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Corsair K65 RGB MINI Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Apr 21, 2021 at 09:51 am
Latest change: Test bench update Nov 29, 2023 at 09:32 am
Corsair K65 RGB MINI Picture
9.0
Gaming
7.0
Office
3.0
Mobile/Tablet
7.7
Programming
3.0
Entertainment / HTPC
9.1
Raw Performance

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is an outstanding compact 60% gaming keyboard with a sturdy feeling build and exceptionally low latency. It's also one of Corsair's first keyboards to have an advertised 8000Hz polling rate, though this isn't something we test for, specifically. While it doesn't have many extra features, its controls are highly customizable. You can set macros to all keys and make other adjustments directly on the keyboard or using the iCUE companion software. It also has full RGB lighting with individually-lit keys and provides a very light and responsive feeling typing quality with the linear MX Cherry Speed switches on the unit we tested. Unfortunately, it lacks a wrist rest, and there are no adjustable incline settings.

Our Verdict

9.0 Gaming

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is an excellent gaming keyboard that feels very well-built and has remarkably low latency. It's one of Corsair's first keyboards advertised as having an 8000Hz polling rate. However, we don't test polling rates specifically. The Cherry MX Speed switches on the unit we tested have very short pre-travel and require very light force to actuate, resulting in a very responsive feel. It also has full RGB lighting, and all keys are macro-programmable. That said, the ergonomics are mediocre, as it doesn't have an included wrist rest or any adjustable incline settings.

Pros
  • Remarkably low latency.
  • Outstanding build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest or multiple incline settings.
7.0 Office

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is decent for office work. It's sturdy-feeling, and the Cherry MX Speed keys on our unit are quiet and offer a very responsive feeling typing quality. However, they don't provide tactile feedback, and it may take some time to get used to their sensitivity. It also has companion software for customization that's compatible with Windows and macOS, and the compact 60% form factor leaves plenty of free space on your desk. Unfortunately, the ergonomics are mediocre. It doesn't have a wrist rest or adjustable incline settings, so you may experience fatigue when typing for long periods.

Pros
  • Companion software is compatible with Windows and macOS.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest or multiple incline settings.
3.0 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is a wired keyboard and isn't designed for use with tablets or mobile devices.

7.7 Programming

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is very good for programming. It has a sturdy-feeling build, full RGB backlighting, and companion software for customization compatible with Windows and macOS. The software isn't compatible with Linux, but all the keys work. While it lacks dedicated macro keys, there are plenty of preset functions and two layers of controls. You can also set macros to any key, either directly on the keyboard or using the software. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a wrist rest or adjustable incline settings, and it can't connect to wireless devices.

Pros
  • Outstanding build quality.
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Doesn't have a wrist rest or multiple incline settings.
  • No dedicated macro keys.
3.0 Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is a poor keyboard for home theatre use as it can't be connected wirelessly and doesn't have a trackpad for navigating menus. While it has media hotkeys, It doesn't have a volume wheel or any dedicated media keys. That said, it has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys, and the companion software is compatible with both Windows and macOS.

Pros
  • Full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.
Cons
  • Wired-only.
  • No dedicated media keys.
9.1 Raw Performance

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI delivers excellent raw performance. The Cherry MX Speed switches on the unit we tested have very minimal pre-travel and release-travel, producing remarkable single- and multi-key latency. While this keyboard has a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz, its effective update rate is only 4000Hz. That said, this doesn't impact performance in a significant way.

  • 9.0 Gaming
  • 7.0 Office
  • 3.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.7 Programming
  • 3.0 Entertainment / HTPC
  • 9.1 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Nov 29, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Updated Nov 15, 2023: We've found that latency results are impacted by the placement of the testing solenoid, so we retested this keyboard for consistency with other reviews. This review has been updated, and you can find more information regarding this retest here.
  3. Updated Sep 21, 2023: We've added a link to the newly-reviewed Corsair K65 PRO MINI to the Dimensions section of this review.
  4. Updated Aug 30, 2023: We've added text to this review for the new tests added in TBU 1.3.
  5. Updated Aug 30, 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.
  6. Updated Jun 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.
  7. Updated Apr 26, 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.
  8. Updated Aug 19, 2022: Added in a comparison to the newly reviewed Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS.
  9. Updated Apr 21, 2021: Review published.
  10. Updated Apr 15, 2021: Early access published.
  11. Updated Apr 13, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  12. Updated Apr 09, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  13. Updated Mar 28, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is an update of the Corsair K65 LUX RGB in a smaller form factor, and it's available in both black and white colorways. Our unit has MX Cherry Speed switches which seem to be the only switch type available in North America. However, we've read reports that it's also available with MX Cherry Red and MX Cherry Silent Red switches in other regions. If you come across this keyboard with different switches, please let us know in the discussions. You can see the label for our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is Corsair's first compact 60% keyboard, and it's among the first keyboards to have an advertised 8000Hz polling rate. While we found this keyboard has remarkably low latency, it may come down to individual opinion if this feature has tangible benefits for you. All in all, this is a gaming keyboard with remarkable performance. It's well suited to fans of small form factor keyboards and has plenty of customizable control possibilities, especially if you don't mind memorizing macro combinations.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best gaming keyboards, and the best mechanical keyboards.

