Corsair K7 Pro Mini Wireless
“The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless is strictly what I need out of a gaming keyboard.”
- Hot-swappable key switches
- Excellent iCue RGB software
- 8,000Hz polling rate
- Multiple pairing modes, including three Bluetooth devices
- Battery life is a bit low
- Typing is not great with the stock switches
The landscape of the most effective gaming keyboards has been caught in limbo, but Corsair is attempting to push the envelope with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless. It’s an unassuming 60% keyboard on the surface, not all that different from Corsair’s K65 Mini. But under the hood, the K70 Pro Mini Wireless has a special treat: Hot-swappable key switches.
It’s a keyboard built for the hotly competitive mechanical keyboard market of 2022, and it’s absolutely filled with features that make it ideal for gaming. Although there are some small issues with battery life and the typing experience with the stock switches, there’s little question in my mind: That is the 60% gaming keyboard it is best to buy immediately.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
The K70 Pro Mini Wireless is $180, which is dear. But it surely’s surprisingly competitive with other premium 60% keyboards you may buy immediately. Corsair clearly read the room. The competing SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless, which just launched a number of weeks ago, is $240 by comparison, and it doesn’t have hot-swappable switches.
Corsair doesn’t have the most cost effective 60%, though. The Razer Huntsman Mini Analog is barely less at $150, for instance, while you’ll find the 65% Asus ROG Falchion NX for as little as $120. And in the event you don’t need wireless, you may pick up the HyperX Alloy Origins 60 for under $100.
Corsair really nailed the pricing on this one.
It’s expensive, however the K70 Pro Mini Wireless easily earns its price, and, considering the features, it’s not a nasty deal in any respect. Hot-swappable key switches really make it stand out, nevertheless it also comes with Bluetooth along with Corsair’s Slipstream wireless connection, and it wireless supports each the Xbox Series X and PS5. Corsair’s keyboards have gotten costlier over the previous few years, nevertheless it seems like the corporate really nailed the pricing on this one.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
The K70 Pro Mini Wireless looks great, and Corsair didn’t should go too far out of its approach to nail the look. In fact, you’ve got per-key RGB lighting which you could configure through Corsair’s iCue software, but you furthermore may get a individually customizable RGB strip that runs across the keyboard, providing a pleasant, soft underglow.
Beyond the lighting, Corsair provides two extra keycaps within the box — an Esc key with the Corsair flag and an area bar with a semi-transparent triangular design. I really like the space bar when light is shining through it. It’s so smooth that it looks just like the spacebar itself is lit up, and I never took it off after organising the keyboard for the primary time.
With a 60% form factor that’s only 11.6 inches long, 4.3 inches wide, and 1.6 inches tall, Corsair needed to get clever to supply the standard of life features available on larger keyboards. The wireless USB dongle, for instance, has a dedicated slot at the highest of the keyboard so you may take it on the go along with you. And the included USB-C cable for charging has a soft braided finish, so it’s easy to pack up and take with you.
The one other interesting note is the removable accent bar. You may unsnap the back of the keyboard, which is a flimsy process that doesn’t feel like an intentional design selection. Corsair says mod kits will likely be available in the longer term, so this can serve some purpose. For now, though, it’s just a bit of plastic which you could unsnap if you would like to — but you actually shouldn’t.
Connectivity and battery life
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
You might have three options to attach the K70 Pro Mini: USB-C, Bluetooth, or Corsair’s 2.4GHz Slipstream wireless. Slipstream is the fastest, and I’ve used it across half a dozen other Corsair peripherals without issues. For Bluetooth, you may pair up to 3 devices directly and swap between them using a command on the keyboard.
More exciting is that the K70 Pro Mini supports the PlayStation 5. Most keyboards will work with the Xbox Series X out of the box, assuming you’re playing a game that supports keyboard and mouse. The PS5, alternatively, often requires an adapter. The K70 Pro Mini comes with a PS5 mode which you could trigger with a shortcut, allowing you to make use of the K70 Pro Mini on the PS4 or PS5 with supported games.
Slipstream is great, and it really works on the consoles. You may connect up to 3 Corsair peripherals over a single dongle, which makes wireless console gaming quite a bit more practical. The one downside is that Slipstream is restricted to a 2,000Hz polling rate, while a wired connection unlocks the speedy 8,000Hz polling rate.
For battery life, Corsair quotes 32 hours with the RGB lighting turned on, which isn’t the most effective. It’s lower than the Logitech G915 TKL, however the K70 Pro Mini will put itself to sleep when it’s idle to conserve battery life. With 100% brightness, I needed to top off the keyboard after about half per week. It wasn’t bad, but I ended up reaching for a USB-C cable to top off my charge more often than I’d like.
But in the event you need maximum battery life, Corsair says you may stand up to 200 hours with the backlight turned off.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless isn’t only a 60% keyboard within the K70 range. It’s Corsair’s first hot-swappable keyboard ever. Hot-swappable key switches have been a growing trend on mechanical keyboards just like the Asus ROG Strix Flare II, and it was one in every of the major reasons I wasn’t as high on the recent Corsair K70 Pro.
