Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Corsair recently expanded their already extensive lineup of mechanical keyboards with the K63 Wireless, which is one of the only tenkeyless keyboards on the market to offer Genuine Cherry MX switches along with a low latency 2.4GHz wireless connection. Most of the other wireless mechanical keyboards on the market use non-Cherry MX switches and a Bluetooth wireless connection, which operates at an inconsistent report rate. Even one of my favorite wireless mechanical keyboards that does feature Cherry MX switches, the Filco Majestouch Ninja Covertible
, uses a Bluetooth connection. The Corsair K63 Wireless ($109.99 shipped
) has been designed to give gamers a compact wireless keyboard that they can use without the fear of input lag wrecking their game.
With its compact form, independent media controls and linear Cherry MX Red switches, the Corsair K63 Wireless may be the ideal keyboard for people who want to game on an HTPC without sacrificing latency or resorting to using a controller. With the NVidia BFGD's
on the horizon, living room gaming may see increased popularity in the coming year, so it's not a surprise to see more and more companies throw their hats into the wireless peripheral arena. Let's not forget the crowd of users who simply want the cleanest aesthetic possible for their home computer setup, in which case a product like the Corsair K63 Wireless could help eliminate what is typically one of the hardest-to-manage cables on your desk.
Corsair is offering a two year warranty on the K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, which is a respectable warranty compared to other manufacturers of gaming keyboards, many of whom offer only one year warranties. Since the K63 Wireless is designed with an emphasis on portable gaming, it is more likely to see travel abuse than your typical keyboard, so a two year warranty is definitely something I like to see.
Corsair offers 128-Bit AES encryption on the K63 Wireless, which keeps your key-presses encrypted to avoid snooping. The 128-Bit AES encryption on the K63 Wireless adds a very slight amount of input delay (.1ms-.4ms) that won't be perceivable to anybody, save for maybe The Flash. I have to admit that encryption isn't something I'd ever considered when using wireless keyboards, but it's good to know that my key presses are encrypted, as sending non-encrypted key-presses over wireless would be a very good way to get your information stolen.
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The Corsair K63 Wireless is actually available in two slightly different models, with the standard Blue model pictured above on the left, with the Special Edition Ice Blue model on the right. The model I am reviewing today is the standard K63 Wireless, which is available from Amazon for $109.99 shipped
, while the Special Edition Ice Blue K63 Wireless is available at Amazon for the same price of $109.99 shipped
. I am not sure why Corsair went with two varieties of Blue for the K63 Wireless that look very similar to each other instead of offering two different colors, but perhaps they will do that down the road, or figure out how to make an RGB model feasible. As it stands, RGB lighting would reduce battery so much that Corsair couldn't consider it for use on a wireless keyboard.
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The K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard comes packaged in a black box with yellow accents along the sides, fitting the standard for packaging that Corsair has been using for years. There is a large sticker noting that Cherry MX Red switches are being used on the K63 Wireless, but this sticker can be swapped by Corsair easily so that other switch types can be added in the future, should the K63 Wireless prove popular and warrant consumer demand for more switches. I think that Cherry MX Red was the right choice of switch for a keyboard aimed primarily at gamers, though the Cherry MX Silver switch is my current pick when it comes to linear switches for gaming. The rear of the box is filled with more detailed and information and Corsair has done a great job of utilizing the space on the box to provide images of the keyboard paired with useful, detailed information.
Corsair ships the K63 Wireless with user guides and warranty pamphlets that will likely be tossed aside by a majority of users, but good on them for being thorough with their documentation. Of course, you also get the required accessories for the K63 Wireless like the 2.4GHz USB receiver, a dongle for the receiver and a six foot long Corsair-branded USB cable.
Corsair also includes a basic plastic wrist-rest that has a soft-coat textured surface with the K63 Wireless. The wrist-rest connects to the bottom of the K63 Wireless securely with tabs. I am not a huge fan of textured surfaces for wrist rests, as they generally cause more discomfort than a foam pad, but they do offer more support than not having a wrist-rest at all. The Corsair wrist rest has rubber stabilizers on the bottom to help keep it stable during use and the hollowed out plastic is pretty sturdy while remaining lightweight.
