A Closer Look

One major upgrade over the Vengeance K60 is the inclusion of backlighting. The silver version of the Vengeance K70 has blue LEDs installed, while the black versions come with red LEDs. Every typical key has one LED installed beneath it, illuminating both the major and minor character, with the sole exception being the Space Bar. In order to improve the uniformity of the backlighting, Corsair added two stand-alone LEDs beneath the Space Bar. This definitely helps aesthetically but the backlighting of the Vengeance K70 is perceptibly uneven, which is natural for a construct of multiple-point lighting and without a reflective background. This is a problem with all such keyboards but the "levitating" design of the Vengeance K70 enhances the effect. Furthermore, most manufacturers install highly reflective surfaces beneath the keys in order to reduce the problem and the black anodized aluminum body of the Vengeance K70 is not up to the task.

As expected, beneath every keycap is a Cherry MX mechanical switch, even under the longer keys. Cross type supports can be found under the five long keys (Space, Shift, Enter and Backspace), which prevent the keys from wobbling and give the Vengeance K70 a very robust feel. Red Cherry MX switches are very soft and linear, Brown are soft with a very light and noiseless tactile feeling, while Blue are similar to the Browns but have a strong and raucous tactile feedback instead.

There is a lot of marketing hype going around about which switch is better for gaming, typing, and overall use. We strongly believe that there is no single switch that is right for everyone—it simply is a matter of personal preference. For example, there are gamers that prefer the tactile Blue switches over the linear Red switches and typists that enjoy the comfort of the Red switch over the noisy Blue switch. There are even gamers that do not prefer mechanical switches and would rather use rubber dome switches.

Ultimately, the choice of switch should be based entirely on the personal preferences of each user. Unfortunately, that makes first time mechanical switch keyboard purchases a bit tricky. If you have no experience with mechanical keyboards and do not know which switch is right for you, you could acquire a tester board before your final selection. It won't really let you experience actual typing/gaming, and as such it would be better if you could get hands-on time with several keyboards with the different switches, but at least the tester board will let you feel/hear what the switches are like.

Quality-wise, the Vengeance K70 is one of the best made keyboards that we have ever seen. The aluminum chassis offers excellent mechanical strength and the plastics are of very high quality. Inside the keyboard, we discovered a very clean assembly accompanied by a textbook soldering job. A Freescale MC9S08JM32 Microcontroller and a Holtek HT1632C LED driver are the heart of the Vengeance K70.

Final Words

Performance is a qualitative factor when it comes to keyboards, almost exclusively depending on the keys used and the features that the user requires. Beyond that, few quantifiable figures can be used to measure the performance of a keyboard, with the key rollover being perhaps the only exception. The Corsair Vengeance K70 supports n-key (infinite key) rollover, meaning that you can press virtually any number of keys simultaneously and every single one of them will register.

While this is true, as the Vengeance K70 registered all 12 keys that we pressed simultaneously, given human beings are limited to ten fingers anything above this level is practically useless under in most circumstances—even if you were to play a split-screen game with two people using one keyboard, it is unlikely you'd need more than 10-15 keys (and getting that many fingers on a single keyboard is going to be very crowded). We also found no key combinations that would cause the keyboard to "ghost" (i.e. not register the keystrokes), something that gamers will be really glad about. In terms of feel and quality, the Corsair Vengeance K70 also scores very high, being one of the most robust and consistent keyboards that we have ever used.

Where the Vengeance K70 does not fare well at all is on versatility and software—there is none. There are no macro keys and no programming capabilities at all, leaving the Vengeance K70 without any advanced keyboard capabilities. With a price tag of $129.99 at the time of this review, the Vengeance K70 feels more like an overly glorified simple keyboard and less of a product designed for advanced users. If you simply enjoy simplicity and do not care about having programmable keys or macros, the Vengeance K70 is one of the highest quality products that money can buy, albeit for a hefty price tag. For those that merely need macro keys, Corsair retails the Vengeance K95, an extended version of the K70 with eighteen programmable keys on its left side, which however only comes with Cherry MX red switches and with an even heftier price tag of $179.99. If however you want/need something more advanced, you might want to wait a few months for the MX RGB versions of the Vengeance K70/K95, as they will include advanced features (at higher prices than the standard models reviewed here).

Corsair Vengeance K70 Keyboard Review - Page 1
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  • faster - Monday, June 9, 2014 - link

    Warning - I had the K90, and while it was a great keyboard, I accidently knocked a beer onto mine. The beer (About 1/2 a 12oz beer) killed the keyboard. It didn't malfunction, it completely died and became a brick. So, if you are prone to spilling drinks on your keyboard, this may not be the one for you. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, June 9, 2014 - link

    If you are prone to spilling drinks on your keyboard, don't drink near your keyboard. Reply
  • prime2515103 - Monday, June 9, 2014 - link

    I like the black logo as I would prefer no logo at all. Reply
  • artifex - Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - link

    I have a K60, which is difficult to properly take apart in order to clean or recover from spills.
    I notice the K70 seems to have the same volume control design that is the sticking point on the K60 (one of the sides has to be carefully removed or it will break); is the K70 similarly hard to take apart?
    Reply
  • i7 - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    I have this keyboard for about three months now. Works great. I like the feel and I use it for gaming and everyday typing. Haven't had any LED issues. Came from a Logitech G15. Yea no G-keys, not a big deal, never used them anyways. Like the fact that the media keys actually integrate well with all of my media software. Am waiting for the RGB also. Reply
  • dorekk - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link

    I have this keyboard and I view the lack of software as a plus, not a minus. I like that I don't have to run any annoying software in the background to change the backlighting (this isn't mentioned in the review, but to do per-key backlighting you hold down the "gaming" mode button, then press any key to enable to disable its backlight, then hold down the button again). I have no need for macro keys, so it's nice to not need software. I have it in black with MX Reds and the typing feel is awesome and the backlights are fine so far. (I've had it for about a month.)

    I do kind of wish I had waited just a couple months so I could get the RGB version, but damn, $130 was already pretty pricey...an extra 50 bucks just to have different colors is a little much!
    Reply
  • sean_themighty - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    1. The black on black logo is a huge plus. It's the closest thing to no logo you can get.

    2. No additional software is a huge plus. I used to have a Razer keyboard that had mind-numbing additional software required to "unlock" features. No thanks.

    3. This is a dedicated gaming keyboard for me, and I primarily play first-person shooters, so the textured ASDF keys are fantastic. Also, the red switches are perfect too. I do prefer the blue switches for a general-use / typing machine, though.

    On another note, I'm surprised now much information the manual leaves out... like how to program your own unique key light schemes, or how to turn on lit key confirmation mode. I only even knew how they worked by stumbling upon others who had mentioned it.
    Reply
  • kaitai99 - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    I used to own the K70 MX Blue, but after three keyboard replacement due to dead LEDs I had to refund it with Corsair. The cherry red seems to last longer with better quality LEDs. I would avoid the blue LEDs at all cost. Reply
  • Ammohunt - Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - link

    No PS/2? No Thanks! Reply
  • cainsworth - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - link

    The arm rest that comes with the keyboard is flimsy. Unlike the keyboard itself, which has a sturdy metal body, the arm rest is made of plastic. The plastic tabs that hold it in place are poorly designed and break off easily. (An image is available at http://imgur.com/a/6YaT9)

    To make matters worse, Corsair refuses to replace the part under its warranty. Instead, they want $10, plus tax and shipping, to replace the armrest.
    Reply

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