Perfection is hard to improve. But Corsair is trying. Priced at $229, the Corsair K100 RGB is the successor to the much-loved K95 RGB Platinum, adding a new paint finish, new proprietary optical mechanical switches, customizable control dials, more RGB and a snazzy new wrist rest. Despite all the changes, the K100 still carries the excellent core design of the K95. That said, many of its new features offer only passable improvements. If you want the kitchen sink of gaming keyboards, the K100 is now the most customizable and feature-rich keyboard on the market. However, more doesn’t necessarily mean better, and most people won’t get their money’s worth out of its expensive, extremely user-specific upgrades.
Above the High End
Like the K95 RGB Platinum before it, the K100 RGB is a massive keyboard control panel with all the quality-of-life features that PC gamers want. When you consider the slim but well-padded removable wrist rest, it comes in a spread of 1.44 x 18.44 x 6.5 inches (HWD), or better yet, 1.44 x 18.44 x 9.44 inches.
The K100 is the first keyboard to feature Corsair’s new proprietary OPX optical switch. For unactivated optical or opto-mechanical switches, a laser cutoff is used to determine when a key is pressed, rather than a physical switch. Pressing the key lowers a plunger that disrupts the laser plane, which activates the key. Like Razer, which last year made extensive use of optical switches on keyboards like the Huntsman Tournament Edition and Huntsman Mini, Corsair claims that optical keys are more durable and faster to activate because they eliminate de-jittering latency, the sub-millisecond pause between keystrokes that is used to prevent accidental clicks. corsair claims that OPX switches should be able to withstand 150,000,000 keystrokes, more than three times as many as high-quality mechanical switches.
iCue Control Wheel
Macro and media keys, and other tried and true luxuries like USB direct, are obsolete. They’re all available on the K95 Platinum and Platinum XT. The K100 also has a new input called the iCue Control Wheel, a customizable macro dial that gives you access to a variety of preset scroll controls or whatever you want to come up with. Projecting from the left side of the top bar, above the Exit and F1 keys, the plastic horizontal twist dial gives you finer control than the vertically scrolling volume wheel. Using it accurately requires two fingers, so it doesn’t mean you’re constantly fiddling with it or when it’s not your primary focus. Its default functions, such as browsing tracks, adjusting the keyboard’s RGB brightness, and cycling through applications, aren’t things you’ll want to do while playing music.
Luxury or excess?
The K100 RGB’s great looks and high-performance features come at a high price. At $229, it’s much more expensive than the still-expensive K95 RGB Platinum and K95 RGB Platinum XT (keyboards that normally sell for $199.99). Some of the differences that set it apart, such as the iCue control wheel, are definite upgrades, but they appeal primarily to the most productivity-oriented automation hounds. And some of the new features, like the new switches, may not be to everyone’s taste.
As an ultra-expensive upgrade – a battle station showpiece with all the gaming keyboard trimmings – the K100 is a high-quality, if quirky, option. Most people would be better off buying the K95 RGB Platinum XT, which remains the editor’s choice for a gaming keyboard.