The keyboard has a unique look, with black etched keys mounted on a brushed aluminium chassis. The left hand side of the keyboard is dominated by the eighteen macro keys in three equally sized groups, backed with hard black plastic. As you’d expect from a mechanical keyboard of quality, the K90’s high weight lends it a well-constructed feel. As well as the keyboard itself, you’ll also get a wristwrest and a few useless bits of paper.
Let’s have a closer look at the keyboard itself.
On the left side, we’ve got those eighteen macro keys. They’re slightly lower than the main keyboard keys, meaning that there’s little danger of accidentally pressing them – something that happens quite often with keyboards like the Razer BlackWidow, where the macro keys are confusingly similar to the main keys. The keys are rubber domes here instead of mechanical, making them slightly more difficult to press, although this is not entirely bad for a macro key.
There are also associated MR, M1, M2 and M3 keys. These small, circular keys are well-suited to their role and don’t look out of place on the long elevated strip along the top of the keyboard.
In the center, we’ve got the main set of keys. These are mostlyCherry MX Red mechanical switches, which we’ll take a closer look at later. The combination of black keys mounted above the aluminium gives a very cool floating look. It is worth noting that the function keys and insert/delete cluster are rubber dome switches instead of mechanicals.
On the right hand side of the keyboard, you’ll find the media keys. As well as the strip containing the stop, skip back, play/pause and skip forward media buttons, there’s a roller for volume adjustments and a mute switch. The volume wheel is a nice addition – it’s space efficient, it works well for fine adjustments and is feels classy.
Just to the left of the volume wheel are the number lock, caps lock and scroll lock lights. These are a nice white colour when activated. To the left of these, there’s a key that changes the level of backlighting and a key that disables the windows keys (which can get in the way when gaming).
At the very top of the keyboard, there’s a rather nondescript Corsair logo. Looking from the other side, you’ll find a spare USB port, which is passed through the double USB cable into your motherboard. This lets you plug in your mouse or a flash drive, and is always a good addition.
Now let’s have a look at these mechanical switches. I’ve taken off the arrow keycaps to show you. As you can see, each key has a mechanical Cherry MX Red switche. Can you tell?
As you can see by taking off one of the function keycaps, these keys use lower quality rubber domes. This is undoubtedly to reduce the cost of the keyboard, which seems an acceptable sacrifice given the high cost of traditional mechanical keyboards. It’s nice to note though that even with the use of the cheaper material, the switch is still enclosed to prevent spillage damage.
Here are the keycaps themselves – you can easily see the difference between those for the mechanical switches, and those for the rubber domes.
Finally, here’s the USB cable. As noted before, this contains two USB lines so that the USB port on the keyboard can function. The cabling is well protected with a very hard-wearing cover – one of the best I’ve seen on a mechanical keyboard.
And here’s one more picture, when the lights are turned on!