Corsair Vengeance M60 and K60 Review

BluePanda - 2012-02-19 15:40:15 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: March 12, 2012
Price: $69.99 and $109.99

Introduction:

Corsair is a popular company when it comes to power supplies, RAM, and cases, but a recent exploration to the "dark side" has lead Corsair to their Vengeance product releases. The series contains a couple keyboards, a couple mice, and currently three headsets to choose from in their lineup. So if you've always been a fan of corsair products, it's time to literally get your hands on some serious gaming gear.

Combining superior responsiveness, precise accuracy, and reliable controls, the Corsair Vengeance series claims to allow you to perform at you highest level. The M60 is an enthusiast grade 5700 DPI laser sensor mouse designed to change the way we game. Being optimized for first person shooters, the ergonomic design has a dedicated sniper button to temporarily reduce your DPI settings for more of an accurate lock on those headshots. With a total of 8 programmable buttons you can demolish all your friends all night long.

The Vengeance K60 is yet another mechanical keyboard designed for performance gaming. With Cherry MX Red key switches (most of you are starting to know the different switch types) you can imagine the sensitivity and low operating force everyone loves. The response rate is ultra-fast and responds in a predictable linear pattern unlike other types of keys on the market. The K60 has swappable WASD and 1-6 keys designed with a specific contour to the gaming position. The red gaming keys have a different texture designed to reduce slip so you can focus on gaming but still allow you to swap back to the "normal" keys for everyday general use.

So today we'll take a look at the Vengeance 60 Series from Corsair. Both the M60 and K60 will be in my hands for gaming and everyday use. Do they hold up to what Corsair claims? Is your next paycheck going towards one of these or both? You'll have to do some reading to uncover the answer…

Closer Look:

THE MOUSE M60

The M60 from Corsair came in a nice little cardboard box just like any other package surprise that shows up on my doorstep. Inside I found a lovely little plastic shell package containing the mouse. My favorite type of packaging besides the really strange boxes is the type that allows me to see the full product right away.

The cardboard card inside the box is detailed with a faded red to black behind the mouse with "VENGEANCE M60" printed to the left and right of the mouse. It says on the front that it's designed for performance gaming in two languages: English and French. On the back of the package it continues with these two languages to point out seven solid features as well as some technical specifications. It talks about the 5700 DPI and the side-mounted sniper button, two of the major features of this mouse – the rest can be found on the specs and features page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After taking away the plastic, this picture of the mouse sitting in place almost looks fake, as if it wasn't there. I assure you it's there; the lighting often plays tricks with flat black products such as this one. Pulling apart the little cardboard insert reveals a little quick start guide and a small booklet about the warranty information (since they give you 2 years for something to go wrong – although since I've been holding it, I'm already fairly certain I won't be needing the warranty). The cable comes wrapped up with a nice Velcro strap that stays on the cable even when undone – looks like this will be a nice mouse to take on-the-go, to LAN parties, and wherever you may game.

 

 

THE KEYBOARD K60

The K60 showed up on my doorstep in a nicely packed box as well. The packaging again plays with the red fade-to-black color scheme that the M60 follows. "VENGEANCE" is in huge yellow letters on the front of the box with a nice picture of the keyboard behind it. The top right corner lets you know you have the K60 from the series, and a little plastic window on the left even gives you a little peek inside.

Like with the M60, we again see the English and French languages on the box. The back of the box shows another angle of the keyboard with the wrist rest attached. Six key features are listed next to a quick description of the Vengeance series itself. It brags about Cherry MX Reds, contoured and textured WASD keys, anti-ghosting, the cushioned wrist rest, and aluminum chassis. The edges of the box show some of the features closer up and provide a quick list of specifications. The box even reminds you that you have a 2 year warranty with this product in case something goes wrong down the road.

 

 

 

Tired of looking at the pretty box and product pictures, I wanted to take the keyboard out and get a good look at it already. It comes in a recycled, molded, encasement when you pull it out of the outer box. The package is shaped to hold the components perfectly and appears to protect the product well. It looks like an environmentally friendly attempt despite the large plastic cover. The red contoured WASD keys are on display and just asking to be put on the keyboard right away.

 

 

Flipping the package over you can really see the contours designed to hold the specific package contents. The wrist rest, bundled cable, quick install guide, and warranty booklet are all neatly hidden within their own recesses. Pulled away from this nifty packaging the keyboard looks pretty nice and I'm looking forward to using it already. The cables come neatly bundled with the Velcro wrap just like the M60; it looks like Corsair was really using thinking caps when they put it all together.

