Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
When asked to look at the keyboard we have for you today, it sparked many memories of nearly a decade ago, when the K90 and its kid brother, the K60 mechanical gaming keyboard, was released. Back then, mechanical keyboards were typically obtained from system builders who incorporated keyboards in with the purchase; the likes of IBM come to mind. Mechanical keyboards were not mainstream like they are today, to the point that RGB was not even a thing yet in keyboards, and that is if you got any lighting at all! Back then, we were head over heels for the exposed aluminum top, the added wrist rest, extra keycaps, along with all of the mind-altering aspects that helped us continue our career and start to appreciate what mechanical keyboards have to offer the rest of you.
Our trip down memory lane ultimately left us with some thoughts in our head, as the request did not come with an image, just a product name. In our minds, we are thinking, is this an OG K60 with RGB, as the name suggests? The PRO moniker alludes to the newest gear that Corsair offers, as it is a more recent addition to their naming schemes, which made us think the former can't be true, as these products are typically the latest and greatest of what Corsair has on offer. So then, our minds move to a black keyboard, as the naked aluminum feels too retro, but again, we are dealing with the K60 series, which was known as the more affordable variant of its bigger brother, now the K100. With our mind currently completing that circle of logic, what we should have, in essence, is a budget-friendly version of the K100 RGB, and if Corsair accomplished that, we are in for one hell of a ride.
With the quest to reclaim what the OG K60 brought to Corsair again, it was time to rethink the entire build. What Corsair has come up with is not only impressive at face value, but they have packed in some tricks, opted to use some new Cherry switches we have not seen used anywhere else, and delivers one of the most updated products to carry a nostalgic name. Throw everything you think you know about the K60 series keyboards out of the window. What you are about to gander at has to be the most well-appointed mechanical keyboard Corsair has on offer at a more than reasonable price for what you get.
Using a mix of the information on the product page and what we found on the box was used to compile this chart. We see that the K60 RGB PRO is a 104-key layout design, this time with a standard bottom row. The materials used are plastic for the keycaps and the frame, where anodized aluminum is used for the top plate, harkening back to the original K60. With measurements of 441mm of width, 136mm of depth, and 35mm of height that can be increased to 45.4mm in the back, the total package comes in at 888 grams. Lastly, as far as big-ticket bullet points go, this K60 RGB PRO is backed with a two-year warranty.
Lighting on the K60 RGB PRO is RGB, adjustable down to the per-key level, and is the brightest of any Corsair keyboard to date. Polling rate comes next, which is the job of the MCU to deliver that 1000Hz rating and happens to be a 32-bit ARM processor from NXP. Switches come next, and they happen to be Cherry VIOLA switches. These switches use a dual-stage spring, allowing 45 grams of force to actuate them, but to bottom them out takes 75 grams of force. These switches are linear, with the noise of bottoming out and the neutral return of the keys are the only noise heard, with no conventional click associated with many tougher spring switches.
What follows is more of a checklist, where we see that the keyboard supports NKRO with 100% anti-ghosting, ensuring any presses on the keyboard are registered. There are multimedia controls. There is a Windows lock. There is onboard memory for your iCUE settings and non-iCUE usage. The wire is fixed to the K60 RGB PRO but is USB 3.1 for connectivity. This same cable is 1.8 meters long and covered in tangle-free rubber rather than getting the sleeved treatment.
We referenced the K100 RGB and how this should be a more affordable option based on the number alone, and we find this to be a reality, and by some margin. The K100 is around $200, and the listings we see as we write this review all fall under half of that cost. Keeping that in mind, it cannot be as feature-rich as the K100 RGB, but with what you are about to see, knowing it costs just $89.99 to get one to your door skews the perspective quite a bit and lowers the bar as to what to expect. However, at the same time, this keyboard is no slouch and should have no issues standing out on its own, and not just as the kid brother to their top-tier offering.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI B450M Bazooka Plus - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 2666MHz 16GB - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ventus 8G OC - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Corsair Force MP300 480GB - Buy from Amazon
- Case: Corsair Crystal Series 280X - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: Corsair CX750 80 Plus Bronze - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation
As Corsair continues with the bright yellow backdrop, they also pack a lot of information on the front of the box. The company name, logo, and product name are at the top, with a nearly life-sized image of the K60 RGB PRO in the center. At the bottom of the panel, there is a sticker noting its English layout, and the icon to the right is a notation of its compatibility with iCUE.
Laying the box on its back, we end up looking at one of the longer, thinner side panels, where Corsair offers the keyboard's name and a list of six specifications. After repeating the specifications in three more languages, we move on to what we see in the following picture.
