Right now is an interesting time in the gaming industry, especially the gaming peripheral industry. Everyone wants to hop on the hype of the new games coming out this fall and to bring some new things to gamers. In the past, many people would have considered Logitech to be the go-to choice when choosing the best peripherals for gaming (currently typing on one). The problem, though, is that Logitech?s product offerings have been stale at best and pricey at worst. As such, this has opened up a lot of room for other manufacturers to innovate and give people what they want at prices they are willing to pay. If you have been following the industry at all, you would notice that companies like Antec, Thermaltake and Corsair have been slowly coming out with gamer-centric products to fill that void, which brings us to today?s announcement.
Corsair has always been rooted in performance and their approach towards gaming has come purely as a result of the fact that most gamers demand the best performance. In the last year or two, Corsair has brought on people like Ruben Mookerjee to guide Corsair?s consumer component business in the right direction. Ruben was responsible for the worldwide product development of Logitech?s gaming peripherals division which was responsible for the well received G-series of keyboards, mice and headsets. These products were considered to be some of the best gaming products that the world had ever seen and up until now.
?As enthusiastic gamers ourselves, we?ve developed precisely the products we always wanted, with a level of quality we have not seen before,? said Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of the Components Business Unit at Corsair. ?We?re confident that our Vengeance gaming keyboards and mice will give you a competitive edge. Whether you prefer the immersion and intensity of MMO and RTS, or the adrenaline-fueled combat of FPS, our goal is to help you win.? With Ruben?s help Corsair is announcing a full line of gaming keyboards, mice, and headsets. These Vengeance products are squarely designed with the gamer in mind but at the same time pay very close attention to detail and make sure that no criticism is left unaddressed.
Corsair Vengeance K90 Keyboard, M90 Mouse and Vengeance 1500 headset pictured above
First, Corsair has their Vengeance K60 and M60 keyboard and mouse primarily designed with FPS (First Person Shooters) in mind. These are followed by the K90 and M90 mouse, which carry a much more MMO (massively multiplayer online) and RTS (real time strategy) centric design. All of these products are also followed by the Vengeance line of gaming headsets which include the Vengeance 1100, 1300 and 1500 which as you can imagine go up in terms of features as you move up in models. We will go into great detail about all of these products, including prices, in the following pages. Corsair Vengeance Gaming Keyboards
The Corsair Vengeance keyboards come in two variants. Those are the Vengeance K60 and the Vengeance K90. As we stated earlier, the K60 is more focused on FPS gaming while the K90 is more focused on MMO and RTS gaming. Here we will detail the features of both of them as well as their pricing.
The Vengeance K60 first of all, is a mechanical keyboard (unlike Logitech?s G-series). This means that the keystrokes are not only better but also much more precise which is why they are so sought after in gaming scenarios. In our review of the Thermaltake MEKA G1 we detailed the differences between all of the different mechanical switches and the MEKA G1 used the more gaming centric black switch. Corsair decided that since they were going to do mechanical that they would use the best parts available and they opted for the Cherry Red switch which is one of the rarest types of mechanical switches but also one of the most sensitive as well.
Because of the fact that this keyboard is a mechanical one it also lends to having multiple keys being entered at the same time. With the K60, there is a 20-key roll over (via USB) which means that you can strike 20 keys at the same time if you ever so wish. But in reality, you really shouldn?t have to worry past 10. This is in addition to the fact that the K60 comes with a textured and colored WASD and 1-6 key set (something similar to what we saw on the MEKA G1). On top of that, the keyboard has a variable polling rate ranging from 1ms to 8m with 2ms being the default setting. With all of those awesome additions you would think that this keyboard would already be good enough for gaming but they didn?t stop there. Corsair also opted to include a wrist rest for your hand so that you can avoid wrist cramping when playing games for hours on end. This wrist rest also doubles as a storage unit for the red textured keys.
There are also dedicated media keys and a windows lock key to prevent you from accidentally hitting the windows key while gaming and minimizing your game. This key is absolutely a necessity on any keyboard that would even attempt to call itself a gaming keyboard. And as a kicker, Corsair threw in a solid metal volume roller for adjusting the volume on the fly. This feature is something we have seen commonly on Logitech?s latest gaming keyboards and have wished for on many other brands?. The solidness of the K60 is only further reinforced by the fact that the entire top plate of the keyboard is solid aluminum which not only gives the keyboard a more solid feel, but it also makes it look damn good.
The K90, in reality, is very similar to the K60 but it packs a slightly different set of features that will appeal to a different type of gamer. It has the same mechanical switches, 20-key rollover, polling rate and aluminum top plate, but it also adds some very desired features which could leave you wondering which keyboard you really want to get. The K90 is different in that it adds 17 macro keys to the side of the keyboard. This is extremely useful for anyone that plays an MMO or an RTS so that they can execute their commands in Starcraft 2 without panicking or cast the right spells in World of Warcraft.
