After three years, Corsair finally refreshed their top-of-the-line mechanical keyboard in the lineup with the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. Compared to the original K95 model, it brings a series of improvements, as well as the new integration with the Elgato Stream Deck Software. Let’s see if the keyboard can live up to its “flagship” status.
The hard cardboard box sports the same design with most Corsair gaming products, in black and bright yellow colors. Photos of the keyboard are shown in both the front and back. Several key features are mentioned in four different languages.
The Corsair’s motto “PLAY THROUGH WHATEVER” for keyboards is printed in large comic fonts. You can also find a specification list with information, like physical dimensions and weight.
For accessories, there are a quick start guide, some additional keycaps, a keycap removal tool and a wrist rest.
Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT Mechanical Keyboard
Identical with its older brother, the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT is a full-sized 104-key, with dedicated macro and media keys. It has a width of 46.5 cm, a depth of 17.1 cm and a height of 3.6 cm. It is not designed to be very portable with a weight of 1.31 kg.
Apart from the sticker at the back, there are two cable channels for users to route their mouse and headset cables under the keyboard.
Every corner is fitted with a big anti-slip rubber pad. The feet can be flipped to lift up the keyboard slightly for a better typing position.
The K95 RGB PLATINUM XT uses the floating-key design, where all the keycaps and switches are installed on top of the thick aluminum top plate without any side bezels.
Our particular K95 RGB PLATINUM XT sample is equipped with genuine Cherry MX Speed (Silver) switches, but you can choose to have Cherry MX Brown and Blue as well. The switches are not user-replaceable. Every key on the keyboard is individually lit by the RGB LED inside the translucent plastic housing.
Aftermarket keycaps can be used, as long as they are compatible with standard Cherry MX stem and stabilizer design. Be careful with the slightly different keyboard layouts and the narrower Windows key, before purchasing replacement keycaps.
Corsair has done some upgrades to the wrist rest for the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. It is detachable and connects to the keyboard using the two clips underneath. Instead of having a hard textured plastic on the top, the new wrist rest is now padded with plush foam to offer more comfort to the users.
All stock keycaps are made from PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate) plastic with double-shot molded legends. The thicker, more durable PBT keycaps are generally harder and more expensive to produce in huge quantity. It is awesome to see Corsair implementing them in the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT as a mainstream manufacturer. Unlike standard ABS keycaps, they are more resistant to oil and stains from your fingers.
Inside the packaging, Corsair includes an extra 17 replacement keycaps for the keyboard. Gray textured keycap sets for FPS (WASD) and MOBA (QWERDF) games are included. Along with the Elgato Stream Deck integration, you can replace the pre-installed G-keys on the side with blue S-keys. An extra Corsair logo keycap is also available for the Escape (Esc) key.
The K95 RGB PLATINUM XT requires two USB Type-A connectors, which the additional cable is for the integrated USB pass-through port.
The overall design of the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT remains the same as the original K95 model. The sturdy single piece of aluminum plate provides the structural rigidity to the keyboard. The signature LightEdge is also present, which is a long RGB LED strip across the top of the keyboard. Compared to normal full-sized keyboard, the K95 is slightly wider to make room for the dedicated macro keys on the left.
Cherry MX Speed (Silver) Switches
The switches on the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT are no ordinary Cherry MX models. The Speed and Brown switches are now rated to have an extended lifespan of 100 million keystrokes. The Speed switches in our sample has a similar linear and light key press as the Red switches with the same actuation force of 45 grams. But the actuation and total travel distances are shorter at 1.2 mm and 3.4 mm. The switches are extremely responsive and double tapping is easy. It is perfect for fast-paced gaming, though the quick actuation may create more frequent misclick for normal typing.
RGB Lighting and Software
The K95 RGB PLATINUM XT requires both the Corsair iCUE and Elgato Stream Deck software to perform as intended. They are a bit too heavy in size at around 750 MB and 230 MB respectively.
