Corsair has done a great job of fulfilling the needs of many gamers with the K65 RGB Mini. After having used it now for over a week as my daily keyboard, I can say that I prefer it over many other competitors on the market. While Corsair does get many things right, a few issues keep this keyboard from having a perfect score.
- MSRP: $109.99 USD (Corsair, Best Buy)
- USB Polling Rate: Up to 8,000Hz with AXON
- Switch: Cherry MX Speed
- Type: Mechanical
- Backlight: RGB
- On-Board Memory: 8MB, up to 50 profiles
- Connection type: USB-C to USB-A
- Key Rollover: Full Key (NKRO) with 100% Anti-Ghosting
- Media Control: Yes
The Corsair K65 RGB Mini is a compact keyboard with a 60% layout. That means it lacks the numpad of a full-size keyboard, but also the function row, arrow keys, and navigation and editing buttons. This compact layout is ideal for gamers who might need to travel with their keyboard or simply those who value desk space. With the exception of the numpad, the Mini manages to maintain all of the functionality of a traditional TKL keyboard through its dual function layers. It takes a bit to learn but with some practice, accessing all of your normal functions can become second nature.
Unboxing the K65 RGB Mini was a typical experience with only a few items in the box: the power cable, keycap remover, extra spacebar, and extra ESC key with the Corsair logo. While I found it a bit thick and some of the edges are not rounded, not exactly sharp, but I was thankful that the housing is plastic. The keyboard has a compact form overall, and it is lightweight at 0.85 kg.
There were two issues I noticed right away before even plugging in the keyboard. First, the overall feeling of build quality is a bit on the low side. Since Corsair has used a plastic casing, it feels light and flimsy. With further use, the keyboard is solid and sturdy. Second, there is no height adjustment, just four rubber feet to prevent it from sliding on the desk. Luckily the typing angle was comfortable for me. Some users may find it an issue.
Keycaps are double-shot PBT with Cherry MX Speed switches. The switches have a 45g actuation force, a 1.0mm actuation distance, and 3.2mm total travel. This is faster than a more common Cherry MX Red (which is also available for this keyboard) in that it activates at half the usual travel distance. Whether or not this will make a big difference will depend on your reaction time, but theoretically, these switches can allow for inputting more commands and quicker double-taps. At the same time, many users can find them too sensitive and difficult to use, but I didn't have this problem.
The keys feel great to the touch. You can feel the texture on each keycap. I found the default spacebar texture on my model particularly well designed, fully backlit except at the ends and in the middle where you could feel the texture. While typing and gaming, I found that I could tell where my thumb/finger was without having to glance down.
The K65 RGB Mini is a great gaming keyboard with excellent responsiveness and no ghosting. It also supports an 8,000 Hz polling rate, which means it will report your commands back to the PC eight thousand times a second. That's incredibly fast, though certainly matters less than a similar report rate on a high-end gaming mouse with a cutting edge high refresh rate gaming monitor. It was even decent for short bouts of typing. I wasn’t having trouble with typical typing errors, which I have experienced when swapping between most other keyboards, but I did start missing a dedicated delete key rather quickly. The K65 RGB Mini is an especially good fit for eSports gamers that may need to travel with their keyboard due to its compact size and exceptional programmability.
The positioning of the various keys was perfect for me, and I found that having the FN key to the right of the ALT key easier on my hands when stretching up to hit backspace/delete. If you are looking for customization options, look no further than the K65 RGB Mini. Not only do you get more than 30 secondary function keys/media controls, but you also have access to macro recording with two FN layers. You can also store up to 50 profiles in the on-board memory, making you a gaming monster if you need that many. Btw, my hat goes off to you if you do use that many profiles.
The lighting on this keyboard is excellent, and the software is easy to install/use. I set everything to my liking and added several custom effects I wanted for specific games quickly. Getting the exact color for different keys was also no issue. Corsair has done well with the iCUE software package, with no complaints on my end.
The noise is my biggest issue with the K65. For some users, this will not be a problem depending on their use case. The keys have an almost hollow ting sound when you are typing quickly. Making it completely unusable for me in the long run as I also am on a live mic quite often. I would love to see some other Cherry MX options for this keyboard in the future, but I am not sure if that would fully fix the sound from a key bottoming out due to the plastic housing.
The Corsair K65 RGB Mini is a great gaming keyboard for those looking to have a compact form factor. It is a joy to game with and surprisingly half decent for typing as well. There are tons of customization options along with two FN layers, which should be more than enough for even the most enthusiastic macro users out there. The lighting and lighting software I found to be excellent and easy to use. While the construction at first feels a bit flimsy, it is a sturdy product. Unfortunately, the K65 RGB Mini has no height adjustment, and the switches are loud with an almost minor metallic ting when they bottom out. Combine these minor issues with an MSRP of $109.99 USD, and it doesn’t quite add up to a perfect experience. But with a few more switch options, the Corsair K65 RGB Mini could get close.The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.