Corsair arguably put RGB keyboards on the map, and now its most premium option yet, the K95 RGB Platinum, takes things to an inevitable extreme with an integrated light bar. Beyond providing 16.8 million color options all over the keyboard, Corsair’s flagship peripheral also comes equipped with Cherry’s proven Speed switches, 8MB of memory to store profiles and a military-grade aluminum frame.
However, all of this elegance comes with matching $199 (£179, AU$349) price tag. It’s a tall asking price and, while the K95 RGB Platinum offers many features we love, Corsair’s complex software continues to be a stumbling block.
At its core, the K95 RGB Platinum shares relatively the same shape, design and aluminum build as its predecessor, but there are key differences.
The most apparent change is the fact that the Platinum is much narrower, thanks to cutting the number of macro keys from 18 to a mere six. Some might not like the reduction, but let’s be real, you’ll actually be able to reach all the macro keys when you just have a single column of them.
Users will also be able to program up to three sets of macros all stored on the keyboard’s own 8MB of built-in memory rather than relying on Corsair’s software. This makes it that much easier to just bring the keyboard to a friend’s house or gaming event and instantly feel right at home.
Dropping down to just six macro keys puts the K95 Platinum into more direct competition with more affordable options, like the $169 (£159, AU$199) Razer Blackwidow Chroma.
However, this keyboard still kills it when it comes to shortcut buttons. You have a volume wheel, media controls, lighting toggles and gaming modes all within easy reach. Despite the cheaper, $179 (£159, AU$279) Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum, we prefer the simpler setup of Corsair’s flagship.
Everything in its place
The Corsair K95 RBG Platinum comes with possibly one of the best wrist rests ever bundled with a keyboard. Made with the same military-grade aluminum as the peripheral itself, the wrist rest offers plenty of support.
Meanwhile, a reversible and magnetic rubber pad offers a smooth micro-finish on one side and a rougher texture on the other. Unfortunately, this wrist rest also easily attracts dust, crumbs, oils and all manner of detritus – so, it requires almost constant cleaning.
Corsair has also added an “X” arrangement of two-cable channels molded into the underside of the keyboard. Interestingly, they’re not made for routing the peripheral’s own cable, but keeping your headset wire (or anything plugged into the dedicated USB passthrough) out of the way.
Lighting, of course, has been upgraded significantly with a new 19-zone light bar that runs along the top of the peripheral’s frame. It’s a gorgeous, if superfluous, touch – we’re mostly impressed with the way colors wash across Corsair’s transparent logo.
The K95 RGB Platinum follows in the footsteps of Corsair's K70 RGB Rapidfire keyboard in its focus on speed. Featuring Cherry's new, linear MX Speed switches, the keys are highly responsive and take just a light press to actuate.
In fact, the switches actuate with just 1.2mm of movement and 45g of force.
In other words, the keys bottom out faster and require just a fraction of the pressure, making them well suited for twitch shooters or any game that requires fast reflexes. They take a bit of getting used to for regular typing, but honestly, this is a keyboard that was made for gaming first.
CUE the pain
Corsair’s complex software has always been a pain point for us, but it’s gotten better over the years. Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) now offers plenty of templates to have colors pulse, wave and rain across the keys.
From there, you can get into a much more technical level of creating custom color shows per key with intricate triggers, but this is where Razer Synapse is far more user friendly. At the very least users can retreat to community created templates to build and learn from there.
Thankfully, creating macro’s is a much more straightforward task and CUE gives you plenty of tools to make custom keystrokes.
The Corsair K95 RBG Platinum really is the Rolls Royce of gaming keyboards both in its styling and its $199 (£179, AU$349) price tag. Even though it feels a little less special with only six macro keys, no other keyboard matches it with a classy all metal build quality, handy shortcut buttons or disco lighting. If you can stomach the price and complex software, the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is well worth its premium price.