Corsair K57 RGB Wireless Gaming Keyboard Review

The Corsair K57 RGB Wireless Gaming Keyboard is almost the most perfect keyboard we have ever looked at.

Manufacturer: Corsair (CH-925C015-NA)
19 minutes & 30 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 100%
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The Bottom Line

Almost perfect in every way! The K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard is feature-rich, offers better than expected feel, and offers some of the best lighting on any keyboard. Corsair nearly hit every nail on the head, if not for that key squeak!

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Usually, when we are replying to users as to what keyboard to look for, most of us move to a set of rubber dome options, or the ever-growing list of mechanical switch options, and to be honest, we tend to forget about the hybrid options altogether. However, every once in awhile, a product makes its way across our desk that shows us that the main two categories may not be the perfect solution for all. We have seen quite a few hybrid solutions in the past, and while most are products that can stand out on their own, none have been delivered for testing that can hold a torch to what Corsair has packed into this gaming keyboard.

A good feel to the actuation of the switches is a main priority to many, and if we are opting for a hybrid design, most tend to have a soft plunging motion with a soft and almost muddy landing feel. Shockingly, in the latest gear from Corsair, we have something with a mechanical tactile feel, but without any of the springs and bumps to make it happen, as here it is based on the rigidity of the membrane mat inside of the keyboard to offer any feel or resistance.

On top of the basics, this gaming keyboard is stacked with features. Not only does it have software with all of the customizations one can desire, but this keyboard is also built with super-low latency wireless capability, but it also supports two devices with Bluetooth connectivity as well. Dedicated Macro keys, dedicated multimedia keys, detachable cable, wireless dongle storage, the list goes on and on.

In the most basic sense, what you are about to see is one of the most feature-rich keyboards available on the market, which caters to not just gamers, but for those wanting to be more productive, and for those looking to cut the cord. Corsair has stepped up their game with this design, offering what we know is a rubber dome based design, yet has a better feel than many of the Red or Speed switch variations of mechanical keyboard options. To put it bluntly, you are about to see the K57 Wireless Gaming Keyboard from Corsair, which not only packs a pleasing experience with the full feature set, but it also does so without making anyone break the bank trying to get one of their own.

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Following the chart offered in the reviewer guide, we see that Corsair jumps right in with the connectivity. One option is to opt for the sub-1ms, 2.4GHz, SLIPSTREAM wireless, or there is also Bluetooth 4.2 as an option, but the latency increases to 7.5ms. The last connectivity option is to plug in the cable, which is a USB 3.0 cable of standard length, with a USB 3.1 Type-A connection for the back of the keyboard, where it attaches.

When using this keyboard wirelessly, it does offer 128-bit AES encryption to ensure nobody is "listening" to your key presses. The last bit of these options is the cell inside of the keyboard. In this instance, it is a Li-Ion cylindrical battery which delivers 3200mAh, 3.67V, 11,7 Wh, and is charged via the USB cable.

Lifespan on such a device is a huge factor, and Corsair covers this topic very well. When opting for the 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, you can game up to 35 straight hours with full RGB LED goodness. If you choose to disable the RGB LEDs, the time moves to an astounding 175 hours between charges. Bluetooth connectivity is even better. With the lights in full display, it is said that you will get 40 hours of usage. However, turning off the RGB LEDs will move you into the range of 200 hours of use.

The rest of the chart is sort of hit and miss as to the continuity of the listed features to each other, but we can close this out pretty quickly. The default polling rate is set to 1000HZ, and with the hybrid switches, we get a tactile feel, with 8KRO support. You do have the option to use iCUE software, although the keyboard is designed to do a lot of that with just a few key presses as well. There is a Windows lock key, there is a detachable rubberized palm rest, the cable is roughly six feet long and detachable, but no sleeving is present.

Dimensionally, we can see that the K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard is 480mm from side to side, it is 163mm from front to back, and without the feet extended, and it stands 35.4mm tall. Without the cable and the wrist rest attached to the K57, the weight is listed at almost a kilogram or 2.09 pounds, but most of that is due to the weight of the Li-Ion battery inside. The last bit of information offered in the chart deals with the warranty, where we see that Corsair covers the K57 for the period of two years, to be free of flaws or failures in that period.

