Corsair K63 Compact Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

CORSAIR is a highly renowned company, with hundreds of spectacular products and if you are an enthusiast, you would probably have a CORSAIR product with you. The company manufactures a vast number of computer components, such as keyboards, mice, headsets, cooling solutions, RAM kits, cases, etc.

PRODUCT INFO
CORSAIR K63 Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard
Manufacture CORSAIR
Available at View at Amazon

When it comes to keyboards, CORSAIR is at the top and there is no denying the fact that the company designs some of the most popular mechanical keyboards in the world. Their high-end products like CORSAIR K95 Platinum and CORSAIR K70 LUX RGB were greatly received by the masses.

The Corsair K63

CORSAIR K63 is a mid-range keyboard from the company and it feels like a very attractive product for the budget-users, thanks to the low price and nice features. The K63 and the K65 are the tenkeyless mechanical keyboards and are similar to K68 and K70 respectively in terms of features. There is a wireless variant of the keyboard as well, which goes slightly expensive than the wired one. The K63 wired keyboard comes with Red LED backlighting and the switches are also Cherry MX Red. So, let’s have a deep look at this spectacular keyboard.

Pricing

So, let’s talk about the price tag of the CORSAIR K63. The keyboard has an MSRP of $79.99, although the keyboard often goes for sale at around $59.99. This makes it a very interesting product because there are not a lot of tenkeyless keyboards with Cherry switches that cost around sixty bucks. Even more so, the features like CORSAIR iCUE support and unique keycaps are a nice addition, making this keyboard more attractive.

Unboxing

The box of the CORSAIR K63 is pretty similar to other keyboards from the company. At the front, you can notice the picture of the keyboard, with the switch type at the top right.

The front

At the back, you can see some technical details like per-key lighting, CORSAIR iCUE software, Windows key lock mode, dedicated media controls, 100% anti-ghosting, and tenkeyless design.

Necessary details

The box contents are as follow:

  • CORSAIR K63 keyboard
  • User Guide
  • Warranty Card

Design & Closer Look

CORSAIR K63 is a spectacular keyboard when it comes to the design and one can tell from the first sight of it that it is a high-quality keyboard. It gives a solid feel which shows that it is going to last decades. First of all, the size of the keyboard is smaller than the full-sized keyboards thanks to the tenkeyless design, although the width of the keyboard is more than most of the keyboards in the market and that is due to the presence of the dedicated media buttons.

An even profile

One of the biggest difference between this and the K65 is that the K63 has the plastic top while the K65 has a floating-switch design where the backplate is directly exposed. Moreover, the backplate in the K63 is red in colour, which in combination with the red LED backlighting looks really nice and evenly spread. CORSAIR has used a plastic backplate in the K63, which is why it feels significantly different from the K65 or K70. The keyboard has a matte texture all over it, which means that you won’t have to deal with fingerprints or oil marks.

Dedicated Media Controls

As you can see, we have the dedicated buttons at the top of the keyboard and two LED indicators as well. The volume buttons are located at the top right while the other media buttons are located at the top left. There are also two buttons for the Winlock and brightness functions. The CORSAIR logo at the top centre is not LED-lit like the higher-end keyboards from the company.

There are rubber pieces at the bottom of the keyboard, which means that the keyboard will not slip during intense gaming sessions. Moreover, you can elevate the keyboard with the help of the keyboard feet, which is highly recommended for typing sessions.

LED Brightness control, Windows Key Lock and Volume Controls

CORSAIR does not use detachable cables with their keyboards, which seems a bit dated, although this gives the keyboard higher durability. The cable of the keyboard is not braided but it is quite thick and we don’t think that it could get broken with even rough use.

Switches

CORSAIR has used genuine Cherry MX Red switches in the K63, which means that these switches have a linear action and they don’t have tactility in them. The switch housing is black in colour, which is why the LED lighting is not able to spread within the switch, leaving the secondary legends a bit darker.

CORSAIR has used genuine Cherry MX Red switches in the K63, which means that these switches have a linear action and they don’t have tactility in them.

The switch housing is black in colour, which is why the LED lighting is not able to spread within the switch, leaving the secondary legends a bit darker.

The switch housing is black in colour, which is why the LED lighting is not able to spread within the switch, leaving the secondary legends a bit darker.

Internal view of the Actuation Of A Cherry MX Red key

An important thing to note here is that these switches seem considerably smoother than the old CORSAIR keyboards, which is why these switches are from the batch which is probably manufactured after the retooling by Cherry.

Cherry MX Red switches have a travel distance of 4mm and have an actuation distance of 2mm. The actuation force is rated at 45 g, which is great for gaming, although these switches might feel a bit light for typing. Overall, Cherry MX Red switches are the most popular switches for gamers.

Keycaps

CORSAIR K63 uses laser-etched ABS shine-through keycaps and one of the biggest difference between them and other keycaps is that these keycaps have a round shape at the corners, making them a bit smoother than others. This also makes the keycaps look pretty cool. The thickness of the keycaps is similar to other companies like Logitech, Cooler Master, and Razer, which is why you won’t have the deep sound you could get from the aftermarket keycaps. In fact, some of the companies are already improving in this sector, for example, Razer has used thick PBT keycaps in their latest Huntsman Tournament Edition keyboard, whose detailed review can be seen here.

