I’ve been testing Corsair’s new $229.99 K70 Max mechanical keyboard for the previous couple of days — its first to make use of magnetic Hall effect sensors to register keypresses, permitting for brand spanking new options like the power to customise how far you must press a key earlier than it registers a keypress. The corporate is branding the switches as “Corsair MGX” to differentiate them from its current optical mechanical OPX switches and keyboards with commonplace mechanical Cherry MX switches. Alongside it, the corporate can also be saying a brand new headset: the HS80 Max Premium Wi-fi RGB.
Producers like SteelSeries and Wooting have been making keyboards outfitted with Corridor impact sensors for a number of years now. The essential thought is that every swap has a magnet inside its stem. Press the swap, and a Corridor impact sensor within the PCB underneath the swap can sense that the magnet has gotten nearer and register a keypress. In distinction, conventional mechanical switches depend on two steel contacts coming collectively to register a press, whereas optical switches spot when a swap stem gets in the way of a beam of infrared light.
The benefit of this magnetic method is that it’s inherently analog, that means the Corridor impact sensor can inform whether or not a swap has been pressed a bit bit or quite a bit. Corsair is making use of this functionality in a few other ways.
First, it’ll enable customers to customise the precise level when considered one of its MGX switches actuates (learn: registers a keypress) from anyplace between an ultra-responsive 0.4mm to a full 3.6mm (the default is 2mm). You may want one thing near the previous when taking part in twitchy video games the place pace is of the essence or the latter to attenuate unintentional keypresses whereas typing.
Second, Corsair’s software program lets customers set two actions to a single swap, so a half-press can do one factor, however a full press can do one other.
A 3rd characteristic is one Corsair’s calling “Speedy Set off,” and it’s designed to make the keyboard extra responsive when urgent the identical key repeatedly. Relatively than registering a keypress at a set actuation level, Speedy Set off as an alternative registers it the second the keyboard detects any form of downward motion, which is theoretically a lot faster. The characteristic, which can also be obtainable for Wooting’s Hall effect keyboards, received’t be obtainable at launch for the K70 Max, however Corsair spokesperson Justin Ocbina says it’ll be launched by way of a firmware replace earlier than the tip of the month.
What Corsair isn’t doing with the K70 Max is providing full analog management like we’ve seen with earlier Wooting or Razer keyboards. This might enable every key to emulate analog enter strategies like an analog stick, throttle, or set off to — for instance — provide you with granular management over a automobile’s acceleration when taking part in a racing recreation. However given my expertise with the Wooting Two HE, I don’t suppose it’s an enormous miss. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of PC video games aren’t designed with analog keyboards in thoughts, which may result in video games getting confused after they obtain an analog button enter whereas being managed primarily with a keyboard and mouse.
Past its MGX switches, the Corsair K70 Max is similar to the corporate’s current lineup of K70 keyboards. It makes use of a full-size format that features further shortcut keys, media controls, and a programmable quantity curler. It additionally advertises a polling price of “as much as 8,000Hz,” which is eight instances increased than what keyboards sometimes provide and will lead to decrease enter latency. Not like Razer, Corsair’s keyboards scan for keypresses at a slower 4,000Hz earlier than reporting them to a related pc at this most 8,000Hz, however in observe, I’ve by no means seen any distinction in enter latency.
Round prime, you’ll discover Corsair’s commonplace “event swap,” which is designed for use throughout aggressive play and disables any recorded macros or distracting flashing backlighting. The keyboard comes with a six-foot removable USB-C to USB-A cable, and there are a few additional keycaps and a keycap puller included within the field.
Regardless of its premium worth, when it comes to typing really feel high quality, the K70 Max isn’t a critical competitor to Keychron’s $199 Q1 Professional or even its more affordable $84 V1. It is a gaming keyboard via and thru, and whereas I’ve been utilizing it for workplace work this previous week, I’ve discovered it to sound fairly hole and rattly, with out the graceful crispness of Keychron’s competing fashions. Right here’s a typing sound check:
Alongside the K70 Max keyboard, Corsair can also be saying a brand new $179.99 headset, the HS80 Max Premium Wi-fi RGB. The corporate advertises that the headset is suitable with PC, Mac, and PlayStation consoles by way of its 2.4GHz dongle and can even connect with further gadgets by way of Bluetooth. Battery life is rated at as much as 65 hours by way of the dongle and 130 hours over Bluetooth.