Design and Build Quality
When it comes to design and build quality, Corsair definitely went off the beaten path when it came to their keyboards and mice. They took a lot of cues from various competitors and included some of their own flair to the design while still maintaining excellent build quality of these devices.
The first thing one will notice when looking at these keyboards and mice is that they all feature quite a bit of aluminum. Normally we would not talk much about aluminum when it comes to gaming peripherals, as that is usually reserved for Apple products and other fancy accessories. But with Corsair, they have made no compromises and integrated aluminum heavily into the aesthetics of their design as well as the build quality and durability of their products.
The M90 and the M60 both feature an aluminum frame with an aluminum base. This not only gives the mice an extremely clean and expensive look, but it also makes them extremely durable and gives them a nice weight, which is necessary for gaming. The M90 has a seamless aluminum bottom pad with frictionless glide pads, while the M60 has a similar bottom aluminum pad, but it has three removable weights which are screwed in within the mouse itself, allowing for adjustable weight. Because of these different design decisions, one mouse may or may not fit your needs. Both mice have a similar scroll wheel with a rubberized grip. Beyond those two things and the tangle-free cord, these two mice are entirely different.
The M90 sets itself apart by having nine macro buttons located on the left-hand side of the mouse, as well as adjustable profile buttons. These buttons are relatively well placed and low profile. They are designed to conform to the mouse's shape and generally are easy to access. Personally, I only found 3-4 of those buttons actually useful as the rest simply were not as easy to access with my thumb alone.
The M60 really gets most of its design from its focus as an FPS mouse. The mouse also has programmable buttons, but there are only three total buttons. Two are intended to be the forward and back buttons while the third button is special purpose button. This button's purpose is to quickly and easily drop the DPI/sensitivity of the mouse when sniping or flying. Although this mouse is not officially an ambidextrous mouse, the M60 is much more lefty-friendly than the M90 which is exclusively right-handed by design. In addition, the design of the M60 actually allows for slightly more palm support and more breathing area beneath your palm as most of the palm rest is actually hollow, reducing palm sweat.
Both the M90 and M60 also feature faint blue LED lighting which can be turned on and off, which we find extremely useful. The fact that Corsair makes this very easy to change makes us happy. This is enabled through their software, which we will detail later in the review. They also both feature screws and rivets that keep the mice together rather than plastic and glue. This makes the mice more durable than any that have preceded them.
The design of both the K60 and K90 borrows aesthetic from previous keyboards we have seen, which we actually commend because some keyboards have good features and borrowing the best of everything can yield excellent results. The keyboards, as we have mentioned, have a full aluminum frame with a plastic underbody and plastic keys. The keyboards are not attached by cheap plastic and glue, but rather a series of metal screws which hold the keyboard together in place. This is a similar design to that of the mice. Based upon their durable design and construction, we would questions whether a user could break these keyboards with anything short of driving a car over them. Following this heavy-duty theme, both keyboards also have thick and sturdy USB cables designed to withstand any kind of abuse.
The K60 also features the removable WASD and 1 through 6 keys which can be replaced by raised and textured buttons. These buttons not only have gaming aesthetics, but also serve a specific purpose as they have edges raised on the sides that meet with regular keys to prevent a user’s fingers from drifting away from the important WASD and 1 through 6 keys. This design indicates to us that the designer of this keyboard is a likely a fan of Battlefield 3. It is interesting to note that the original G15 was also designed with a focus on the Battlefield series games. It is nice to know that DICE and EA are still fostering good accessory development.
The K60's crowning feature, which sets it apart from nearly every other keyboard we have seen, is the left wrist rest which also doubles as storage for the extra keys and key removal tool. It does significantly increase the depth of the keyboard, but even so, it still fits comfortably on a keyboard tray. The K60 also has a very nice set of media buttons which blend in nicely and feature a volume scroll wheel, which we have seen before on some more recent Logitech keyboards. Neither these buttons nor the F keys are actually mechanical, which is understandable as it is not necessary to have mechanical function keys. Because this keyboard is mechanical, you can remove the majority of the keys and clean behind them. This is also because the keys are not recessed into a housing, but rather rest on the red switches which are atop the aluminum frame.
Now, the K90 is very similar to the K60 in terms of design, but Corsair has opted to add a few features to make it more MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game friendly. Personally, I am not one to play MMOs, but this keyboard is very similar to the K60 with a few additions. Namely, Corsair has opted for a full length wrist rest as opposed to just one for the left hand, which is more FPS centric. In addition, they have actually designed a very secure, yet flexible way of affixing the wrist rest to the keyboard, unlike any other we have encountered. This method is much more durable but still enables quite a bit of up and down free movement. In addition to the full length wrist wrest, the keyboard also features backlit keys. Unlike some of their competitors, Corsair has backlit every key on the keyboard. We like this approach and are of the opinion that keyboards are either entirely backlit, or not at all. The keyboard also has four variable brightness settings which can be adjusted by pressing the brightness key on the keyboard or manipulating it through the keyboard software.
The final feature that the K90 has over the K60 is the 18 slightly recessed G-Keys. Because of the three G-Key profile buttons, there are three full sets of 18 macros that a user can program into the keyboard. We really like that Corsair has opted to make them slightly recessed in order to help the user to easily differentiate between the G-Keys and the standard keys. Although, we wish they would have included mechanical keys on the G-Keys considering that for some MMO and RTS gamers, they may get quite a bit of use.
You'll also notice that unlike the G15, G19 or G510 the Corsair Vengeance K90 does not have a screen on the keyboard, normally you would think that since Logitech had originally implemented it that it would be an extremely sought after feature. Yet, almost no other keyboards have those screens and they all sell very well, mainly because after having owned a G15 for so long, you realize it really is a gimmick and that you will look at it maybe 1% of the time that you're actually using the keyboard. Don't get us wrong, we'd love to have a screen, but it sure as hell isn't necessary nor is it really practical in terms of durability and functionality.
If you take a look at the two USB ports, you'll notice one is clearly labeled as the keyboard USB port while the other is labeled as the pass-through port. This way you don't have to use up two USB ports on the back of your case, if you don't plan on using the built-in USB port on the keyboard.
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