The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is familiar territory for those acquainted with the brand’s long-running range, but it goes out of its way to earn the ‘pro’ in its name. Smart design decisions make way for a ‘Tournament Mode’ that gives the gaming keyboard a competitive edge, and it’s one of the most responsive models out there, but not every change is an upgrade over previous models.
On one hand, it includes more of everything you want in the best gaming keyboard, from profiles to processing, and less of the bad things you want to get rid of, such as latency. On the other, it also it includes a wobbly (albeit comfortable) wrist rest, noticeably loud keys, and does away with USB passthrough.
Its $169.99 USD MSRP is a bit tough to swallow, but the moments you find it on sale for around $129.99 make the sticking points sting significantly less. A permanent price drop could even see the Corsair K70 RGB Pro take the gaming keyboard crown, but it’ll be a contest of pros and cons if you don’t want to wait around for a discount.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro design
As usual, Corsair pairs a black set of PBT keycaps against a brushed-gunmetal grey chassis, and raises the top to draw attention to its media keys. To the left, there are three buttons to switch between profiles, adjust keyboard brightness, and lock the Windows key. Over to the right is a textured volume wheel with a dedicated mute button and media controls directly below.
One thing that makes Corsair’s keyboard feel so great is authentic Cherry MX switches, and there’s plenty of choice this time around. Our sample packs Cherry MX Reds, but there are Blue, Brown, Silent Red, and Speed Silver variants available if you fancy something a little different. Each key is raised to emphasise the beautiful RGB lighting, letting it shine through the full length of the keyboard. Generally, it retains a similar premium feel to its predecessors.
The detachable USB-C wire is a welcome addition, as it makes the keyboard easier to travel with. You’ll need to make sure you pack the Corsair cable specifically, however, as the indented housing won’t fit any old wire. Those with a chunky connector simply won’t be able to get past the case, which is a pain when you need a quick replacement. Rivals such as Razer are moving away from the nook approach, as it helps with repairability. Hopefully, Corsair will follow suit.
Another point of contention for me is the lack of USB passthrough compared to its K70 MK.2 predecessor. The increased bandwidth of USB-C lends itself well to connecting multiple devices, so it’s a shame to see the feature dropped. Some might argue that it makes wires a spaghetti nightmare, but I’ve always found it helps me better manage cables.
Closing a door opens a window, though, as it makes room for a Tournament switch on the rear. Flicking this on immediately disables custom actions and macros, gets rid of the RGB backlighting, and disables profiles or profile switching, making it competition-ready. Anything that could be considered against the rules in a tournament is put on pause until you hit the switch again.
Whereas previous K70 wrist rests suffered from stiff clips that often snapped, the K70 RGB Pro solves this problem by getting rid of the clips entirely. For better and for worse, it’s now magnetic, which keeps anything from breaking but can be pretty easy to dislodge if you have a habit of shuffling your keyboard around.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro performance
The Corsair K70 RGB Pro is one of the most responsive keyboards out there, thanks to its Axion hyper-polling technology pushing up to 8,000Hz. This makes the response time between pressing a key and the connected PC registering the action eight times faster than your standard 1,000Hz. It won’t automatically make you a pro, and you might not even notice the increase, but it’s there to give you every edge possible.
It’s a perfect companion to competitive FPS games like Rainbow Six Siege and Valorant, never missing a beat. Its full size also lends to MMOs like World of Warcraft, complete with a Numpad you can shove all your macros onto. From Cyberpunk 2077 to Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the K70 RGB Pro handled everything like a champ during testing.
It feels odd to praise a feature that does away with all the frills that make a gaming keyboard stand out from the crowd, but I wish Tournament Mode was standard. Some games benefit from synchronising the, frankly, beautiful rainbow lights with SignalRGB so they react to what you’re playing. In others, I could do without the distraction when I’m concentrating on winning the round. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and you don’t even need to wait until your next competition to benefit.
Your typing experience will depend on which switches you choose. The linear Cherry MX Reds don’t give the satisfying click that tactile ones do, but each press is smooth, and the stabilizers do a good job of minimizing key wobble. It’s a little light on sound dampening, with the space bar giving a particularly thocky clunk, but it has that signature mechanical feel you just can’t get with a membrane model.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro software
One word to describe the K70 RGB Pro is ‘versatile’. The 8MB of onboard storage can hold up to 50 profiles, and it has on-the-fly macro recording to quickly create any shortcuts you want. Deleting your recorded macros or going deeper than this requires you to dive into Corsair Utility Engine (iCUE) software.
Generally, iCUE can be a bit intimidating at first, given it’s one of the more powerful programs out there, but it’s grown over the years and now includes tutorials to help you learn how to use it. After all, you can use it to change the lighting and create themed animations, reprogram keys, create macros, link profiles with specific games and applications, and a ton more.
Corsair iCUE is needed if you want to use the 8,000Hz polling rate, as the K70 RGB Pro defaults to 1K out of the box. Making it opt-in rather than opt-out might seem like a baffling decision to some, but it’s a precaution in case your PC or laptop doesn’t pack the best gaming CPU. Higher polling rates place more of a demand on your processor and can cause lag in games if your rig can’t handle it. Activating the 8K polling rate is easy enough, albeit not as apparent as you actually need to.
Corsair K70 RGB Pro verdict
The Corsair K70 RGB Pro first debuted in early 2022 and hasn’t dipped far from its $169.99 USD MSRP. It packs a lot into this price tag for competitive enthusiasts, from zippy response times to a dedicated Tournament mode, but the premium might be a bit much if you’re outside the professional gaming sphere.
The K70 RGB MK.2 is still available at around two-thirds of the price, and both the HyperX Alloy Origins and Razer Blackwidow V3 are great alternatives that respect your bank account. As far as 8K polling rates go, however, the K70 RGB Pro is the best, and it becomes an absolute steal whenever it drops to around $129.99 USD / £144.98 GBP.
- Fantastic build quality
- Speedy 8K polling rate
- Tournament switch
- Loud mechanical keys and reverb
- Finicky magnetic wrist rest
- No USB passthrough
Check out our guide on the best gaming keyboard for alternatives to the Corsair K70 Pro, including cheap champions and fancy flagships. You might also want to consider the best wireless mechanical keyboards.
A great successor to one of the best gaming keyboards around with some competitive improvements, but not all changes made to the Corsair K70 RGB Pro are good.