plastic, you can see a separate video here.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
CORSAIR OPX
Switch Type
Optical
Feel
Linear
Analog
No

This keyboard uses linear CORSAIR OPX optical switches. At the time of writing, you can't buy this keyboard with any other switch types.

If you see this keyboard available with other switch types, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
35 gf
Actuation Force
35 gf
Pre-Travel
0.9 mm
Total Travel
3.1 mm

The optical CORSAIR OPX switches are very lightweight and have extremely short pre-travel distances, making them feel exceptionally responsive. Also note that the total travel distance is noticeably shorter than most switches, which can take some time to get used to and may feel somewhat abrupt if you prefer bottoming out your inputs. These switches are ideal for playing fast-paced or competitive games but will feel overly sensitive for most people for normal typing.

Performance
9.8
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
0.8 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ±0.1 ms
Wired
0.8 ms
Receiver
N/A
Bluetooth
N/A
PCB (Estimated)
0.0 ms

The Corsair K65 PRO MINI has exceptionally low latency performance. This test was conducted at the maximum polling rate setting of 8000Hz and with the Key Switch Debounce Time set to its lowest setting (0ms).

9.5
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Wired
Key Press
0.9 ms
Key Release
8.5 ms
9.6
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Wired
USB Polling Rate
8,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
8,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
Yes
8.3
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
5.1 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
8.7 ms
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, which is easy to use and understand, but some options are somewhat clunky. You can customize a wide range of settings, including key assignments, macros, RGB lighting effects, polling rates, and key switch debounce time. You can also save your custom settings to the keyboard's onboard storage.

That said, much 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.

Note: Out of the box, this keyboard presented a number of significant technical issues. It would freeze and become unresponsive whenever you pressed the FN button, which prevented combination keys from being used. Attempting to customize the backlighting would also result in a full freeze state. There are fairly widespread reports of others experiencing this issue online. In both these cases, we needed to unplug and reconnect the keyboard to get it to work again.

We also experienced additional issues when attempting to update this keyboard to the latest firmware on Windows. The update process failed repeatedly, and iCUE failed to recognize the keyboard. It's also a widely reported issue online.

We could only circumvent this issue by downloading the firmware update on a separate macOS computer; after that, iCUE properly recognized the keyboard on both Windows and macOS. The FN key and backlighting issues were also resolved, and we encountered no other issues. If you have this keyboard and want to share your experiences, reach out to us in the forums.

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 desktop operating systems. In Windows, the software is available, and all default key functions work as expected.

For macOS, the iCUE software is available, but the Print Screen hotkey acts like an F13 key, the F11 key minimizes the active window, and the "Pause" hotkey increases screen brightness.

For Linux, the software isn't compatible, but all default key functions work as expected.

0
Software and Operating System
Wireless Mobile Compatibility
Android
Not Compatible
iOS
Not Compatible
iPadOS
Not Compatible
Media Key Compatibility
Not Compatible

This is a wired-only keyboard that isn't compatible with mobile operating systems.