Corsair K70 RGB MK.2 And Strafe RGB MK.2 Gaming Keyboards Review: Killer Decks

K70 RGB MK.2 And Strafe RGB MK.2 Design, User Experience And Software

Corsair's K70 RGB MK.2 has some subtle changes versus the previous generation K70 Lux that we took a look at back in February. Gone is its rear BIOS switch, though selectable USB poll rates can still be controlled in software. The media key array still resides above the numpad area but Corsair has located the Backlight Brightness, Profile Switch and Windows Key Disable buttons over on the left side of the top row, for a more balanced layout. 

Corsair K70 RGB MK2 Blue Keys
Corsair K70 RGB MK.2
Corsair K70 RGB MK2 bottom

Corsair also now fully illuminates its logo in the middle and in general the board looks fantastic with a full machined aluminum plate deck underneath its key caps and large anti-skid pads on its bottom side. Underneath you can also see where its large detachable wrist rest snaps in; it does so with a solid, satisfying click that instills confidence that it won't accidentally detach. That wrist rest is also covered with a soft-touch, almost rubberized coating, so it feels more premium and is comfortable in use. It's also built out of a thick piece of plastic with no give or flex that you can feel when you're banging away. 

K70 Switch Types

The other nice new feature of the K70 RGB MK.2 is that you can order it in a number of key switch types. Our K70 RGB MK.2 came with Cherry MX Blue switches, which are clicky and offer a firm tactile click. They feel great and offer an excellent typing experience, but some users might not like the racket they make. In that case, perhaps the Cherry MX Browns might be a better option since they offer a nice tactile bump response as well, but with no audible click to annoy anyone on your podcast, in your neighboring cubicles, or family members.  

Corsair Strafe RGB MK2 Orange Keys
Corsair Strafe RGB MK.2
Corsair Strafe MK2 bottom

Corsair's Strafe RGB MK.2 offers a virtually identical keyboard layout to the K70, but it's a heavier deck made of more high density plastic and only a bit of aluminum trim above the function key area. The Strafe also has a slightly smaller detachable wrist reset but with the same soft-touch coating on it, and smaller anti-skid strips on the bottom side. However, the Strafe RGB MK.2 feels every bit as solid and satisfying to type on as the K70. Both keyboards are extremely spacious and comfortable with shaped key caps that cradle your fingers for better accuracy. 
MX Red Silent

The Strafe is available with Cherry MX Red or MX Silent switches, both of which are linear and non-clicky. However the MX Silent switches that came in our Strafe offer a two component double-shot stem and noise dampening in its base that really quiets the switch down dramatically if you bottom out often (which I do since I'm a brutal masher by trade). Both switch types are designed for fast actuation with only 45G force required with slightly shorter key travel (1.9mm) in the Silent switch. Either switch option is well-suited for fast twitch gaming use cases and again, both the Strafe and the K70 support N Key-Rollover for accurate actuation of multiple key combinations.

K70 MK2 Media Keys
Strafe MK2 Media Keys
profile backlight windows keys

The media key array and volume up/down roller with mute button are also common to both the K70 and Strafe RGB MK.2 designs, though the K70 has a chrome accented finish on its volume roller to help it stand out a bit more. In either case, these media keys can come in handy, as you might imagine, especially the volume roller when in the heat of combat when you can't easily alt-tab for the Windows volume slider, hit a game menu or reach for the volume knob on a set of speaker. 

USB cables and passthrough
Both The K70 And Strafe RGB MK.2 Offer USB Passthrough

And both of these new Corsair keyboards offer USB passthrough but perhaps more impressive are their super thick, braided USB cables. These cables are built for abuse and again inspire confidence and a quality feel that these keyboards will easily live up to their 2 year warranty. 

Corsair's iCUE Software

Corsair iCue 3
Corsair iCUE Software
Corsair iCue 2

Both the K70 RGB MK.2 and the Strafe RGB MK.2 offer excellent keyboard backlighting with per-key, multi-color control and three brightness levels. The clear housings in the Cherry key switches and translucent, easy to see letter fonts on the keys themselves make for a very bright and impressive lighting effect overall that looks fabulous. You can of course customize lighting effects with Corsairs excellent iCUE software. iCUE is feature-rich and frankly takes a bit of learning curve to understand all its ins and outs, but once you're familiar, it allows you to setup all kinds of great lighting effects. You can pick from on board presets like Spiral Rainbow or download new presets to select from a simple drop menu. You can also activate instant lighting that will light up the whole deck in a single color that you choose.

You can also select USB poll rate here and in the Performance menu you can disable certain keys that might get in your way in a specific game titles or customize hotkey LED zones in any RGB color. For all of these setups and configurations you can also save them to a profile for easy switching, courtesy of both the K70 RBG MK.2's and Strafe RGB MK.2's on board 8MB of storage memory.

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