Wednesday 11 July 2012

Am I unlucky or what? The Corsair K90 Keyboard.

OK, after what seems like a year of indecisiveness, watching on eBay, looking at alternatives etc. I finally bought a Corsair K90 Keyboard, my first 'contemporary' mechanical key switched keyboard. I did once have an Dell mechanical one, about 10 years ago, and it was good, but the keys were so hard to press, it tired out my hands typing on it! Sold it on eBay to a Swede in the end.

So the K90, when I first saw pictures of it, it was a dream come true, you see, I hate wrist rests, and like my keyboard's front lip to be as low as possible. This appeared to have a really low lip, and keys that were directly set into the base, no bezel type surround. So obsessed was I with lip height, that I looked at large photos, watched videos and even Googled 'lip height k90' etc. but alas, no one talked of the lip, that I could find.

However it was £100! Ouch! Now a friend’s wife once said to me, your relationship with keyboards is the same as the one that women have with handbags. I put my hands up and said, guilty as charged. My children get the hand me downs, so they have the Saitek Eclipse, the Eclipse 2, and the totally ostentatious Cyborg V5. I loved the latter but gave it up when I did a typing test and found that I made fewer mistakes on current, prior to the K90, keyboard.

I have a 2 Mac keyboards (there is a Mac mini to go with them, though one of the keyboards was used with a PC for a while, more on that another time) and my main keyboard, the Alienware Tactx keyboard. I like the latter because you can go do funky backlight colours, and that the keys have outlines on their top edge that also illuminate. It has good key action too, so great for typing on. However disaster struck, a cup of coffee, or rather its contents distributed around the keyboard, made its cursor left key unresponsive. I preformed some surgery and fixed it, but it was a fudge. With certain devices, such as my laptop, it doesn't work, with others it does (probably due to the wiring I rearranged inside, to compensate for where the membrane was damaged). If it wasn't for the coffee, no new keyboard was needed.

So why wait for months to buy one? Because I couldn't try a K90 anywhere in Manchester. The nearest one was in Bolton. I did try the CM Quick-fire in a shop last week, and thought, wow, must go mechanical! In fact I wanted to buy it there and then, but it had a big fat lip!

So I did it, bought one on Amazon for £95, ouch. Turns up in the morn, and I open it up, it's really compact, and wow, the lip is so low! Fantastic. I type on it, and it doesn't seem that amazing, not as good as the CM Quick-fire did. However when I plugged it in, any doubts were swept away, this is the business.

Some seven hours later I showed my wife the blue backlight, she had an interest, as she had tired of my trying to get a cheap on off eBay and was relieved to see me buy one, eventually. And then I noticed it.

 Click HERE to see a larger version.

 Click HERE to see a larger version.

The backlight behind the cursor up key was off. Strange. So I pulled the key top off to confirm. Yup it's dead. I give it a wiggle, oh please work, please not another return. But it's dead Jim, no sign of life. Head over to and updated the firmware (yes a keyboard with updatable firmware). Still no sign. So that's it, a few day before I was going to take it aboard with me, it's defective on arrival.
Booked it in with Amazon, who will apparently send me a replacement and expect the current  one to be returned in the next 30 days, though this was not explicitly clear. So I've printed off the labels etc. to send it off.


I checked on-line and yes, there is a replacement due to arrive tomorrow. However on plugging the keyboard in again, the light started to work. Oh no! A restocking fee and postage cost will now be charged. However a few minutes later, it started to flicker, I started to make a video, and eventually it died again. Phew.

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