As we write this, we are still under NDA, and as such, we did not find listings out in the wild. However, in the review guide, all pricing is listed for all of the various regions the K57 will hit soon. In that chart, we found that Corsair has packed in all of this goodness into the K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard, and only requires $99.99 to obtain it.

While we tend to hold our opinion on cost until the end, considering all that the K57 brings to the table, the price is just a small portion of what we expected it to be, and that is an excellent thing for those who find this keyboard a bit more than impressive, and want to try it out for themselves.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

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Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation

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The packaging is typical to most other Corsair products, using the bright yellow front panel to grab the eyes of those walking past it. Once that has been accomplished, you will see the company and product name across the top of the panel, with a smaller than life-sized image of the K57, illuminated with CAPELLIX RGB LEDs. At the bottom of the panel, there is a sticker noting that this is the English version, while to the right we find mentions of iCUE software and SLIPSTREAM wireless.

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On this smaller end of the packaging, we see the Corsair name and logo at top-left and the full name of the K57 below that. On the right side, we see the tagline "play through whatever," but, we are unsure of what that means, exactly.

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We broke up this longer side of the packaging so that it is much easier to see what is being offered. On the left end of the panel, we see the minimum system requirements, which are not tough to meet at all. You will need a free USB 3.0 port, although, it works with USB 2.0 also. You will need Windows 7 or newer, macOS 10.13 or newer, and if you want the software, you will need an internet connection to obtain them.

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After a few repeats of what we just covered, in various languages, at the right end of the panel, we see the legal information first. We also see the indication of the warranty coverage, and the sticker offers a serial number along with the CH-925C015-NA part number.

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As we make it around to the second smaller end of the box, we get all of the naming presented to us on the left. The right side is then used for a much smaller version of the image seen on the front panel. You will not see the second long side of the box in this review, as it is identical to what we see here, just that there is a ton more blank blackness between the names and the image.

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The back of the box matches the front as far as the background color, and the image of the keyboard is much smaller, but this time includes the wrist rest. To the right of it, the Slipstream wireless and Bluetooth compatibility is shown with icons near the top, and are again repeated in the list. Following are mentions of the CAPELLIX RGB LEDs, the six Macro keys, the detachable palm rest, and the dedicated multimedia and volume keys are mentioned as well. The last bits are visual indicators of the package contents, while to the right of them are mentions of iCUE, CAPELLIX, and that RTX A/S powers it.

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Inside of the box, once opened, we see the K57 on full display, wrapped in a layer of plastic to protect the finished from being rubbed off or scratched in transit. It is resting in a tightly fitting compartment to keep it from moving about, and the folded bit of cardboard at the back contains the cable. Once the keyboard and cable are removed, the bottom of the box can be folded up to expose the paperwork and wrist rest.

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The included cable is detachable, and offers a USB 3.1 Type-A (even though it looks much like a Micro USB 2.0 connection) with six-foot of rubberized cable, terminating in a Corsair logo sporting USB 3.0 connection. The wrist rest below it is made of plastic and has a pair of clips to lock it into the front edge of the K57. The top of which is highly patterned with the rubberized coating that helps keep your hands in place, even in the warmest of environments.

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The literature is broken down into three separate books. On the left is the main guide, which offers charging information, keyboard layout with text explanations, wireless and Bluetooth indicator LED information, and then goes on to explain the built-in lighting profiles, the Macro capabilities, and then repeats itself in many languages. The second booklet is all about the wireless safety and compliance information, because the K57 included a Li-Ion battery inside, and that they have particular use and disposal requirements. The last one is to cover information about the warranty, should you have any issues, or need to contact them. It is all there for you in black and white, and they do offer an address to use when looking to make contact with Corsair.

Corsair K57 RGB Wireless Gaming Keyboard

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As far as excitement goes, there is not much to get excited about with the first image. Standard fare as we look at the textured plastic lower frame section, with the plastic top-plate attached to it. With a mechanical-style keycap at the top of the keyboard, it allows room for Corsair to make the plunger area clear, allowing for a better display of RGB LED lighting than in almost all other rubber dome options.

