Mechanical keyboards are a must for any serious competitive gamer, but they can get expensive. Not only that, but the more affordable mechanical keyboards often lack some of the handy features found on others, like media keys or water resistance. Often the focus is on looks and simplicity over functionality.
Corsair’s K68 aims to bridge the gap, as an affordable mechanical keyboard for competitive gaming that’s also liquid resistant. And yes, you better believe we tested it. Let the clumsy among us rejoice!
You can pick up the accident proof Corsair K68 for $100.
Design and Comfort
The K68 is a full size 104 key with an entirely plastic shell. While some might hear plastic and think “cheap,” the construction on the K68 is rock solid. This is a keyboard designed with durability in mind, and I’m confident the K68 won’t break unexpectedly.
The keys are in a rubber casing to help reduce the sounds of key presses and provide that sweet liquid resistance. Those of you using the K68 in an office setting or other shared space – your co-workers or roommates will thank you. Though the K68 is far from silent, you won’t get that super loud click-clack sound you might find with other mechanical keyboards.
Aesthetically, the K68 has that standard Corsair look – boxy, black, and minimalist. There’s not much in the way of RGB lighting here – the keys have a red backlight, that you can configure on a per-key basis in Corsair’s CUE2 software. You can also change brightness settings which is handy.
The K68 has a textured space bar, so you can identify it by touch alone. I’ve never felt that this was necessary personally, and I’m not entirely sold on the tactile feel of the texturing. It’s not a make or break addition by any means, but I question why Corsair added texture to the spacebar of all keys.
Corsair has also included a wrist rest, to help alleviate some of the strain of typing and gaming. While I appreciate the addition, I wish it was a little sturdier – it would occasionally pry loose during gaming sessions, and the plastic material was much flimsier than the rest of the keyboard. The rubber texture didn’t provide much cushion either. I mostly used the K68 without the wrist rest, and didn’t miss it.
One thing I really like about the K68 are the plastic feet. These little guys were incredible. They require a significant amount of force to snap open or close, which might sound like a bad thing, but it actually prevents the feet from folding in and lowering the keyboard. I’ve had far too many high pressure gaming situations ruined by that scenario, so I wish more keyboards had feet like the K68’s.
Features and Performance
The K68 comes with Cherry MX Red switches, which are my favorite gaming switches. They’re responsive and have a low accentuation point, so you can press them quickly for extra headshots. For games where you’re constantly moving and strafing, I prefer Reds. For typing, I find the Reds to be a little too light and typo-prone, but if you’re primarily using your keyboard for gaming, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The K68 also has a row of media keys, with play, stop, fast forward, rewind and volume control buttons on two separate rows right above the number pad. There aren’t additional macro keys, but Corsair’s software allows you to assign macros to any key, so if you’re macro-happy, you’ll be in business.
Speaking of Corsair’s software, CUE2 is fairly comprehensive. You can remap keys, assign macros, and adjust the back lighting, among other useful features. The software is easy to navigate, and you can customize multiple profiles for when you’re switching between different games.
Resistance is (Not) Futile
The exciting feature on the K68 is its IP 32 water and dust resistance. For those not familiar with the IP, or ingress protection, scale, a rating of 32 means the K68 can protect against solids larger than 2.5 millimeters and dripping water that is immediately wiped up and the keyboard is tilted at 15 degrees to facilitate water runoff. In real world scenarios, this translates to small crumbs and light liquid spills.
Using an incredibly sophisticated testing method called pouring a bunch of junk on it, we can verify that yes, the K68 lives up to its claim.
All in the name of science.
It wasn’t pretty to clean up, but after rinsing it off and drying it out, performance wasn’t affected in the slightest. The K68 smells like candy now, but that could be a plus for some people.
We had to remove every key to clean it sufficiently, but it works. You don’t WANT to spill on it due to the hassle of cleanup, but if you’re clumsy, this feature is a serious plus.