On top of the 18 keys, there are also 3 sets of macros which results in the possibility of having 54 different macros on one keyboard. The K90 also adds something that we really wish more mechanical gaming keyboards had backlit keys. With the K90, the keys are backlit which isn?t generally something people care about until they realize that they don?t have it. Since this keyboard is a little longer and you will probably find yourself gliding from side to side pretty often Corsair has opted for a full length wrist rest that goes from end to end which ensures maximum comfort no matter where you may be typing.
The K60 is expected to retail for $99 while the K90 is expected to retail at a slightly higher $129. Considering all of the quality components in these keyboards and the overall design, there is very little reason to question the actual prices of these keyboards. If anything, they?re spot on.
K90 sideview, you can see the macro keys are a little lower
Overall, after having taken a look at these keyboards there is nothing to say other than we are having a lot of allusions to other gaming keyboards we?ve seen. The good part, though, is not that Corsair is copying anything, but rather taking the best of everything we?ve ever seen and putting it into two keyboards that are going to be extremely desirable and will probably be very hard to find in stock.
Corsair Vengeance Gaming Mice
Corsair is launching two gaming mice to match along with their gaming keyboards. These will be the aptly named M60 and M90 mice. The Vengeance M60 will feature an ultra high resolution Avago 5670 DPI laser sensor with on-the-fly resolution adjustments and an aluminum unibody design, adjustable center of gravity, programmable lift detection, high-mass scroll wheel and PTFE low resistance glide pads. This is all atop having a 1ms or 1000Hz pollint rate which is honestly expected if this is to be considered an FPS mouse. The M60, since it is geared towards FPS features a Sniper button which allows the user to quickly toggle from high DPI resolution to a high precision mode for more accurate aim. This goes without saying that the mouse itself is designed to be as ergonomic as possible and for long gaming sessions. This mouse is just screaming Battlefield 3 and we?re sure that everyone (including Corsair) knows it.
M60 top to bottom
The Corsair M90 takes many of its cues from the M60, but once again it adds an MMO/RTS angle that makes it a little more attractive for those users. The M90 uses the same sensor and many other features, but the added feature to the M90 is the addition of 15 fully programmable buttons which are managed by Corsair?s Vengeance utility which allows you to control on-board profiles and sensor settings. And based upon these buttons? placement, it looks like their using is going to be very intuitive and easy to use. This allows for a very highly customized gaming experience that enables MMO and RTS gamers to mold their gaming peripherals to their liking. Because of this, you?ll probably find many Diablo 3 and Skyrim users picking this mouse up for their gaming addictions.
Corsair Vengeance Gaming Headsets
Going along the gaming peripheral line of products there is one thing that is missing; a good headset for communicating with your team, clan, guild or whatever you call your group of friends. Corsair has opted to once again go for the best quality and performance by creating some very attractive looking but still very functional products.
The top of their line of headphones is perched atop by the Vengeance 1500 which features a USB connection and delivers 7.1 and 5.1 Dolby surround sound for headphones. The 1500 is driven by high-performance 50mm drivers which ensure a full range of highs, mids, and lows. They are also circumaural which means that they have a closed back and fully enclose your ear. A nice feature with these headphones is that they also allow you to replace the memory foam ear pads in the event that they get dirty or worn over time.
The Vengeance 1500 also features a large and easy to use volume control so that it is easy to control the loudness of the headphones and to mute the unidirectional noise cancelling microphone when needed. Since it is controlled via USB it allows for Corsair to provide software to enable the user to modify the headphone?s sound settings to their desired settings with multiple profiles.
The Vengeance 1300 is very similar to the 1500, but instead of being controlled by USB it is controlled by dual 3.5mm jacks with one being for stereo audio and the other for the microphone.
The Vengeance 1500 will retail for $99 and the 1300 will retail for $79 which is honestly a pretty reasonable price and is extremely competitive with the already existing products on the market. These two headsets don?t necessarily provide anything revolutionary, but we?ll reserve full judgment of these headsets until we?ve reviewed them. If they?re anything like Corsair?s latest audio offerings, we?re probably going to be pleasantly surprised.
That leaves us with the Vengeance 1100, which is the light-weight wrap around headset which is not circumaural but rather sits atop your ear and provides an open environment for your ears. It also features 40mm drivers instead of the 50mm on the 1500 and 1300 models which expectedly will deliver more powerful audio. We would consider the Vengeance 1100 to be more for the casual gamer, especially considering the very mainstream price of $39. At that price, purely based upon looks Corsair will probably outsell the competition. Although once again we see some allusions to some products we?ve seen in the past.
From what we?ve seen here, it is safe to say that Corsair is not kidding around about joining the gaming peripheral marketing. Considering how involved Corsair already is with gaming and the gaming community it only seems logical that they?d expand themselves into such a direction. And with people like Ruben Mookerjee and his team heading up the division and showing off a solid gaming peripheral line up we think it?s safe to say that Corsair is likely to see a lot of success in their new venture. We will hopefully follow up this article in the coming weeks with reviews of some of these products to give you guys, our readers, and in-depth look at these products and their overall quality and design.