Corsair’s K70 RGB and K95 RGB multi-colored backlit keyboards were slated for release in late July and August, respectively, but we’re almost halfway through August with no sign of either board. Since Corsair has a one-year exclusivity agreement to produce boards with Cherry RGB switches, we’re all at Corsair’s mercy. But if you can’t wait any longer, you do have other options.
- Rosewill RGB80: For about $100-$120, you can grab a Rosewill tenkeyless with Kailh 16.8-million-color RGB switches. Currently, it’s only available with Kailh Blue switches, and only from Newegg (Rosewill is Newegg’s in-house brand). If you want a tenkeyless RGB board, the RGB80 with Kailh switches might be your only option for a while since both of Corsair’s genuine Cherry RGB boards will be full-size.
- Tesoro Lobera Supreme RGB: The Lobera is a ~$140 full-size RGB board that also uses Kailh switches. Unlike the Rosewill RGB80, it’s available with Red, Black, Brown, or Blue switches. There’s no tenkeyless model. Available from Amazon or direct from Tesoro.
- KBParadise V60: Okay, this one’s not actually RGB — but it comes with dual color, switchable backlights. Available with Blue+Red, Blue+Green, or Red+Green. It’s the smallest of the keyboards discussed here, being a diminutive 60% board. Get them at MechanicalKeyboards.com.
- Upcoming Razer keyboard: Razer recently hinted that it’s planning an RGB board of its own.
No further details are available at this point.Update 8/13/2014: Razer has officially announced its board. It’s called the BlackWidow Ultimate Chroma, and it’s expected to be available in September for $179.99.
- Upcoming Ducky Shine 4: Like the KBParadise V60, the Shine 4 will only be dual-color. But unlike the V60, the Shine 4 will allow color mixing to create a broader spectrum of options. It won’t be able to match the 16.8 million colors offered by other RGB keyboards, but it’s about the best Ducky can do until Corsair’s 1-year exclusive MX RGB rights expire, since Ducky is unlikely to switch to Kailh parts.
Genuine Cherry MX RGB or clones?
The jury’s still out on the longevity of Kailh switches versus their genuine Cherry counterparts. (I’m planning to do some first-hand investigation soon — keep your eyes open.) In the meantime, you’ll have to make your own decision on the quality front.
There’s one very important difference, though — Cherry RGB switches can be controlled on a per-key basis, whereas Kailh RGB switches can only be controlled per-keyboard. So, with the models mentioned above, you can select from 16.8 million colors — but the whole keyboard has to be that color. The Corsairs will not have this limitation. Update 8/13/2014: Neither will Razer’s Chroma 🙂
What do you think? Any plans to pick up a Corsair or one of these copies? Let me know in the comments!