Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Corsair's latest is a stylish and compact 75% form factor keyboard that is as great to use as it is to look at - and it's customizable and then some!

Published
Updated
Manufacturer: Corsair (CH-91D401L-NA)
7 minutes & 59 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 94%
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The Bottom Line

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% is compact and versatile and offers DIY levels of customization. For gaming and productivity, the out-of-the-box performance is excellent, thanks to the pre-lubed switches and acoustics, and the price is right, too - a winner.

Pros

  • + Excellent build quality and stylish aesthetics
  • + Customization aplenty, including hot-swappable switches
  • + The great feeling pre-lubricated Corsair MLX Red Linear switches
  • + Compact 75% form factor
  • + Wired, low-latency wireless, and Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • - No wrist-rest
  • - The layout takes some getting used to
  • - You can't program the Control Dial

Should you buy it?

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Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, customization has taken on a new meaning. No longer are we simply talking about profiles and key assignments or having the ability to swap out keycaps - high-end enthusiast keyboards now dip into the DIY scene by including hot-swappable switches and a Lego-like construction to the PCB mounting, sound-dampening layers, and switches.

The new Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard fits this category as a new enthusiast-grade keyboard for gamers, offering DIY-level customization in a sleek and robust 75% form factor. Even though it comes pre-installed with Corsair MLX Red Linear, you can swap any or all of them out to suit your needs.

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There's more going on here than customization, even though that's a big part of the overall picture. Corsair also adopts the popular 75% form factor with a custom TKL layout (NumPad-free) that makes excellent use of the limited space. Smaller and more compact keyboards minimize desk space, and with the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS offering wired, low-latency wireless, and Bluetooth connectivity, you've got a portable and versatile option.

Throw in the stylish two-tone physical design, the intuitive Control Dial that offers different layers of functionality like volume and LED brightness control, and impressive software support via Corsair's iCUE platform, and the overall picture here is that of an exceptional new keyboard from Corsair. Sitting at the heart of it all are the pre-lubricated Corsair MLX Red Linear switches, which deliver a smooth and wonderful typing experience, whether gaming or chatting with friends. Let's dig in.

Specifications & Close Up

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  • Product Name:Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Product Type: Wireless Gaming Keyboard
  • Size (Full/TKL): 75% TKL
  • Switch: Corsair Red MLX Linear
  • Actuation Point/Force: 1.9mm/45g
  • Interface: 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth, USB 3.0
  • Battery Life: 266 hours with backlighting off (15.54Wh)
  • Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • Lighting: Per-key
  • Dimensions: 320(L) x 136(W) x 35(H) mm
  • Weight: 918 grams (keyboard)
  • What's in the Box:Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75%, 1.8m USB Type-C to Type-A cable, Guide
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Kosta's Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR X670E HERO
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 SUPER Founders Edition
  • Cooler: ASUS ROG RYUO III 360 ARGB
  • RAM: 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair DOMINATOR TITANIUM RGB DDR5 DRAM 6000MT/s
  • SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 4TB, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus Plus M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD 8TB
  • Power Supply: ASUS TUF Gaming 1000W Gold
  • Case: Corsair 5000D AIRFLOW Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
Buy at Amazon

Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$159.99$129.99$159.99
* Prices last scanned on 4/23/2024 at 9:25 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Design & Software

Design

Making a form-factor or keyboard-size switch can be a little jarring, depending on how long you've used a computer or been a PC gamer. Going from a full-sized keyboard to a TKL design that removes the NumPad to save on some physical real estate can be a big move in and of itself. And with compact keyboards shrinking the overall form factor down to as low as 60%, that's another layer of something you might need to 'get used to.'

Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 11

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS features a 75% form factor design, which feels like less of a trade-off because you've still got room for things like arrow keys, a complete row of function keys, and even room to slap on a context-sensitive Control Dial. Many companies have been releasing 75% form factor keyboards, with the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% similar to the Razer BlackWidow V4 75% we reviewed last year - albeit more affordable and wireless.

Being wireless is like the cherry on top of the Corsair K65 PLUS, where you've got the option to connect to multiple devices (there's a handy Windows and Mac switch on the backside of the keyboard) via low-latency 2.4 GHz wireless, Bluetooth, or stay directly connected via USB. There's no perceivable difference between the wired and low-latency wireless modes, so it's an excellent option for wireless gaming. You can also connect the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS to an Xbox or PlayStation, which is great to see.

Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 8

Visually, the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% is stunning, one of Corsair's best to date thanks to the mix of grey and black dye-sublimated PBT single shot keycaps, with a chrome finish on the Control Dial and ESC key. In addition to removable keycaps, you've also got hot-swappable switches, with the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS shipping with the same excellent pre-lubed Corsair MLX Red Linear switches that we loved when we went hands-on with the recent Corsair K70 CORE SE.

They're excellent for gaming and general typing, with a 1.9mm actuation distance, 4.0mm total travel, and a 45g actuation force requirement. The specs might sound like many other fast linear switches great for PC gaming; however, when paired with the two layers of sound-dampening (a layer of high-density foam and a layer of silicon), great-feeling keycaps, and the fact that they're pre-lubricated - the result is a quiet and buttery smooth typing experience.

