12.13.2013

GAMELIFE: Would you get a mechanical keyboard? + Semi review of Corsair Vengeance K70

I recently got a Mechanical keyboard, after having my Gateway chiclet keyboard for a good five years....it was time for me to part ways. Despite the fact that my old keyboard had the letters wearing off, I was being really stingy about buying a new keyboard. Plus since I knew gaming was a part of my life, I wanted invest in a good gaming keyboard if anything. My boyfriend decided to buy me a mechanical keyboard for my birthday (and/or Christmas since my bday is on the 22nd ;__;) and I'm pretty happy with it so far. 



Here is my baby. This is a custom modified Corsair Vengeance K70 in black with Cherry MX Switches. Whoo. That's a mouthful. I'll explain what it all 'means'.

First of all, the keyboard is actually just black with black keys. I custom modified the keycaps by buying an external keycap set. Because the mechanical keyboards have their own little switches inside, you can take off the caps of the keys very easily and replace them with whatever you like. I bought my particular set off of Ebay from a Chinese seller. Unfortunately they no longer sell anymore in pink, but I'm sure there are some on ebay from other sellers. Just look for "cherry mx keycaps".


Mechanical keyboards are not wired like your basic computer keyboard, for each key has their own built in switch that activates that key. So think of it as a typewriter basically. Your modern day computer keyboard has a circuit board that wires everything together. There is no individual 'key' switch on a normal keyboard. They are simply programmed to activate the specific letter or symbol when you hit the key. (Does that make sense? I'm terrible at explaining tech things...)

So why mechanical in the first place? With video games, a lot goes into the "actuation point" of when you hit a switch. The actuation point is the point at which the keys are actually registering on your screen. And because mechanical keyboards all have individually wired switches, all of the keys can be hit at once and will register on the screen! They call this "anti-ghosting".
In short, "anti-ghosting" means that you can slam your hand down on all the letters on your keyboard and they would all register. Whereas on a normal keyboard, because again, the keyboard is wired as a 'whole', when you hit all the keys at once, some keys will not register.
This is good for gaming because there are times when you need to hit more than one key at once, so you can be assured that every 'skill' you use in game, will be registered by the keys.

Cool features of the Corsair Vengeance K70:
Here's another custom keycap set I used before switching over to the solid pink letter keys. These were semi-translucent black keycaps I got from Maxkeyboards.com. The K70 has a red backlit illumination for the "cherry mx red" switches (I'll explain these later). Amazon also has the K70 in the brown switches, which have white illumination back lighting and also the cherry switches with black keys on a silver body, which has a blue back light illumination. So this model definitely has some variations which is great for different kinds of gamers. 


[custom lighting for League of Legends]

On to the neat part of this keyboard. The K70 has a custom lighting function that lets you program whatever keys you want lit up! I thought this was a huge selling point. I mean, more so just for the aesthetics and less for the actual function of it. I honestly never look down at my keyboard when I'm typing or playing video games. But it just looks so damn cool. I don't know any other key on the market (at least that I'm aware of) that has this capability.

Explaining the different switches: 
This part is hard to explain but it's not a difficult thing to understand at all. It's hard to explain because it's really something you have to FEEL and HEAR for yourself in person. Explaining it just doesn't cut it in words. There's a whole article that explains the different type of switches HERE. I highly recommend you read that article if you're seriously considering. There's a lot to read but it shows you an animation of the switches and I think it gives you a pretty good idea of what the switches do.
But to explain it in layman's terms, basically mechanical keyboards have different types of switches that the industry calls "CHERRY MX" switches. I honestly don't know what that means in technical terms, but it's really not important. Just know that these different switches all have a different feel and thus gives you a different experience in typing.

The most common are Cherry MX: Blue, Red, Black, and Brown. There are more but I really wouldn't worry about them for your first keyboard. It's gets a bit overwhelming if you know what I mean.....

Blue: These sound like typewriters and have a pretty loud 'clicking' sound. It's extremely tactile, meaning you can really 'feel' the keys being pressed. Think of it as a snap closure button. This is probably the most popular switch thanks to the infamous Razer Blackwidow Ultimate keyboard. Everyone and their gaming moms has this one.

Red: These are really smooth because they have no tactile 'click'. The only audible sound you hear from typing on a red is the sound of the bottom of the keycap hitting the base of the keyboard. If you press the reds down slowly, it's pretty silent. Think of it like a velcro closure. These are also pretty popular.

Black: These are similar to Reds in that they have no tactile feedback but are a little harder to press down than the reds. Many people suggest this keyboard for RTS games (Real Time Strategy) like StarCraft, or games where typing isn't intensive and you really have to focus on not hitting other keys by mistake. Since it's heavier to press down, it helps to not misclick a key but can be useful for hitting the same key multiple times. Note that heavier keys also means typing fatigue after a while. Think of these like a magnet closure.

Brown: These are kind of an inbetween of the reds and the blues. Browns have a slight tactile feeling but it's very subtle. In my opinion these are the most awkward ones but that's purely my opinion. These keys would be good for those who want a smoother typing experience but like the feeling of something tactile to indicate when they hit the keys. I almost feel like there is something broken inside the keys and that's why it feels like that lol. I have no 'closure' analogy for this one. It's pretty unique in how it feels and sounds.

I know it's A LOT of information but honestly, you just have to know who you are as a gamer and what you want out of a keyboard. For me, I use my keyboard for gaming, typing, and designing. So I wanted a keyboard that would feel comfortable more than anything else.

My pros and cons with the Corsair K70: Pros are that the cherry mx red switches are really smooth and have this buttery clack clack sound when you type on them. It's not too obnoxiously loud like the blues, and I like the way they sound. My only real con is that in general, it's such a different feeling coming from a normal keyboard, that I'm still having a hard time hitting the right keys when I play games. It's not that the layout itself is too big, but that the keys themselves are raised so much higher than on a standard keyboard. I see myself making way more typographical errors than I ever did on a normal keyboard. With that said, it takes time to get used to mechanical keyboards and I don't think this is anything I'd be too worried about in the long run.

I hope this might have helped some of you who are considering to get a mechanical keyboard. Yes, they are pricey, but they are built to last! If you're looking for some suggestions on what keyboard to get, here's a great article with a list of all the top mechanical gaming keyboards out there updated to 2013.

So would you get a mechanical keyboard?




No comments

Post a Comment

Theme created by Sweet Lemon Grey