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At the top of the K57, starting at the leftmost edge, we first run into the dedicated Macro keys. Running vertically from top to bottom, there are six G-Keys, and there is no denying the similarity to the look of many Logitech options out there. These can be programmed through iCUE for the more involved commands, but there is an on-the-fly option built-in as well.

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The main section of keys offers cylindrical-shaped keycaps, with a font that is easy to read. At the top, we can see the white painted on Corsair logo in the middle of the keyboard, and we love the contrast of the black frame and caps against the white insert under all of the keycaps.

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Typically, the Function keys tend to hold multiple things at once, but on the K57, only three of them have dual functionality. The F5 key is used for wireless connectivity, while F6 and F7 allow one to swap between a pair of Bluetooth devices, with both paired to the keyboard at one time. Think along the lines of gaming with it wired, yet chatting on your phone/tablet or searching on your laptop with the same keyboard.

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On the right end of the top of the K57, we run into the number pad, along with many buttons at the top, which we will get to. As for the command keys, arrow keys, and the number pad, it is all as expected, and the extra arrows can come in handy for left-handed users.

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Along the back edge, still on top of the K57, we run into the MR or Macro Record button, for those times when programming a Macro on-the-fly is needed. The next button is for the lighting, which offers off as an option as well as three levels of RGB LED intensity. The last of the buttons is a Window lock but is followed by LED indicators as well. The first of which shows the state of the charge, if it is powered on, and if the wireless mode is in use, with various colors. Following that are the number lock, Caps lock, and Windows lock/Macro Record LED, which again will change based on what is being used or done with the keyboard at that time.

K57 RGB Wireless Continued

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Corsair also included a full set of multimedia keys. The top section deals with the volume, where you can mute, decrease, or increase the volume, respectively. The second row of multimedia keys allows you to stop a track, select the previous track, play or pause them, or advance to the next track. These buttons are slightly stiffer than the force for the rest of the keys, and it also lacks any tactile feel, just pressure, then the switch is fully collapsed.

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The right side of the K57 is again, not that exciting. We have extended the feet under the keyboard to show the increase of the angle, which in turn has all but the first two rows of keys leaning towards the user, while the first two are nearly level at this time.

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Dead center of the back edge of the K57, we find the connectivity point for the cable, but along with that is a switch. We have found that no matter which type of connectivity is required if this switch shows the red color, the keyboard is off. Only when it is moved to show green with the keyboard function.

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About even with where the F2 key is on the top of the K57, at the back, we find the wireless dongle. It is kept in place in the slot in the back of the keyboard, so it is easy to locate if not currently used. The cover of the dongle is highly textured on the sides to make it easier to remove from a port due to its short stature, while at the same time, sporting a Corsair log and the SLIPSTREAM wireless logo as well.

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Once the keyboard has been flipped to expose its underbelly, we see a few things worth a mention. First is the sticker in the middle, which has the model and serial number on it, while all around it, in the textured plastic, we see all but one of the screw holes are exposed, the last of which is under the sticker. A pair of rounded feet support the back while the front edge uses skinny but wide feet, and we even see drain holes present by them, but there are also another pair of rounded feet in the middle.

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Before we tear this keyboard apart, we also wanted to make mention of the flip-out feet. They are sturdy and lock into place well enough, but we do wish they offered rubber ends on them.

Inside the K57 RGB Wireless

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Once all of the screws were removed, we found a bunch of tabs holding it together, that when gently pulled apart, let go without breaking. Inside we see that there is an opaque plastic portion under all of the keys, which holds the keys into place, as well as helping the CAPELLIX RGB LEDs glow through from the PCB. In the lower section, we can see the rubber dome switches as well as the Li-Ion battery placement.

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With the rubber membrane gone and the pair of plastic contact sheets folded over the edge and out of our way, we can see the PCB. Each switch is clearly labeled on the PCB for its corresponding function. Each place also sports a CAPELLIX RGB LED which glows through the cutouts in the plastic contact sheets, which allows the opaque plastic and the legends on the keycaps to shine with the most intensity possible.