The rubber-coated USB cable that is included with the K63 Wireless has Corsair branding at both ends is six feet tall, which should be more than adequate for most users. This cable is flexible and easy to work with, while also wrapping up nicely for storage when it isn't being used. I do wish that Corsair would have gone with a braided cable for aesthetics, but since the cable isn't a permanent fixture on the K63 Wireless, this isn't a big deal at all.
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The Corsair K63 Wireless comes with a proprietary 2.4GHz USB receiver and dongle for low latency communication with the PC. A Corsair logo is on both the USB receiver and dongle for easy identification. The dongle will allow you to position the receiver closely to your keyboard to eliminate potential interference. This receiver is paired with the K63 Wireless from the factory and is necessary for the keyboard to operate in wireless 2.4GHz mode. Corsair doesn't include any holders in the keyboard for the wireless receiver and dongle combo to be stored as Logitech did with their wireless G613, so you will need to make sure to store it properly so it doesn't get lost during transport. Should the USB receiver get lost, you can get a replacement from Corsair Customer Service
while you use the K63 Wireless in USB or Bluetooth mode.
The Corsair K63 Wireless has a basic but complete presentation and Corsair has made sure to include everything you'll need to get started. Unfortunately, nothing like a set of textured key caps was included with the K63 Wireless, though the added wrist-rest is a decent addition. Let's take a closer look at the Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Looking Closer
The Corsair K63 Wireless follows similar design to other Corsair keyboards and features the same compact tenkeyless frame of the original K63. Corsair has gone with a blue back plate and matching LED lighting on the K63 Wireless, instead of the red lighting that was featured on the original wired K63. The K63 Wireless exhibits minimal flex when doing a twist test and has a solid overall build quality, with nothing causing concerns over quality or longevity. There is minimal upwards sweep on the K63 Wireless, but the unit has a nice, ergonomic feel to it.
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The frame of the Corsair K63 Wireless is manufactured from high quality plastic and is pretty tight, though the top bezel is a bit larger due to the integrated media controls. There is a deep indented line that runs between the top row of keys and the upper bezel of the K63 Wireless. This line adds to the aesthetic of the keyboard, but unfortunately it creates an area where dust and debris can be trapped.
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Corsair makes excellent use of the top bezel of the K63 Wireless, with a full set of media playback controls on the left side, volume controls on the right and Windows lock and LED adjustment buttons to the right of the Corsair logo docking the top center of the keyboard. The F9 and F10 keys are used in combination with the FN key to set the wireless mode between the low latency proprietary connection and Bluetooth. Only one device can be paired with the K63 Wireless at a time under Bluetooth mode.
A Corsair logo sticker docks the top center of the keyboard. This particular sticker is used on a lot of different Corsair keyboards and it is prone to catching cleaning cloths and pulling up, unfortunately. I spoke with Corsair about this and they said they experimented with different methods for placing the logo on the bezel, including screen printing, but that the sticker ended up being the best choice aesthetically.
Removing the key caps from the K63 Wireless was an easy affair, though Corsair doesn't include a cap remover and I had to use one of the ones I already owned. Removing the ABS key caps on the Corsair K63 Wireless reveals the Cherry MX Red switches, which have switch-mounted LED on the top portion of the switch housing rather than using PCB mounted LED's. Corsair is using a light blue back plate with the K63 Wireless, which should look good with lighting enabled.
A USB port and power switch are on the rear of the K63 Wireless, placed in the center for easy, sensible access. I do wish that Corsair went with the modern USB Type C connector as opposed to a Micro USB connector, as it would make plugging in the cable properly for charging much easier and also be less likely to break over time. The power switchand offers a nice, firm action that doesn't feel like it will become loose over time.
The familiar large Corsair font is being used on the ABS key caps of the K63 Wireless, which should hold up decently, but will be prone to shine over time. As is the case with most of their keyboards, Corsair is using a non-standard bottom row on the K63 Wireless, so if you want to source replacement key caps, you'll have to go with a solution specific to the Corsair key layout. Corsair recently released PBT key caps ($49.99 shipped
) for their keyboards, which are really high quality and don't develop the shine typical of ABS key caps. I really like the feel and quality offered by PBT key caps, so it is nice to have this option available on the K63 Wireless, though I would really like to see manufacturers including better key caps from the factory.