 

 

The 60 series is quite appealing to the eye, as both the M60 and the K60 are pretty sexy out of the box. I'm ready to use them but I'm guessing you'd like a little more up close and personal look at the two – not just some box shots. Visit the next few pages to get a good look and see how each of these peripherals perform.

Closer Look:

Now that we have the M60 out of the box let's take a full 360 look to see if it is something worthy of being in your hand. From the top-down perspective it looks a little like the RAT5 without the large, adjustable thumb section. The M60 isn't adjustable by those means but it wasn't intended to be. The body itself is one of the better-feeling mice I've ever held. The left and right body segments have a roughened surface for better grip; it just feels nice. The top portion has that classic smooth feel, much like a Razer DeathAdder if you've felt that before. At a slight angle you get a little better view of the overall body of the mouse. You can see the forward and back buttons as well as that fancy red sniper button. You can also see a little of the aluminum body poking through there – it almost looks like some kind of bug body, like a beetle or something of that nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side profiles always seem to tell the most about the mouse. It gives you an idea of how thick the mouse actually is. The right side of the mouse shows off a bit more of the inner aluminum ribs. You can't see the texture difference I've mentioned, but I like it that way. The left side shows the forward and back buttons along with that sniper button. It's a red-metallic, painted plastic button with crosshairs depicted on it. When holding the mouse, my hand sits with my thumb resting perfectly on the button ready to kill.

 

 

Taking a little look at the front you can see the rather large scroll wheel. It has a little weight to it, being made of aluminum rather than plastic, and feels very nice when given a spin. The weight of the wheel gives it a quality feel, and it doesn't feel like they cheaped-out here. It has a little rubber "tire" on it so you can still get good grip. Right below the wheel is the DPI selector with indicator. By default these buttons are set to increase and decrease the DPI settings of the mouse. The indicator between the buttons lights up between a high, middle, and low to show three levels of DPI settings. The back end of the mouse sports a printed Corsair logo with its patented three sails.

 

 

Looking a little closer at the front, if you hadn't noticed in the previous pictures, the cable actually doesn't extend from the center of the mouse. It is actually offset and comes out the left click side of the mouse, just below the button. I found this feature pretty nice while using it, and to me it seemed that both the positioning and the braided cable worked together to make sure I didn’t get caught up nearly as much as with other mice I've used. Perhaps I've just learned to use mice more efficiently, but it's certainly a novel idea.

The bottom of the mouse is partially covered in aluminum. It has three removable weights; all you need is a flat blade screwdriver or perhaps just a coin to loosen them up. The screw head comes out and reveals a metal doughnut weight inside. Three of these add up to a little weight, if you like a light mouse just remember where you put the weights when you change your mind down the road. Personally I feel no need to adjust the weight – it feels nice, solid, and not too heavy as is. Five smooth feet are attached which provide a nice glide on any mouse pad.

 

 

The mouse glows blue when plugged in via USB. A couple lights in the front illuminate the scroll wheel aluminum a bit and a couple up top light up the DPI indicator and buttons I told you about earlier. The blues between the scroll wheel and indicator seem a little different from one another…but it's not too noticeable if you don't look for it. It's a slight difference, something you often see even between blue LED fans from the same manufacturer. Overall it's good looking and the fit seems just right.

 

Closer Look:

You already got a quick peek at the keyboard on the first page, but there's much more to see. With the wrist rest and red keys already in place you get a snapshot from the front page (shown here at a different angle). But in reality, this isn't how it came shipped. If you recall, the wrist rest is detachable and the keys come stock all black and normal for typing. That little wrist rest opens up to stow away the keys not in use. It comes with 1-6 and WASD curved to fit gamer position keys and a key grabber tool. They all fit tightly in the wrist rest and don't rattle around to make that annoying plastic chatter when you decide to shake it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After pulling away the black keys to put on the textured red keys, you can see the cherry red switches beneath. Placing the red keys on is as simple as just lining them up and simply pressing down as if you were to type with them. The curvature swoops from high to low, to high again across the 1-6 number keys; like a nice parabolic curve. The WASD keys sit with a sink in the S fanning upward to the W, A, and D keys. Seems like quite the comfortable position for gaming situations.