The right end of that same panel offers up the contents of the package and then moves into company and compliance information, almost hiding the 2-year warranty icon. The last of what is offered here is the sticker, which provides the part number and serial number and tells us that the K60 RGB PRO is made in China.
Moving around the box to the right, we run into this matte black side, where Corsair delivers the product's name to the left, with a small image of the keyboard to the right.
We are not showing the second longer side panel, as it is an exact copy of the panel in the previous image, just elongated to fit the longer panel. The opposing smaller end of the box again offers the keyboard's name, but this time is accompanied by the phrase "press the advantage," which alludes to the new switches.
Back to yellow for the backdrop, as Corsair shows us, the keyboard at the left, with a small white sticker at the bottom as the only mention of the Cherry VIOLA switch usage. The right half of the panel shows us that this keyboard works with PC, MAC, and XBOX ONE, followed by a list of five features in this design. At the bottom, there is a single image showing the amplified underglow, where to the right, it offers compatibility of iCUE depending on the system used.
Corsair ships the K60 RGB PRO backward, atypical of what we usually find inside a keyboard box. The yellow section of cardboard at the front hides the cable while the keyboard is resting at the back inside a plastic bag. Backward or not, our K60 RGB PRO is in fantastic condition for testing and images.
The bag of literature seen in the last picture has been opened, and all of it spread across the table. First, we see the warranty guide, which delivers what is covered and where to contact should a problem arise. The manual consists of looking at the keyboard, explaining how to plug in the USB cable, and explaining iCUE and where to get it. The next page shows all of the keyboard shortcuts, and then that information is repeated many times. The safety information deals with disposal and recycling, which depends on where one lives if it applies.
Corsair K60 RGB PRO Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
At the left end of the K60 RGB PRO, we find a plastic tub for the frame, an aluminum top plate at the top, and a groove between them for added styling. Above the plate, we see a lot of the VIOLA stems exposed, which is how the lighting is intensified, and also helping in that are the low-profile keycaps used on these standard-sized switches.
As all of the latest Corsair products have printed on them in white paint, we found the //K60 near the left Control key.
The layout of the main portion of the K60 RGB PRO is typical of any other keyboard, but this time, Corsair made sure also to deliver this keyboard with a standard bottom row. Doing so allows for a more comprehensive selection of third-party custom keycaps. The keycaps are cylindrical, smooth to the touch, and the legends are easy to read.
Much of the dual functionality is printed on the Function keys, as we see in this image. On the K60 RGB PRO, the F1-key is used as the Windows lockout. F2 is not used, but F3 and F4 are used to change the intensity of the illumination, with F3 used to lessen it and F4 used to increase it.
Multimedia functionality follows as we reach the F5-key, used for muting and unmuting sounds from the PC. F6 is skipped, but F7 is set up to lower the volume, and F8 will increase the volume.
Still needing to hold the Function key while using these, like the previous F-key dual-layered functionality, we find the conclusion of the multimedia keys. F9 is used to stop whatever is playing. F10 will take you to the last track, and F11 is the play and pause button, leaving the F12-key to take you to the next track.
The command key and number pad areas contain everything we expect to see, with the commands written out and not abbreviated, and the number pad offers a second set of arrow keys. Unlike the main portion, looking at these switches, we see quite a bit of the stem again, which means you will also see more lighting from this angle than usual.
Many of the Corsair keyboards deliver a roller volume bar, and the K60 RGB PRO uses this area for lock LEDs and a painted logo applied to the brushed aluminum top plate. As for the lock LEDs, by default, they glow white when active.
Making it around to the right edge of the K60 RGB PRO, we see the frame and top plate mirror what we found with the left. The number of switches visible is lower, but notice that the larger keycap supports are surrounded by white plastic, expanding on what glows with the RGB LEDs.
From the center of the back edge of the K60 RGB PRO comes the cable in this picture. The cable is of standard length but gets no special treatments, such as a braided sleeve, a gold-plated connection, or any form of a reusable wire containment strap.
Keeping the angular styling, we saw on the side of the frame, it seems Corsair spends a bit of time under the keyboard. Not only is the styling sharp, but the K60 RGB PRO is meant to rest of five feet, with a long strip near the center for added support and grip, just below where your hands will rest on the keyboard. The product sticker is large and centrally located, so you still have the model and serial numbers at hand if you ditch the box.
The extendable feet on the K60 RGB PRO open to the back and are tougher to flip, either way, making them a bit harder to collapse on accident. We can also see that when the feet are extended, you keep the grip on the desktop with the added rubber pads on these feet.
