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The Corsair K70 ($160/£170) has been among the most popular mechanical keyboards since it first launched nearly 10 years ago, and while it has gone through several design tweaks over the years, it’s only now getting a full makeover. Out is the thick slab of coarsely brushed aluminum on its top, and in is a sleeker overall look. What’s more, Corsair has added some premium extras, such as doubleshot PBT keycaps, an 8000Hz polling rate, and a removable cable.
The new keyboard retains an aluminum top plate but it’s nowhere near as thick or domineering as the previous version, with it no longer overhanging the plastic chassis below. We slightly miss the chunky quality of the older plate, but the new design certainly feels more pleasingly smooth.
This general sense of a slightly slicker, smarter feel runs throughout the new model. The clear plastic section that houses the backlit logo in the center is now square and flush with the surrounding metal, plus it incorporates indicator lights for the various lock keys and mute buttons. The indicators disappear completely when they’re not illuminated, making for a very clean look.
Also housed in the top edge are buttons for profile switching, adjusting the backlight brightness, and locking the Windows key, along with a mute button and satisfyingly chunky, knurled metal volume wheel. These buttons have a very shallow but crisp action.
At the back of the keyboard, there’s a single USB Type-C input for plugging in the main cable – there’s no need to worry about a broken cable ruining your keyboard here. Alongside the USB socket is a sliding switch for setting the keyboard to Tournament mode, which disables macros and sets the backlighting to a static single color.
Another improvement is the magnetically attached wrist rest, which easily pops off but remains secure in use. It’s not padded but it’s quite deep and offers a gentle slope on which your wrists can rest. Underneath the keyboard are four impressively large, thick rubber pads to provide a secure footing. Sadly, the flip-down feet to raise the back edge don’t offer as much grip, so the keyboard slides around more when these are deployed.
We’re fans of the crisp new key legend font, though, and the use of doubleshot keycaps made from hard-wearing PBT plastic rather than ABS is a major boon. Doubleshot means they use two layers of plastic to create the clear and black parts of the key, rather than using a black paint on clear plastic. This means the key legends can basically never wear away.
For key switches, Corsair uses the ever-reliable Cherry MX, so the typing and gaming experience is excellent. You only get three switch variants though – Red (linear), Brown (tactile) and Speed (linear with a shorter action). Meanwhile, the 8000Hz polling allows the keyboard to report its status to your PC eight times faster than typical 1000Hz keyboards and mice, although we found it made no difference to our experience whatsoever.
While it lacks some of the rugged charm of its predecessor, the new Corsair K70 makes up for it with plenty of new features and a generally sleeker style. The doubleshot PBT keycaps are a major improvement, as is the addition of a removable cable. The Tournament mode switch and 8000Hz polling are a little more niche, but otherwise this is a very solid – although certainly not cheap – upgrade to a venerable board.
+ Smart overall design
+ Doubleshot PBT keycaps
+ Removable cable
– Thinner aluminium plate than predecessor
– Slippy feet
443 x 164 (238 with wrist rest) x 40 (W x D x H)
Full-size – 105 keys
Cherry MX Mechanical
50 million key presses
Individual key RGB
Multimedia buttons, volume wheel, Windows lock/brightness/profile buttons, magnetic wrist rest