“The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless is exactly what I want out of a gaming keyboard.”
- Hot-swappable key switches
- Excellent iCue RGB software
- 8,000Hz polling rate
- Multiple pairing modes, including three Bluetooth devices
- Reasonably priced
- Battery life is a bit low
- Typing isn't great with the stock switches
The landscape of the best gaming keyboards has been caught in limbo, but Corsair is trying to push the envelope with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless. It’s an unassuming 60% keyboard on the surface, not all that different from Corsair’s K65 Mini. But under the hood, the K70 Pro Mini Wireless has a special treat: Hot-swappable key switches.
It’s a keyboard built for the hotly competitive mechanical keyboard market of 2022, and it’s absolutely packed with features that make it ideal for gaming. Although there are some small issues with battery life and the typing experience with the stock switches, there’s no doubt in my mind: This is the 60% gaming keyboard you should buy right now.
The K70 Pro Mini Wireless is $180, which is expensive. But it’s surprisingly competitive with other premium 60% keyboards you can buy right now. Corsair clearly read the room. The competing SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, which just launched a few weeks ago, is $240 by comparison, and it doesn’t have hot-swappable switches.
Corsair doesn’t have the cheapest 60%, though. The Razer Huntsman Mini Analog is slightly less at $150, for example, while you can find the 65% Asus ROG Falchion NX for as little as $120. And if you don’t need wireless, you can pick up the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 for only $100.
Corsair really nailed the pricing on this one.
It’s expensive, but the K70 Pro Mini Wireless easily earns its price, and, considering the features, it’s not a bad deal at all. Hot-swappable key switches really make it stand out, but it also comes with Bluetooth in addition to Corsair’s Slipstream wireless connection, and it wireless supports both the Xbox Series X and PS5. Corsair’s keyboards have gotten more expensive over the last few years, but it feels like the company really nailed the pricing on this one.
The K70 Pro Mini Wireless looks great, and Corsair didn’t have to go too far out of its way to nail the look. Of course, you have per-key RGB lighting that you can configure through Corsair’s iCue software, but you also get a separately customizable RGB strip that runs around the keyboard, providing a nice, soft underglow.
Beyond the lighting, Corsair provides two extra keycaps in the box — an Esc key with the Corsair flag and a space bar with a semi-transparent triangular design. I love the space bar when light is shining through it. It’s so smooth that it looks like the spacebar itself is lit up, and I never took it off after setting up the keyboard for the first time.
With a 60% form factor that’s only 11.6 inches long, 4.3 inches wide, and 1.6 inches tall, Corsair had to get clever to offer the quality of life features available on larger keyboards. The wireless USB dongle, for example, has a dedicated slot at the top of the keyboard so you can take it on the go with you. And the included USB-C cable for charging has a soft braided finish, so it’s easy to pack up and take with you.
The only other interesting note is the removable accent bar. You can unsnap the back of the keyboard, which is a flimsy process that doesn’t feel like an intentional design choice. Corsair says mod kits will be available in the future, so this will serve some purpose. For now, though, it’s just a piece of plastic that you can unsnap if you want to — but you definitely shouldn’t.
You have three options to connect the K70 Pro Mini: USB-C, Bluetooth, or Corsair’s 2.4GHz Slipstream wireless. Slipstream is the fastest, and I’ve used it across half a dozen other Corsair peripherals without issues. For Bluetooth, you can pair up to three devices at once and swap between them using a command on the keyboard.
More exciting is that the K70 Pro Mini supports the PlayStation 5. Most keyboards will work with the Xbox Series X out of the box, assuming you’re playing a game that supports keyboard and mouse. The PS5, on the other hand, usually requires an adapter. The K70 Pro Mini comes with a PS5 mode that you can trigger with a shortcut, allowing you to use the K70 Pro Mini on the PS4 or PS5 with supported games.
Slipstream is great, and it works on the consoles. You can connect up to three Corsair peripherals over a single dongle, which makes wireless console gaming a lot more practical. The only downside is that Slipstream is limited to a 2,000Hz polling rate, while a wired connection unlocks the speedy 8,000Hz polling rate.
For battery life, Corsair quotes 32 hours with the RGB lighting turned on, which isn’t the best. It’s less than the Logitech G915 TKL, but the K70 Pro Mini will put itself to sleep when it’s idle to conserve battery life. With 100% brightness, I had to top off the keyboard after about half a week. It wasn’t bad, but I ended up reaching for a USB-C cable to top off my charge more often than I’d like.
But if you need maximum battery life, Corsair says you can get up to 200 hours with the backlight turned off.
The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless isn’t just a 60% keyboard in the K70 range. It’s Corsair’s first hot-swappable keyboard ever. Hot-swappable key switches have been a growing trend on mechanical keyboards like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II, and it was one of the main reasons I wasn’t as high on the recent Corsair K70 Pro.