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In control of all things, keyboard for the K57 is this NXP LPC11U68JBD100 MCU. It is an ARM Cortex-M0+ 32-bit processor, clocked at 50Mhz that also houses the onboard memory for the profiles, actions, and lighting settings, as well as all communication between features and the PC.

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For those wanting some verification to the cell used to power the K57 Wireless RGB Keyboard, we disconnected the two-pin plug and grabbed a photo of it. All of the information for work hours, milliamp hours, and rated voltage correspond to what we saw in the specifications chart.

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Without much more inside to show, we put the K57 back together and plugged in the cable, for power as well as to top off the battery charge. The booth lighting is quite intense and does lessen the lighting effect you see here, but in the darkest room, the 60% advantage over standard RGB LEDs is easily noted. We can say, that for sure, this is the most intense RGB LED illumination we have seen on any rubber dome keyboard to date.

iCUE Software

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With iCUE downloaded previously for other components in the peripherals test system, we plugged in the keyboard and did not see it in the devices list. A quick update of the software rectified this for us, and as you can see, the K57 Wireless is listed there for us to tinker with.

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Once the K57 image is clicked on in the previous window, the first thing we can set up are the profiles. On the left is the Profiles header, and once clicked it expands as we see now. We created a profile for testing, but they can be imported and exported, but as far as we can tell, only one profile is ever active, and all others are stored on the PC storage. Once named, you can also tie in the program as well as the option for icons, background images, being able to blur the said image, and even adjust the transparency.

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The next tab in line is the Actions tab, which is where one goes to remap or program Macros. Again, we titled the Macro on the left, and you can make as many as you want, and not just the G-keys can be programmed. As to the basic Macro options, the initial window at the bottom-right allows for the initial recording with editing options below the window, while to the right of it are five checkboxes that may or may not apply to your intended usage.

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The advanced settings in the Macro manager offer up the same Macro window, but to the right are new options. There are trigger action, repeat, second action, uninterrupted execution, and original key output as options to deal with here.

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The last part of the Macro setup deals with sound and lighting. When the Macro is used, you have the option to play a sound or a short melody, by merely browsing the PC for files that apply. Not only can you have audio confirmation the Macro was called upon, but you could also make the K57 change the lighting when it is used. To ensure you have it set correctly, there is a button to test functionality before exiting the software suite.

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If you are buying an RGB keyboard, it is highly likely you will want to tinker with the lighting effects. At the top of this window is a live preview of the selected mode, but covering it is the menu that opens from the dropdown box. In it, you can see there are predefines, custom, and linking options to pick from. While static colors will offer predefined color picker boxes, color wheel, and RGB entry boxes, other effects will give you options for speed, direction, and even when it should start and stop delivering said selections.

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The performance tab may not offer what is expected, but we do see a few options that may come in handy. This section deals with the Windows Lock functionality only. By default, when active, the Windows key is disabled. However, you can also tick boxes to disable Atl + Tab, Alt + F4, and Shift + Tab as well. This is also where one goes to default the software, should the programming be causing things you had not desired.

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The settings tab at the top is also an important stop to make. The top half shows things like battery status, polling rate, brightness, layout, sleep, taskbar options, and a pairing button. The last bit in the top section covers the dongle firmware, the wireless firmware, and keyboard firmware, all of which can be updated with the button next to them. The lower half only has one part on the keyboard, and that is the check for update button, which keeps iCUE up to date.

Gaming and General Impressions


When it comes to gaming, the K57 shines. For Corsair to mention 8KRO support, we figured we might run into an issue here or there, but we did not see any problems versus others with NKRO. Anti-ghosting works as intended as well, and with volume keys, Macro keys, and the ability to remap most of the keys, there is no end to the possibilities of what the K57 Wireless RGB can do for you.

When it comes to PUBG, all movements were recorded and registered in the game, we were not accidentally heavy-handing keys to where the keys would accidentally activate, and this is due to the hybrid design and stiffer feel of the actuation force. Of course, PUBG is a tad slower-paced than something like DOOM, where movement is critical. That being said, we still found nothing to complain about in any aspect. The keyboard does its thing, the software makes things better, and with all the options offered, there is not a single reason why you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

We also tried some wireless gaming for a while as well, to thoroughly test things out. Shockingly, the first four days we used the K57 on our gaming rig, it went four days before we needed a charge, and that was with full RGB LED display, with only a shutdown timer set. We did not game with Bluetooth connectivity, but when it comes to productivity, it turns out to be very handy.