Inside the K60 RGB PRO
The keycaps used are standard fare even though they are low-profile by design. The molds are filled with white plastic, and under them, we see typical +-shaped stems, three of them on the larger keys. However, rather than the second shot of color for the outside, these are painted.
This is our, and like your first look at the Cherry, VIOLA switches. The bodies of these switches are white, which we discussed how it allows for more lighting. The stems of the switches are clear, and the LED is internal. On the larger keys, the torsion bars are enclosed and have white support stems, which also glow.
The frame of the K60 RGB PRO is made of thin, slightly flexible plastic, with hexagonal-shaped supports for the aluminum plate and PCB sandwich that sits above it. Even though this is flexible, once mated to the top plate and the twenty-three screws tightened, it is rock solid yet lighter than others.
Focusing on a random part of the PCB, we like what we find. The black PCB is slick; although many will never see it, we love that there are no signs of residue anywhere on the PCB. All of the solder points are clean and tidy, each component is clearly labeled, and for something many will never see, it is slick looking with the high contrast of parts used.
In charge of everything that the K60 RGB PRO is capable of is the MCU, this time made by NXP. Corsair uses the LPC11U68J series chip, an ARM Cortex-M0+ 32-bit controller with 256 KB of onboard memory to store settings within the keyboard via iCUE.
After replacing nearly two dozen screws, our K60 RGB PRO is back in one piece and ready to get down to business. We have to admit that the rainbow mode shown on our K60 RGB PRO delivers some of the most intense lighting we have seen from Corsair, and the way the switches are exposed makes it even more brilliant a display of color.
Corsair iCUE Software
Once downloaded and installed, we opened iCUE to see this as the main page. On the left are some scenes one can use for global color themes above a list of sensors. The main window at the right is where we need to continue, as you need to click on the K60 RGB PRO icon to customize it.
Once clicked upon, the following window to open lists sections of customization at the left, which need to be clicked on to open those menus, but the entire time in iCUE, there is a live-view offered of the K60 RGB PRO, showing what changes are made in real-time.
The key assignments tab is where one changes the functionality of any key on the keyboard. Select a key in the live-view window, and the bottom section populates options as you select things. In this instance, we chose the backslash key, opted for regular text as its function, and to the far right is a box that we can enter whatever we want.
We also wanted to look at the Macro system, and when enabled, it seems simplistic but has the options missed by many other manufacturers. Clicking the record button will allow commands to be entered and displayed in the window. Going beyond that, you can also add and remove events, import, export, and get very detailed with what Macros can do for you.
Lighting effects have everything to do with lighting and can be addressed per-key or in groups. On the left is how you add layers where one pattern displays at idle, but when used, another appears. Open a layer, select the lighting type, pick a quick zone or add your twist, and then choose the color or colors, alternate them if you wish, set the speed of the pattern, the direction, and can even set things to be displayed with a program, and even tell it when to turn off the effect.
Hardware lighting is best explained by reading the info box. But essentially, this is the section you want, should you wish to customize the lighting and then not use iCUE. Anything you set here will only work when iCUE is not active or installed any longer.
The performance tab deals with the Windows lock and is where you go to disable key combinations that can spell disaster when it comes to the heat of the battle. Simple toggle switches allow you to select which combinations are disabled or enabled.
When we clicked on device settings, the main window is grayed out with a much smaller window overlaid over the main one. It is here where updates for the firmware can be found, where one adjusts the polling rate, there is another brightness slider, you can change the language layout, adjust debounce time, and enable or disable the tooltips to help guide you through iCUE.
Gaming and General Impressions
DOOM Eternal & PUBG
When it comes to moving around, whether in a fast-paced environment or a more methodical and tactical situation, the K60 RGB PRO is ready for whatever you plan to do. With NKRO and full anti-ghosting support, every keypress is recorded and represented in the game. Macros can be a massive advantage in various game titles. While not as effective in the titles we cover most, as deep as the Macro rabbit-hole goes with the iCUE software, the actual limit is your imagination in this regard. We took advantage of the optional Window Lock functions, as we always use the Alt-key to look around.
Remapping keys on any level has its place, but even here, we can not only remap, reassign, and do just about anything a peripheral can do with this product, but adding the text feature is a nice addition as well. There are many times playing where you may want to offer condolences or congratulations to the opposing forces but do not feel like talking globally over your headset.
We also liked it when we got deeper into iCUE and started setting lighting profiles based on our games. The amount of control offered in this is some of the best in the industry where you can draw pictures across the keyboard if you wish, use default settings, or even make lighting have layers where they react differently when pressed, all coming together to add a one-off feel for any user of this keyboard.
