The K60 RGB Pro produced by Corsair stands out with its appearance. K60 RGB Pro It is also one step ahead of its competitors in terms of performance. K60 RGB Pro Review
Of course, the focus should first be on the keyboard itself. But as with the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile, the Corsair K60 RGB Pro plays a pioneering role. The Cherry Viola switches were presented at CES in January 2020, but only now are they being used on a keyboard for the first time. The K60 RGB Pro is advertised by the manufacturer as a gaming keyboard and, with an RRP of ~ 140 €, is currently the manufacturer’s entry point for a full-size keyboard and RGB lighting. But the mechanical keyboard is not just out of line with the switches, as will be shown in more detail on the following page.
In addition to this sample, theK60 RGB Pro is also available in Germany as a low profile with Cherry MX low profile switches. The K60 RGB Pro with simple red lighting and the K60 RGB Pro SE with palm rest and high PBT keycaps will not appear in this country. There are no other accessories included with the K60 RGB Pro
Before going into more detail with the keyboard, the new switches should be briefly illuminated. The manufacturer describes the Cherry VIOLA as a value solution that is intended to replace rubber dome and hybrid switches. There is no comparison with the Cherry MX. Because the switches are provided with a bronze contact piece (instead of gold-plated), which closes the contact directly on the board of the input device. The switches do not have to be soldered, but the lighting can be soldered directly below them on the PCB in the form of SMD RGB LEDs. This should also make the production process cheaper.
The characteristics of the VIOLA designed and manufactured in Germany can best be compared with Cherry MX Red, with the manufacturer describing the design as cross-linear. 45 are required until it is triggered, after which the force increases, causing the punch to snap back faster.
The Corsair K60 RGB Pro is out of line because it has no visual similarities to any of the manufacturer’s other keyboards. Despite its gaming focus, it looks a lot soberer and also a bit more stylish. This is probably also because there are no dedicated additional buttons installed, which makes the upper edge superfluous, as found, for example, on the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 or Corsair K68 RGB. The superfluous surface is also saved on the other edges so that the K60 RGB Pro looks relatively compact despite the full-size format.
Additional functions are offered with double assignments. The manufacturer does not exaggerate, but only provides the most necessary – something more elegant than, for example, the Sharkoon Skiller Mech SGK3. TheK60 RGB Pro allows adjustments to the brightness of the lighting, the effects themselves have to be made via iCUE. The most important multimedia commands are available for this.
But it also owes its chic look to the aluminum endplate. It is lightly sanded and anodized in black. Together with the black ABS button caps and the black plastic frame, the result is a simple appearance at first glance. The design of the switches is a bit untypical for a keyboard for the office. The Cherry VIOLA is not countersunk but sits freely on the aluminum plate. This also means that its milky white housing is integrated into the lighting effects of theK60 RGB Pro. As is now common with the manufacturer, each button can be individually illuminated.
This is made possible by SMD LEDs, which are soldered onto the PCB under the VIOLA. Basically, this should keep production costs low, as this can be done automatically. As described at the beginning, the switches are only clipped into the aluminum plate and not soldered. So you could just replace them. If you remove the switches, you can see how they work. The contact piece in the switch closes a contact on the circuit board when activated. A simple principle and really no comparison to the various Cherry MX switches.
Overall, the keyboard is quite flat. It really makes sense to also offer the K60 RGB Pro as a low profile with Cherry MX Speed Low Profile. The fact that it looks so flat is also because the caps are designed as a low profile. Basically, they are identical to those of the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile, only with slightly smaller lettering. As you can see on the underside, there are obviously slots for palm rest. This is only available with the K60 RGB Pro SE, which will not reach the market in Germany. But then there would also be high caps made of PBT.
Also common with Corsair is the fixed USB cable, which is not covered here. The value orientation becomes a little clarity here. There is also no USB pass-through port, which also means that it is not compatible with the Corsair iCUE Nexus.