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The bottom of the Corsair K63 Wireless has rubber isolation feet on each corner to keep the keyboard steady and there are single-level rear height adjustment feet. You can also see tab slots on the lower front end of the keyboard for the wrist-rest to slot into the keyboard securely.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - CUE
The Corsair K63 Wireless worked properly right out of the box on my Z370 Gaming 5 motherboard and was recognized instantly by my PC at the UEFI level, allowing use before the keyboard even hit Windows and could load any drivers. Once Windows 10 loaded, the K63 Wireless worked instantly. Installing the latest version of Corsair CUE (2.23.40) from the Corsair CUE webpage
went without a hitch and the software instantly recognized the K63 Wireless, which had version 1.01 of the firmware installed. Corsair CUE had a notice to inform me that there was a new version of the firmware available for the K63 Wireless and the process had some trouble completing until I switched to using the dongle and keyboard onto a different set of USB ports. Once the firmware for the keyboard was updated, CUE worked properly and recognized my K63 Wireless along with my other Corsair components.
The default section of CUE for the K63 Wireless has an overview of the board and you can select different profiles that have been saved to CUE.
CUE allows for extensive per-key macro settings on the K63 Wireless, so any of the keys can be programmed for a specific function. Macro recording is available, as is key remapping, program launching, text entry and key disabling.
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The Corsair K63 Wireless is limited to blue for lighting, but various lighting modes are available in CUE to suit whichever style fits bit. The lighting on the K63 Wireless looks excellent, with smooth, even effects across all of the keys, though due to how the LED has to be implemented on the Cherry MX switch, the lower portion of keys aren't as lit as the upper portion on keys where legends extend past the top row of the key, CAPS LOCK for example. This is typical of any keyboard with Cherry MX switches, since the LED can't be in the center of the key switch. Corsair could remedy this by going with a smaller single line font, but they seem to be set on their mega super large font.
The performance section of CUE lets you disable certain key combinations in addition to disabling the Windows key. You can also disable the 128-Bit AES encryption, which will allow a slightly faster reporting rate in exchange for security. I would suggest just leaving the wireless security encryption on for a majority of users, as it introduces an indiscernible delay and keeps your key presses secure from snooping. If you are doing something where input latency is so critical that the 128-Bit AES could cause an issue, I would recommend just plugging in the K63 Wireless.
Overall, Corsair CUE allowed for an excellent amount of control over the K63 Wireless and worked quite well. I had an occasional issue where if my system went to sleep and I came back, CUE wouldn't detect the K63 Wireless until I unplugged and plugged in the dongle, even though the keyboard was working just fine. I brought this up with Corsair and they said they would look into the issue.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Testing
Typing on the K63 Wireless was a natural affair, as I am used to Cherry MX Red switches and Corsair has implemented them well here, with each switch offering a consistent typing experience, with proper stabilizers used on the necessary keys. The ABS key caps on the K63 Wireless are smooth and feel good under the finger, with a slight texture felt on the key legends due to the print process used. I was able to reach my typical 90 WPM average on the K63 Wireless during my first round of testing with Typeracer. The independent media keys on the K63 Wireless were implemented well, offering smooth linear actuation and they are a very thoughtful inclusion on a keyboard that may see use on an HTPC.
When typing on the K63 Wireless, there is a noticeable "ping" sound produced by the switches resonating against the back plate. This type of sound is common in a lot of keyboards, but coming over from my Ducky TKL RGB, which is one of the more solid, well-manufactured tenkeyless keyboards on the market, the "ping" of the K63 Wireless was very noticeable. Once I used the keyboard for a bit, the sound became tolerable and I stopped noticing, but if you prefer keyboard on the quiet side of the spectrum, the K63 Wireless definitely isn't the one for you. I will be trying Corsair PBT key caps in the future to see if that helps quiet things down, as PBT does tend to thud more than than it clacks.
For gaming, the K63 Wireless was an absolute joy to use, registering key presses accurately and consistently. The textured space bar on the Corsair K63 grips well without being uncomfortable and is nice to have for games like Dead By Daylight, where space bar spamming is necessary. When testing the Corsair K63 Wireless against the Logitech G613, another low latency wireless mechanical keyboard, I didn't notice any performance differences between the two keyboards and input lag was not perceived, with each keyboard totally being usable for gaming. I had no qualms using the Corsair K63 Wireless to play competitive games like PUBG and even won a Chicken Dinner along with Legit Reviews Editor in Chief Nathan Kirsch the first time I played with the keyboard.
