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Corsair targets PC gamers on a budget with its new compact mechanical keyboard

Why it matters to you

Corsair released an affordable solution for PC gamers on the go, packing high-quality Cherry MX switches and precise keystrokes.

Not to be outdone by Logitech’s new G Pro tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, Corsair introduced a competing model called the K63. But unlike the Logitech model that relies on in-house mechanical switches, Corsair’s new K63 uses Cherry MX Red switches for fast, accurate keystrokes. Corsair also tacked on media keys at the top so that PC gamers can deal with volume levels on the fly.

For the uninitiated, the use of Cherry MX switches is important because they are recognized as high-quality, long-lasting switches built for PC gamers. They are sold in different “colors” based on their overall design. For example, the Red switches require very little force to trigger the keystroke, and they’re lightweight as well so that the trip from rest to “actuation” is really quick.

More: Corsair announces plans to launch its first complete PC, the One

That’s important in a PC gaming keyboard. Another important aspect is backlighting, so that PC gamers have an easier time hunting down the correct key in an instant. In the case of Corsair’s new K63 mechanical keyboard, the company only offers red LED backlighting that is fully customizable for each key through the free Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) tool.

“CUE software also allows for near endless programmability, with every key individually reprogrammable with alternative commands, custom macros or dynamic lighting effects,” Corsair said on Thursday.

Here are the keyboard’s specs:

Dimensions: 14.37 x 6.73 x 1.61 inches
Weight: 2.46 pounds
Report rate: Up to 1 millisecond
Cable type: Tangle-free rubber
Included media keys: Mute
Volume Up/Down
Stop
Previous
Play/Pause
Next
LED backlighting color: Red only
Per-key lighting control: Yes
Keycap font size: Large
Compatible Software: Corsair Utility Engine

The keyboard promises 100 percent anti-ghosting and full key rollover. The simplest way to explain anti-ghosting is that the metal contacts in a switch create “chatter” before they make the electrical connection that signals a keystroke. While this chatter only lasts milliseconds, this noise can be picked up by the keyboard’s processing chip as multiple presses, aka ghosting. Thus, Corsair’s new keyboard seemingly weeds through the chatter to grab the correct switch connection and send it over to the PC.

Because this is a tenkeyless keyboard, customers won’t see the number pad typically found to the right of the arrow keys. However, as previously stated, Corsair managed to cram media keys at the top of the unit, with the playback control buttons mounted on the left and the audio control buttons on the right. In the center, Corsair placed a Windows Key lock button and a lighting on/off button.

Although the specs state that the USB cord is made of tangle-free rubber, Corsair doesn’t describe the cord’s length. Images also show that the USB cable is permanently attached, which is unfortunate considering Corsair designed this keyboard for portability. By comparison, Logitech’s G Pro keyboard relies on a detachable USB cord so a short isn’t caused in the connection.

Corsair’s new K63 compact mechanical gaming keyboard can be purchased now for $80 by heading here or at participating online/offline retailers.