The Cherry MX Red switches

As for the legends are concerned, these large-font, gamer-esque keycaps are quite infamous, although we don’t dislike them at all and, in fact, prefer the large-font keycaps instead. However, CORSAIR uses non-standard bottom row in the K63, just like the other CORSAIR keyboards, which is why most of the aftermarket keycaps won’t fit on the keyboard.

The keycaps have a slightly matte texture, which is probably going to be faded in a couple of months, as ABS keycaps are not that resistant to skin oil. The spacebar, however, is another thing and the texture of the spacebar has a strong theme to it. It is usually liked by gamers, however, there are many people who would prefer to have a regular spacebar instead.

Keyboard Lighting

Evenly spread backlight

CORSAIR keyboards are known for their beautiful backlighting and thanks to the red-coloured backplate, CORSAIR K63 really shines in this department. The keyboard provides a lot of lighting modes which can be selected with the CORSAIR iCUE software, such as breathing mode, wave mode, or custom lighting mode. There is no RGB lighting in the K63 unlike the K68 or K70 and it allows only red LED lighting. Thankfully, the dedicated media buttons are also LED-lit and you can easily manage your media during the nights.

Corsair iCUE  Software

CORSAIR iCUE software feels a bit complex, at first sight, however, it allows a lot of customizations. There are three main tabs in the application which are present at the left pane of the screen; named Actions, Lighting Effects, and Performance. Moreover, you can make various profiles for the settings whose option is present right at the top of these tabs.

Corsair iCUE

First of all, the Actions tab is where you can create macros and the applications provides a lot of actions here apart from macros, such as launching a program, timer, profile switching, etc. Moreover, you can set the details for the settings such as the delay between inputs.

The performance section

When it comes to LED backlighting, the Lighting Effects is the tab that you should be looking for. CORSAIR is one of those companies which shows the realtime lighting effect on the screen that is going to be applied to the keyboard. This lets the user have a better view of the LED lighting and one can easily customize it this way. As for the lighting modes, there are many predefined lighting modes here, such as Visor, Rain, Pulse, Wave, type lighting, static colour, gradient, ripple, etc. Since this keyboard only provides red LED lighting, there is no customization of colours available, although there is still a lot of things that you can do with the keyboard. At last, in the Performance tab, you can select various options regarding the behaviour of the Winlock key, such as disabling Alt + F4, disabling Alt + Tab, etc.

Performance – Gaming & Typing

CORSAIR K63 is a budget mechanical keyboard from the company so let’s have a look at the performance of this keyboard for gaming and typing.

Gaming Performance

Red backlighting

First of all, CORSAIR K63 has a tenkeyless design which is a great thing for gaming, as the Numpad is not really used for gaming. It also makes the keyboard portable for LAN sessions. As for the switches and overall performance is concerned, Cherry MX Red switches are definitely one of the best switches for gaming and have very optimized actuation distance and force curve.

The response time of the switches is not as good as the latest optical switches but a difference is almost unnoticeable. The iCUE application also provides great macro customization which gets handy for various games, especially the MMO titles. The keyboard supports NKRO with 100% anti-ghosting, which means that you won’t have to suffer from keypress limitations or mistypes.

Overall, the performance of the keyboard seems unbeatable for the price and you won’t be disappointed with the gaming performance of this keyboard.

Typing Performance

When it comes to typing, Cherry MX Reds are not the most favourite switches. The linear action of the switches makes them prone to errors during typing and most of the typists prefer using tactile or clicky switches. However, this does not mean that Cherry MX Reds are bad for typing, it just means that you would have a more chance of improving your typing speed with keyboards having a tactile or clicky switch. Even then, this particular concept is true for most of the people and not all of them, which is why there is still a chance that you would like the linear switches for typing. The keyboard uses standard stabilizers, although these ones seem to be better than the older ones when it comes to key rattle. The spacebar still has a bit of rattle though, which is inevitable unless you want to modify the components of the keyboard.

So, if you want to buy a keyboard primarily for typing, we would recommend you to look at other options, although there is a fair chance that you adapt to the cons of CORSAIR K63 after a couple of weeks.

Conclusion

All-in-all, CORSAIR K63 is one of the best budget mechanical keyboards with a great focus on gaming performance and looks. With Cherry MX Reds, the keyboard will last you a long time before you feel the need to change it, as these switches are very durable. Moreover, the red switches are inherently great for gaming. The laser-etched keycaps make sure that the legends do not fade away, although you might start to notice the shine on the keycaps after a few months. The non-standard bottom row takes away the choice of custom keycaps unless specifically designed for these keyboards. The iCUE application allows lots of customizations and you can make powerful macros with it while also managing the LED lighting customization.

Corsair K63 Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard

The Best Budget Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard

  • Small Form Factor
  • The quality of stabilizers is impressive
  • Uses smooth Cherry MX red switches
  • Evenly spread lighting
  • Subpar performance for typists
  • No RGB lighting

Weight: 2.47 lbs | Actuation Force: 45 g | Key Switches: Cherry MX Red | Switch Lifespan: 50 million strokes | Actuation Point: 2.0 mm | Media Controls: Yes | Keyboard Rollover: N-key rollover with anti-ghosting | Cable Type: Non-braided

VERDICT:A fine choice for budget users who want to enhance their gaming performance by elevating themselves to the world of mechanical keyboards; CORSAIR K63 seems to be providing the best value when it comes to gaming performance.

Price at the time of the review: US $70.99 / UK £62.99

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