Mechanical gaming keyboards

Ideal for fast-paced games

The build quality of Corsair's K95 RGB Platinum is excellent.
The build quality of Corsair's K95 RGB Platinum is excellent.PHOTO: CORSAIR

The K95 RGB Platinum has all the features you would expect but it is a tad expensive

Corsair's latest mechanical gaming keyboard is the K95 RGB Platinum. Launched earlier this year, it is not to be confused with last year's K95 RGB (minus the Platinum moniker).

While both keyboards feature RGB backlighting and the ability to customise the colour of each individual key, the Platinum feels more sensible with just six dedicated macro keys on its left side, compared with 18 on the older model.

But the biggest difference is that the Platinum uses Cherry MX Speed switches, instead of Cherry MX Red on the non-Platinum model.

These linear switches have an actuation point of 1.2mm, which basically means a shallow tap (1.2mm) is enough to register a key press, though the actuation force (45g) is actually identical to that of the Cherry MX Red switch.

In other words, the Platinum is suitable for those who play fast-paced games. Careless typists like me would probably end up with more typos than usual. The Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum, which uses 1.5mm Romer-G switches, is probably the closest rival.

The Platinum offers a bit more resistance than a Cherry MX Red keyboard, while the Logitech G910 is even stiffer than the Platinum. It is relatively quiet for such a keyboard.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $319

    SWITCHES: Cherry MX RGB Speed (linear, 45g actuation force) or Cherry MX Brown (tactile and non-clicky, 45g actuation force)

    FEATURES: RGB backlighting, six macro keys and dedicated media controls

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Its build quality is excellent. The top of the keyboard is covered by a classy brushed aluminium layer, while the keyboard feet at the bottom flip open with a solid click.

The wrist rest is unique, too. It consists of a plastic frame that snaps onto the keyboard and a dual-side wrist rest with a different finish on each side. Magnets secure the wrist rest to the plastic frame, so you can easily fit it on the side you prefer.

A roller at the top right corner makes it easy to adjust the volume, and there are dedicated playback buttons below it.

There are three shortcut keys. One adjusts the brightness of the backlight, while another disables the Windows logo key to prevent accidental taps while gaming.

The last key switches between three programmed profiles, which are stored in the keyboard's memory. To edit these profiles from their default settings, you have to install the Corsair Utility Engine software. Once you have saved your changes, you can access these profiles, which include your preferred LED lighting effects, on any PC without having to install any additional software.

This app is also used to update the keyboard's firmware, as well as to record custom macros. I found it overwhelming, especially the advanced settings, though, from what I have read online, this software has already been rewritten once to make it more user-friendly.

•Verdict: The Platinum has all the features you would expect of a top mechanical keyboard. But it is more expensive than its competitors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Ideal for fast-paced games'. Print Edition | Subscribe