Windows and Productivity

When it comes time to write reviews, search the internet, or chat with friends and business associates, we found ourselves liking the K57 more and more with each day we used it. The feel of each press reminds us a lot of a fully mechanical keyboard, just without the hollow tick from bottoming out the keys, and instead of potential vibration, the rubber dome switches ensure a soft landing. Again, we used SLIPSTREAM Wireless for this as well, and if you are a screen watcher while typing, you can see there is just the slightest bit of input lag between key presses and said presses registering on screen.

Using the keyboard wirelessly for a few days has up totally out at roughly 34 hours before we felt it needed a charge again, which could be something as simple as a longer sleep timer setting eating that last hour of rated time. All the same, still very impressive. The one thing that we do not like about the K57, something we never caught gaming, is the plastic on plastic squeaking that can happen from off-center key presses, especially in the larger keys, like the space bar. While it could be annoying in an office setting where things are kept to a whisper, we cannot call it a deal-breaker with any ambient noise in the background.

Final Thoughts

We will admit, when asked to look at this keyboard, our brain was like great, another rubber dome, muddy-feeling, common example of a keyboard is on its way. Even with the listed features in mind, we did not give Corsair a fair shake upfront. However, after much use, and more enjoyment as we use it, we will say that this is not the average rubber dome offering.

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Hybrid designs are hit or miss, where some makers use it all for looks and leave you with a pitiful feel when using it, but Corsair attempts to blur that line. Had we not opened the keyboard to verify the build components and such, in a blind test, some may think they have found a new mechanical switch design. On top of all of that, where most membrane keyboards tend to be lackluster in the backlighting department, the inclusion of CAPELLIX RGB LEDs into this design has made this the brightest, yet power-efficient, rubber dome keyboard we have ever had in our hands, bar none.

With three ways to connect to devices, we found ourselves trying out all applications. So much so, that after a couple of days, while using the keyboard wired or wireless to the test system, adding the laptop and our phone as the two Bluetooth options was brilliant. With just a couple of key presses, we could go back and forth between devices, having to turn our heads to reply, rather than switching keyboards and body positions.

Combine this with the iCUE software and all the options and features discussed there; we find nothing missing, or at least not running into a time where the keyboard would not do what we required of it in custom programming. Dedicated buttons win every time over dual functionality of other keys to us, and even though it takes some time to get used to the indicator LED colors and what they mean, once under the belt, it is nice to see what is going on at a glance. While the squeaking we heard when used in a quiet setting may not be the greatest for an office, its intended purpose if for gaming, and with a set of headphones or music playing through speakers, we feel this won't be a deal-breaker for many.

The fact that Corsair has made us appreciate a rubber dome switch keyboard as we did over a decade ago that is a feat in and of itself. We are huge fans of mechanical switch-based keyboards, not just for the feel, but for the intensity of the lighting, the solid feel of it all, and typically part of the package is top-tier software. The thing is, you get all of that with the K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard, and for much less than many of the mechanical keyboards out there leading the pack.

For just $99.99, you too can see and feel the next evolution in Hybrid keyboard design, and like us, it is highly unlikely that you will be disappointed or in any ways dissatisfied. Corsair sent us a sleeper, and as such, we did not give it its due credit. Once unleashed to its full potential, the K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard has jumped to a lead that surpasses many of the mechanical keyboard offerings we though at the time were the cat's meow. If it were our bank account getting the money pulled from, knowing what we do now, we would not hesitate. It is honestly that good.

Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications

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The Bottom Line

Almost perfect in every way! The K57 Wireless RGB Gaming Keyboard is feature-rich, offers better than expected feel, and offers some of the best lighting on any keyboard. Corsair nearly hit every nail on the head, if not for that key squeak!

TweakTown award

CORSAIR K57 RGB Wireless Gaming Keyboard

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
* Prices last scanned on 4/21/2024 at 2:08 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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