The Corsair Gaming K100 RGB Keyboard Review: Optical-Mechanical Masterpieceby E. Fylladitakis on November 19, 2020 8:00 AM EST
The K100 RGB is the keyboard that Corsair developed as the successor to their highly successful K95 RGB Platinum. Even though most companies would be content with releasing a new product with just one additional feature or a subtle design change, Corsair overhauled several key components of the keyboard. Thus, the K100 RGB ditches traditional mechanical keys entirely, and is instead based around new optical-mechanical switches. Coupled with that is a much more powerful processor, a second rotary wheel, more iCUE configuration options and support for the Elgato software, and even a better wrist rest to round out Corsair's premium keyboard package.
The switch to optical-mechanical switche is a significant and beneficial one, but it does come with a learning curve. In order to maximize the potential of the K100 RGB, users need to press the keys softly, so that the keycap will move only a little more than a millimeter below its resting point. It takes quite a bit of time for someone who is used to a typical mechanical or, worse, membrane keyboard to acclimate to the delicate OPX switches. However, once that happens, I find that the OPX switches are more comfortable and feel more responsive than any mechanical switch available today.
The quality of the K100 RGB is, as we expected, fantastic. Overall, the keyboard is made of very high quality materials, with a very rigid frame and an excellent assembly job inside and around it. The new OPX switches also are naturally more reliable because of the replacement of mechanical parts (contacts) with electronics (optical sensors). Our only concern lies with the softness of the wrist rest, as it can be damaged with relative ease.
Aesthetics are a subjective matter, yet we believe that the Corsair K100 RGB has something to offer to nearly everyone. Its design and lighting configurability allow for the end user to decide whether they want to keep things traditional or go for an extravagant, colorful scheme. No matter what direction one decides to go, the impeccable craftsmanship of the K100 RGB is always going to be evident.
Overall, considering how stale the commoditized keyboard market has become over the past couple of years, the Corsair K100 RGB Optical Mechanical keyboard is a refreshing addition. It offers something truly different than the now run-of-the-mill mechanical keyboards that fill the gaming keyboard market – and that difference is something we think makes for a better keyboard. Nevertheless, the $230 retail price is is truly a premium price, and most users can probably get the job done with a good keyboard that costs significantly less. If, however, what you want is one of the most versatile keyboards available, then the Corsair K100 RGB should definitely be on your shortlist.