It seems Corsair took that feedback to heart with the K70 Pro Mini, and that’s a great thing. I’ve been spoiled with the silky switches on high-end keyboards like the Cyberboard R2, and the K70 Pro Mini allows me to change out the switches to achieve a similar feel. I swapped out the Cherry Speed Silver switches my review unit arrived with for some Akko Jelly Pink switches, and it completely transformed the feel of the keyboard.
You can configure the K70 Pro Mini with either Cherry MX Red or Speed Silver switches, which are both linear options that are common among mechanical gaming keyboards. There are several cheaper switches that I like more than Reds or Silvers, but it doesn’t matter with the K70 Pro Mini. Swap them out for what you like, and you have a keyboard that can fit basically any purpose.
Swapping the switches is as easy as can be, too. They’re truly hot-swappable, so you don’t need to worry about unscrewing the shell or disassembling the keyboard. Pull off the keycaps with the included puller, pop out the switch with the included key switch remover, and you’re done.
Any 3-pin MX-compatible switch will work, so the K70 Pro Mini supports the vast majority of third-party switches you can buy. My only issue is the key switch puller. The hands that go under the switch are very small, which makes pulling out the switches a little frustrating. It’s far from a big deal, though.
I don’t love the typing experience on the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, but frankly, that’s not the point. The Speed Silver switches my review unit arrived with aren’t my preference for long typing sessions, and Cherry’s lack of lubrication on the switches leads to a slightly crunchy typing experience that isn’t my favorite. That’s not a big deal with the K70 Pro Mini, though, because you swap in whatever switches you want.
Gaming is an entirely different story. The keyboard is tuned under the hood to reduce latency as much as possible. A big part of that is the 8,000Hz polling rate when plugged in over USB-C. It detects inputs faster by checking for inputs more frequently, and it can make a difference on wireless gaming mice like the Corsair Sabre Pro. It’s less important for a keyboard, though, and you’ll need a fairly recent processor to use it.
A 60% form factor makes a world of difference while gaming
It’s tough to say if an 8,000Hz polling rate makes a difference in practice, even if it does in theory. I never noticed it when playing Destiny 2, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Apex Legends, and I don’t expect the vast majority of people will feel a difference either. It’s a perk, but not a selling point.
The bigger selling point is that the K70 Pro Mini comes in a 60% form factor. This is only Corsair’s second 60% keyboard behind the K65 RGB Mini, and the company’s first wireless 60% keyboard. A slim design makes a world of difference in shooters especially, where you can quickly angle the board to the side and give your mouse hand as much room to flick as possible.
I’ve largely given up on full-sized gaming keyboards, and the K70 Pro Mini is a perfect showcase of why.
iCue is one of the main reasons to buy Corsair peripherals. It’s my favorite peripheral app, even among options like Logitech G Hub and SteelSeries GG. Corsair focuses on what you have connected and gives you a massive amount of control over your lighting, macros, and keyboard settings. And it’s especially excellent with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless.
You can rebind every key, create elaborate RGB animations across the keyboard, set macros, and so much more. For example, the Windows Lock option (usually called a Game Mode) goes beyond disabling your Windows Key and allows you to disable other problematic shortcuts like Alt + F4. With the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, you also have the option to turn on the 8,000Hz polling rate and switch to PlayStation mode.
I don’t even use Corsair peripherals day-to-day, but I still use iCue for my PC’s RGB. It’s that good.
iCue has all of the functions you’d expect out of keyboard software plus some, but it’s how the software is designed that stands out. Assigning new keys is a simple drag-and-drop affair, for example, and you can see your lighting effects update in real time on the keyboard to find what you like. iCue isn’t limited to Corsair peripherals, either. I don’t even use Corsair peripherals day-to-day, but I still use iCue to control all the RGB in my PC. It’s that good.
And you don’t even need to use iCue. It opens up more possibilities, but you can use the K70 Pro Mini exclusively in hardware mode with 8MB of onboard storage. That allows you to have up to 20 lighting layers and store up to 50 profiles directly on the keyboard. In addition, you can access almost all of the options of the keyboard (outside of polling rate) with key commands separate from iCue, including the macro recorder, PlayStation mode, and pairing modes.
The K70 Pro Mini challenges the quickly growing market of 60% keyboards. It’s expensive, but it feels worth every penny with endless customization, solid build quality, and software that’s the cream of the crop for gaming peripherals.
Are there any alternatives?
Among mainstream 60% keyboards, none of them offer hot-swappable key switches. Outside of that, there are a few cheaper options:
- HyperX Alloy Origins 60: Much cheaper than the K70 Pro Mini, but the software isn’t as good and it doesn’t support wireless.
- Razer Huntsman Mini Analog: Slightly cheaper, but doesn’t support hot-swappable switches due to Razer’s unique analog key switch design.
- SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini: A much more expensive alternative that stands out with adjustable OmniPoint switches, but not worth the money.
How long will it last?
You can swap out the key switches and caps on the K70 Pro Mini, so it will last as long as you keep up with it. On its own, you can expect close to 10 years before a key switch gives out.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Among mainstream keyboards, Corsair is offering something no one else is with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, and the small issues with battery life are negligible with how much else it has going on.
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