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Corsair K95 PLATINUM Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 27, 2020 at 10:13 am
Corsair K95 PLATINUM Picture
8.0
Mixed usage
9.3
Gaming
0.9
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
8.0
Programming
Connectivity Wired
Size
Full-size (100%)
Mechanical
Yes

The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM is an amazing gaming keyboard, and can be used for a wide variety of uses as well. It features Cherry MX Speed linear switches, which have a very low pre-travel distance and feel quite responsive and quick. The keyboard is very well-built and also features six dedicated macro keys. It's a full RGB-lit keyboard that also has a strip for underglowing on your desk. Unfortunately, the ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap, but there's a newer model, the Corsair K95 PLATINUM XT, with double-shot PBT caps if you prefer.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed usage

The Corsair K95 RGB is a great and versatile keyboard for mixed usage. It has an amazing performance and comes with two different switches: the MX Speed linear switches should be better for gamers, while the MX Brown ones will offer better typing feedback. The board is very well-built, has dedicated macro keys, is fairly quiet for an office environment, and is fully RGB back-lit.

Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Dedicated macro and media keys.
  • Very low actuation force and pre-travel distance.
Cons
  • Need to be customized on another OS before using on Linux.
  • Not a lot of different switches options.
9.3 Gaming

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is an excellent gaming keyboard. It feels responsive thanks to the very short pre-travel, and the keys are light to press on in order to register. The build quality is great; it offers dedicated macro keys and is also fully RGB-lit, which is great for playing in the dark.

0.9 Mobile/Tablet

The Corsair K95 is wired-only and isn't designed to work with mobile devices.

7.8 Office

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is a good office keyboard. The typing quality of this keyboard is great with linear Cherry MX Speed keys, but some might prefer going with the MX brown variant, as those switches provide a more tactile feedback with a bump before the actuation force, but we didn't test that variant. The keyboard also comes with a nice wrist rest, which helps with the ergonomics, and is quiet enough to not disturb surrounding colleagues.

8.0 Programming

The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM is a great programming keyboard. The typing experience is great, but the short travel distance before actuation might be too sensitive for some, especially that it makes typos more frequent. However, the spacing of the keys help and the board is very durable.

  • 8.0 Mixed usage
  • 9.3 Gaming
  • 0.9 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.0 Programming

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Height
1.3" (3.4 cm)
Width 18.3" (46.5 cm)
Depth 6.6" (16.8 cm)
Weight 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)

This keyboard is rather big due to its full-size design. It also takes more space if you use its detachable wrist rest.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Corsair K95's build quality is great. The board has a top aluminum plate with a very solid plastic base. The whole keyboard feels very well-built, but the ABS keycaps feel a bit cheap. Some of them also come off rather easily. However, the newer Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT is advertised to have double-shot PBT keycaps. The K95 is noticeably better-built than the Corsair K68.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Incline Settings
1
Wrist Rest Detachable

Ergonomics are good. It has an incline setting and the feet open sideways, so that way you won't accidentally close them if you put too much forward pressure on the keyboard. It also comes with a detachable wrist rest that has a reversible texture, and it offers two different options. However, if you're looking for a plushier wrist rest, check out the Razer BlackWidow Elite.

10
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color RGB
Brightness Settings
Yes
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes

The Corsair K95's backlighting is amazing. Each key is individually lit, and there's even a strip of underglow on the keyboard as well. You can control the brightness directly on the board.

Design
Cable
Detachable
No
Length 7.2 ft (2.2 m)
Connector (Keyboard side) Not Detachable

The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM's cable is very long and ends with two USB plugs, as both are required if you want to use the USB passthrough on the keyboard.

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

This keyboard is wired-only and can't be used wirelessly.

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

The Corsair K95 has dedicated media keys at the top right of the keyboard. It has a nice wheel to control volume, and a dedicated Windows lock key to make sure your game doesn't accidentally minimize when playing.

Design
In The Box

  • Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM keyboard
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Extra textured keys (F,D,E,R,Q, 2x W, A, S, D)
  • Keycap remover
  • Manuals

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

The Cherry MX Speed switches are linear switches which are fairly similar to the Red ones, but with a noticeably shorter pre-travel distance. This makes keys actuate faster, but can also be prone to typos when typing. This keyboard is also available with Cherry MX Brown switches, which have a more tactile feel.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The overall typing experience is great. The linear switches are easy to press, but some people might prefer something a bit more tactile with a bump, like a Cherry MX brown or blue. The keys feel stable and the spacing of the keys is good to reduce typos. On the other hand, since the actuation point is quick to reach, mis-inputs can still easily happen.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Quiet

The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM is fairly quiet thanks to its linear switches. You shouldn't bother people surrounding you when typing.

