From what we have seen from Corsair in the recent past, their line of keyboards went almost fully mechanical, and love them or hate them for using rubber dome switches with mechanical switches, the design and layout is something that any potential buyer can appreciate. The use of natural aluminum trim, the placement of the Macro, profile, and multimedia keys, and the basic black provided goes well enough with any desktop. The real question at this point is, "Where do you go from here?"
There must be a lot of Corsair's customers that aren't fans of the mechanical keyboard scene, because now not only are we moving back to a full rubber dome switch based setup, but we also get a new series name this time. To separate the mechanical Vengeance keyboards from this latest set, we now have the Raptor gaming series of peripherals. This does not mean that this is a subpar product; it is just much like the cases where the Obsidian is the flagship series and the Graphite series is no less valuable, but rather just a different angle of approach to the same basic idea.
As we look at the latest keyboard from Corsair, the Raptor K40 we were delivered not too long ago, we also find that this is not just an ordinary rubber dome keyboard that every other company on the planet offers. Corsair took design elements from the Vengeance series, but even then things are slightly different. Gone is the aluminum trim, but that element is not lost in this latest design. This also shares the layout of the Vengeance keyboards, keeping more of the familiarity between the two series of boards. There are some really cool features tied into this design as well, but things like lighting, the raised keycaps, and the feel will all come later in the review, and those in the market to replace their keyboard may want to continue reading, as this rubber dome switch solution is different than most of the rest of the available options and may just be your next keyboard…you just don't know it yet.
In typical Corsair fashion, we do get a specifications chart, but the information given is pretty slim. We find that the box contains only the K40 keyboard and no extra goodies in the contents section. As we move down, we find out that this is a rubber dome based keyboard that offers a lighting plate inside that can change the color to any of the 16.8 million colors available in the software. Around the layout, you are given six dedicated Macro keys, seven multimedia keys, and a Windows lockout function to allow for uninterrupted gaming. The last bit in that section also covers the 36KB of onboard memory offered in the Raptor K40 to allow users to travel with this product and keep the Macros and profiles with them without the need to install software everywhere the K40 gets connected.
That is really all that is offered outside of the system requirement. No mention of materials, size, or even its weight is made. Going over these obvious omissions, let's start with the materials chosen. The K40 is entirely made of plastic externally, as there are metal bits inside for bracing and wiring traces, and is mostly black, with accents of textured grey plastic, and the logo placed at the top edge, which seems to be gold in color. Dimensionally, the K40 is 18.5 inches from left to right; it is roughly 7 inches from front to back, and stands 1.25 inches at the back without the feet extended. As for the weight, we do not have an appropriate scale, but when compared to mechanical keyboards, this thing is a featherweight. Also in this design, there are the raised key caps that make this keyboard look like it could be a mechanical offering, and also they were somehow able to offer a better feel in this design with the use of these types of keys.
Locating the Raptor K40 is pretty simple as they seem to be just about everywhere the rest of the Corsair lineup can be found. We also see that the MSRP has been set on this keyboard at $79.99 US dollars. Near $80 is really pushing the price limits for a rubber dome keyboard in the basic sense, but Corsair has delivered something ever so slightly different visually, as well as giving this keyboard a feel that you don't automatically associate with most muddy rubber dome key feel.
All of that is worth something to customers, and we just need to settle in and see for ourselves if the Raptor K40 is a step above the standard offering, or as some say openly on forums, if they are just using their name and reputation to charge a bit more for what could be a very average product. From what we can tell so far, the design leans heavily to the former explanation. Let's make it to the end of the review before we make our final conclusions on this.
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