Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT Review – Exceptional Quality, at a Cost
K95 RGB Platinum XT6th January, 2020
There's always an interesting trade-off to be had when you look at cost vs quality. On occasion, you can find a cheap item that can seemingly last forever, despite it not being a premium brand or having all of the top-end components. You'll also find some in the middle where you're paying more, but you can feel and see the improvements. Then you have the high-end, the expensive. Maybe you're paying for the name, possibly an exceptional build quality or simply an out-and-out great performance. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT certainly fits into the latter category.
But how does the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT - that's a mouthful, let's just call it the K95 Platinum XT from now on - fit into the latter category? That's precisely what I'm here to tell you about. I'll start with the simple, the first way it fits into the category is the price. It's expensive, coming in at an RRP of £210/$200, you're going to feel the dent in your wallet. What matters then is if the keyboard is worth the price tag.
Worth checking out is the precursor to this keyboard, the K95 RGB Platinum, which our own Usman reviewed around three years ago.
Sleek and simple is something I've always appreciated, no matter what I'm looking at. There's always a level of beauty to be found in simplicity and Corsair know this. With the K95 Platinum XT, Corsair has somehow managed a fantastic mix of the simple and elegant with ostentatiousness. From the exposed black, brushed aluminium backplate and the raised keys, the audio-roller and the wrist-rest, all of which are fantastically highlighted by the RGB, the keyboard is a genuinely beautiful piece.
This is very much thanks to the RGB which both offers a lovely backlight that highlights the keys brilliantly and also features strip along the top of the keyboard itself. Not only is the keyboard very nice to look at, but it's also extremely comfortable, durable and one of the best keyboards I've had the pleasure of using. The keys, having been made from a more durable and thicker PBT plastic has a nice textured feel to them, with them also feeling sturdy. It's a great feeling when combined with the audible click of the Cherry MX Speed switches.
Simply put, using the keyboard is as much of a pleasure as looking at it. Particularly when you factor in the new wrist-wrest, a full-length, reasonably-padded pleather rest. It offers a good shape and is very well placed to support the longest of typing and gaming sessions. The Cherry MX Speed switches support this with a 50 million-plus activation tolerance. One thing you can be certain of when you get a keyboard with Cherry MX switches is quality and durability. You get that here.
Of course with the brushed aluminium backplate and thick, firm plastic base and keys, you'll find the same level of durability throughout the K95 Platinum XT, including the thick non-detachable braided cabling that supports both the USB to power the keyboard as well as the one that supports the rear-based pass-through socket. I do have to say the cable is quite unwieldy and a bit of a pain to manoeuvre into position, but hardly the biggest of complaints. Of course, with such an expensive keyboard, you're going to expect more features, aren't you?
You'd be right to expect more features, and more you'll find. A little under two years ago Corsair bought Elgato, so it only makes sense that they would offer integration in their keyboards. Here you'll find six S keys (S for stream) that can replace the G macro keys along the left side of your keyboard. Of course, you don't have to replace them, the function is the same - what matters is the software. Though, before I talk about the software, I should also mention that the keyboard comes with textured caps on the macro and stream keys, as well as the space bar, with optional textured and slightly slanted replacement caps for W, A, S, D, F, E, R & Q
I don't stream so I can't actually speak as to how useful it is. From what I could see in my little bit of use for the sake of this review, you can map whatever functions you want to the six stream keys. Do I imagine it replacing a full stream deck? Not from what I've seen of them and the myriad of functions. Is it useful? Can't see why not. There is a slight issue that assigning something to these six keys can double up with Corsair's iCUE software, essentially making one key have two simultaneous actions.
With Corsair's iCUE software you can modify six profiles in a number of ways. Five of them are built into the keyboard, allowing you to take your settings wherever you go. So what can you do? You can modify the RGB lighting with a large number of pre-built settings, as well as modifying the actions of each and every key on the keyboard. What's impressive is just how much functionality you have, letting you record a macro and assign it to any single key. Hell, you could record a whole block of text and assign it to the 'Z' key, because who uses that?
In addition to the functionality offered by the multiple pieces of software, the K95 Platinum XT also has inbuilt controls such as a mute button, an audio wheel and controls for whatever media you happen to be watching and listening to. It all just works perfectly, with the pause, play and skip buttons working across any dedicated media programs from VLC to WMP or Netflix. It doesn't work with Amazon Prime Video on Firefox, but I can live with that.
£210 or $200. That is a high price tag, whichever way you look at it. The ultimate question is always if the product is worth it. So, is the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT worth that price tag? I don't know what you think, but I would say yes. Could it do with being a tad cheaper? Naturally, if only to make it more affordable for the regular person. However, with such a great build quality on a genuinely beautiful keyboard and a swathe of great features and excellent support from Corsair's iCUE software, it's impossible not to recommend this keyboard for anybody and everybody.
Sample provided by Corsair for review purposes.
Without any shadow of a doubt, the Corsair K95 Platinum XT has improved on the original Platinum, with additional features like Elgato stream deck integration combining returning features like the macro keys, media keys and audio wheel. Further to this, the superior wrist rest makes for an exceptionally comfortable time using the keyboard on even the longest of sessions. There's no doubt that the keyboard isn't cheap, coming in at £210/$200, it's certainly got the premium price tag, but coming with that is a premium quality keyboard built to the best specs, with a fantastic look and feel - particularly thanks to the exceptional RGB that excellently accentuates everything else, which is almost purely black. Is this keyboard worth it and will you love it? Yes, on all accounts.
- Exceptionally well built, feeling comfortable, sturdy and very responsive in the longest of sessions.
- A stunning keyboard that combines the minimalism of the build with the beauty of extensive RGB options.
- Replacement textured keycaps for specific keys are a lovely addition.
- Great inbuilt features like dedicated media keys and support for multiple profiles saved on the keyboard.
- Superior extra features like a wide range of macro capabilities, or the option to use as a mini stream-deck combined with software, or as an addition to your stream deck.
- Undeniably expensive
- Cable is bulky and unweildy