Corsair iCUE can control not only the K95 keyboard, but also other supported Corsair products, such as gaming mice and AIO CPU coolers. All 104+6 keys can be re-assigned or re-mapped to specific functions and a series of macro actions. You can also use any keys to launch an application or act as a mouse click.
For RGB lighting, there are plenty of preset effects in the software, including rainbow, wave and pulse. The top LightEdge LED strip has a total of 19 individual lighting zones. The performance tab is where you change the behaviors of the Windows lock key. It can be used to disable annoying key combinations, that may accidentally activate in games.
The only difference between “ACTIONS”, “LIGHTING EFFECTS” and “HARDWARE ACTIONS”, “HARDWARE LIGHTING” is the configurations inside the latter two sections will be saved in the five onboard profiles, which will continue to work without the iCUE software. This is a confusing mess in the user experience without proper explanation. Make sure you have saved your settings in the correct sections.
The keyboard’s firmware and polling rate can be updated or altered in the settings menu. It is defaulted to 1000 Hz (1 ms).
With the Elgato Stream Deck software, the six G-keys can be re-programmed to streaming-focus functions. Only Windows 10 and macOS 10.13 or higher are compatible with this feature. The software automatically detects the K95 keyboard and shows the button layout for configuration. A scroll-able list is at the right with all the available actions. Simply drag and drop the actions to the G1 to G6 keys. You can start your live stream, send a tweet in Twitter and adjust audio effects with a press of a button.
A floating bar, containing the icons of your actions, will stay up for quick reference at all time, which can be re-positioned to anywhere on the screen. Please be reminded that the Stream Deck software will have to be running in the background. Otherwise, the G-keys will instead do whatever they are assigned to in the iCUE software.
The K95 RGB PLATINUM XT has gorgeous RGB lighting with bright and vivid colors. The transition animations between effects are smooth. In the above video, you can take a look at the RGB lighting, as well as listening to the Cherry MX Speed (Silver) switches’ typing sound.
A full assortment of Multimedia controls keys can be found above the number pad. You can directly play, pause, skip and stop ongoing music or songs in the system. The textured metal wheel allows for step-less volume adjustments. Besides that is an audio mute switch.
The dedicated column of macro keys is one of the distinctive feature for the K95 series keyboard. In addition to performing the normal macro actions in games, they can also act as a mini six-button Stream Deck to control live stream-related applications.
There are three more buttons over the “F2” and “F3” function keys, which are for profile switching, brightness adjustments (3 levels) and the Windows key lock.
Next to the fixed USB cable is the USB 2.0 Type-A pass-through port, that can handle both power and data for most peripherals, like mouse, headset and USB flash drive.
The Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT keyboard builds on top of the already feature-packed and solidly-built K95 RGB PLATINUM. It is no doubt a premium keyboard with all the bells and whistles everyone would wants. Dedicated media keys and volume wheel are helpful to quickly control playbacks. The more durable PBT keycaps and cushioned wrist rest are the only physical differences to the older model, but are noticeable upgrades.
The idea of making the G-keys into mini Stream Deck is awesome, especially for content creators and live streamers. The supported actions are massive and extensive. However, this is not a exclusive feature for the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT. The K95 RGB PLATINUM and K55 RGB also get it through software updates. It is awesome for existing users, but Corsair missed the chance to truly integrate the Stream Deck into the new keyboard, by drastically altering on the hardware level. Maybe even a column of LCD or OLED buttons, similar to the real Stream Deck.
The K95 RGB PLATINUM XT costs $199.99 USD (MSRP) with a 2-year warranty. There is no immediate need to upgrade for users with the older model. The price may be too steep, if you cannot utilize all the features of the keyboard. If you are a new consumer searching for a luxury keyboard with tons of capabilities and configurability, the K95 RGB PLATINUM XT is one of the best in the market.
You can purchase the keyboard from your local/online resellers or the links below from Amazon and Newegg.
- Amazon US: Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT Mechanical Keyboard
- Newegg US: Corsair K95 RGB PLATINUM XT Mechanical Keyboard
Thanks Corsair for providing us the keyboard for review. (Review Sample)
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