Razer Huntsman Mini

The Razer Huntsman Mini and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are outstanding compact 60% gaming keyboards with similar performance and features but different switch types available. The Razer has multiple keyboard incline settings and is available with Razer Clicky Optical or Linear Optical switches. On the other hand, the Corsair has more stable keys, rubber feet with better grip, a much higher maximum polling rate, and linear Cherry MX Speed switches.

HyperX Alloy Origins 60

The HyperX Alloy Origins 60 and the Corsair K65 RGB Mini are wired gaming keyboards with comparable performance and compact 60% form factors. The HyperX has multiple incline settings and comes with linear HyperX Red switches. Unfortunately, its companion software isn't compatible with macOS, and it isn't available in any other switch types. Also, the RGB lighting has poor color mixing as the white displays a noticeable bluish-purple tint. On the other hand, the Corsair has better latency, companion software compatible with Windows and macOS, and linear Cherry MX Speed switches.

Corsair K65 PRO 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.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini are both compact gaming keyboards, but the SteelSeries has a feature that allows you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, meaning you can set the sensitivity of your keypresses to where it feels best for you. On the other hand, the Corsair has a maximum polling rate of 8000Hz for incredibly low latency.

Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS are both compact (60%) gaming keyboards. The major difference between the two is that the K65 RGB MINI is wired-only, while the K70 PRO MINI has wireless connection options. Another feature of the K70 PRO MINI is that it's hot-swappable, so you can change out the stock switches for most 3-pin switches of your choosing without soldering. Otherwise, the two offer very similar in-game performance.

Corsair K70 RGB TKL

The Corsair K70 RGB TKL and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are fantastic gaming keyboards with similar features. The K70 is TenKeyLess, so it has a function row, control pad, and dedicated arrow keys, which the 60% K65 doesn't have. In terms of performance, they're very similar with low click latency, macro-programmable keys, and the units we tested each have Cherry MX Speed switches. The K65 has onboard memory, which the K70 doesn't. However, the K70 has better ergonomics because it has an incline setting.

HyperX Alloy Origins

The HyperX Alloy Origins and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are both outstanding mechanical gaming keyboards. The HyperX is a full-size keyboard with two incline settings and ABS keycaps. Its companion software allows you to sync settings with the cloud, but it isn't compatible with macOS. It's available with linear HyperX Red, tactile Aqua, or clicky Blue switches. On the other hand, The Corsair is a compact 60% keyboard with PBT keycaps and an 8000Hz maximum polling rate. Its companion software is compatible with Windows and macOS but can't sync settings to the cloud. It's available with linear Cherry MX Speed switches. The Corsair has lower latency, but both keyboards have exceptionally low latency.

HyperX Alloy Origins 65

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the HyperX Alloy Origins 65 are both compact, mechanical gaming keyboards, with a few notable differences. The Corsair has a 60% form-factor, so it doesn't have dedicated arrow keys like the HyperX. Also, the Corsair has better latency and allows you to program macros directly on the keyboard without the software. On the other hand, the HyperX has incline settings for better ergonomics. 

Ducky One 2 Mini V2

The Ducky One 2 Mini V2 and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are compact 60% keyboards. The Ducky is a keyboard better suited for a variety of uses. It has multiple incline settings, and it's available with a range of Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches. However, it feels slightly less sturdily built, and the feet sometimes collapse when you move the keyboard. On the other hand, the Corsair is a better gaming keyboard with remarkably lower latency and linear Cherry MX Speed switches.

Razer Huntsman Mini Analog

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the Razer Huntsman Mini Analog are both wired, compact mechanical keyboards designed for gaming. They perform similarly, but the Corsair has slightly better latency and feels better-built. On the other hand, the Razer has two incline settings for better ergonomics, and it has a feature that allows you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis. Also, the Razer has an "Analog Mode" that emulates joystick controls when enabled.

