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Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 18, 2020 at 08:30 am
Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE Picture
7.8
Mixed usage
8.9
Gaming
0.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
7.8
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is an excellent mechanical gaming keyboard that features Cherry MX Speed switches. These switches have a very short pre-travel distance and low actuation force, allowing you to react at lightning speed when gaming. Its aluminum-reinforced board feels sturdy, it has dedicated media controls, and even though the backlighting is limited to a single red color, the keys are individually-lit, so you can create great lighting effects. It comes with a wrist rest and it's fairly comfortable to type on for long periods; however, some may find the key spacing too wide and the switches too sensitive for general typing. Every key is programmable, but sadly, there aren't any dedicated macro keys.

Our Verdict

7.8 Mixed usage

Overall, the Corsair K70 is a good keyboard. It's well-built, it has good ergonomics, and it provides a great typing experience that feels light and responsive. It has backlighting if you like working or gaming in the dark, dedicated media controls, and you can reassign or set a macro to any key. Unfortunately, some people may find the wide key spacing a bit tiring, and the Cherry MX Speed switches can be too sensitive for typing due to their extremely low pre-travel distance. Also, they don't provide any tactile feedback.

Pros
  • Light typing experience.
  • Dedicated media controls.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Some keys don't work on macOS.
  • Wide key spacing can be tiring for some.
8.9 Gaming

The Corsair K70 is an excellent gaming keyboard. Its Cherry MX Speed switches have a short pre-travel distance and low actuation force, making the keys feel incredibly responsive and easy to press. There's very little flex to the board, the ergonomics are good, and there's backlighting, although it's limited to a single color. All keys are macro-programmable, but there aren't any dedicated macro keys for MMO games.

Pros
  • Light typing experience.
  • Good software support.
  • Good build quality.
  • Macro-programmable keys.
Cons
  • Wide key spacing can be tiring for some.
0.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K70 is a wired-only keyboard and can't be used with mobile devices.

7.8 Office

The Corsair K70 is a good keyboard for office use. The build quality is good and it has great compatibility with most desktop operating systems. It's a comfortable keyboard to type on due to the included wrist rest and multiple incline settings, but the wide key spacing can be fatiguing and can also cause more typos. The Cherry MX Speed switches can be too sensitive for typing and they don't provide any tactile feedback, which some may not like. On the bright side, they don't generate a lot of typing noise, so it shouldn't be bothersome to those around you.

Pros
  • Light typing experience.
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Quiet typing noise.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Some keys don't work on macOS.
  • Wide key spacing can be tiring for some.
7.8 Programming

The Corsair K70 is a good keyboard for programmers. It's well-built, it has macro-programmable keys, and it has backlighting for those who like to work in the dark. It comes with a wrist rest and is fairly comfortable to type on, and the Cherry MX Speed switches provide a great typing experience. However, some people may not like typing on linear switches due to the lack of tactile feedback, and switches' high sensitivity can lead to more typos.

Pros
  • Light typing experience.
  • Good ergonomics.
  • Good build quality.
  • Macro-programmable keys.
Cons
  • Some keys don't work on macOS.
  • No software support for Linux.
  • Wide key spacing can be tiring for some.
  • 7.8 Mixed usage
  • 8.9 Gaming
  • 0.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 7.8 Programming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.5" (3.9 cm)
Width 17.2" (43.8 cm)
Depth 6.5" (16.5 cm)
Weight 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is a large full-size keyboard that takes a fair amount of desk space, and more so if you choose to use the included wrist rest.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Corsair K70's build quality is good and almost identical to the Corsair K70 RGB MK.2. The frame is mostly plastic with an aluminum plate on top to provide rigidity. The aluminum plate looks and feels premium, there's very little flex, but the edges are sharp and can potentially cause injury. Except for the slightly wobbly spacebar, the keys are stable and the volume wheel feels high-quality. The ABS keycaps are decent; however, they gather oil and smudge pretty easily. The wrist rest is also plastic with a soft rubber material on top. It feels a bit cheaper in quality compared to the rest of the keyboard but gets the job done.

If you want a keyboard with better build quality, check out the Razer Huntsman Elite.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
2
Wrist Rest Detachable

The Corsair K70 has good ergonomics. There are two sets of feet that allow you to create either a positive or a negative incline. The negative incline is to prevent the wrists from bending downwards, which is a feature often seen on ergonomic keyboards such as the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard. You can also have the entire keyboard raised with both sets of feet. The wrist rest is comfortable enough and is detachable, but it's hard to remove. Lastly, the keys are widely-spaced and can be fatiguing for some.

8.7
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color Red
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

The Corsair K70 has red backlighting and the keys are individually-lit. Customization is done through software only, but the brightness can be controlled on the keyboard itself or through software. The dedicated button allows you to cycle through three brightness settings or turn the backlight off completely. If you want a full-sized keyboard with RGB backlighting, look into the Ducky One 2 or the Corsair STRAFE RGB MK.2.

Design
Cable
Detachable
No
Length 6.6 ft (2.0 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Not Detachable

The cable is thick, braided, and retains kinks easily. There are two USB connectors, one for the functioning of the keyboard itself, and the other is for the USB passthrough.

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

This is a wired-only keyboard.

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

The Corsair K70 has many extra features. It has a button to control the backlight's brightness, a Windows lock button, and dedicated media controls, which include a volume wheel. You can reassign or set a macro to any key; however, it can only be done through software. There's a USB passthrough and next to it, is a physical switch with five options. The numbers 1, 2, 4, and 5 are polling rate settings, and we recommend using '1', which is the highest polling rate at 1000Hz. The fifth option is the BIOS setting, which is used to resolve compatibility issues with some computers' BIOS and with KVM switches.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE keyboard
  • Wrist rest
  • Keycap remover
  • Extra textured keycaps: 2x W, 2x D, A, S, R, E, F, Q
  • User guide

Note that the two extra Ws have the same shape, but the Ds have different shapes.