It seems Corsair took that feedback to heart with the K70 Pro Mini, and that’s a fantastic thing. I’ve been spoiled with the silky switches on high-end keyboards just like the Cyberboard R2, and the K70 Pro Mini allows me to alter out the switches to attain an identical feel. I swapped out the Cherry Speed Silver switches my review unit arrived with for some Akko Jelly Pink switches, and it completely transformed the texture of the keyboard.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
You may configure the K70 Pro Mini with either Cherry MX Red or Speed Silver switches, that are each linear options which can be common amongst mechanical gaming keyboards. There are several cheaper switches that I like greater than Reds or Silvers, nevertheless it doesn’t matter with the K70 Pro Mini. Swap them out for what you want, and you’ve got a keyboard that may fit mainly any purpose.
Swapping the switches is as easy as will be, too. They’re truly hot-swappable, so that you don’t have to worry about unscrewing the shell or disassembling the keyboard. Pull off the keycaps with the included puller, come out the switch with the included key switch remover, and also you’re done.
Any 3-pin MX-compatible switch will work, so the K70 Pro Mini supports the overwhelming majority of third-party switches you may buy. My only issue is the important thing switch puller. The hands that go under the switch are very small, which makes pulling out the switches slightly frustrating. It’s removed from an enormous deal, though.
Gaming and typing
I don’t love the typing experience on the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, but frankly, that’s not the purpose. The Speed Silver switches my review unit arrived with aren’t my preference for long typing sessions, and Cherry’s lack of lubrication on the switches results in a rather crunchy typing experience that isn’t my favorite. That’s not an enormous take care of the K70 Pro Mini, though, since you swap in whatever switches you wish.
Gaming is a wholly different story. The keyboard is tuned under the hood to cut back latency as much as possible. A giant a part of that’s the 8,000Hz polling rate when plugged in over USB-C. It detects inputs faster by checking for inputs more regularly, and it could make a difference on wireless gaming mice just like the Corsair Sabre Pro. It’s less vital for a keyboard, though, and also you’ll need a reasonably recent processor to make use of it.
A 60% form factor makes a world of difference while gaming
It’s tough to say if an 8,000Hz polling rate makes a difference in practice, even when it does in theory. I never noticed it when playing Destiny 2, Remnant: From the Ashes, and Apex Legends, and I don’t expect the overwhelming majority of individuals will feel a difference either. It’s a perk, but not a selling point.
The larger selling point is that the K70 Pro Mini is available in a 60% form factor. This is barely Corsair’s second 60% keyboard behind the K65 RGB Mini, and the corporate’s first wireless 60% keyboard. A slim design makes a world of difference in shooters especially, where you may quickly angle the board to the side and provides your mouse hand as much room to flick as possible.
I’ve largely given up on full-sized gaming keyboards, and the K70 Pro Mini is an ideal showcase of why.
iCue is one in every of the major reasons to purchase Corsair peripherals. It’s my favorite peripheral app, even amongst options like Logitech G Hub and SteelSeries GG. Corsair focuses on what you’ve got connected and offers you an enormous amount of control over your lighting, macros, and keyboard settings. And it’s especially excellent with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless.
You may rebind every key, create elaborate RGB animations across the keyboard, set macros, and so way more. For instance, the Windows Lock option (often called a Game Mode) goes beyond disabling your Windows Key and means that you can disable other problematic shortcuts like Alt + F4. With the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, you furthermore may have the choice to activate the 8,000Hz polling rate and switch to PlayStation mode.
I don’t even use Corsair peripherals day-to-day, but I still use iCue for my PC’s RGB. It’s that good.
iCue has the entire functions you’d expect out of keyboard software plus some, nevertheless it’s how the software is designed that stands out. Assigning latest keys is an easy drag-and-drop affair, for instance, and you may see your lighting effects update in real time on the keyboard to search out what you want. iCue isn’t limited to Corsair peripherals, either. I don’t even use Corsair peripherals day-to-day, but I still use iCue to regulate all of the RGB in my PC. It’s that good.
And also you don’t even need to make use of iCue. It opens up more possibilities, but you should use the K70 Pro Mini exclusively in hardware mode with 8MB of onboard storage. That means that you can have as much as 20 lighting layers and store as much as 50 profiles directly on the keyboard. As well as, you may access almost the entire options of the keyboard (outside of polling rate) with key commands separate from iCue, including the macro recorder, PlayStation mode, and pairing modes.
The K70 Pro Mini challenges the quickly growing market of 60% keyboards. It’s expensive, nevertheless it feels price every penny with countless customization, solid construct quality, and software that’s the cream of the crop for gaming peripherals.
Are there any alternatives?
Amongst mainstream 60% keyboards, none of them offer hot-swappable key switches. Outside of that, there are a number of cheaper options:
- HyperX Alloy Origins 60: Less expensive than the K70 Pro Mini, however the software isn’t pretty much as good and it doesn’t support wireless.
- Razer Huntsman Mini Analog: Barely cheaper, but doesn’t support hot-swappable switches as a consequence of Razer’s unique analog key switch design.
- SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini: A way more expensive alternative that stands out with adjustable OmniPoint switches, but not well worth the money.
How long will it last?
You may swap out the important thing switches and caps on the K70 Pro Mini, so it can last so long as you retain up with it. By itself, you may expect near 10 years before a key switch gives out.
Do you have to buy it?
Yes. Amongst mainstream keyboards, Corsair is offering something nobody else is with the K70 Pro Mini Wireless, and the small issues with battery life are negligible with how much else it has happening.