Windows and Productivity
We have found ourselves liking the K60 RGB PRO at the desktop level, and we honestly do not like anything bigger than a TKL. The compact design of the K60 RGB PRO makes it a feasible addition to any desktop. At this point, we have many reviews under our fingers that have passed through this keyboard, and even though we tend to go for tactile, clicky switches, Corsair found a good mix in the VIOLA switches from Cherry. It allows us all of the spring feels of the heavier switches, as we are not a touch typist but the kind of user who mashes the keys. In doing so, we hit the second stage of the springs, and without the clicks, we get a similar feel overall.
At this time is where we went through all of the dual functionality and tested things out. We found it to our liking and placed similarly to other keyboards, where the layout has become almost standard, and our fingers are used to hunting out these functions in the dark. However, with all legends being visible on the keycaps, that intense lighting, even in the darkest of offices, will make what you are looking for much easier to find. For us, this has to be one of the smoothest transitions from other keyboards to our daily grind. With more hours on this keyboard than many others we get to see, we have not found a single reason to move this off our desks.
Still, other manufacturers need to get their gear reviewed too, so it is inevitable we will move away from this keyboard as our daily driver, but we do want to find a place for it on one of our other systems. It is that good.
When we heard that the K60 was getting refreshed, we did not know whether this was a repeat of nearly a decades-old history, to when Corsair was in its infancy in mechanical keyboards, or if this was an entirely new idea that happens to sport a similar name. We are glad it turned out to be the latter. Not to throw shade at the original K60, but as time has passed, it is left where it should be, in our memories. We were handed an all-new look and rethink of what the K60 would have been if Corsair were to be able to go back in time and give it all the features we now want in such a device. Natural aluminum was cool back then, but the more compact design and blacked-out look are much more appealing to the masses.
Then, Corsair was like, let's see what else we can throw into this mix. Sprinkle in some of the most comprehensive options in the software that we have seen from Corsair in quite a while, add in a dash of the most intense display of RGB from any of their keyboards, and what the hell, toss in these new switches that hardly anyone knows about. When all of that was done, under the heading of a series known to be the more affordable option to what Corsair offered in mechanical keyboards, Corsair now packs in so much love it is hard for us to comprehend that this is what the K60-Series evolved into.
Even though many gamers will swear by their use of red or silver switches for gaming, the VIOLA switches are similar at first. With a 45 gram weight for actuation, these switches are heavier than the previously mentioned switches. For touch typists or those with gingerly placed hands-on the keyboard for gaming, you may never even sense much difference in these linear switches. However, if, like us, you tend to smash the keys until they bottom out, the VIOLA switches hold another level of spring pressure. Jumping to 75 grams of force needed to collapse the springs does two things for us. Not only does it leave us reminded of using the much heavier blue and green switches of keyboards past, but this time it does so without the click associated with our favorites.
The second aspect that is a bit of a bonus is the rebound from that pressure. If you collapse the spring, they return to their neutral state like no other switch we have used. On top of the feel, the use of milky white plastic for the switch bodies and opting for low-profile keycaps on standard switches does not change the feel of the switch but paid out in spades when it came to RGB LED intensity, and if you are going to add lighting, in our head, it may as well be bright!
While many may not like the move to iCUE 4, we have seen a steady increase in what it delivers to their peripherals, and to us, it has been simplified to the point that even a first-time keyboard user can spend hours in the software efficiently addressing all aspects as the tooltips guide you through what everything does. We also love that even with a budget-minded product such as the K60 RGB PRO is to Corsair; we cannot complain about the depth and level of control offered via iCUE. There is much more there than meets the eye, and to us, it helps to deliver a feature set well beyond the price point.
As a reviewer, we have our issues with manufacturers over the years, and we may not like every single thing they make. Still, we have to stand up and take notice when a product comes across the desk that is this well-appointed and delivers the complete package if you will. Corsair and their K60 RGB PRO have delivered in a way where we cannot complain about a single aspect of the product. If anything, we would complain that we are so impressed that it is not a TKL, and it not coming with blue switches no longer matters to us in the long term.
Currently sold for only $89.99, the K60 RGB PRO is the kind of keyboard that will spread by word of mouth, as it has a perfect balance of features, looks, components, and cost to where we know that this mechanical gaming keyboard will be in the hands of everyone just like when the original K60 entered the game.
The Bottom Line
The K60 RGB PRO is less a trip down memory lane than it is an exercise in how to make an awesome keyboard! With the feature set, components used, and the new compact design with the moist light of any Corsair keyboard we have seen makes it a steal at this price!