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[Review] A Lightning Fast Performer: The Corsair K100 RGB Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Corsair K100 RGB Optical-Mechanical Gaming Keyboard




+ Super fast and responsive OPX switches

- High price

+ PBT keycaps

- Some media keys are stiff

+ 4000 Hz polling rate

+ Can store up to 200 profiles

+ Comfortable cushioned wrist rest

It's more than a full year since we last reviewed the Corsair K100 RGB gaming keyboard. The only difference between the two keyboards is that the unit we have here today is one with OPX switches, which Corsair claims to have hyper-fast input with a 1.0 mm actuation distance for top-tier performance.


Unboxing and First Impressions

The huge-size keyboard comes in a typical Corsair box packaging, which includes paperwork arrow keycaps, and a detachable wrist rest alongside the keyboard itself.

Instead of a black one, the unit here with us comes in Midnight Gold. The aluminum top plate is now gold-anodised and you will notice some very eye-catching gold-accented keycaps, such as the macro keys and the arrow keys.

On the top row, the iCUE control wheel is nestled in between a dedicated profile button and a WIN lock key on the left. Towards the middle, there's a long LED bar with icons that will light up when certain functions like caps lock or mute are enabled. Meanwhile, the mute key and volume scroll are located side by side on the top right corner.

You will see a full keyboard layout on this one with an extra column of customisable macro keys on the left. Replacing the default arrow keycaps are highly textured ones, which I personally love how they feel especially when I'm gaming and the design literally screams "presence" among everything shining on the keyboard.

A single pass-through port is housed in the middle of the keyboard with a braided cable using two Type-A connectors to connect the keyboard to your PC or laptop. The cable is super duper thick so you don't have to worry about snapping any time soon at all. Also present on this unit is the RGB LightEdge that will cast the rainbow RGB lights onto your desk surface on both sides of the keyboard.

Underneath, the plastic feet on each side can be kicked up to raise the height of the keyboard to make typing more comfortable. The surface at the bottom actually has channels that allow for cable routing to keep your desk tidy. I really appreciate Corsair's effort on this but the width of the channels can certainly be improved as it'd be great if I could fit my phone charging cable as well.


OPX Switches

While we couldn't try out the OPX switches last time, we're fully enjoying these Corsair-exclusive switches on this unit. Essentially, the OPX switches use infrared light to register an actuation, delivering keypress registration at a 1.0 mm actuation point with zero debounce. With that said, it takes a really slight touch to actuate the keys and Corsair guarantees you 150 million keystrokes before failure as they are 50% more durable than standard optical-mechanical switches.

One of the key selling points of this unit is the Axon Hyper-Processing technology, which enables a whopping 4000 Hz polling rate, making it 4 times faster than your typical gaming keyboard, maxing out at only 1000 Hz. This simply means that communication between the keyboard and your computer is incredibly fast. You should find typing or gaming with this unit very satisfying and pleasant because whatever you type out, it appears as instantly as registered.


iCUE Control Wheel

Perhaps, the most striking and captivating element on this unit is the iCUE control wheel. It's not like you'll see one on any gaming keyboard if not the normal ones every day. The wheel surrounds a button in the center, which will light up in RGB according to several settings modes.

Of course, it comes in handy (very much) for people who like easy controls or who are just too lazy to press extra keys or buttons. Rotate the wheel clockwise or anti-clockwise and you'll be able to adjust a bunch of settings like skipping through your playlist, switching between applications/windows, and adjusting the brightness of the keyboard. The wheel will change colours according to the functions set. By default, the colours mean:

  • Blue: Keyboard brightness control

  • Green: Fast forward or rewind tracks

  • White: Cycle between tracks

  • Red: Macro recording

  • Yellow: Switch between applications

  • Pink: Zoom in or out

You will only have access to a limited number of the controls unless you download Corsair's signature iCUE software. The K100 keyboard has 8 MB of onboard storage that allows you to store up to 200 profiles on the keyboard. If you're a content creator or an editor, you'll likely find the feature helpful in your editing work but it probably won't be the most helpful thing when you're gaming since it would require you to lift your fingers off the keys.


User Experience

I am personally very impressed by the speed of this keyboard seeing how immediately it respond to whatever keys I hit. It didn't take me more than two hours to get used to it when I changed from the one I was using in the first place. A few typing errors here and there because I was still not familiar with its placings as the one I've been using is a TKL keyboard. I tried testing this unit with typing games and I got more than a 90% score and even those mistakes were my own misspellings.

Since the keycaps on this unit are made of PBT and 1.5 mm thick, you don't have to even worry about them becoming shiny over a period of time. While I love the kyes, I'm not a big fan of the media keys below the volume roller. They are somewhat stiffer than the other keys on the keyboard. I noticed that I'd have to press the keys more than once or I'll need to exert more force to press them down completely. But since these keys are only in use when I'm playing music, it's not a big concern.

Lastly, when you have such a good keyboard, you'd definitely want to enjoy typing or playing as much as you want to use it in comfort. The included cushioned leatherette wrist rest is super comfortable to use. I can rest my wrists nicely on the wrist rest so I'm basically pampered by the comfort for as long as I'm using it to write this piece of review. Then again, attaching it would need extra room on your desk, and coupled with the robust keyboard, you might need to consider some sacrifice if your desk is not spacious enough. Comfort versus space, you choose!


Buy or no buy?

The Corsair K100 RGB with OPX switches is surely a great upgrade from the K95 Platinum XT. The iCUE wheel control is undoubtedly a good addition but I'm not sure if it's worth the extra price since it won't be in much use when you're gaming and this is a gaming keyboard, get it? That feature aside, I'm all whipped about the Axon Hyper-Processing technology and the OPX switches for the super fast performance.

If you're not a world-class esports player, you probably won't even notice the difference in response time compared to your typical gaming keyboard unless its lifespan is coming to an end. If you're not afraid to spend, the K100 RGB can definitely handle everything you can throw at it but otherwise, you can opt for its predecessor since the new features are not exactly must-haves.


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