👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅08-04-21

CORSAIR’s ongoing refresh of their product lineup, which has now encompassed peripherals, cooling and lighting solutions, is continuing to showcase solid designs that please the eye and delight the fingertips. The K70 RGB TKL may be the latest but it certainly won’t be the last.

The choice of bringing the compact TKL form factor to their premium K70 range must have merited plenty of assertive discussions behind the scenes, but from a pure product-oriented perspective it must be seen as a success. Surface-level feature additions may well be minor - the volume roller is the only one you’ll easily spot - but it gives the keyboard an overall expectation of quality which is more than lived up to. Aesthetics and overall robust construction get top marks.

Under the hood the AXON processing engine and 8000Hz polling may also turn out to be key differentiators for the K70 and higher, and for both high-end competitive and enthusiast gaming the ultra-fast response time and plethora of managed hardware profiles will be well received. More casual gamers may instead take advantage of the more complex lighting profiles it offers, particularly when travelling to other locations to play.

Small oversights present on prior K-series keyboards have also been notably improved. This model in particular, even more so than the K100, improves the quality of large key stabilisers for a much more consistent feel across the keycap. Remappable media keys can be differentiated by feel and are less likely to be ‘fat-fingered’, making them a little more viable as frequent-use keys in gaming and elsewhere.

If we were to nit-pick, a slightly more grippy front-left foot causing the keyboard to rotate very slightly anti-clockwise when typing is the only minor build niggle we uncovered. And it’s one that can easily be rectified through the use of a desk-pad and shouldn’t come up in gaming as typing force is focussed on the WASD zone.

The model reviewed was equipped with CHERRY MX RGB Red switches and the keyboard is available with either short-actuation MX Speed or dampened MX Silent types. Enthusiasts might have preferred at least one tactile option but that trio should satisfy the majority of needs.

The K70 RGB TKL’s ‘Tournament Mode’ switch is likely to confuse rather than intrigue potential owners, unless they fit into an extremely narrow competitive gaming demographic. It’s not a bad idea by any stretch, it just seems to be a lot of engineering work of a very niche application. Still, for those in real need of a default configuration mode with external indicator, the keyboard suddenly jumps to the head of a very thin herd with organised LAN locations in particular potentially sitting up to take notice.

Finally, we don’t think the claims of portability are overblown. It weighs less than a kilogram and the detachable cable makes it easy to tuck away in bags and holdalls. Just be careful not to scratch that aluminium, or get too many greasy fingerprints over it.

Perhaps our only (albeit muted) reservation therefore isn’t the keyboard itself, but rather the iCUE software. With the releases last month the software has transitioned to v4, and the UI change is a jarring one. Functionality doesn’t appear to have been reduced but those used to v3 may find a steep learning curve ahead of them. Thankfully older profiles are forwards compatible so you won’t lose any settings when you update.

Rounding off, we come to the price. It was mentioned at the start of the review that £139.99 was close to many of the competitors on the market and we conclude that it’s not out of its depth in that company. More affordable alternatives are available but you’d need to sacrifice features along the way, some of which are unique and highly desirable.

Living up to CORSAIR’s reputation for build quality and aesthetic excellence, the K70 RGB TKL is a compact mechanical keyboard ideal for gaming enthusiasts who appreciate more than the bare bones. Yet despite unique features tailored to competitive gaming, you don’t need to be the next Faker to appreciate what this has to offer. It deservedly earns our Ultimate award.


+ High build quality
+ Vibrant RGB illumination
+ Compact form factor
+ Optional tactile MOBA & FPS keycaps
+ Ever-solid CHERRY mechanical switches
+ Novel features
+ 8000Hz USB polling & 4000Hz keyscan support
+ Plenty of on-board profile space
+ Detachable USB cable

- No tactile switch option

= Latest iCUE software update takes some getting used to.

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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