Battery life on the K63 Wireless was surprisingly good, exceeding Corsair's ratings for battery life under every scenario. With lighting set to a minimum, the Corsair K63 Wireless lasted four days before it needed to be charged. With lighting at 66%, I got over 24 hours of use with the K63 Wireless. The amount of time the battery on the K63 Wireless will last will also vary based on how much use the keyboard is seeing. It would be nice if Corsair could have found a way to make the batteries last for months on the K63 Wireless when LED lighting isn't used, as Logitech was able to with the G613, but the battery life on the K63 Wireless is respectable and never left me frustrated, as the keyboard didn't require frequent charging.
Corsair K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Conclusion
The Corsair K63 Wireless is a well-made, versatile wireless keyboard for gamers who move between a desktop and HTPC system. The 2.4GHz low latency wireless technology that Corsair implemented on the K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is solid, as I never noticed any drop-outs or input delay during my testing. While Corsair didn't step out of the box or deliver anything new in terms of design with the K63 Wireless, the original K63 is a solid keyboard to build from and it allowed Corsair to adopt wireless technology into an already proven product. The aesthetic appeal offered by the K63 Wireless is excellent, as the keyboard has a good looking design and it lets you remove what is typically one of the most cumbersome cables from your desk.
The Corsair K63 Wireless is a solid wireless keyboard, but there's room for improvement. Other keyboards from Corsair have an aluminum top plate with floating cap design, which would have been really nice to see on Corsair's first wireless offering, considering the durability that these types of keyboards offer, along with allowing for easier cleaning. While comfortable to type on, the Corsair K63 Wireless resonates just a bit too much and the ping sound produced when typing is noticeable when coming over from my Ducky One TKL with Cherry MX Silver switches. There were some minor issues with Corsair CUE occasionally not seeing the K63 Wireless when it would come back from sleep and the firmware update process was a bit clumsy, but overall the CUE software was working well and allowed for proper control over the K63 Wireless, including per-key macro programming. It would be nice to see Corsair implement per-key lighting in the future so you can just illuminate the WASD keys, for example. Battery life was solid, but I can't help but think that Corsair could have found a solution for batteries to last for months as Logitech did with their G613, perhaps a hybrid battery solution with one battery for LED lighting and the other for the keyboard function, so you can game on even if the LED's lose power?
Corsair filled a void in the market with the K63 Wireless, as it is the first wireless keyboard with Cherry MX switches that can actually be used for reliable gaming. If you want wireless functionality in a mechanical keyboard from a reputable manufacturer, the $109.99 Corsair K63 Wireless
simply can't be ignored. You can argue that a Bluetooth connection is fine for gaming, but if you actually sit down and use the K63 Wireless in Bluetooth mode or use a Bluetooth-only keyboard like the Filco Majestouch Convertible, the low latency superiority of the proprietary 2.4GHz wireless connection becomes very clear. The current price of the Corsair K63 Wireless is really fair at $109.99, but if you don't need wireless functionality, the original Corsair K63 Compact is only $69.99 shipped
on Amazon right now. The Corsair K63 Compact is a similar keyboard to the Corsair K63 Wireless, but without wireless functionality and with a red color scheme.
The potential of the Corsair K63 Wireless is really amazing for PC gamers, as it can easily be used on multiple systems in the same household and then thrown into a backpack to go to a LAN party. Corsair also has a really nice accompanying piece of hardware for the keyboard called the K63 Lapboard for $59.99 shipped
, which is a plastic base with a memory foam underside that the K63 Wireless slots into for an enhanced living room gaming experience. You can purchase the keyboard and lapboard together to save a few bucks, but the K63 Wireless is a viable product on its own and can work independently of the lapboard. I used the K63 Wireless for several days before unpacking the lapboard and had a great experience. We will have a full review of the Corsair K63 Wireless Lapboard along with some examples of how it can be used up very soon.
I really like that companies like Corsair and Logitech are driving wireless peripherals with quality product offerings, as wireless technology has truly gotten to a point where it can be used for gaming in a reasonable fashion without the worry of input latency causing issues. I look forward to the developments Corsair will make with wireless keyboards in the future, as the K63 Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is an excellent start for the company in this market. If you're looking to get into wireless peripherals but have been on the fence due to performance concerns, the $109.99 Corsair K63 Wireless
might make you a believer.
Legit Bottom Line: If you've been looking for a compact, wireless Cherry MX keyboard that can actually handle gaming, look no further than the Corsair K63 Wireless.