Last Updated on January 13, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Recently, I was given a K95 RGB Platinum Corsair mechanical gaming keyboard as a gift. And although the price tag is a bit steep for those on a budget, the keyboard itself is quite an amazing unit. I’ve been geeking out over it for the past few weeks.
As far as keyboards are concerned, it’s probably my favorite that I’ve ever had. And I’ve gone through a lot of different brands trying to find the perfect fit.
I think I found it.
What is the K95 RGB Platinum?
I’ve never been one of those players who need the latest gaming keyboard so I could fully enjoy the game. In fact, I’ve played on some old and cheap devices. However, the K95 RGB Platinum has greatly affected my outlook.
The Corsair mechanical keyboard just feels good under my fingertips. And although some people might get turned off from the “clickity-clack” of a louder unit, I kind of like the sound.
Then again, I also love the sound of old typewriters.
The K95 RGB Platinum is an LED-backlit keyboard that is capable of cycling through a vast array of colors. Built with customizable macro keys, on-keyboard volume control and Windows locking features, it has a lot of superb functionality.
When combined with Corsair’s iCue software, you can customize a myriad of things other than just what color you want the lights to display today.
Highlights of the K95 RGB Platinum
It’s hard to just mention one of the highlights to this device. It comes loaded with a variety of features, and I’m still finding more things to do with it on a near-daily basis.
But, some of the things that stand out most to me are:
Complete Custom Color Array for LEDs
Using the iCue software, you can change the color of the LEDs using either RGB, hexadecimal code or the color wheel provided. This means the keyboard can accommodate virtually any color you can see including the different hues.
What’s more is that you can have the colors shift from one to another, institute a rainbow effect, or select individual keys and lights for specific colors.
One thing I want to note is how the keyboard in the iCue software will change along with your keyboard in real-life. So, you can see your changes happen in real-time.
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
It’s arguable that mechanical keyboards are superior to silicone or membrane sensory units. Speaking from experience, I prefer mechanical keyboards for a few reasons…
- Longevity – Mechanical keyboards just seem to live a lot longer.
- Sturdiness – I find it far more difficult to break certain components as opposed to cheap plastic alternatives.
- I like the “clickity-clack” of typing. I know, I’m a bit weird.
Now, many people will say how they can “type faster” using mechanical keyboards as opposed to others. Personally, I don’t see a difference in typing speed.
However, a mechanical keyboard often detects keystrokes sooner than alternatives. This is because the K95 will register a keystroke about half-way through the finger stroke.
Does this make you faster? I have no idea. Logically, I would say no simply because your finger is still making the stroke whether it’s all the way down or not. But, if you believe it does, and it truly does, then that’s all that really matters.
Swap-Out ASDW Keys on the K95 RGB Platinum
In the box of the Corsair gaming keyboard is a replacement set of keys and an easy-to-use tool to swap out ASDW. These keys are textured much like the “G” keys on the left side.
This helps fingertip grip as well as being able to find the right keys on the fly without looking away from your screen.
Personally, I’ll probably use these as replacements simply because I wear out ASDW quite quickly. You should see the keys from my old Blackweb keyboard.
Custom Macro Events
You can utilize different macros for the K95 for in-game speed and ease-of-use. Or, you can use the macros to make loading applications much easier if you’re working.
For instance, I made a macro for “G1” to load Photoshop and “G2” to load Premier…two of the most used, non-game programs on my computer.
And the process for setting up macros in iCue is relatively easy. I was able to figure it out in less than a minute without looking up anything in Google or reading the manual.
In-Game Lighting Effects
One of the more cooler features, and one I wish we could edit, is how some games produce lighting effects across the keyboard.
Unfortunately, I cannot find a complete list of supported games from Corsair. I know Far Cry 5 came out with lighting effects on the Corsair K95, but I don’t have the game so I can’t test.
However, I do have Diablo 3, and I was geeking out the first time I saw the colors of the keyboard shift. First, the K95 will shift from whatever color you have set to red with 1, 2, 3, 4 and Q lit as white (the most common keys in Diablo 3).
And then the alert effects come into play. For instance, when a set item drops, a wave of green lights runs from the center of the keyboard to either side to alert you.
Going up in level runs a rainbow wave from the bottom to the top.
I did manage to find several online tutorials about creating your own profiles with the gaming keyboard. I’ll have to dive a bit into them to see what all the K95 can handle. But from what I’ve seen so far, there’s a lot you can do with the lighting effects.
On-Keyboard USB Pass-through
One useful feature I like about the K95 RGB Platinum keyboard is the USB passthrough on the backside near the cable of the unit. If you have a flash drive or other USB device you need plugged in, you can do so from the keyboard itself.
This is pretty much almost a standard feature for several Corsair products, though. The MM800 RGB Polaris and MM1000 Qi charging mousepad both have passthrough USB.
But it’s nice that I can use these devices from the top of my desk without climbing under it to my computer to plug in something temporarily.
So Much Easier to Clean
Perhaps one of the greatest assets to the K95 RGB Platinum is how much easier it is to clean, especially compared to the Blackweb.
The keys are easy to pop-off, thanks in part to being a mechanical keyboard. This makes getting debris like cat hair, food and other gunk out of the keyboard fairly easy.
In fact, I can grip any of the keys and slide it up and off the keyboard without hassle. For me, this is a Godsend! I hate dropping a chip into a keyboard and then having to fight to get the remnants out.
Not a Lot of Supported Gaming Titles for iCue
As I said, I can’t find a long list of supported games using the iCue software or RGB capabilities of the Corsair mechanical keyboard. I’m not sure if it’s something you can add manually or if there is a master list somewhere.
If you do know of a list or a way to edit game lighting effects, feel free to comment below or send me a message on social media. I’d love to know.
However, I’m not going to fault the keyboard because Corsair isn’t very forthcoming with in-game functionality. After all, it’s up to most game developers to implement Corsair’s SDK for RGB use.
Where Can You Get the Corsair Gaming Keyboard?
My K95 Platinum was picked up from Microcenter in Denver. But, I do know they have them at Best Buy. And like most everything else in the world, you can always look on Amazon to save quite a bit of money and a car drive.
Originally, the K95 had a $199 sticker price at most stores. Some places like Best Buy will have discount deals running, especially near the holidays. At the time of this post, I found one on Amazon for $170.
Is the K95 RGB Platinum Worth the Price?
Coming from someone who never really has a lot of money available, $200 for a mechanical gaming keyboard might be a bit on the steep side.
But with all of the features available, the feel of the unit and overall performance, I’d say the K95 RGB Platinum is definitely worth the price. And I know a lot of gamers who would easily throw money at Corsair, especially if they revamped iCue a bit to be more capable of in-game customization.
Still, the keyboard is definitely among my favorite peripherals. I look forward to spending a day setting up my own profiles and lighting effects.
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