 

 

The media key setup has to be one of my favorites that I've come across. Not only are there discrete keys just for media but it even has a nifty scrolling drum to make continuous volume changes. Gone are the times when one click up is too loud, while one click down is too quiet, it's perfect! A large mute key is easy to press when the phone rings and you want your mom to think you are doing homework rather than defending the world against zombies. The next, play/pause, back, and stop are all nice solid keys that are easy to push and access. I like them a lot.

Next to the indicator lights (which are white by the way) you can see a small Windows key lock. Push it once and it lights up blue to show "on" and the Windows key no longer messes up your game. Turn it off and you've got your key back to normal. The USB cable comes with two male ends to plug into your computer. Fortunately Corsair has caught on to the fact that most people don't want to take up two ports just to type – they are labeled with pictures to show which one you need to plug in to type and which one you should plug in if you want to use the USB hub on the keyboard.

 

 

 

Now that I've got you interested in the USB hub, I have to break the news to you that it's less of a hub and rather just one USB plug. It's nice having one on the desk to reach and plug into, but with the majority of chassis having a USB port on the I/O panel up front, I find this feature goes unused. Either way it's there, it reads a USB drive like your computer would – so I guess if you need the extra mouse cable length there's a benefit for you having it so close. Other than that I can't say I use it much.

 

 

Flipping the keyboard over you'll find it a little different than many on the market. It actually has four feet to adjust height. You can elevate both the top and bottom edge if you so desire, or just one or the other. The feet add quite a bit of height if I do say so myself, and considering I like lower profile keyboards I didn't leave them up long. It was pretty nice being able to make such a drastic change – especially with the wrist rest attached.

 

 

Overall the Corsair K60 is a good-looking keyboard. The aluminum build gives it the, "I could kill a person" with it feel, and I like it. I am not a fan of products that feel cheap, because a lot of times they just don't hold up whether they were truly cheap in price or not. This is something I feel will have its place on my desk over the years to come.

 

Specifications:

M60

 

DPI:
Up to 5700 (adjustable by 100 DPI)
Report Rate:
100Hz/500Hz/250Hz/125Hz
Programmable Buttons:
8
Connector:
USB – gold plated
Cable Length:
1.8m braided
Warranty:
2 years

 

K60

 

Key Switches:
Cherry MX Red
Windows Lock Key:
Yes
Connector:
USB with USB port pass through (gold plated)
Cable Length:
2m braided
Warranty:
2 year
 

Features:

M60

 

K60

 

 

All information provided by: http://www.corsair.com/vengeance-gaming/

Configuration:

The M60 had a little bit of optional configuration. If you want to use it just as it, it will play nice with Windows 7 and comes with default settings for forward and back on the buttons as well as default DPI settings. However, if you want to take full advantage of what you paid for, take a second and install the currently beta driver/software from Corsairs website. Seems like it shouldn't be in beta anymore, but I guess that’s one way around dealing with issues on the customer support end; a still-in-progress line.

Either way when you start the software, if you have multiple corsair products installed on one rig, you can cycle through them at the top right. On the left, a diagram of the current selection comes up with numbers pointing to specific buttons of the mouse. Click on the number of the button you would like to change then click advanced options to pull up lists of both basic and advanced commands to set for the button. You can also change playback options to have your button press be a rapid fire button, press continuously or press a specified number of times. You can even control delay options under the Delay Option button. You basically have free control over what each of the 8 buttons of the mouse does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second tab at the top, called "Manage Performance", allows you to control the actual movement of the mouse itself. You can set the three DPI settings the buttons on the mouse switch between to whatever you desire. The Sniper can also be set to any "lower" DPI setting of your choice – you can even set it higher than your normal settings just for fun. You can control the DPI settings in increments of 100 starting at 100 and going all the way up to 5700. The sampling rate and lift height can all be controlled here as well. The surface quality test didn't seem to mean much. It didn't change from "poor" no matter what mousepad I tried. The mouse tracks fine – and the test has no effect on performance so I guess it's just something that needs improvement.

 

The last tab allows you to manage different profiles you decide to set up. If you and your friends, family, or significant others tend to share a computer in the house, it's nice to be able to quickly switch between profiles. Some people like a fast mouse, others don't. No need to come to an agreement here, just have your own settings! Name them, delete them, or store them to the mouse. It's nice being able to manage all the different ones without having to remember who is "Profile 1" – just name it "Loser" or any other appropriate name you call your siblings.

