As with every market that goes through a sustained period of significant growth, the market of mechanical keyboards is becoming heavily saturated. There already are dozens of companies offering literally hundreds of mechanical keyboards, covering nearly all shapes and sizes in the process. Designers try to innovate and differentiate, which lead to features such as RGB lighting and modular key switches, but this becomes exceedingly difficult as the number of companies and products continue to increase, especially since there's only a small number of mechanical key switch designs to build keyboards around.

Therefore, several companies are now trying to innovate on the design of the mechanical key switches themselves, and we are starting to see new switch designs coming into production in 2016. The first few new designs came from Chinese/Taiwanese manufacturers, but the high demand has meant that the older and larger players would not stay idle either.

One of the first and largest players in the mechanical keyboards market is Corsair. They slowly entered the market with just a single keyboard, but it was such a great success for the company that they soon founded Corsair Gaming, a sister company focused on marketing and selling gaming-related peripherals. Corsair’s great success is heavily attributed to their exclusive deals with Cherry, the most reputable manufacturer of mechanical key switches. For example, they had an exclusive for Cherry MX RGB switches for a year, which made the K70 RGB one of the most popular top-tier gaming keyboards last year.

Today we are having a look at the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE, the keyboard born from another exclusive deal that Corsair has made with Cherry’s new mechanical key switch, the “RAPIDFIRE”. It is a switch designed specifically for gaming by combining light actuation force and higher actuation speed. On paper it does sound interesting, and today we'll put its design to the test to see if there's any actual improvement over Cherry’s “classic” designs.

Packaging and Bundle

We received an early production sample of the keyboard so Corsair did not have its exterior packaging ready yet. It will most certainly be dark with yellow accents, aesthetically focused on a picture of the keyboard itself, like every other keyboard packaging they produce since 2014. The cardboard packaging is very strong and offers more than sufficient protection to the keyboard during transport.

Inside the box, we found a couple of basic quick-start and warranty leaflets, a set of extra keycaps and a full size wrist rest. The wrist rest has a corona-treated surface that gives it a soft, comfortable rubber-like feeling. The extra ten keycaps have contoured, textured top surfaces, assisting tactile feedback when gaming. The first set is supposed to be for FPS gamers and the second for MOBA gamers. Both sets are contoured and textured. Two keycaps, the W and the D, exist in both sets but have different contours as a result. 

The Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
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  • Michael Bay - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    It was more or less a defalult with proplayer crowd because one could bind more keys around, especially in UT scene.
    Then some moved even further with YGHJ.
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Monday, July 4, 2016 - link

    WASD became "the norm" simply because it's the most convenient as you get easier access to the large keys on the edge of the keyboard. Makes it easier to use more keys without having to look where you're pressing, I mean, just because you like gaming it doesn't mean you like learning how to be a words-per.minute obsessed typist. Most people never moved to ESDF like you claimed, some did and some actually even stuck with the original arrow keys, even though the arrow keys are even more impractically located for a left handed use. But, most people use WASD today. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    "It was never a standard to begin with" Pretty sure most games I own have it as the default key bindings for moving. So, standard. Reply
  • Footman36 - Sunday, July 3, 2016 - link

    As an owner of this keyboard as well as a number of other Cherry switched keyboard and Logitech Romer G, I can say that I definitely prefer the feel of the Romer G key. It is quiet, smooth and fast. Unfortunately Logitech go and spoil it by placing the switch in a series of crappy keyboard chassis....
    I am currently using this keyboard as my number one, however I will swap back to the Logitech as I prefer TKL.
    Just my opinion.
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Sunday, July 31, 2016 - link

    I have the non RGB version of this - I only sort of like it. The key spacing is just a little off from what I am used to (various MS and Logis) and I mistype way more than I used to. DO NOT get any liquids on this keyboard, even a small amount, as it will start to freak out, once dry it will work again though. It's pretty loud even with O-rings on it too. I really don't know why I haven't replaced this other than it was expensive and looks cool? 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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