Corsair has a wide variety of keyboards at their disposal, with their primary focus being mechanical and gaming. They have offered some of the best and gold standards in these two categories, even implementing them with their various other product lines, such as the Elgato Stream Deck, allowing for better functionality for content creators. Now they’re looking to put the membrane market to rest, something that should have been done a long time ago. Corsair is making a move at the affordable, entry-level market which has immense potential, with keyboards such as the K63 and the newly-introduced K60. In a time where the economy’s outlook isn’t looking particularly great, Corsair is offering the K60 RGB Pro, which is a Cherry Viola mechanical keyboard under $99. Is this going to be a breakthrough we were hoping for when it comes to affordable keyboards or have there been too many sacrifices to make any meaningful change?
In terms of design, the K60 isn’t too far off from Corsair’s K100 or K95 models, minus a few buttons and features. It comes with a black anodized brushed finish aluminum chassis, individually lit keyswitches, ABS low profile keycaps, NKRO full key rollover with anti-ghosting and a standard, non-braided USB 3.0 connector. The design itself is surprisingly portable; it’s still not to the level of something like tablet or phone keyboards where you can simply slip it into a bag and be on your way, especially with a numpad extension, but for a mechanical keyboard with surprisingly low keys, it can be moved around a fair amount without much hassle. There isn’t a whole lot of extra space to speak of; most of the keys fit snuggly in the frame with only the four caps, num, scroll and in lock indicators taking up the emptiest space at the top right. You’re also able to adjust the height with two legs and attach one of Corsair’s new magnetic wrist rests, but know that the latter is sold separately.
As far as a mechanical keyboard goes, the K60 Pro feels very much like a cheaper entry. There’s a bevy of different switches out there, each with their own touch and responsiveness. Corsair’s latest entry has the Cherry Viola, which has some of the feeling of a traditional mechanical keyboard, but at the same time it’s not the quality of what you can expect. The Cherry Viola are linear keyswitches that offers a quick and accurate presses, with up to 1000Hz (1ms) polling, but at the same time are budget oriented. They don’t necessarily feel bad when pressed, but they’re not the most comfortable as they’re squishy in comparison to Blue or Brown switches. In terms of sound quality, the K60 Pro’s Cherry Viola are soft, but unfortunately the spring noise is much louder than we had hoped, with it echoing quite a bit. It’s probably the most frustrating aspect of the keyboard as every stroke is a noise you don’t necessarily want to hear on a mechanical keyboard.
As typical with other Corsair products, the K60 RGB Pro functions with the proprietary iCUE application that allows you to fully customize the product’s functionality. So you’re able to completely rework the LED lighting, in which every single key comes with their own unique lighting that has 16.8 million color options. There’s a good chunk of preset options to choose from when it comes to the lighting effects, each one pleasing to the eyes. If you don’t want to use iCUE for some reason, there are a number of shortcuts that will help out with that, which are helpful if you attach it to something that doesn’t support the application, such as on an Xbox One.
There is no media control, at least from an onboard system, but instead the K60 Pro comes with a number of shortcuts through the Function key. These will complete tasks such as increase the LED’s brightness to various media functions such as play and mute. It’s not the best system available out there, as you’ll have to learn each and every command, but it’s a cheaper alternative than having a media control unit on the keyboard itself. You’re able to adjust the various lighting effects with this means as well. Speaking of which, the lighting effects in general on the K60 are pleasant, as they range from a large spectrum of 16.8 million colors that will give you a good amount of variety when going between the various effects.
The K60 RGB Pro is a solid choice for the budget gamer, but at $89.99, it comes with a lot of sacrifices. The Cheery Viola are loud in comparison to the other Cheery keyswitches, not in terms of mechanical press, but the spring itself echoes significantly through every stroke. There’s also obviously various features you don’t get with a cheaper model, such as dedicated media control, macros and textured keycaps. With that said, there are still elements to the keyboard that are in line with what we’ve come to expect from a Corsair mechanical keyboard, such as ultra-fast polling and a bevy of customizations to the LED lighting. The K60 RGB Pro is a good jumping in point for affordable mechanical keyboards, but at the same time, I would recommend spending a little extra to get a much better experience.