Testing:

The Corsair M60 was put through a week of rigorous testing. During this time it was closely examined regarding the following four traits: speed, comfort, precision, and customization.

A mouse is a key effort in any shooting game and just general working around your computer without using the keyboard for everything; however, as a mouse, there really is no apparatus or method for systematically testing it. Subjective commenting and critiquing on speed, comfort, precision, and customization will help you decide if you are ready for the M60 from Corsair

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Mice:

 

Speed:

Speed is a major factor in using a mouse. If you can’t get from point A to point B in a reasonable time – you might be dead in your game, or just simply frustrated with whatever you are working on at the moment. To rate speed, I used a scale of 1 to 10 with a score of 1 representing no movement at all and a score of 10 representing a mouse that got ticketed for speeding.

 

Comfort:

If you are going to raid all night you will need a comfortable mouse, something your hand can control without knowing you are using a mouse. A scale of 1 to 10 was used to rate the comfort level of the mouse. A value of 1 means you might just want to use the keyboard to do everything, and a value of 10 says without the mouse something is missing… almost like when you are missing your car keys in your pocket.

 

Precision:

Precision is a key element in making your every headshot. If the mouse is wandering or just not quite pointing where you feel it should, then your skill almost doesn’t even matter. The mouse was rated from 1 to 10, with 1 meaning just give up, and a score of 10 meaning it was meant to be.

 

Customization:

If your mouse doesn’t even have a scroll wheel, I cannot talk to you. However if you are one of those people sitting here with only a left click, a right click, and a scroll wheel… well then we need to talk. I’m not saying your mouse needs to be as full of buttons as the Razer Naga, but having some extra buttons can drastically improve not only the way you move around menus but also the way you get around in-game. Using a ranking from 1 to 10, a score of 1 goes to those of you with only one button (go Apple!) and a score of 10 goes to the mouse that can do everything.

 

 

Overall it's always hard to compare one mouse to the next after using it for a week or so, or even after switching between multiple mice in a month. It is always easy to say which ones were comfortable compared to others and the Corsair M60 was one heck of a comfortable mouse. It fit well in my hand like it was just meant to be. The buttons were all easily within range and didn't require me to move to use any of them. The weighted scroll wheel felt nice and overall was just a glove for a mouse.

Speed and precision are really dependent on user settings. You can have a really fast mouse if you want or you can move it around slower than sloths. It's up to you. Corsair lets you control this 100% so you can't complain much there. Being able to set DPI settings in 100 increments is nice considering most only let you change sensitivity with Windows' little slider. Being able to assign any of the 8 buttons to whatever function you desire was a nice touch as well – the sniper feature was my absolute favorite.

Testing:

The Corsair K60 was put through over a full week worth of testing. During this time I did everything from writing school papers to randomly surfing the net and, most importantly, playing some good casual games with friends. I played with both the standard set of keys as well as the red gaming keys to get a feel for both. With no drivers to install, the keyboard required little effort to "set up".

Although a keyboard is a crucial part of any system build, there are no concrete “tests” that can be performed to define this keyboard as better than any other. However, in a subjective manner it can easily be broken down into key categories that really show where a keyboard shines or fails miserably. The most defining traits of a keyboard can be summarized numerically under the categories of comfort, customization, gaming, and accuracy.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Keyboards:

 

Comfort:

Comfort is a major player when it comes to choosing a keyboard. If I need to spend 15 hours working on a report I want to be miserable from the report itself, not because my hands are cramping from the unusual keyboard design. If the keys are too far apart or it has a sharp edge where my palms sit then I probably will not be a happy camper. With this in mind, comfort is measured on a scale from 1-10 with a score of 1 being, “Are you sure this is even a keyboard?” and a score of 10 as, “This keyboard was molded to fit my hands”. A 5 shall represent your typical "stock" keyboard.

 

Customization:

In a gaming situation it might be nice to have a few keys on a keyboard that are designated for weapon selection or giving commands. The ability to assign macro keys can be the difference when you are being beaten by someone who simply does not have to click to do every action. Therefore a scale of 1-10 is assigned with a value of 1 representing, “There are fewer keys than an average keyboard”, and a value of 10 as, “WOW! Where are my normal keys, there are so many!” Again a 5 is representative of the “stock” keyboard (including media keys). This category also covers the options of appearance customization (i.e. replacement keys, lighting, and other color options).