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless are compact (60%) gaming keyboards with some major differences. The Corsair is a wired-only unit that only comes with linear Cherry MX Speed switches, which have a short pre-travel and light actuation force that's great for gaming. The SteelSeries is a wireless model that only comes with SteelSeries' proprietary OmniPoint 2.0 switches, which allow you to adjust the pre-travel distance on a per-key basis, so you have complete control over the sensitivity of your keypresses.

Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition

Both the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are outstanding mechanical gaming keyboards. The Razer is a TenKeyLess keyboard with two incline settings and Razer Linear Optical switches that have a shorter pre-travel and require a lower operating force but offer only an okay typing experience. On the other hand, the Corsair is a compact 60% keyboard with linear Cherry MX Speed switches that offer a great typing quality, though the pre-travel is slightly longer and the operating force is somewhat higher. Both keyboards have remarkably low latency, and while the Corsair's is marginally lower, it's unlikely to be a noticeable difference.

ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the ROCCAT Vulcan II Mini Air are gaming keyboards with compact form factors. The Corsair is a Compact (60%), wired-only model with better overall latency performance, better build quality, and a higher 8000Hz polling rate. It's available in several Cherry MX switch options. On the other hand, the ROCCAT has a slightly larger Compact (65%) form factor. It also has low-profile keycaps that better showcase the keyboard's RGB lighting.

Obinslab Anne Pro 2

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI and the Obinslab Anne Pro 2 are compact 60% form factor keyboards with similar features. The Corsair is a better gaming keyboard with exceptionally low click latency and Cherry MX Speed switches. The Obinslab is a more versatile all-around keyboard that you can connect wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth, and you can wirelessly pair with up to four devices. It's available with a range of Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh switches. Unfortunately, its alphanumeric keys aren't as stable, and its companion software isn't as user-friendly. Also, its RGB lighting has poor color mixing as the white displays a noticeable pinkish hue.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI are both exceptional mechanical gaming keyboards, but the SteelSeries is a more versatile keyboard. The SteelSeries is a full-size keyboard with an adjustable incline setting and a detachable wrist rest. It also has ABS keycaps, a keyboard wheel, a USB passthrough, and its companion software allows you to sync settings with the cloud. It has linear Razer OmniPoint switches that let you adjust the pre-travel distance, but they have no tactile feedback. The Corsair is a compact 60% keyboard with PBT keycaps. It has linear Cherry MX Speed switches with low pre-travel and feel very responsive but also provide no tactile feedback. Both keyboards have exceptionally low latency, and while the Corsair's is lower, it's unlikely to be a noticeable difference.

Fnatic miniSTREAK

The Corsair K65 RGB Mini and the Fnatic miniSTREAK are both small-form mechanical keyboards, but the Corsair is a compact 60%, and the Fnatic is a TenKeyLess. This difference allows the Fnatic to have a dedicated function row and dedicated arrow keys instead of secondary functions like on the Corsair. If having the lowest latency possible matters a lot to you, the Corsair may be a better choice since its latency is significantly lower than the Fnatic, and it's one of the lowest we've tested. Both boards are available with linear switches only; the Corsair has Cherry MX Speed switches, and the Fnatic is available with either Cherry MX Silent Red switches or Kailh Speed Silver switches.

Keychron K6

The Keychron K6 is a more versatile keyboard, and the Corsair K65 RGB MINI is a better gaming keyboard. The Keychron is a compact 65% keyboard that you can use wired or wirelessly via Bluetooth, and you can wirelessly pair up to three devices. It has ABS keycaps, two incline settings, but no companion software for customization. It's available with tactile Gateron Brown, linear Red, and clicky Blue switches. The Corsair is wired-only but has better latency, PBT keycaps, a Windows Lock key, and all its keys are macro-programmable either onboard or using the companion software, which is compatible with Windows and macOS. It's only available with linear Cherry MX Speed switches.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Compact (60%)
Height
1.7" (4.3 cm)
Width 11.5" (29.3 cm)
Depth
4.1" (10.3 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.25 lbs (0.568 kg)

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is a compact 60% keyboard that doesn't take up a lot of space on desks. If you want a compact keyboard that comes with dedicated arrow keys, check out the Corsair K65 PRO MINI or the HyperX Alloy Origins 65.

