The $200 Keyboard: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Hey, guys! Eber here with Hardwarecanucks and today at the review table, we’re taking a look at Corsair’s new K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This is their successor to the very popular Vengeance K95 and Corsair’s Gaming K95 RGB series which were flagship models in their keyboard lineup. At being a flagship keyboard means the new Platinum doesn’t come cheap.  Priced at $200, the K95 RGB Platinum is one of the most expensive Gaming-focused keyboards on the market but is it worth paying that premium price? We’ll find out after a quick message from our sponsor.

 

Now before I get too far into this video, a mentioned has to be made about the pricing of this particular keyboard since I know a lot of you will be critical of it.  While it may be completely outside many of your budgets, you have to remember that Corsair already offers many other alternatives at lower price points.  On the other hand, if you want all the bells and whistles, then the K95 RGB Platinum could be a good fit.

 

My first mechanical keyboard was in fact the original VENGEANCE K95. It sported 18 dedicated macro buttons but I never took advantage of them for some reason. Revisiting this keyboard brings back so many memories because I loved the detachable wrist rest, dedicated media playback buttons, the rock solid build quality and the excellent Cherry MX RED switches. The white backlighting on the keyboard looked amazing at the time and it still does. It works great and I have passed it onto my siblings and they enjoy it too, although they’re not as nerdy as I am.

 

Coming back to the K95 RGB Platinum, Corsair has made some significant changes from their previous models to better suit their entire keyboard lineup including the K70 RGB, STRAFE RGB, and the K65 RGB. First and foremost, you won’t find those 18 dedicated macro buttons on the left side of the keyboard but rather you’re left with 6 of them with textured keycaps. It’s a welcoming change over the previous k95 because it reduces the footprint a little bit but if you desperately need 18 programmable macros, you may need to look at external solutions, or even Corsair’s own Scimitar gaming mouse.

 

The font on the keycaps have also been revised with a wider shape compared to the previous model. It’s definitely not my cup of tea because I loved the simple font on my first K95 but it does make sense that Corsair is trying to share their design language throughout their keyboard lineup.

 

On the positive side, the Build quality is still amazing! The Anodized brushed aluminum frame is one of my personal favorites and while it’s a little bit on the heavier side, this should last you a really long time and my previous k95 is a testament to that.

 

This keyboard comes in two finishes, one is the stealth black model that I have here with two switch options: Cherry MX Speed and MX Brown. The other one comes in a Gunmetal finish which is only paired up with the MX Speed switch so be mindful of that.

 

The included wrist-rest mounts easily onto the keyboard but Corsair has done something interesting with this part. The soft-touch rubber surface is magnetized to the frame and it’s dual sided with different textures. So if you prefer a slightly better grip for your wrist, the layer with the criss-cross design works out really well but I ended up using the softer side and it was very satisfying. They also include an extra set of WASD keycaps that are textured for better grip and a keycap puller.

 

Flipping over the keyboard, Corsair has implemented appropriate rubber feet to eliminate movement and adjustable risers to angle the keyboard to your convenience.  They have also added a cross section cable management route for your peripherals. Ideally you would be routing your headphones cable or something else that you might take advantage of but personally, I like my cables separated on my desk.

 

Speaking of cables, Corsair still needs improvement here. This one super thick and quite challenging to route cleanly on your setup since its mesh is very dense and hard to manipulate. It’s my least favorite part about this keyboard because I prefer cables that are made of more bendable mesh and are thinner.

 

Some of that extra cord thickness is due to extra wiring needed for the single USB pass through port at the keyboard’s back.  I would have preferred another two of these ports especially since when a keyboard is this expensive there’s an expectation of extra features.

 

Alright, let’s talk about those Cherry MX Speed switches. Getting into the technical aspects, this is a light and linear switch that actuates at 1.2mm compared to 2 mm on an average MX switch. This does a few things, one: it doesn’t require a lot of force to actuate. And two, they are super-fast! Coming from my WhiteFox which features MX Blue switches, I took a solid week to get used to the larger layout of the keyboard and these switches.

 

Typing scripts became a lot faster, gaming on it was an unbelievable experience especially in fps titles. Responsiveness in games like Battlefield 1 felt really nice and my fingers weren’t too tired after a few hours of gameplay which I normally do experience with the MX Blue switches. I do have to mention that these are regular hallmarks of MX Speed switches so it’s not like anything new is going on here from a feedback perspective.  Here’s a quick sound comparison.

 

The lighting on the Platinum shares a lot of similarities with the K70 RGB which we took a look at last year. Corsair calls it the Dynamic Multicolor Backlighting which basically means that you can customize the LEDs with a variety of color options through the revised CUE software that I’ll get to in a moment. A few noticeable changes are an LED Lightstrip at the very top of the keyboard that consists of 19 individual zones that can be customized through the driver software. This includes the illuminated Corsair logo and I’ve gotta say, it’s stunning to look at! The level of lighting customizability is endless with 13 different effects that you can take advantage of or if you’d like to create your own effect, you can do that through the driver.

 

And the last thing to cover is the driver software. Corsair has revamped the CUE software and it works alongside the K95 RGB Platinum’s 8MB of onboard storage so you can easily modify settings and then save them directly to the keyboard.  This is perfect for gamers on the go who many not have the advantage of bringing their own personal computer with them everywhere.

 

For some reason, this software comes pre-installed with a DEMO version of lighting controls for their SCIMITAR mouse, VOID WIRELESS Gaming headset and their RGB POLARIS Mousepad. It’s a bit weird because I haven’t connected any of these peripherals to my computer in the first place so there’s no point of having them there. Corsair, I’m sure you can fix that with a driver update.

 

On the positive side, I thoroughly enjoyed playing around with the lighting and macros on the Platinum Gaming Keyboard. As you can see, you are greeted with a physical layout of the keyboard. Toward the left under the “Actions” Tab, you can create, customize and assign macros to any button. Moving onto the “Lighting effects” Tab, you can cycle through the different lighting effects that I talked about earlier as well as create them. The performance tab lets you adjust the Windows lock key settings and finally, Corsair has implemented onboard profile storage options that can be accessed without the CUE software.

 

So is the K95 RGB Platinum worth its $200 price tag? This is a great keyboard with a ton of features and I really enjoyed using it.  Everything from the Cue software to its layout is very well done.  The only criticism I have is that thick cord but since your keyboard isn’t meant to move around that much, it can be easily forgiven.

 

With that being said, the Platinum will likely be well outside most people’s budgets.  If you desperately need 6 dedicated macro buttons, onboard profile storage options, the cable management feature hidden at the bottom, the light strip with the Corsair logo on the top, then perhaps this could be worth taking a look. But those features aside, this keyboard is basically a K70 RGB which is about $60 less. Another option is the regular K95 which will save you about $40.  If you really want to try out the new MX Speed switches, which by the way is my new favorite switch, I would save a lot of cash picking up the k70 RGB Rapidfire or the k65 RGB Rapidfire. It’s a game changer especially if you want to try something different from your typical Cherry MX Switch. I will admit, it does take time getting used to this new switch but you’re gonna love after that!

 

What do you guys think of the K95 RGB Platinum? Would you spend $200 on this flagship gaming keyboard or are there new alternatives that you might be interested in? Let us know in the comments down below, I’m Eber with HWC, thanks so much for watching and we’ll see you in the next one.

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