Free As a Bird!
Well it’s time for another hardware review, this time it is for Corsair’s new wireless mechanical gaming keyboard. In a previous post I said I would have no reason to buy a keyboard with red switches, but it turns out I was wrong. This review is going to be pretty short and sweet. I won’t be going into many technical details of the keyboard, if you want that you can read about that in this previous post about mechanical keyboards.
Some quick specs of the keyboard
Full Name: CORSAIR K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Price on Amazon: $109-ish
Switches: Cherry MX Red
Backlighting: Blue or ice blue
Battery life: 15+ hours with lighting, 36+ hours without
Charging: Micro USB
Connection type: Toggle between encrypted wireless or blue tooth, more on this below
Number pad: No, more on this below
Multimedia Keys: Yes
Wireless range: Excellent, more on this below
Basics & Why I Got Another Keyboard
This is corsair’s first wireless mechanical gaming keyboard. It is everything you should expect from the Corsair brand. They are marketing it is a tournament edition or compact keyboard. This just means there isn’t a Number pad on the board. I know for many this is a deal breaker, and I completely agreed with this opinion for a few months. However I had some extenuating circumstances when I wasn’t at home and needed a keyboard to use, and ended up making a snap purchase on Amazon. I was previously using the Corsair K70 LUX with Speed switches but needed something wireless when I wasn’t at home. Since purchasing this board my K70 sits in my closet, this pretty much sums up my feelings for the K63 wireless. The reason I didn’t purchase it sooner was my general love for speed switches, and because it didn’t have a number pad. I really do love wireless so much I can overlook the lack of a number pad, and red switches aren’t that bad.
Look and Feel Of The Keyboard
The Keyboard is an all plastic design, it isn’t a metal design like the k70 and the k95. That being said it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap at all. Of course it doesn’t feel as sturdy as one of the aluminum designs, but even after me dropping it a couple times there are no issues at all. The back plate is a flat design except where it curves down on the spacebar side. In the upper left above the keys are some soft rubber multimedia buttons, it is the standard stop previous play and next. In the middle of the keyboard are two circular soft rubber buttons. The left one is for cycling through the two modes of backlighting and the right is for locking your windows key. In the upper right are three additional soft rubber buttons, a mute and volume up and down. If you have a K70 it takes some getting use to having your multimedia keys on the opposite side, I still reach for the right group, but it is clear why it is arranged this way. They are trying to compact it as much as possible, and without the number pad there wasn’t room on the right side of the board. The micro USB port to charge the keyboard is on the back right next to the on off switch.
As I said above the Switches are Cherry MX Red, and it is currently the only option for the K63 wireless. I am assuming Corsair did this because Reds are their most popular switch, and this was their first wireless mechanical gaming keyboard. I am expecting them to release more options in the future if this model meets their expectations. It took me some time to adapt to typing on reds. The Cherry Speed Switches are so much more sensitive and are like typing on air. Reds are more like typing on firm air, still nice and soft and responsive but not quite the same. They do take a bit more pressure to activate but overall I do enjoy them much more than typing on browns or blues.
Wireless, Bluetooth, and The Battery
When your keyboard is in wireless mode, as it is by default it uses 128-bit AES encryption so you can be assured nothing you are writing is going to be snagged. Maybe this is because some of them gamers really get crazy in trying everything to win, I honestly have no clue. Either way it is a nice feature to have on a keyboard. In addition to the wireless you can hit function f10 to turn on Bluetooth and use the keyboard with a phone, tablet, or if your PC has built in Bluetooth. To go back to wireless you just hit function f9 and you are back connected to the wireless receiver. This really is remarkably convenient at least for me.
The range of the wireless is really good and it goes through walls with no problem with one caveat. The keyboard comes with a nice thick charging cable, and a little micro USB mail to USB female adaptor. This is so you can also use the charging cable as a USB extender for the wireless receiver. When you do this your wireless range is increased by quite a bit, without it and you don’t get great range. I have not tested the Bluetooth range but that is pretty standard for all devices, you should know what to expect there. To pair it with something Bluetooth you hold down function f10 for a few seconds, then choose it on your device then type in the code you are given on your device and hit enter. This is a pain in the ass because you only have a few seconds. It took me a few times to manage it, but after pairing I haven’t had any issues.
I’ve seen people complain about the battery life not being as good as they think it should be. I simply charge the keyboard every couple days in the morning and it is good for another couple days. I don’t use the lighting because I don’t need it, and because it eats the battery like crazy. If you use backlighting you will get one day worth of charge. Without the lighting and you are good for several days. Could they have made it last longer, well sure they could have , but it isn’t necessary and they were shooting for a price tag of around $100 so 3 or 4 days of use is perfectly fine for what you are paying. One thing to note is if you let it die sometimes on recharging it will turn itself into demo mode. To fix this simply turn it off hold down escape and turn it back on. Release escape then you should be all good to go. You will also have to turn off the lights after doing this as they will be turned on.
Summary And Final Review
- Build Quality: 9/10
- There isn’t anything bad about the build quality of the keyboard, I just wish it had a aluminum back plate. No matter what plastic will always feel cheaper than metal even if there isn’t anything wrong with it.
- Overall experience of use: 10/10
- This keyboard being wireless is a super convenience for me personally. I know it isn’t as important to others but for me it is the most important feature. That in combination with being able to switch between Bluetooth with one keystroke and it is really everything I wanted in my first wireless mechanical keyboard.
- Cherry MX Red Switches: 9.5/10
- This is a lot of personal preference, and I prefer Speed Switches. Reds are the closest thing to speeds though, and they are still better than browns or blues for me personally.
- Overall Rating: 9.0/10
- This is a great keyboard and perfect for anyone looking for a wireless mechanical.
Overall I really like this keyboard, but I am really partial to anything wireless. I’ve been waiting too long for a wireless mechanical made by a brand I trust. Corsair is that brand and I am really happy with this keyboard. I don’t regret making the purchase at all. Even though I would prefer Speed Switches over Reds, it isn’t enough to make me go back to being tied down to a wire.