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Cherry MX Speed
Feel
Linear
Actuation Force
44.6 gf
Pre-Travel
1.12 mm
Total Travel
3.46 mm

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE uses Cherry MX Speed switches. They have a very low pre-travel distance that makes the keyboard feel incredibly responsive and the low actuation force makes the keys very easy to actuate. This is great for gaming but can be a bit too sensitive for general typing, as it can lead to more typos, especially for those who like to rest their fingers on the keys. These switches are linear, so they don't provide any tactile feedback.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The typing experience is great. For gaming, the Cherry MX Speed switches feel incredibly responsive and the keys are very easy to press, so you can spam a key repeatedly at a faster rate. For typing, it comes down to personal preference. If you aren't accustomed to typing on linear switches, the lack of tactile feedback can take a while to get used to and will likely cause most people to bottom out the keys, as there's no feedback to indicate the actuation point. The ABS keycaps feel good to type on, and with the exception of the spacebar, most keys are stable. The wide key spacing can be fatiguing for some and can also lead to more typos at first.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The typing noise is quiet, so you shouldn't have any issues using this keyboard in a quiet office setting. However, it can get loud if you tend to bottom out the keys when typing.

Software and Operating System
7.5
Software and Operating System
Software
Software iCUE
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
No
Cloud Sync
No
Backlight Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The Corsair K70 uses the iCUE software for customization. It allows you to program macros, reassign keys, and customize the backlighting with different lighting effects. You can create and save as many profiles as you want within the software. This keyboard is advertised to have onboard memory; however, we couldn't save any profiles onto it. There have been reports from users experiencing this issue, as well as an issue with the backlighting turning off completely when closing the iCUE software. If you want a keyboard with onboard memory, check out the Razer BlackWidow.

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

Compatibility is decent. It's fully compatible with Windows and everything works as intended. On Linux, all the keys function properly, but there's no software support, so customization is limited. On macOS, only the Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, and the Stop (media control) don't work.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We reviewed the Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE mechanical gaming keyboard. It's available in various configurations, which you can see in the table below.

Model Switch type  Color  Backlighting
K70 RAPIDFIRE Cherry MX Speed Black Red
K70 LUX Cherry MX Brown, Red, Blue Black Red
K70 RGB MK.2 Cherry MX Brown, Red, Blue, Speed, and Silent Black RGB
K70 RGB MK.2 Low Profile RAPIDFIRE Cherry MX Low Profile Speed, Low Profile Red Black RGB
K70 RGB MK.2 SE Cherry MX Speed White RGB

If someone notices that their K70 RAPIDFIRE doesn't correspond to our review, please let us know in the discussions.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is an excellent gaming keyboard. However, there are better options in its price range that have significantly better build quality and full RGB backlighting, such as the Razer BlackWidow Elite. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

Corsair K68 RGB

Overall, the Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is a bit better than the Corsair K68 RGB. The K70 has a better build quality, a volume wheel, and a USB passthrough. However, the K68 has full RGB backlighting, while the K70 is limited to a single color. The typing experience is great on both and largely comes down to personal preference. The Cherry MX Speed switches on the K70 are more responsive, but some people may not like typing on linear switches. With the K68, you can choose between Cherry MX Blue or Red.

Razer BlackWidow

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is better overall than the Razer BlackWidow for most uses. The Corsair has a wrist, dedicated media keys, a USB passthrough, and it has a better typing quality. However, the Razer has onboard memory and it has full RGB backlighting.

Razer Huntsman

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is marginally better than the Razer Huntsman. The Corsair has dedicated media controls that include a volume wheel, a USB passthrough, and it comes with a wrist rest. On the other hand, the Razer has a better build quality and full RGB backlighting. The Cherry MX Speed switches on the Corsair feel more responsive due to their shorter pre-travel distance, they don't provide tactile feedback, and they generate very little typing noise. On the Razer, the Razer Optical switches require less force to actuate, and they're tactile and clicky like Cherry MX Blues.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The Razer BlackWidow Elite is better than the Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE for most uses. The Razer has a much better build quality and full RGB backlighting. The Razer Orange switches on our unit of the Razer provide a better typing experience; however, the Cherry MX Speed switches on the Corsair are more responsive and require less force to initiate a keypress. The Razer has a few switch options that you can choose from, but in the case of the Corsair, there's only one option.

Ducky One 2

The Ducky One 2 is better than Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE for the most part. The Ducky is available in a variety of switches and with full RGB backlighting, it's better-built, and it has a detachable USB-C cable. However, the Corsair has dedicated software and it comes with a wrist rest.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL

For most uses, the SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL is better than the Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE. The SteelSeries has full RGB backlighting, a customizable OLED screen, and its build quality is significantly better. The typing experience is very different between the Cherry MX Speed switches on the Corsair and the SteelSeries Brown switches on the SteelSeries. The MX Speeds are linear, they have a much shorter pre-travel distance, and don't make a lot of typing noise. The SteelSeries Brown switches act more like Cherry MX Browns, which are tactile but quiet. The SteelSeries is available with other switch options, but the Corsair is only available with the Cherry MX Speeds.

HyperX Alloy Elite 2

The Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE is a bit better than the HyperX Alloy Elite 2. The Corsair comes with a wrist rest, the switches have a much lower pre-travel distance, and it offers better typing quality. However, the HyperX has onboard memory and full RGB backlighting.

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