A fantastic company option, especially if you can get it a little cheaper.
Corsair has become a dominant force in the PC peripherals market in the past few years, but while the K70 has been popular and well loved for years, the Corsair Strafe K63 isn’t another instant classic. It has a lot going for it though. It’s a tenkeyless board, so you don’t get a numeric keypad, but this omission also keeps down costs and makes for a neat, compact keyboard that’s great if you have limited desk space.
It isn’t the smallest mechanical keyboard you can buy either. The keys are slightly sunk into a surround section that projects around 15mm forwards, 7mm to the sides and another 30mm out the back. The space at the back does make room for some extra multimedia keys though. You get stop, skip back, play/pause and skip forward buttons in the top left part, plus mute, volume up and volume down buttons in the top right and backlight brightness and Windows key lock buttons in between them.
The Strafe K63 has an appealingly minimalist design that’s nearly all black, bar the metallic Corsair logo and red backlighting. The backlighting also shines onto a sunken backing. For some reason the resultant lighting isn’t quite even, but it still looks pretty good overall, and certainly betters keyboards that just let the light spill out onto a plain metal or black background.
Corsair has also nailed the key design. It’s used an oversized font that makes it really easy to see the keys at a glance, which is a big boon for anyone who isn’t quite a true touch typist, or for those occasions where you lose your place. The keycaps also have a pleasant, grippy matt surface and the spacebar goes one step further by sporting a rough, checkerplate-style surface that helps to prevent your thumb from sliding off the spacebar in the heat of battle.
On the downside, you get no default extra secondary functions, so you can’t program macros and tweak key functions straight from the keyboard. You can, however, fully program the keyboard via Corsair’s software. Likewise the backlighting can be controlled on a per-key basis here.
As for the overall typing experience, thanks to those grippy keys and clear labelling, the Strafe K63 offers a confident typing experience – you always feel like you know exactly where your fingers are positioned, and where they’re going. You only get the option of Cherry MX Red switches on the K63, but these switches suited us fine, providing easy typing and lightning quick response when gaming.
However, while the Strafe K63 is generally a great keyboard, it doesn’t fully convince when it comes to extra features and value. You miss out on the numeric keypad, of course, but there’s also no USB hub or modular cabling, which makes the $140 asking price seem just a touch high. The price would only need to drop a few quid to make it more reasonable, With all that said, the great build quality on show goes some way to closing the gap.
The Corsair Strafe K63 is a great compact, tenkeyless keyboard. It’s stylish and well built, and it also offers a simple but effective selection of features and a great typing experience. It’s a little lacking in features for its price compared with some of the competition, but it’s a great compact keyboard if you can find it cheaper anywhere.
Corsair Strafe K63
Compact, stylish and well built, the K63 is great for anyone prioritising quality over features, although it’s a little pricey for what’s on offer.
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