In iCUE, there are no surprises with the Corsair K60 RGB Pro either. The software allows the usual settings for the keyboard. This means that you can program the buttons individually and thus add additional functions. The lighting can be adjusted quickly and easily with the ready-made modes, but your own effects can also be created and saved.
The lighting of the Corsair K60 RGB Pro is strong and fairly even. This is because the VIOLA does not have a stamp, so the light can scatter throughout the entire cap without great resistance. There are no differences to the rest of the Corsair products in terms of effects and colours. Overall, RGB fans get their money’s worth here.
Cherry VIOLA Switch and practical test
Cherry did not provide much technical information about the VIOLA switches. It was known in advance that they are designed to be cross-linear and require an activation force of 45 CN – most similar to the Cherry MX Red. The release travel is 2mm, which again corresponds to the MX Red. However, the similarity feels less great. You hardly notice, or not really, that they should operate more easily until they are released. Overall, the resistance feels noticeably greater than with the MX Red. As far as the volume is concerned, they can be a bit quieter, as you tend less to knock them through completely, as you can get to where the keys are quite quickly must operate. This is more difficult with the Cherry MX Low Profile, for example, because the path is simply much shorter and you can quickly reach the end of the path. For a mechanical keyboard, the Corsair K60 RGB Pro can therefore be used relatively quietly. Relative is also really to be understood that way. A mecha with blue switches is definitely louder, a rubber dome is definitely quieter.
There are no big surprises when playing. Entries can be made quickly and precisely. Also interesting for gamers: There is an N-Key rollover and the Windows key can be locked, which is also visualized by a status LED. It has already been mentioned that the K60 RGB Pro is actually relatively flat. However, the lack of a palm rest is already noticeable, especially if you have used one beforehand. Switching directly from the Corsair K70 RGB Mk.2 Low Profile meant that the hands quickly became tired. Not only because the angle of attack is larger, but also in combination with the more difficult release. Somehow it’s a shame that there is no filing system like there is with the SE. Above all, the price is not entirely understandable. The manufacturer’s next-priced mecha, the Corsair K68 RGB, has one and also uses Cherry MX and costs only € 10 more (RRP). If it goes in the direction of subjective evaluation – personally, I also miss the dedicated media buttons in this price range. Yes, the look of the K60 RGB Pro is somehow more stylish and of higher quality than, for example, the K68 RGB, but it offers more features and actually even better switches for a small extra charge.
With the Corsair K60 RGB Pro, the manufacturer has developed a gaming keyboard that is a bit more graceful than its siblings but does not do without the extensive RGB lighting. The keyboard shows no weakness in the processing – everything fits as it should and the aluminum plate gives it very high quality. It also feels significantly heavier and more massive than it actually is. And that should be emphasized so positively, it actually represents the cheapest mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting from the manufacturer. But this is also noticeable in other points. There is no wrist rest included in the scope of delivery and there are no dedicated additional keys at all. The red pen is also attached to the cable and the sleeve is saved. There are no compromises with the iCUE control. The lighting and the buttons can therefore be fully customized. N-key rollover and Windows key lock are also available.
However, the built-in switches are likely to be a major savings point. Instead of Cherry MX, the Cherry VIOLA is used for the first time. Due to their construction and design, they offer at least the potential for cost savings. They still work precisely, but also with their own personality that is difficult to compare with other switches. According to the datasheet, they are similar in many respects to the MX Red but feel tighter. In return, their lighting looks particularly cool. Because there is no stamp, they are lit fairly evenly all around.
So in itself a really good keyboard with a chic look. The RRP of ~ 140 € is a bit high in comparison, especially when you consider that the VIOLA should enable a value orientation. That fits in your own lineup too, but if you look at the Sharkoon Skiller Mech SGK3, for example, you can see that it is also much cheaper. The fact that Cherry VIOLA is developed in Germany will not be a plus for very few. But as always, we also assume that the market will adjust the price somewhat.