Corsair unveils Rapidfire keyboards with world's first Cherry MX Speed switches
Corsair needs no introduction in the world of PC and gaming accessories. Enthusiasts who have assembled their own computer systems should be familiar with the wide range of top tier solutions available from the hardware company.
The latest accessory from Corsair is the K70 and K65 mechanical keyboard refresh with signature Rapidfire keys. Filter through all the PR talk and Rapidfire means a travel distance of just 1.2 mm from the new Cherry Silver switches (Cherry MX Speed) as opposed to ~2 mm or greater on standard Cherry switches. The shorter actuation distance promises up to 40 percent faster response times (based on a finger speed of 0.3 m/s) from the player to help in twitch-based games like CS:GO or Starcraft II. In comparison, most notebook keyboards offer travel distances of about 1.5 mm or even shorter.
Other features as found on the existing K70 include the expected anti-ghosting rollover, same anodized brushed aluminum frame, advanced lighting controls with individually lit keys and RGB options, and USB pass-through. The hardware design is otherwise identical to the current non-Rapidfire Corsair K series of keyboards.
Based on our time with the new Cherry Silver switches, the keys do indeed feel very shallow especially for a desktop keyboard. The tactility is closest to the Cherry Red albeit with a much shorter travel and without the bump as found on Cherry Brown. Since the force required to push a Red key is already on the light side (~45 g), these Silver switches are even easier and lighter to depress when combined with the shorter travel distance. This is potentially better for gaming as gamers may love the faster travel time while having a similar feel to Cherry Red, but accidental key presses are now an even greater risk. We especially recommend both prospective and existing Cherry Red owners to check out the Rapidfire keyboards as these users may benefit the most from the advantages offered by the new Silver switches.
Why not an even shorter travel distance you ask? According to Corsair, even shallower depths were tested but 1.2 mm was apparently the sweet spot for both comfortable gaming and general typing. We imagine that key tactility and feedback would have been far too weak if the travel were to be made any shorter. Maintaining the "Cherry Red feel" for these new Silver switches may have been priority to draw in the gaming crowd.
The manufacturer tells us that it has a 6-month exclusivity deal with Cherry to offer Silver key options under the marketing name Rapidfire. Thus, we won't be seeing these same Cherry switches on competing mechanical keyboards anytime soon. The K70 RGB Rapidfire, K65 RGB Rapidfire, and K70 Rapidfire retail for $170, $140, and $130, respectively. There are currently no plains from Corsair to incorporate these mechanical keys onto notebooks like the MSI GT80.
Specifications (as provided by the manufacturer):
- Ultrafast mechanical gaming keyboard: Ultrafast 1.2mm actuation and light 45g switch force for truly unrivaled response time
- 100% Anti-ghosting and full key rollover over USB circuitry: No matter how fast you go your keypresses will always register
- Aircraft-grade anodized brushed aluminum frame: Light weight and rugged durability you need for a keyboard that’s going to see a lot of action
- 100% Cherry MX Speed RGB key switches: Ultrafast performance with the precision and durability of Gold contact Cherry MX mechanical gaming key switches. (K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE and K65 RGB RAPIDFIRE Only.)
- Advanced lighting control and large font keycaps: Experience dynamic, vibrant multi-color backlighting
- The power of CUE: Sophisticated macro programming and fast, fluid dynamic multicolor illumination for an enlightened gaming experience
- Detachable soft-touch wrist rest: The comfort you need for marathon gaming sessions
- Dedicated multimedia controls: The control you need to adjust your audio without interrupting your game
- USB Pass-through port: Positioned for uninterrupted game play and ready for your mouse or wireless headset adapter
- FPS and MOBA keycap sets: Textured and contoured keycaps provide maximum grip and enhanced feel