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Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Apr 02, 2020 at 08:00 am
Latest change: Test bench update Jun 21, 2023 at 12:44 pm
Corsair K83 Wireless Picture
8.4
Gaming
8.1
Mobile/Tablet
7.7
Office
7.8
Programming
8.4
Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a somewhat unique multimedia keyboard that's designed to be used comfortably with a Smart TV while sitting on the couch. It has a built-in trackpad on the right side of the keyboard, and also has a joystick in the top right, with left/right mouse click buttons on the rear, so you can navigate your PC or Smart TV while holding the keyboard with one hand. It feels quite premium overall and offers a good typing experience. The keyboard has a white backlight, and its companion software allows you to customize the lighting as well as key macros on both Windows and macOS.

Our Verdict

8.4 Gaming

While the Corsair K83 isn't designed for gaming, its keys have a very light actuation force with low pre-travel. It feels quite well-built overall, and it doesn't take up too much space on a desk. Corsair's iCUE software allows for a good amount of customization, and you can set key macros as well as customize its backlighting, which is great.

Pros
  • Macro-programmable keys.
  • White backlighting.
Cons
  • High latency even when wired.
  • Short pre-travel distance may feel too sensitive for some.
8.1 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K83 is a good keyboard for mobile use. It can connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device, and all the main typing keys will work on iOS or iPadOS, while every key works on Android. It's fairly small and lightweight, though it isn't pocketable like some other keyboards designed to work with phones.

Pros
  • Well-built and premium design.
  • Multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Spacebar of our unit makes strange squeaking sound.
  • Short pre-travel distance may feel too sensitive for some.
7.7 Office

The Corsair K83 is a good keyboard for office use. It's nice and quiet, so you shouldn't bother coworkers around you. It also has decent ergonomics and the scissor switches are light enough to not cause fatigue after typing all day.

Pros
  • Well-built and premium design.
  • Multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Spacebar of our unit makes strange squeaking sound.
  • Short pre-travel distance may feel too sensitive for some.
7.8 Programming

The Corsair K83 is an impressive programming keyboard. Its scissor-switch keys provide a good typing experience that shouldn't cause fatigue after long coding sessions. The entire keyboard is backlit, and you can set macros within the software, as well as customize the lighting options. Finally, the keyboard works well with every major OS.

Pros
  • Multi-device pairing.
  • Macro-programmable keys.
  • White backlighting.
Cons
  • Short pre-travel distance may feel too sensitive for some.
8.4 Entertainment / HTPC

The Corsair K83 is outstanding to use as a home theater PC keyboard. It's designed for this use and has everything you need to control your smart TV. It connects to any device via Bluetooth and has white backlighting if you need to use it in a dark environment. It also has a trackpad that makes it easy to navigate the on-screen menu, and it has media hotkeys.

Pros
  • Well-built and premium design.
  • Trackpad and joystick allow for multiple different input options.
  • White backlighting.
Cons
  • Spacebar of our unit makes strange squeaking sound.
  • 8.4 Gaming
  • 8.1 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.7 Office
  • 7.8 Programming
  • 8.4 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Jun 21, 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.
  2. Updated May 31, 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.
  3. Updated Dec 16, 2022: Updated the review to change the name of the product to the Corsair K83 Wireless.
  4. Updated Jan 24, 2022: Fixed error with Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing test result.
  5. Updated Aug 25, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  6. Updated Apr 02, 2020: Review published.
  7. Updated Mar 25, 2020: Our testers have started testing this product.
  8. Updated Mar 25, 2020: Early access published.
  9. Updated Mar 23, 2020: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  10. Updated Mar 18, 2020: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a good keyboard to use on the couch while connected to a Smart TV. It's similar to the AmazonBasics K4R and the Logitech K400 Plus, but it looks and feels much more premium overall. Check out our recommendations for the best keyboards, the best wireless keyboards, and the best keyboards for writers.

