As I’m sure you’ve heard before, there are few benchmarks available for keyboards, so testing them remains a rather subjective experience. I put this keyboard through its paces for a few weeks, using it for both work and gaming. Here are the games that I played in this time:
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (MMO)
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (RTS)
- Battlefield 3 (FPS)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (FPS)
- Heroes of Newerth (MOBA)
As with most mechanical keyboards, the K60’s suitability for gaming is down to its choice of switches. The Red switches in use here are light, allowing quick doubletaps and good speed overall. Their low actuation force might be a problem for some, as it is relatively easier to press the wrong key than it is with stiffer mechanical switches or rubber domes.
For FPS titles, where speed is more important than accuracy in this regard, the red switches are ideally suited. MOBA games also work well on this keyboard as you’ll typically only be pressing four keys corresponding to each of your hero’s four spells, so you can just keep your fingers in position. RTS and MMO gamers may find a Blue, Brown or Black switch preferable to the Red switch found on the K60, as these are stiffer and make typos harder to commit accidentally. Still, for accurate typists this keyboard will work just fine for RTS and MMO titles.
The red keycaps are also quite handy, allowing you to more easily place your hand in the right place. I didn’t find the keycap’s texture to be particularly more useful than the original ones, but they did look quite nice and gave it a very gaming-centric look. (If you’re a Zerg player in StarCraft 2, you might consider using just the ‘S’, ‘D’, ‘4’ and ‘5’ keys with the new keycaps, just to make it easy to morph drones and select your Queens/Hatcheries.)
The decision to spend more on the PCB to allow for 20 KRO, the maximum possible over USB, elevates the K60 over cheaper keyboards from Western brands such as the Razer BlackWidow. While WASD-optimisation is acceptable, it’s sometimes problematic for gamers that use a different cluster or play games that require more simultaneous key use than others.
The only real issue I had when gaming had to do with those non-mechanical keys found in the Function row and Insert/Delete cluster. While I used these keys infrequently, it was offputting to switch from the very light touch of the mechanical switches to the stiffer rubber domes, and I found that I sometimes didn’t press hard enough on the rubber keys for the press to register. After using the keyboard (and its brother, the K90) for a while, this became much less of an issue but it did put me off in the beginning.
Overall though, the K60 seems perfectly suited for FPS and MOBA titles, and only slightly less so for RTS and MMO games. If the keyboard was available with a choice of switches, then I would recommend it more fully for these genres – hopefully Corsair do bring out different switch types in the future. It may be a good idea to try out a friend’s Cherry MX Red switch keyboard first, as not everyone will find the light actuation force helpful.
The K60 is a decent writing keyboard. While Cherry MX Red switches lack the tactile and click feedback of Brown and Blue switches, they still provide a good writing experience due to their lightness. However, this can also make typos easier to commit; if you’re prone to typos then you may find a stiffer keyboard (that uses Black or Blue switches) a better fit. The keyboard is still better for typing than any rubber dome one I’ve used, and will serve you well for normal use in surfing the web, writing reports and the like. This is true even with the red keycaps on; they don’t really get in the way of everyday use.
The media keys are one area which I cannot praise enough on this keyboard. As well as being well placed on the right hand side of the keyboard, making them easy to access, they’re also arranged quite logically. I’m not a big fan of buttons of differing sizes, so having all five of them of the same size is a great benefit.
Where typical keyboard volume buttons have a tendency to be imprecise because of their digital input, the roller works excellently to provide proper analog input. This means you can move quickly from maximum to minimum volume, as well as perform more fine-grained adjustments by rolling slowly. This is also a very space efficient design, and I’m surprised it’s not found on more high-end keyboards.
Thanks to the light mechanical switches, the K60 is a pleasure to use for long periods. This entire review was written on the keyboard, and even after several hours I’m not noticing any pain or tenderness. The lack of a full wrist rest will annoy some, but is perfect for most games, particularly FPS. Typing without the full wrist rest isn’t ideal, but users that consider this a major failing will likely already own a wrist wrest that could be used in lieu of the provided one.