A Closer Look

At first sight, the Raptor K40 is remarkably similar to Corsair's mechanical Vengeance keyboards. In fact, some could easily mistake the K40 for a Vengeance K70 Black, if they are unaware that the latter has an aluminum frame. The frame and all of the parts of the Raptor K40 are all plastic. It has a full 104 key layout with additional dedicated multimedia keys and six programmable macro keys. The keys are surprisingly well made for a rubber dome keyboard, with minimal wobble and good response. Of course, if you have used a mechanical keyboard before and especially one with tactile switches, the rubber dome keys of the Raptor K40 will feel overly soft and mushy; however, they still feel much better than the typical $15-20 basic keyboard.

Most of the standard keys of the Raptor K40 are black, with the exception of the WASD and the arrow keys, which are silver. This is obviously part of Corsair's branding of the Raptor K40 as a gaming keyboard, and these are the two dominant sets of keys for direction control in all kinds of games. Of course, action RPG, RTS, and MMO gamers might be a little disappointed, as other keys are frequently used in such games, and anyone that uses something other than WASD will feel left out.

It's worth noting that the lowermost series of keycaps have their bottom edge slightly inclined downwards. As these keys are most usually pressed by the user's thumbs (particularly the space bar, but also during gaming), the thumb will press against the edge of the key rather than the top. Although this may look insignificant, it will increase the comfort level for gamers after prolonged use.

Seven dedicated multimedia keys sit along the top right corner of the keyboard. Three keys are for volume control and four are for media control. A circular key can also be seen, which is used to change the backlighting setting. A few more extra keys that are circular can be found at the top left corner of the keyboard. The four M keys are for control of the onboard profiles and the fifth key locks (disables) the Windows buttons. Six macro keys can be seen at the left edge of the keyboard. Six macro keys may be a bit too few for fanatic MMORPG gamers but they should be more than adequate for most users.

The rest of the Raptor K40 is relatively uninteresting. There are no extra USB ports or other features on the sides or the rear of the keyboard. Four anti-skid pads are installed on its bottom and two standard flip-out feet can be used to increase the tilt of the keyboard. The cable is a thick, standard USB cable with a red connector. There is nothing of great importance beneath the plastic shell of the Raptor K40, as removing it only reveals a typical circuit board.

The software of the Raptor K40 is simple, clean and straightforward. It allows the user to program the macro keys and save them as profiles into the keyboard's memory. The macro programming options allow the user to choose different playback options and adjust the delay times, or the keys may be programmed to perform other functions (e.g. launch an application). You can create any number of software profiles but only three can be loaded into the keyboard. It's worth pointing out that the profiles programmed into the keyboard will function regardless of the system OS or software, but Corsair's software is necessary for the creation of macros and is currently only available for Windows.

Finally, there are the backlight settings. A different color/brightness can be programmed for each profile. There are also two Light FX modes, one that will make the keyboard pulse and one that will cycle through different colors. Both the pulse and cycling are more useful for demonstration purposes as opposed to being practical during normal use, but what's a gaming keyboard for if not to show off?

Introduction and Packaging The Backlighting and Final Words
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  • aliasfox - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Apple's wired desktop keyboard uses the same keys as their laptops, but with a full layout (num pad, full size arrows, pg up/pg down keys). I prefer their older keyboards (and Thinkpad keyboards), but this one's not bad. The aluminum base also means it types more firmly than many keyboards with a plastic base.

    Hope this helps.
    Reply
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I concur on the Apple keyboards, although you might want to look at getting a second hand one, as the prices new are hilariously high (at least in the UK).

    I've been using a 2008 Macbook as my daily hack for a few years now and I'm completely at ease with the layout and key depth - it's a very nice mix.

    I got myself an MS natural keyboard for my desktop, which is nice, but I've found that I take a bit of time to get used to it again after a day at work (dealing with other keyboards - I'm a techy), whereas with the Macbook I can just drop straight back in at full speed; so there's clearly something about a flat/straight layout that my hands like, even if my wrists will no doubt complain about it in a few more years time!
    Reply
  • smithrd3512 - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Wonder how it compares to my old IBM PS/2 101 Keyboard. Its from the 80's and still works. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    I reviewed the K60 and it was the best keyboard I've ever used. No missed keystrokes at all, ever. Reply
  • pjargon - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Sure would be nice if someone would make a quality keyboard like this in an ergonomic form factor Reply
  • liffie420 - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Am I the only person who finds it odd that on the design of the board itself it appears as though the keys are hovering above the plane?? You know typically most keyboards mechanical or not that I have seen typically have the keys semi recessed so you don't have the full height of the individual keys exposed. Maybe I am just bonkers who knows, it does look like it would make cleaning easier though. Reply
  • ggathagan - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    Other than their low-end Raptor LK1, this is Corsair's design standard for all of their keyboards.
    It's actually counter-productive for the backlighting.
    The lighting that comes from underneath each key overpowers what comes through each key, making it less useful, since the keys don't stand out.
    Reply
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    Acer did something similar with their keyboards a few years back, and then stopped doing it, because it was just *awful* to type on.

    This one looks to be a rather different (and rather better) animal.

    But those Acer 'floating island' keyboards - oh, the horror, the wobby, inaccurate horror.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Friday, April 18, 2014 - link

    Since the stems for mechanical keys are more sturdy this behaves entirely different than those Acer keyboards, it's no different than a regular mechanical tbh, metal plate's in the same place (maybe just raised) and the sides are gone. It's a really nice feature IMO, I'm surprised it hasn't been copied, I don't even mind the splash out look of the backlight. Reply
  • Earballs - Friday, April 11, 2014 - link

    "That said, quite a few gamers tend to prefer non-mechanical switches"

    Most gamers have never tried a mechanical keyboard.
    Reply

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