CORSAIR K55 RGB PRO XT Gaming Keyboard

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅30-03-21
Technical Specifications

Chassis:- Plastic, black, matte and gloss finish
Form-Factor:- Extended Full size
Keyswitches:- Rubber dome/membrane
Macro Keys:- 6 dedicated macro keys with Elgato Stream Deck software integration
Matrix: 12-key selective rollover with rollover
Onboard Memory:- Yes: predefined lighting effects, six simple macros, device settings
Processor:- 32-bit ARM Cortex

Backlight:- individually lit per-key programmable
LED Colour:- RGB, 16.8m colours

Media Keys:- 7 dedicated media keys
Brightness Key:- Yes
Windows Lock Key:- Yes
Macro Record Key:- Yes

Connectivity:- USB 3.0 Type-A
USB Report Rate:- 1000Hz

Adjustable height:- Yes
Cable:- 1.82m/6ft tangle free rubber
Dimensions:- 481mm x 167mm x 36mm (LxWxH)
Weight:- 0.94kg

iCUE Software:- Supported in Windows 10 and macOS 10.15


CORSAIRís K55 RGB PRO incorporates 5 independent lighting zones and a total of 6 on-board pre-baked lighting effects (plus static lighting options) that can be enabled at the stroke of a key. Thatís two more zones than the original K55 RGB.

The K55 RGB PRO XT by contrast has per-key RGB backlighting across the keyboard and ten built-in effects, plus more powerful lighting configuration options through iCUE software. Additionally, the XT variant is equipped with iCUE Game Integration, an SDK that allows game developers to take direct control of iCUE lighting for more atmospheric and immersive experiences.

The key takeaway for any gamer on a budget is that the differences between XT and non-XT K55 RGB PRO models are purely aesthetic rather than fundamental to your gaming experience.

Rubber Domed Membrane switches

Any key switch relies on two core principles: a point of actuation where the switch closes and a press is detected, and some resistive component that will push the key back into place once actuated.

Mechanical switches rely on closing metal contacts for the former and a small spring for the latter. The predictable nature of a spring's response to compression is what gives a mechanical switch a consistently smooth, linear action. Two metal contacts closing at the mid-point of the stroke ensures reliable detection that the key has been pressed.

Membrane keyboards substitute a buckling spring for a dome of rubber. Actuation occurs when the dome is pressed, pushing a conductor into the circuit board on which the dome sits to register a keypress. Rubber domes donít collapse in the same linear fashion as springs and typically need to be pressed more firmly. The mechanism also requires that the key be fully depressed to register rather only a nominal mount, which can cause fatigue.

The K55 utilises a plastic conduit to guide the action of the keycap as the key is pressed, but the feel of the keypress is nonetheless typical of other rubber dome designs.

Additional Features - IP42 Certified

An interesting footnote in the K55 RGB PRO XTís specs are itsí dust and spill resistance certification. It is rated up to IP42, but what does that actually mean?
A product's Ingress Protection code defines how well it prevents small objects, liquids and particulate matter from entering its inner workings. The first number in the code refers to its solid particle protection, whereas the second outlines its liquid ingress protection, both defined by the specific test it passed. In this instance:

IP42 = Solid Particle Protection Level 4, Liquid Ingress Protection Level 2.

Solid Particle Protection Level 4: Protection for internal components from objects larger than 1mm, including most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.

Liquid Ingress Protection Level 2: Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15į from its normal position. A total of four positions are tested within two axes for 2.5min each, equivalent to 3mm of rainfall per min.

This isnít a license to eat your cereal from it, but does provide some decent protection against spills and larger dust particulates. This should help to maintain the responsiveness of the keyboard and improve its effective life span.

Clip-on wrist rest.

The K55 RGB PRO XT also arrives with a wrist-rest. This is a solid piece of wedge-shaped plastic thatís gently curved, the upper-most surface of which is textured and feels soft to the touch. It clips on in two locations and rests on the desk rather than fitting between desk and keyboard, so it doesnít affect stability.

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