A keyboard can either be a desultory set of buttons connected to your computer or a pivotal point of player-game interaction that makes the difference between casual and pro-level APM. The problem with the latter is always price, so when you’re shopping for a mechanical keyboard you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
The Corsair K70 LUX is the new variant of the Corsair K70. It’s an open-format board build out of thick aluminum with Cherry switches and high-class fittings. What the LUX designator adds to the K70 formula is Corsair’s customizable RGB key-lighting, which can be configured in almost any conceivable way.
As a piece of hardware, the K70 is a Cadillac-level mechanical keyboard. The open format means the keys “float” over the board’s base, which means there isn’t the cover that allows dust and crumbs to collect beneath the keyboard’s surface. A few bursts of compressed air applied to the sides of the board usually are enough to loosen any detritus that’s managed to fall between its keycaps. The aluminum construction is heavy-duty, giving the board a satisfyingly heavy presence on your desktop that will resist skidding or sliding around as you play or type. The board also includes build-in media keys (stop, previous track, play/pause, and next track), a mute button, a button for backlight brightness, a button to disable Windows keys, and a lovely textured aluminum roller to adjust system volume positioned just above the numpad.
Textured keycap sets for FPS and MOBA configurations are included with the keyboard. The board attaches via two heavy-duty USB connectors that are protected by a sturdy, braided cable covering, and there is a USB pass-through port on the keyboard’s rear side.
The board can be ordered with Cherry Red, Blue, or Brown switches, which each provide their own level of “clickiness” or resistance, and responsiveness. The K70 platform is without a doubt one of the best mechanical gaming keyboard systems on the market.
What the RGB LUX designator adds to the rock-solid K70 platform is the ability to customize every single key’s backlight color. Each key has an individual LED illuminator, and each of these can be minutely customized through Corsair’s CUE – the Corsair Utility Engine.
Despite Corsair’s claims, CUE is not particularly intuitive to use, and creating animations and color schemes for your keyboard beyond the most basic can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. The results, however, can be fairly amazing, since the keyboard can support literally millions of colors flowing seamlessly into each other. If you’re less interested in designing complicated color animations for your keyboard than in watching them, there are plenty of user-created schemes available online to download and then load into the board.
The question of course is whether these lighting effects are worth $40 to you. Apart from the lighting effects, the K70 RGB LUX is functionally the same keyboard as the K70 Vengeance, which offers the exact same construction and reliability without the visual lighting customization.
Whether you decide to take the plunge or not, the Corsair K70 LUX is an excellent piece of hardware that is a joy to work and play on, and a handsome addition to any high-end PC build.