It's not perfect; the overall layout has some quirks and a bit of a learning curve. Some key placements will take some getting used to, the Delete key being one, and the secondary media controls using a weird Function Key layout I haven't seen before is another. Also, Control Dial modes are assigned as secondary functions on the arrow keys for some reason. And for those who love an extra layer of comfort, the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS does not come with a wrist rest.

Software

Like all Corsair hardware, the new Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% uses the iCUE platform for customization (and updating the firmware). With a modular design, iCUE is in a great place right now, and the plug-and-play experience for the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS is a testament to that, as Corsair now includes skippable tutorials for its peripherals the first time they're connected. You love to see this for a gaming keyboard, as setting up macros and secondary functions can often be a case of trial and error to figure out a layout.

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All key assignments, including remapping, setting up Macros, and detailed secondary functionality, are handled within a single section. With five separate profiles, the level of depth and detail here is commendable; however, it's not the most intuitive system with a combination of keyboard presses and on-screen clicking required. You might make a few mistakes at first, but getting used to the iCUE software's powerful customization doesn't take long. Having different categories relating to apps and media is a big plus and opens the door to making the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS your own.

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The Control Dial gets its own section in iCUE, and here, you can enable or disable the four modes that cover Volume, Brightness (for the LED lighting), Vertical Scrolling, and Horizontal Scrolling controls. Unfortunately, you can't assign the Control Dial additional functions or have access to the same level of depth as Key Customization - but it's still great to have a dial that can quickly adjust volume or scroll through documents and web pages.

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There's a light indicator on the left side of the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS to let you know which Control Dial mode is currently selected (weirdly, this light doesn't sit next to the Control Dial), and you can adjust the colors. This leads us to the last primary customization tool in iCUE, the ability to adjust the per-key lighting, sync it with other devices, or choose from one of the different presets. Lighting controls are par for the course with an enthusiast gaming keyboard, and Corsair's lighting options and compatibility to sync with other hardware are excellent.

Gaming Performance and Productivity

Gaming Performance

With wonderful acoustics and great-feeling keycaps, the Corsair MLX Red linear switches featured in the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% are lovely for PC gaming. Testing with Cyberpunk 2077, Diablo IV, and Apex Legends, the experience is silky smooth using the default low-latency 2.4 GHz wireless option on a Windows PC. One thing I did make sure to do when playing these titles was switch between wired and wireless modes to see if there was any perceivable difference in latency or the overall quality of the PC gaming experience. I'm happy to say that no matter if you're in wired or wireless mode, the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS's performance impresses - and you can't tell the difference.

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Like all gaming-focused keyboards, the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS lets you turn off certain keypresses and Windows functionality so as not to interrupt your gaming - with the bonus of being able to connect it to an Xbox or PlayStation console to play console games with keyboard support. Another thing to mention is the stable and satisfying bounce and feedback you get from tapping the spacebar, which PC gamers always look to when it comes to a keyboard. The spacebar feels and sounds excellent due to screw-in stabilizers that minimize wobble and secondary vibrations.

Productivity

Although the customization is limited, the Control Dial is great for productivity. It's a feature we're starting to see more and more of, and as someone who has two modes when it comes to using a PC, gaming and working, having a dial to adjust volume and scroll is now something I don't want to live without. If you read any of my recent GPU reviews, let's say having the ability to scroll vertically and horizontally with the Control Dial on a spreadsheet full of numbers and charts is another 'hard to come back from' feature.

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The quiet acoustics and smooth linear Corsair MLX Red switches are brilliant for typing, where, outside of the lack of a NumPad (something a lot of people still use daily), you're looking at a keyboard that isn't simply all about gaming. Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% is excellent for productivity. However, it has to be said (again) that the lack of a comfy cushiony wrist rest is disappointing, but you get over 266 hours of battery life (without RGB) on the standard 2.4 GHz wireless connection.

Keyboard Click Sound Level

To test a keyboard's overall sound level, we use the Ozito Digital Sound Level Meter, capturing the sentence "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" multiple times and recording the maximum dB level. This indicates how "loud" the switches used are for everyday usage. The following chart showcases where the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard sits.

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Final Thoughts

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is one of the most impressive compact keyboard releases in recent times, with the enthusiast-grade entry offering excellent levels of customization - right down to hot-swappable switches - with excellent software support, stylish aesthetics, and robust wireless connectivity for only $159.99 USD. If you've been eyeing a 75% form factor option for gaming or day-to-day PC use, it's well worth picking up - the acoustics and Corsair MLX Red switches are wonderfully quiet and smooth out-of-the-box.

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There are some shortcomings, from the lack of a wrist rest to the Control Dial being limited to a handful of functions to the 75% form factor layout taking some getting used to thanks to a few weird design choices. However, when you add it all up: the hardware, the aesthetics, the customization, and the software support, the Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% represents excellent value.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

92%

Quality

93%

Features

95%

Value

94%

Overall

94%

The Bottom Line

The Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% is compact and versatile and offers DIY levels of customization. For gaming and productivity, the out-of-the-box performance is excellent, thanks to the pre-lubed switches and acoustics, and the price is right, too - a winner.

TweakTown award
94%

Corsair K65 PLUS WIRELESS 75% RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$159.99$129.99$159.99
* Prices last scanned on 4/23/2024 at 9:25 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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