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Many of us eat and drink at our desks and pile up junk around our keyboards when we work and game. Our bad habits often make us forget that it only takes one splash of coffee, or the unnoticeable gradual buildup of gunk, to kill a keyboard. The Corsair K68 RGB is designed to resist against just that. With an IP32 water and dust resistance rating, it’s a keyboard that won’t be fazed by little accidents.
The secret to its durability isn’t anything complex. Corsair simply installed a rubber membrane layer on top of the switches. The rubber layer is raised around every switch, forming a dam that keeps liquid and gunk at bay. They also help to quickly guide any liquid out of the bottom of the chassis in case of a major spill.
This simple mechanism proved its mettle in our destruction test, where we doused the keyboard in a nasty cocktail of crumbs, nacho cheese, and soda. Though it handily shrugged off the tirade of gunk, cleaning was a disaster. Because liquid could still splash and slosh into the opening of the switch, extra care is needed to drain the liquid first before scooping out the solids. This can be a painstaking process since after a spill, it’s likely that your table (and the surrounding environment) is drenched as well.
The keyboard itself is well made. You can flex it for days without hearing a creak or groan from the chassis. With that said, the lack of a metal front plate is strange, considering Corsair’s affinity for aluminum on almost all its keyboards.
It’s always nice to see dedicated media controls on any keyboard, and I'm glad the K68 has them. Not only are they intuitive to use, they also save the function row from unsightly extra printings. Because the ones on the K68 RGB use rubber dome switches, they are just as resistant to liquids as the switches in the center of the board. Also included is a spacious plastic wrist rest. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.
Calling the K68 RGB austere would be inaccurate, but it's not packed with some of the extras of high-end keyboards, either. Though the keys are full programmable, there’s no dedicated macros. This may make the keyboard less ideal for MMOs and Battle Royale enthusiasts. Another feature that would’ve made this board better is a USB passthrough. It’s very handy for tasks like plugging in a controller, charging your phone, and data transfer via USB.
I prioritize responsiveness over tactile feel when gaming, which is why I chose the Cherry MX Red switch for my K68 RGB. With an actuation force of 45g and a linear travel, it’s ideal for rapid tapping. Performance in this board is exactly as you’d expect. It has no problem keeping up with my spamming in Starcraft, and is equally responsive in Battlefield 4 and Witcher 3.
For those who prefer more tactile feedback, the K68 is also offered with the clicky Cherry MX Blue. Though it’s excellent for all things productive, Cherry MX Blue is slower to respond to rapid, repeated presses due to its misaligned actuation and reset distance. Whichever you choose, you’ll find a set of vibrant RBG backlights to keep things jovial. Since the K68 RGB supports N-key rollover, ghosting and key skips are a thing of the past.
To maintain the stability of the larger keys, the K68 RGB employs Cherry stabilizers. They’re quiet, but feels a little mushy when bottomed out. That’s the tradeoff for silence, of course, as the other stabilizer option, Costar, would make tons of rattling noises when pressed quickly.
Packed within Corsair’s iCue driver software is a robust lighting and macro management system. In addition to flashy independent effects, you can stack lighting effects together to create even fancier ones. If you have other compatible Corsair hardware or peripherals, iCue can link their lighting effects together to glow in unison. Being Corsair’s centralized management software for all its products, it’s somewhat understandable for taking up nearly 700 MB of disk space, though I wish it were smaller. iCue is especially useful if you have multiple Corsair products, but for a single keyboard alone, I can’t help but feel like it’s too bloated.
The Corsair K68 RGB was built to never crap out when things get rough or messy, and it does so brilliantly. Though cleaning up demands patience in the aftermath of a spill, it’s a far better alternative to having to purchase a new keyboard. In addition, it scores good marks in both performance and aesthetics. At $120, the K68 RGB sits in the mid-high segment of the pricing spectrum. It’s a little pricey considering its feature set, but what you’re really paying for here is peace of mind—or the option to pour Coke all over your keyboard, just for the thrill of it.