AmazonBasics K4R

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a better multimedia keyboard than the AmazonBasics K4R. The Corsair looks and feels much more premium, has backlighting and can connect to multiple Bluetooth devices at once, as well as to its USB receiver. It also provides a better typing experience and has dedicated companion software. On the other hand, if you're looking for an inexpensive way to add a keyboard to your Smart TV, the AmazonBasics is more budget-friendly.

Microsoft Surface Keyboard

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a better keyboard than the Microsoft Surface Keyboard. The Corsair has customizable backlighting, rechargeable batteries, a trackpad and joystick for cursor control, and companion software for customization. On the other hand, the Surface Keyboard feels more premium and has a slightly better typing quality.

ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO

The Corsair K83 Wireless and the ROCCAT Vulcan 120 AIMO are both very good keyboards designed for different uses. The Corsair is a wireless scissor-switch keyboard with a built-in trackpad designed to use while sitting on your couch. Meanwhile, the ROCCAT is a wired gaming keyboard with mechanical switches meant to stay on a desk within a gaming setup. They both feel very well-made and have excellent backlighting, but the typing experience on the ROCCAT is a little bit better thanks to its mechanical switches. On the other hand, the Corsair has better compatibility with a wide range of operating systems.

iClever Tri-Folding Keyboard BK08

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a better wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad than the iClever Tri-Folding Keyboard BK08. The Corsair feels better-built, has slightly better ergonomics, has customizable backlighting, can be used wired, offers a better typing experience, and has companion software. On the other hand, the iClever is better for taking around with you, thanks to its foldable design.

Logitech K400 Plus

The Corsair K83 Wireless is a better multimedia keyboard than the Logitech K400 Plus. The Corsair looks and feels better built, and, unlike the Logitech, it has backlighting and Bluetooth support. However, the Logitech might provide better value for some users since it's more budget-friendly.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
TenKeyLess (80%)
Height
1.1" (2.8 cm)
Width 15.0" (38.0 cm)
Depth
4.9" (12.4 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
N/A
Weight
1.08 lbs (0.488 kg)

The Corsair K83 Wireless keyboard is similar in size to most TKL keyboards, or other entertainment keyboards, like the AmazonBasics K4R. While the keyboard itself is about 0.8" thick, the joystick on the upper right-hand side sticks up to 1.1". Overall, it's small enough to use connected to a smart TV on your couch. If you want a more compact board with a TrackPoint instead of a trackpad, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad TrackPoint Keyboard II.

8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The build quality of the Corsair K83 Wireless is great. It looks and feels similar to the Logitech MX Keys and is made from a mix of metal and dense plastic. The keys, joystick, trackpad, and volume roller all feel solid and don't wobble too much. The space bar of our unit had a strange, tight feel to it that created an almost vacuum feel and a small squeak when being pressed. On certain presses, it felt like air was being forced out of the space around the key itself. We aren't sure if this is by design or an issue with our specific unit. If you own this keyboard and have experienced this, let us know in the discussions.

7.0
Design
Ergonomics
Curved/Angled
No
Split Keyboard
No
Key Alignment
Staggered
Minimum Incline
Medium Incline
N/A
Maximum Incline
N/A
Home Row Height
14.7 mm (0.6")

The ergonomics of the Corsair K83 are decent. It's a straight board with no included wrist rest, though its flat, low-profile design means you likely won't need one. Unfortunately, it sits at a permanent slant and has no incline settings.

0
Design
Hardware Customizability
Replaceable Cherry Stabilizers
No
Stabilizer Fixation
Non-Customizable Design
Spacebar Stabilizer Size
Non-Customizable Design
Size Of Right Mod Keys
Non-Standard
Hot-Swappable Switches
No
Switch Stem Shape
Non-Customizable Design
Switch PCB Socket
Non-Customizable Design
North-Facing Cherry MX Interference
Non-Customizable Design
8.0
Design
Backlight Features
Backlighting Yes
RGB
No
Per-Key Backlighting
Yes
Effects
Yes
Software Controllable
Yes

The backlighting of the K83 is outstanding. While it doesn't have RGB settings, each key is individually backlit with a white light. You can also adjust the brightness on the keyboard itself, or within the included software. There are also LED lights surrounding the trackpad, which is a nice touch.

9.0
Design
Backlight Clarity
Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wireless
Detachable
Yes (Wired Mode and Charge)
Length 6.0 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Micro USB

This keyboard can be used wirelessly or with a micro USB cable, which also charges the keyboard while you use it.

9.5
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
Yes
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
2
Proprietary Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable

The Corsair K83 Wireless has exceptional wireless versatility. It has a rechargeable battery and can connect to two Bluetooth devices, as well as one device via its proprietary USB receiver, all at once. This allows you to quickly switch between three machines, like a laptop, TV, and phone.

4.0
Design
Macro Keys And Programming
Dedicated Macro Keys Count 0
Onboard Macro Programming
No
Macro Programming With Software
Yes
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Non-Dedicated
Trackpad / Trackball Yes
Scroll Wheel
Yes
Control Knob
No
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad No
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps & Scroll Lock

The Corsair K83 is a unique media keyboard with a ton of various inputs and controls. It has a trackpad on the right-hand side with left/right-click buttons below it, so you can easily move a cursor on a Home Theatre PC or Smart TV from your couch. There's also a unique joystick in the top right corner, with left/right-click buttons on the upper-right rear of the keyboard which can be used instead of the traditional trackpad. To the left of the joystick, there's a volume scroller, and the F keys double as media control hotkeys.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K83 Wireless keyboard
  • USB receiver
  • Micro USB cable
  • Manuals

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Switches
Switch Name
No Marketed Name
Switch Type
Scissor
Feel
Tactile
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Operating Force
59 gf
Actuation Force
30 gf
Pre-Travel
1.4 mm
Total Travel
2.3 mm

The Corsair K83 uses tactile scissor switches that feel similar to other scissor-switch keyboards, like the Microsoft Surface Keyboard, but with a much lighter actuation force.

7.5
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The typing quality of this keyboard is good. Overall, the keys feel a little bit mushier than other scissor-switch keyboards, and it doesn't feel as good as some other premium keyboards, like the Apple Magic Keyboard 2017, or the Logitech MX Keys. The spacebar of our unit squeaks and feels like air is being pushed out of it while being pressed. While it shouldn't be an issue while typing, it's still noticeable and creates a sort of vacuum effect. Let us know in the discussions if you own this keyboard and have noticed this, as we aren't sure if this is by design or an issue with our specific unit. If you want a mechanical keyboard to do some gaming on your home theater PC, check out the Corsair K63 Wireless. It has a companion lapboard that makes it much easier to game while on the couch, though it's sold separately.

9.6
Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Average Loudness
40.5 dBA
High Pitch Clicks
No

This keyboard is very quiet, though the squeaking sound coming from the spacebar can be fairly loud at times.

7.4
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
9.4 ms
Latency Receiver
12.3 ms
Latency Bluetooth
23.4 ms
Software and Operating System
Software and Operating System
Configuration Software
Software Name iCUE
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes
Onboard Memory
No
Profiles
6+

The Corsair K83 is compatible with Corsair's iCUE software. This allows you to create multiple profiles and customize the lighting to be solid white, any shade of gray, or even to create a pulsing light pattern. You can also set macros to almost every key on the keyboard, and the software works on both Windows and macOS, which is great.

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

Corsair's software can be installed on both Windows and macOS, so this keyboard is fully compatible with both of those operating systems. However, on macOS, the Return Hotkey (F1) and Home Hotkey (F2) do nothing. There isn't any software on Linux, but all default functions work.

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

On Android, all default functions work. On iOS and iPadOS devices, the Return Hotkey (F1), Printscreen Hotkey, Player hotkey (F8), and the "R" button underneath the board do nothing. The trackpad also doesn't work.