Corsair Vengeance M90 and K90 ReviewBluePanda - April 2, 2012
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Closer Look – K90:
You already got a quick peek at the keyboard on the first page, but there is definitely more to see. With the wrist rest in place and plugged in for blue lighting you get this little snap shot. It’s pretty nice looking if you ask me. I’m always a fan of blue, so maybe I’m a little biased here, but I think the glow from beneath the keys looks really nice. This might be the final product set up, if you remember from the first page, it wasn’t shipped with the wrist wrest attached (we’ll see how that works a little further on) and the blue lighting, that’s just a perk of being plugged in – however you can always turn off the lighting. Let’s take a closer look at what it took to get from the box to working.
I’m a fan of Cherry MX reds, if you haven’t seen the switches before or even felt them at your own finger tips, they are linear switches with a rather light feel to them. Pulling away a couple of the keys you can see how Corsair has used multiple switch options here. For the main keys, the number pad, and the arrow keys you’ve got the Cherry MX reds. The ESC, F1-F12, page up/page down cluster, and macro keys all have membrane pads. The keyboard somewhat denotes the change in key type with an a change in lighting as well, which I’ll explain later. Lit up with the key off you can really see the blue of that individual LED on the tilde key.
The media key setup is just like the K60 (sorry to keep making past refrences) and is again one of my favorite things about this keyboard. The keys are discrete for the media options and a scrolling drum wheel is used for volume control. It gives you that nice precise feel that allows you to adjust your volume up or down just a slight bit while in game without having to adjust your speakers or Windows volume settings. The mute button makes it easy to grab a quick phone call or even just mute the sound so it doesn’t “sound” like you are playing games when you should be studying. I won’t carry on and on as I’ve already rated this media setup with a major +1.
On the left side of the keyboard you can see buttons for quick profile switches. You can save up to 50 different profiles within the software and can access three with quick-press buttons. With onscreen display turned on you can see the switch on the screen as well – much like changing the volume on your TV. It makes it really easy to have specific setups for different people or different games. Lighting up in blue is just a bonus!
Like many keyboards these days this one has as USB port on the upper edge. It’s only one slot, for a mouse or perhaps a quick thumb drive connection. It's not much of a hub since it's a simple pass-through but it moves a port from the back of your computer to the front – I guess if you are lazy or your computer is in awkward place this is a bonus. With front ports on most chassis today, I find no need for this…but it’s there if you need or want it.
Flipping over the keyboard you'll find two feet to prop up. They fold out to the sides rather than up and down. They seem high quality and add about half an inch to the back edge. I generally don’t like extra rise to my keyboard but the fact that they are nice feet is an added bonus. If you don’t use them, they do fold nicely and stay put out of the way. Four rubber grips then hold your keyboard securely in place.
I’m sure you noticed in the back shot of the keyboard that the wrist rest wasn’t simply clipped onto the keyboard. It actually requires a little bit of assembly or disassembly to add or remove the wrist rest. It sort of clips into place and then two thumbscrew-like screws are used to hold it in place. I really felt some tools were necessary, even with my small fingers the screws were difficult to turn without a screwdriver. With the rest on it certainly is a beast of a keyboard. It looks great and is sturdy enough that even the wrist rest won’t be going anywhere.
Some of the most impressive or at least the most fun pictures are always the pictures of lighting on different peripherals. If you recall me mentioning the different lighting on the different key types previously, then finally, here is what I was referring to. The main keys and number pad (the Cherry Reds) show up in brighter/darker blue. The rubber dome keys (function keys, page up/page down cluster, and macro keys) are all a bit dimmer. In my opinion, I’d rather them have all been the same brightness. I don’t think it was originally intentional; however, I think it is actually just due to the different switch types that allow the lighting to be so different. The lighting isn’t perfect on the number keys either, as the LED is near the top of the key – which leaves the bottom of the key a bit dim in comparison. This seems to be a trend with most lighted mechanical keyboards though. Overall I wouldn’t have chosen the lighting to be this way, but it definitely doesn’t look too bad at all. The important keys are extremely bright on the highest setting and the macro keys are easily readable even in a pitch-black room.