Corsair Vengeance M90 and K90 ReviewBluePanda -
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The Corsair K90 was put through over a full weeks worth of testing. During this time I did everything from writing school papers, random net surfing, and most importantly some casual gaming with some friends.
Although a keyboard is a crucial part of any system build there really are no concrete “tests” that can be performed that can really 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.
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 8 GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 6970
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: SSD 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
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- Zowie Celeritas
- Razer Lycosa
- Logitech Internet 350 keyboard
Comfort is a major player when it comes to choosing a keyboard. If I need to spend 15 hours working on a report then 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 much of 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.
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 SOOO 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 plays in hand 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 for rating is based on the concept of the keyboard being designed for gaming or not. This category is based completely on the compatibility to play with games. Does it have specifically designed macro keys, are there many of them, and how easy are they to use. A scale of 1-10 is used with a score of 1 representing a keyboard with only the main keys (no media keys, no number pad), and a score of 10 means the keyboard was designed solely for a gamer.
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 email because you had to spend half your time going back to retype words because a keystroke was missed or over-typed then why even bother. Same goes for in game – 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 represents 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 K90 was pretty good about comfort. The only thing I felt was a bit hard to adjust to was the “chalkiness” of the keys themselves. With longer nails it felt like I was typing on a chalk board. With shorter nails it felt a little more like a keyboard and was much more reasonable…not that too many of you have to worry about this – I just felt that it was an odd feeling. The wrist rest was smooth and comfortable but I feel it could have been a bit higher up. The keys were nice and easy to work with after hours of typing or gaming.
Macros were easy to set up and easy to use. I’m not generally a big fan of keyboard macros as most games I play don’t have much of a use for them. It is nice to be able to set up random functions around Windows or in different programs to get things done just a little bit quicker than moving the mouse. They were easy to assign and didn’t require a lot of outside effort other than opening the software and making a few changes. It typed like normal, all I found a little “off” was the fact that the backspace key seemed a little delayed or non-responsive in some use. Overall this keyboard was a cut above your standard kit.