 

Gaming:

Gaming goes along with customization. Being able to assign macros can make some games much easier to play – especially if it replaces scrolling through several menu options. This category is based on the concept of the keyboard being designed for either gaming or other applications. Does it have specifically designed macro keys, are there many of them, and how easy are easy they to use. A scale of 1-10 is used with a score of 1 represents a keyboard with only the main keys (no media keys, no number pad), a score of 10 means the keyboard was designed solely for a gamer.

 

Accuracy:

No matter how fast a keyboard can respond or how fast you can type, writing up papers and maneuvering the battlefield both require great accuracy. If you can’t get your point across in an E-mail because you had to spend half your time going back to retype words due to a missed keystroke then why even bother? Same goes for in-game scenarios – pressing the correct key should always, always, always produce the correct response. A scale of 1 – 10 was used to rate accuracy; a score of 1 says you might as well give up, and a 10 means your keyboard knows what you were thinking before you typed it.

 

 

Comfort of a keyboard is always an important factor. The K60 was actually fairly comfortable. The ability to easily adjust its height was very convenient. While gaming, the curved WASD keys comprised an extra feature that made it easy to find your position if you took your hand away briefly, and the wrist rest option was great for both storage and support. I ended up leaving it on even when I wasn't gaming, both because it was comfortable and also because it's a little tricky to take on and off of the keyboard.

There are no macros to set up, no drivers to install and no software even if you wanted it. What you see is what you get. The change of keys is somewhat customizing it, but I wouldn't say the custom options are high. Accuracy is about the same as any Cherry MX Red mechanical keyboard I've used. The response is quick and the spring-back is fast enough to repeatedly press keys again and again with the same response. Overall it has a pretty nice feel, gaming or not.

Conclusion M60:

In conclusion, the M60 is my new favorite mouse. It will be my go-to mouse when I'm not reviewing other mice. It's quite comfortable and easy to hold. It works nicely with Windows so if I want to use it with my laptop I don't have to install drivers just to navigate (however I don't get my sniper button without making some changes). The textured grip is nice and the flat black color keeps it from showing dirt and wear for the time being. The aluminum gives it a little class, making it look good, and the mouse is solidly built in general. The cord coming out the side made it easier to not get tangled up with other braided cables and simply looked neat.

I loved the weighted scroll wheel because it felt like I had better control; it didn't feel cheap nor did it have the horrible grinding scroll sound when going through several pages of information. The sniper button was by far my favorite aspect of the entire mouse. I'm not much for sniping and getting many headshots because I never tend to "lock-on". By allowing me to slow down my motions, the sniper button really helped me grab a lot more head shots than normal and enabled me to actually attempt to snipe things I normally wouldn't have bothered to snipe. It felt a little like cheating, but I liked it!

 

Pros:

 

Cons:


 

Conclusion K60:

Lastly, the K60 is one of new favorite keyboards. I am not a big fan of macro settings aside from when I spam ASCII art or annoy friends; so not having them wasn't an issue for me. The red "gaming" keys were a nice added feature and a lot of fun to use. They are a little odd to type with, as they offset your hands just enough, but they can also be swapped out relatively quickly.

The first disappointment I really found with the keyboard was the quick wear of the keys. The E, F, and N key are nearly gone after only a week's use. My WASD keys are fabulously white having been using the red keys for the majority of the review. Sadly, or perhaps not so sadly, it's not just grime on the keys from food or dirty hands; it's actually just the lettering wearing away. It looks like I've already had this keyboard for a year – I fear what it will look like after a full year has passed.

The keys themselves are also lighter than a lot of other mechanical keyboards, which in turn causes the keys to stick a little once in a while. Even while typing up this review I've had the shift key and space bar get stuck just long enough that I had to stop and regain my thoughts while trying to get it unstuck. Fortunately, a few rapid presses of the key always fixes it, and it doesn't happen too horribly often so I cannot complain too much – it's just something odd that I wouldn't want happening in a gaming situation. Since it's designed for games, that's something to think about.

Despite these things I do like the keyboard. It's comfortable, and it is sturdy enough to beat someone up (note: no one was harmed in the making of this review). The media keys and volume roller drum are something noteworthy, and the fact that I can use it straight out of the box without drivers always makes me happy. It's a nice product, but the key wear needs to be addressed in revised editions – perhaps they'll be kind enough to send out new keys under warranty if they can come up with something that wears a little less quickly.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: