The Corsair K55 is a best seller for the company, and for good reason: price baby. Everything nowadays revolves around “bang for the buck”, and in this regard, the K55 plays in a league of its own.
Hence, the Corsair K55 review, even if this affordable gaming keyboard was first released more than two years ago. To put it simply, the Corsair K55 RGB is one of the best budget dedicated gaming keyboards on the market, and on top of that, Corsair is a big brand, which means there are zero issues with reliability, customer service or warranty.
Speaking of gaming keyboards, the latest trend in business seems to be mechanical switches. However, there are caveats to mechanical switches, even if they are generally accepted as being the best for both typing and gaming.
But, some people don’t really dig the annoying clicking noises, or the jaw-dropping price of most high-quality models. Enter Corsair K55, a very affordable membrane gaming keyboard, which comes in a cool design and has high-end features borrowed from the company’s more expensive models.
Shockingly enough, the K55 boasts a budget-friendly price and whisper-quiet membrane switches.
By the way, if you want to know what is the main difference between mechanical switches and membrane switches, go read this article.
To make a long story short, if you’re not ready to spend hundreds of dollars on a “posh” mechanical keyboard, the Corsair K55 is a fantastic option for something like fifty bucks, give or take.
Weight: 822g with cable
Length: 48cm – 18.9 inches
Width: 16.6cm – 6.5 inches
Height: 3.4cm – 1.3 inches
OS Support: Windows 7,8,10
Media keys: Yes
Cable length: 1.8 m
Corsair has a lot of high-end options for keyboards and any other gaming peripherals for that matter, but the K55 really makes a good first impression as a budget option. The first thing you’ll notice is the understated design and the price.
The K55 is an all-plastic affair, as in there are no exotic materials incorporated into its built. Besides the membrane switches you’ll get RGB lighting and effects, as well as on-the-fly macro-recording, which is great.
Moreover, you will appreciate the 6 extra buttons for macros, plus the dedicated media keys. Again, considering the “fifty”-ish asking price, you get a lot of keyboard for the money, which translates into amazing value. This may not be the best keyboard ever made by Corsair, but it definitely has potential.
What’s in the Box
The keyboard arrives in a non-assuming (as in standard) cardboard box, which is thick and sturdy, and actually looks pretty cool. The retail box contains the keyboard itself, a wrist side and a user guide.
This is a full-size 48 cm long keyboard, pretty much identical to other Corsair devices, and at 3.4 cm average depth, it feels between low profile and chunky. Being a membrane keyboard, the K55 uses rubber domes instead of mechanical switches under its keycaps.
The end result is a quieter and softer key press, but by no means spongy, as in there is a certain amount of resistance during gaming or typing. Truth be told, these are some of the best membrane switches ever tested, and they feel pretty close to mechanical ones.
The cherry on top is represented by the 3 RGB lighting zones under the keycaps.
More expensive gaming keyboards feature per key lighting, but this is not the case. However, the RGB lighting system on the K55 is well implemented, with more than adequate diffused glow which fills up space with light.
As we already told you, the K55 is all plastic baby, which is to be expected at this price point. However, build quality is solid, and the keyboard feels, let’s say more expensive than it really is. The problem is that the top is made of glossy plastic, which attracts fingerprints and dust.
The keyboard has good spacing between keycaps and that makes typing a pleasant experience. The key faces are relatively flat, and some people would prefer a more-professional concave edge while typing, but this is a matter of personal taste.
Above the numpad you will find the dedicated media keys, which include buttons for skipping tracks and volume controls. However, the media keys are not illuminated, and that’s a bummer. The 6 dedicated/programmable macro keys are located on the left side, and functionality-wise, they work flawlessly.
Macros can be assigned on-the-fly via the dedicated button at the top, or by using the CUE software. The dedicated button is super easy to use though and works surprisingly well. Binge gamers will appreciate the detachable (rubberized) wrist rest, which is designed to make life easier for your wrist and works well enough, offering nice grip thanks to its textured face.
However, the K55 lacks USB pass-through, which is disappointing but not surprising, i.e. this is one of the downsides of a super-budget-friendly gaming keyboard. The keycaps are built from standard ABS plastic, and even if Corsair doesn’t provide a special tool to remove them, you can do it easily if board-cleaning is needed.
The iCUE software is used on all Corsair products, as it stands for Corsair Utility Engine. This is arguably the best keyboard software in the industry, and it’s pleasantly simple to use when it comes to lighting presets due to its intuitive drop-down menu.
The same story goes with choosing custom colors for all 3 zones via a color-wheel. The software also allows for macro recording, and you get a ton of options, including adding keystroke delays. Even if the K55 doesn’t offer the same customization bells and whistles as its more expensive siblings, the options provided are easy to use and well designed.
Making your personalized light show consists of loading CUE software or using Function key shortcuts, and the available presettings include color shift, rainbow wave effect, static color or color pulse. There are no custom RGB profiles available, unfortunately.
Even if this keyboard lacks the highly popular Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, the keys are pretty good in terms of sensitivity and feel. If you’re into FPS games such as Destiny 2 or Overwatch, you’ll appreciate how fast the K55 really is, and also the satisfying bounce back delivered by the keys after actuation.
It must be mentioned that is zero wobble on the Corsair K55, as it’s in the case with other large key membrane boards. Also, getting six macro keys set on a fifty dollar keyboard is unheard of, and this will definitely make MOBA and MMO players happy, especially due to K55’s on-the-fly button.
Sturdy and well built
6 macro keys
On the fly macro recording
Dedicated media keys
Considering the fact that this keyboard occasionally drops to $40 on special occasions, and it offers solid build quality and an impressive array of features for the price asked, if you’re looking for a non-mechanical keyboard for typing and gaming on the side, this would make for a great option.