Software and Operating System
9.1
Software and Operating System
Software
Software iCUE
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Backlight Programming
Yes
Macro Programming
Yes
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
Yes

The iCUE software offers amazing customization with the Corsair K95. You can create as many profiles as you want inside the app, but can only save three on the onboard memory.

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

While it's fully compatible with Windows, it has some keys that don't work on macOS and Linux. On macOS, the pause, scroll lock, and print screen don't work, on top of the G1-G6 macro buttons. On Linux, all keys work, but the software isn't available, so you won't be able to customize your keyboard and map the G1-G6 macro keys, which aren't bound right out of the box. However, thanks to the onboard memory, you can program them on macOS or Windows, and then use them on Linux.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

This black version of this keyboard is available with linear Cherry MX Speed switches or tactile Cherry MX Brown switches. Our review is only valid for the Speed switches. You can also find this keyboard in a gunmetal color, although this variant is only available in Speed switches. 

Compared to other keyboards

The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM  is an incredible gaming keyboard with dedicated macro keys and MX Speed switches. These linear switches allow you to go straight down to the actuation point without a bump, and have a very low pre-travel distance. However, while it's very well-built, there are better options on the market, like the SteelSeries Apex Pro which feels more durable. It's also only available with MX Speed or Brown switches, which doesn't offer as much variety as other options on the market. Nevertheless, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is one of the best gaming keyboards we've reviewed so far. For other options, check out our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best RGB keyboards.

Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is a slight improvement over the Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. They virtually offer the same gaming experience. Both are available with Cherry MX Speed and Cherry MX Brown switches, but the PLATINUM XT is available with Cherry MX Blue switches as well. It also has better build quality with double-shot PBT keys, but if this isn't a concern for you, the PLATINUM is just as good.

SteelSeries Apex Pro
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Apex Peo and the Corsair K95 Platinum are very similarly performing keyboards. They're both full-sized, straight keyboards that feel very well-built, though the SteelSeries feels even a bit more durable. They both feature a detachable wrist rest and full RGB lighting. The SteelSeries features a small OLED screen on the top right corner that can be programmed to display a wide variety of things. Both keyboards use linear keys, but the Corsair has much less pre-travel before the actuation point.

Razer BlackWidow Elite
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair K95 Platinum and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are two very similar keyboards, but the K95 has one of the lowest pre-travel distances we've measured so far. Its RGB lighting also bleeds a lot more throughout the board than the Razer's lighting. On the other hand, the Razer overall build quality seems a bit more durable and comes with a plushy wrist rest.

Logitech G910 Orion Spark
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Corsair K95 Platinum is a better keyboard than the Logitech G910 Orion Spark. You can set macros to all the K95's keys, it's better built, and its ergonomics are better. You can also save profiles on the onboard memory, which you can't do with the G910. The G910 features Romer-G tactile switches while the K95 has Cherry MX Speed linear switches, which have a shorter pre-travel distance.

SteelSeries Apex 7 TKL
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Corsair K95 and the SteelSeries Apex 7 are both amazing keyboard, but for different reasons. The K95 is a full-size board, with extremely low pre-travel distance. It features linear Cherry MX Speed switches, while the Apex 7 is a smaller, but better-built, TKL board and it has SteelSeries Brown switches. 

Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is a much more versatile gaming keyboard than the Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It comes in different switches, including Speed ones, which are very quick to actuate. It also has dedicated macro keys and an included comfortable wrist rest. On the other hand, if you don't like RGB bleeding across the board, the Logitech G Pro might be a better option.

Corsair K68 RGB
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is a better keyboard than the K68. It's noticeably better built and has a column of dedicated macro keys that the K68 doesn't have. It also features MX Speed switches that have a very quick actuation point. The K68 is noticeably cheaper, but if you want the best keyboard, the K95 is the better option. 

Ducky One 2 Mini
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Ducky One 2 Mini is very different than the full-sized Corsair K95 PLATINUM. The Ducky has doubleshot PBT keycaps and offers an excellent typing quality. However, it doesn't have dedicated macro keys or navigation arrow keys like the K95. The Corsair is also available in very quick Cherry MX Speed switches. 

Ducky Shine 7
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Ducky Shine 7 and the Corsair K95 PLATINUM have similar overall performance, but they offer very different features. Build quality is much better on the Shine 7, but the K95 has dedicated macro keys, media controls, and its customization software has more options and better compatibility. Typing on the Cherry MX Brown switches feels much better than the Cherry MX Speed on the K95, though both keyboards can be purchased with different types of switches.

HyperX Alloy Elite 2
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair K95 PLATINUM is better than the HyperX Alloy Elite 2. The Corsair comes with a wrist rest, it has dedicated macro keys, and the Cherry MX Speed switches we tested have a much lower pre-travel distance. However, the keycaps on the HyperX feel a bit more solid and don't come off as easily.

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