9.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material PBT

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI has outstanding build quality with a plastic case and a white metal base plate that feels durable and doesn't flex. The keycaps are doubleshot PBT and have a texture that offers a bit of grip. There's an extra spacebar included without a patterned RGB passthrough and one extra alphanumeric key with a Corsair logo, but both are ABS plastic. The keys are extremely stable, and even larger function keys only have minor wobbling, and there are four rubber pads on the bottom of the board that feel grippy and don't slip when you nudge the keyboard.

6.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Home Row Height
35.3 mm (1.4")

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI has mediocre ergonomics. There are no adjustable incline settings and no included wrist rest.

6.0
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
No
Switch Stem Shape
Cherry MX Style
Switch PCB Socket
Soldered
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Yes
10
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
Yes
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI has outstanding RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys.

9.0
Design
Backlight Clarity

The white-only backlighting has outstanding clarity, but there's a noticeable blue hue.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
Yes (Wired Only Keyboard)
Length 6.0 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
USB type-C

This keyboard has a braided USB-C to USB-A cable.

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

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly. If you'd like a wireless compact board, check out the ASUS ROG Falchion.

5.5
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
Yes
Macro Programming With Software
Yes
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 a limited amount of extra features, mostly related to customization. It has media hotkeys, and you can adjust settings and set macros to any key directly on the board in Hardware Mode or using the software in Software Mode. It also has over 30 preset secondary controls and two layers of functions accessible using the dedicated Fn key and the Fn2 hotkey.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K65 RGB MINI Keyboard
  • Alternate ABS spacebar with "radiant" RGB passthrough
  • Alternate ABS keycap with Corsair logo
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Keycap puller
  • User manuals

Note: Our photo shows the alternate ABS spacebar with "Radiant" RGB passthrough in place of the default PBT spacebar at bottom.

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

The Corsair K65 RGB Mini has great typing quality. The space between keys feels normal, even if you're used to a full-sized keyboard. The keycaps have a slight texture and feel pleasant to type on, and all the keys are very stable and actuate evenly. The Cherry MX Speed switches on our unit feel very responsive, but you may have to slow down while typing to avoid accidentally registering keystrokes when getting used to them. Unfortunately, there aren't adjustable incline settings, and there's no wrist rest, so you may experience fatigue after typing for long periods.

6.7
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
56.1 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI is quiet and unlikely to bother anyone around you.

Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
Cherry MX Speed
Switch Type
Mechanical
Feel
Linear
Analog
No
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
45 gf
Actuation Force
45 gf
Pre-Travel
1.5 mm
Total Travel
3.4 mm

This keyboard has linear Cherry MX Speed switches that feel very light and responsive and have no tactile feedback. If you want a similarly performing keyboard that has a hot-swappable printed circuit board, check out the Corsair K70 PRO MINI WIRELESS.

Performance
9.7
Performance
Single-Key Latency
Best Connection
1.1 ms
Best Connection Std Dev ±0.1 ms
Wired
1.1 ms
Receiver
N/A
Bluetooth
N/A
PCB (Estimated)
0.0 ms

The Corsair K65 RGB MINI has remarkably low single-key latency. This test was conducted at the maximum polling rate setting of 8000Hz.

9.4
Performance
Multi-Key Latency
Connection Evaluated Wired
Key Press
1.1 ms
Key Release
6.3 ms

This keyboard has outstanding multi-key latency performance. It provides very low key press and key release latency that's also extremely consistent due to the high polling and effective update rate.

8.8
Performance
Data Transmission
Connection Evaluated Wired
USB Polling Rate
8,000 Hz
Effective Update Rate
4,000 Hz
N-Key Rollover (NKRO)
Yes
Multiple Keys Per USB Report
No

This keyboard supports a polling rate of 8000Hz from your computer but can only provide an effective update rate of 4000Hz. However, this discrepancy doesn't significantly impact the overall raw performance, which is excellent.

7.7
Performance
Chord Split
4 Chord Split Delay
6.2 ms
8 Chord Split Delay
12.1 ms

This keyboard has good chord split performance with relatively low 4-chord and 8-chord split delay, meaning it can quickly and accurately report many simultaneous key presses.

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+

Corsair's iCUE software offers plenty of customization for lighting effects, key assignments, Windows Key lock functions, and other settings. You can also save some settings to onboard memory to use them without the software.

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 RGB MINI's companion software is compatible with macOS, but the Scroll Lock and Print Screen buttons don't work. All keys work in Linux, but the software isn't compatible.

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