Corsair K100 Review

A high-end keyboard for both gamers and professionals

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4.8

Corsair K100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

What We Like
  • Excellent media controls

  • Macro keys and customizable wheel control

  • Great typing experience

  • Customizable RGB backlighting

  • Robust build quality

  • Super comfortable wrist rest

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Requires two USB ports

The Corsair K100 is expensive, but it’s also luxurious and feature-rich. With the included wrist rest it’s one of the most comfortable keyboards I’ve ever used.

4.8

Corsair K100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

We purchased the Corsair K100 keyboard so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for the full product review.

High-end gaming keyboards are about more than flashy looks and gaudy marketing. Behind the crazy RGB backlighting lurks a foundation of quality that should appeal to anyone looking for the best keyboard possible. On paper, the Corsair K100 certainly seems like one of the best keyboards you could buy, but can it live up to the hype and its high price?

Design: Striking yet reserved

Aside from a few design quirks, the appearance of the K100 isn’t really that outlandish. Yes, the gunmetal color of the board definitely stands out, but overall it’s remarkably restrained for a gaming keyboard.

The customizable wheel and textured volume wheel are certainly striking, but so long as you don’t have the RGB backlighting strobing all colors of the rainbow, you might not be able to say for certain that this keyboard was intended for gaming or productivity, and that restrained style will be desirable to gamers and professionals alike.

The RGB backlighting is remarkably customizable, with a wide range of presets, from the simple and useful, to the completely outrageous.

The keyboard sans wrist rest is actually reasonably compact for a full-sized gaming keyboard. Without significant rims on the front and sides, it’s thin enough to fit on just about any amount of desk space. Even with the wrist rest, it doesn’t seem too chunky. The open keyboard layout also helps keep it from accumulating grime, and it’s easier to clean than a closed design.

The K100 features a full number pad plus the aforementioned media controls and customizable wheel. You also get six macro keys and USB passthrough, and the keyboard may be elevated on short, foldable legs. The USB cable connecting the K100 to your computer is braided and extremely robust, though unfortunately, this keyboard takes up two USB slots on your computer. The keyboard also features a clever cable routing system on its underside to help keep the USB cable out of your way.

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

The RGB backlighting is remarkably customizable, with a wide range of presets, from the simple and useful, to the completely outrageous. I came to really enjoy using the type lighting mode, in which every keypress sends out a rippling wave of color across the keyboard, like tossing a rock into a pool of liquid rainbow.

It’s not particularly practical, but I enjoyed the effect so much that it became my default while using the keyboard. Backlighting is per key, and is accented by a 44 zone three-sided RGB light edge.

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Performance: Fast and accurate

Using Cherry MX Speed switches, the Corsair K100 is remarkably responsive. These key switches deliver an actuation distance of just 1.2mm, which makes for a lightning-fast typing experience where only a slight amount of pressure is necessary to actuate the keys.

Using Cherry MX Speed switches, the Corsair K100 is remarkably responsive.

Once I got used to these more sensitive switches, my typing speed noticeably increased. This is partly thanks to the keyboard boasting 4,000Hz hyper-polling and key scanning. The switches are rated to 100 million keystrokes, so they should last you a good long while.

I had no trouble adjusting to the layout of the keyboard, and lettering is in a clear, easily read font. The standard keycaps are also not unusually shaped, meaning that you won’t potentially be put off by the radical designs implemented in some gaming keyboards. However, the keyboard does come with an alternative keycap set for the WASDQWERDF keys, as well as a key pulling tool, should you wish to differentiate them for gaming purposes.

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Regarding noise, this isn’t the quietest keyboards I’ve ever used, but it’s far from the loudest either. Personally, I found the satisfying muffled thunk sound of the keys to be rather satisfying.

Comfort: Long lasting luxury

Without the wrist rest, the K100 wouldn’t be remarkable in terms of comfort, but with the wrist rest attached, this keyboard becomes one of the most comfortable I’ve ever used. I suffer from mild carpal tunnel syndrome, and I was happy to find that while using the K100 I never felt pains and cramps in my hands, even after using the keyboard for half a dozen hours straight.

With the wrist rest attached, the Logitech K100 becomes one of the most comfortable I’ve ever used.

It really is a luxurious level of comfort that anyone who spends a long time hunched over their keyboard will appreciate.

Corsair K100

Lifewire / Andy Zahn

Software: Robust and approachable

The K100 works with Corsair's impressive iCue software, which offers a deep level of customization for custom functions and the RGB lighting, yet is remarkably approachable and well designed.

Perhaps most importantly, iCue is used to assign functions to the customizable wheel, which can be used for everything from image editing software and video game controls to media management. Along with the macro keys and dedicated media controls, the customizable wheel and iCue software make this a compelling option for productivity-focused use.

Price: On the steep side

With an MSRP of $230, there’s no getting around the fact that the Corsair K100 is more than a bit pricey. However, though there are comparable keyboards available for much less, the K100 offers a level of comfort and build quality that goes a long way towards justifying its not insubstantial cost.

Corsair K100 vs. Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum

For the past year, I’ve been using the Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum as my preferred daily driver keyboard. Compared to the K100 it’s not nearly so comfortable, with a hard plastic wrist rest, and is considerably bulkier. The G902 also has a closed keyboard design that makes it harder to clean. 

However, if you want a ton of macro keys, the G902 has 3 more than the K100, and it features a Logitech Arx control dock which allows you to use a smartphone or tablet as a sort of second screen. Importantly, the G909 is less than half the price of the K100. However, the K100’s dramatically better comfort and overall build quality might well be worth the extra cost, particularly in the long run.

Final Verdict

A robust and multi-talented keyboard that offers high-end performance.

The Corsair K100 is an impressive keyboard in every respect. Its high-performance mechanical switches and customizable controls are compelling both to gamers and creative professionals alike, and its durable build quality is coupled with a truly luxurious wrist rest. Though it’s certainly expensive, the K100 manages to deliver a surprising degree of value.

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Specs

  • Product Name K100 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Product Brand Corsair
  • MPN CH-912A014-NA
  • Price $230
  • Release Date October 2020
  • Weight 3 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 18.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 in.
  • Color Silver
  • Warranty 2 years
  • Lighting RGB
  • Macro Keys 6
  • Keyswitches Cherry MX Speed
  • Wrist Rest Yes
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