Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless review
The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless gaming keyboard mostly justifies its large price tag by packing a lot into such a small space. From features such as cutting the cord to its superb build quality, it seamlessly fits into the K70 family and will be familiar territory for anyone upgrading.
Priced at $179.99 USD / £169.99 GBP, it’s a tough sell for most people, particularly when its 60% form factor comes with several compromises. It waves goodbye to the numpad, arrow keys, and function row at the top and creates a learning curve as the FN button becomes a shortcut multitasker to help you get the job done.
That said, if you’re the very specific gamer that wants a wireless, 61-key keyboard with hot-swappable switches in the name of more desk space or portability, then the K70 Pro Mini Wireless might be one of the best gaming keyboards out there.
Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless design
Corsair keeps things simple on the surface with a rather unassuming design. Its near frameless approach gives it a modern look, and the black doubleshot PBT keycaps let enough RGB lighting through to give it a subtle gaming flair. The geometric patterned space bar we first saw in our Corsair K65 RGB Mini review returns and is as stunning as ever. It’s not on the same level as HyperX’s custom keycaps, but anything that makes the humdrum board stand out from the crowd is welcome in my books.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary with its 60% layout, but you’ll need to note its concessions if you’re unfamiliar with the form factor. Giving up the numpad, function keys, and navigation keys is impractical for the best MMOs and typists, as you might find yourself a couple of keys short. It’s pretty handy when it comes to the shooters, though, as there’s plenty more space to swing the best gaming mouse across your desk.
The K70 Pro Mini Wireless is particularly portable, measuring just 11.6 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches and weighing around 0.64kg / 1.4lbs, making it easy to transport, fit on smaller desks, or use while you’re on the couch. Despite being pretty light, it’s as sturdy as they come. The metal baseplate doesn’t flex and gives it a premium finish.
While Corsair pairs the K70 Pro Mini Wireless with linear Cherry MX Red or Cherry MX Silvers, they’re hot-swappable, allowing you to replace them with any three-pin mechanical switches out there. I tested with tactile Mountain Blue and linear Asus ROG NX switches, but the world’s your oyster if you prefer Gateron, Topre, or Drop’s Holy Pandas.
The crux of the keyboard is its wireless functionality, being able to use it from just about anywhere in the room within range. Corsair says it’ll last anywhere between 32 hours with the lighting on full blast to 200 hours when you switch it off entirely. With its faster USB dongle, you can get a 2.4GHz connection on Windows, Mac, and both Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Bluetooth adds a bit of latency into the mix, but opens up a whole host of other devices, including Android and iOS smartphones.
Corsair K70 Pro Wireless Mini performance
Typing on the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless takes some getting used to, simply because it’s easy to miss keys that we sometimes take for granted. Using the FN key and I, J, K, and L to replace the arrow keys feels unnatural and is something I still struggle to adapt to despite having tested my fair share of miniature keyboards. I wish more companies would take the time to be more thoughtful with their PCB layout, with the Mountain Everest 60 serving as a perfect example.
Once you’ve mastered the changes, it’s a smooth experience. Dare I say, some shortcuts are so intuitive that they should be a staple on all wireless keyboards. For example, holding the Fn key and pressing W, A, S, and D controls your mouse cursor. It’s not precise enough to play games, but it comes in mighty handy for controlling media servers from your couch.
The high profile keycaps ease the cramped feeling some 60% keyboards have and the authentic Cherry MX Red switches in my sample are great for gaming with 45g actuation force and a 1.2mm actuation point. Since I prefer tactile, swapping them over for something more my style is easy with the included keycap and switch pullers.
Corsair continues to improve its Slipstream wireless technology, making cordless performance zippy. It’s difficult to measure individual features, but it’s clear that the sum of all its parts is a smooth, uninterrupted wireless experience that’s ready for competitive gaming and has a rather large 30ft range.
For example, it supports up to 2,000Hz polling rate when wireless using the 2.4GHz USB and 8,000Hz when wired. This is a step up from the usual 500-1,000Hz on other wireless devices. The higher the number, the lower the latency, but you’d be hard-pressed to feel the difference in real-time. What you can feel, however, is that it supports up to three simultaneous wireless connections that you can switch between at the flick of a button.
Battery life more or less lands in Corsair’s ballpark, but 32 to 200 hours is nothing to ring home about. The Logitech MX Mechanical Mini is rated for 360 hours with backlighting on, although it only comes in white, and our Asus ROG Azoth review took around a month to hit the half-way point with full RGB and an OLED screen. It does the trick, but falls short when graded against the wireless curve.
Corsair K70 Pro Wireless Mini software
The Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless works just fine without software thanks to shortcuts that let you record macros, pair the keyboard with multiple Bluetooth devices, and change the lighting. Installing the Corsair Utility Engine, or iCUE for short, onto your Windows or Mac device nets you far more customisability, though.
For starters, iCUE is necessary if you want to plug the keyboard in and bump it up from its default 1,000Hz polling rate to 8,000Hz. It also affords you a wealth of different lighting animations and the ability to layer them over one another until you get your desired effect. And you can reprogram keys and shortcuts to do just about anything you want, including moving where the pseudo arrow keys are positioned.
Once you’ve tweaked everything to your liking, you can save your profile and create a bunch more to suit pretty much any game you’re playing. iCUE’s only necessary to customise and set things up, as there’s 8MB of on-board storage, so you can save them directly to the device.
Corsair K70 Pro Wireless Mini verdict
Competition is pretty thin when trying to find the best wireless mechanical keyboard, but the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless doesn’t take that for granted.
It packs the latest wireless features into a lightweight, quality build and throws hot-swappable mechanical switches into the mix for good measure. The only thing that lets it down is its middling battery life, which does the job but will see you juicing it up more often than some of its rivals.
Recommending it at its $179.99 USD / £169.99 price point depends on where your priorities lie. Competitive esports players that need every edge are the gamers that’ll most benefit from the keyboard, with travel enthusiasts that fancy a lightweight replacement for their weak gaming laptop keyboards not far behind.
There are plenty of options that don’t sacrifice the typing experience that are better for working at a PC, but the K70 Pro Mini Wireless stands tall if you’re willing to learn how to use a 60% keyboard.
- Fantastic build quality
- Hot-swappable keycaps
- Middling battery life
- 60% isn’t ideal for work or some genres
Check out our guide on the best gaming keyboard for alternatives to the Corsair K70 Pro Wireless Mini, which includes corded champions and wireless warriors.
Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless review
A strong, lightweight, wireless mini keyboard that’s deserving of its name, but the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless is somewhat weighed down by its hefty price tag and middling battery life