Corsair's K70 RGB Pro joins the intoxication of discreetly fast keyboards.
Razer introduced a widely used keyboard last year with an 8000Hz polling rate, so it wasn't surprising that rivals followed suit. Corsair today released the K70 RGB Pro mechanical gaming keyboard, which also claims to report to the PC at 8,000 times per second instead of the standard 1,000. But like other 8000Hz keyboards we've seen, that stat may not really sell you on the keyboard. In truth, most people won't notice the difference between 8000 Hz and the traditional 1000 Hz.
Corsair's announcement of the K70 RGB Pro doesn't focus much on the keyboard's overboard polling rate. The press release makes reference to Axon technology, which the company says is "up to 8x faster than standard gaming keyboards," but there's no explicit mention of 8000 Hz or even the term "poll rate."
Corsair also did not claim any input lag, but some 8000Hz keyboards report input lag as low as 0.125ms (1 second divided by 8000 messages = 0.000125 seconds). The K70 RGB Pro product page highlights the 4000Hz polling rate and key sample rate (elsewhere on Corsair's website, the company claims its Axon processor can deliver input lag as low as 0.25 ms).
But before we get to that, the product page highlights the keyboard's double-shot PBT plastic keycaps and use of Cherry MX-branded mechanical switches. Corsair's product page also covers the keyboard's aluminum frame and per-key RGB before mentioning the product's Axon 8000 Hz capability.
Corsair's press release also covers the keyboard's aluminum volume roller and other multimedia keys, as well as recording software or integrated macro keys.
Other 8000 Hz keyboards have also tried to offer other flashy features besides high polling rates. For example, the mini-LED animation array on the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate probably catches your eye before anything else. And Asus was sure to include high-end keycaps (also Doubleshot PBT) and other features like sound-absorbing foam, an RGB palm rest, and USB pass-through.
It's not that 8000Hz keyboards don't make sense, or that vendors should stop pushing the limits of keyboard speeds. But most people don't need such a keyboard and wouldn't notice the difference. For the typical user, 8000 Hz will not be enough to elevate one keyboard over another.
Of course, high polling rate keyboards like 8000Hz mice and 360Hz monitors are extreme gaming peripherals. But if your system has some areas where lag can occur, reducing keyboard lag won't be a game changer. However, Corsair's other 8000Hz keyboards have tricks other than speed. For example, the Corsair K100 features their opto-mechanical switches and the board features a large programmable RGB dial.
Similarly, Razer devotes most of its 8000Hz Huntsman V2 product page to the product's opto-mechanical switches, double-shot PBT keycaps, and sound-absorbing foam.
So while faster keyboards are an interesting achievement and potential advantage for those struggling with input lag, it's good to see keyboard makers offering other features to justify these high prices: Corsair's K70 RGB starts at $160 dollars.