Hard drive and case manufacturer Corsair has announced that it's launching its first ever range of gaming keyboards and mice today, with two separate lines dedicated to MMO and FPS gaming.
The K90 MMO keyboard and K90 MMO mouse, along with the FPS friendly K60 and M60 keyboard and mouse have been developed under the auspices of Ruben Mookerjee, who in a previous incarnatiuon oversaw the launch of Logitech's G-series of gear.
Mookerjee takes his new role at Corsair seriously. For some people, he says, getting the right peripherals "is a matter of life or death. At Corsair, we say it's more important than that."
One assumes he's speaking figuratively about shrugging of the mortal coil in-game. Hopefully.
The peripherals don't need much in the way of build up, however. Last month I reviewed the Mionix Zibal Z60, and thought it was one of the best keyboards I've ever tested. First impressions of the Corsair K60 suggest I should probably have been a bit less effuse with praise.
Both the K90 and M90 keyboards are built around an aluminium chassis and feature Cherry MX Red mechanical switches. These don't have the same hard 'click' into position as the Cherry MX Blacks of the Mionix Z60 and Blues of the Razer Black Widow, and as a result feel slightly softer, but they are quieter while being just as responsive. Mookerjee explained that noise from the keyboards is further reduced by not putting a plastic cover over the aluminium base - there's nothing for the sound to resonate through. An interesting theory that seems to work.
The K90 features 18 extra macro buttons down the right hand side which can be programmed into three presets for class changes in MMOs. The K60, meawhile, doesn't have extra keys but it does include a truly awesome one-sided wrist rest. As well as providing all the support you need without taking up your entire desk, it opens up to store the black capped WASD and number keys as well as the tool for switching them out. By default, these keys are coloured red and have a different texture and contour to the rest of layout.
As far as mice go, both have aluminium bases designed to lower the centre of gravity and provide a flat, durable surface to the desk, as well as 5600 DPI sensors. The M90 has nine macro keys arranged in a circle around the thumb, which should be easier to reach than those on, say, the Razer Naga. The M60, meanwhile, has a 'sniper button' on the thumb rest, which acts as a shift key for temporarily lowering the resolution. The idea, Mookerjee says, is that instead of scrolling up and down resolutions while sniping, for example, you simply hold this key down and release it when done.
The best bit - especially for the keyboards - is the price. The K90 is pricey, at £109/$129, but the K60 is - by my reckoning - one of the best value mechanical keyboards around at $89/$109. Plus it looks amazing.
Production samples for a full review should be available closer to the on sale date, which is scheduled for next month.