Corsair K55 RGB Pro XT Review
Published: 30th March 2021 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
Corsair have been refreshing their keyboard range almost constantly since the very first Vengeance K70 keyboard appeared eight years ago. So long ago in fact that their brand colour was red at the time. We've recently been looking at a few of their updated models and with the K55 RGB Pro XT we're going from keyboards based around the glorious, but expensive, Cherry MX switch type to one that's more affordable whilst still bringing a lot of sizzle to the show.
How desirable the K55 Pro XT is depends upon either how invested you are in having a keyboard with the features this misses out on, and of course your budget. Mechanical switch keyboards have a longevity that cannot be matched by other switch types, but unless you are a writer it's unlikely you'll ever get close to wearing out any keyboard before you buy a new one for its new features. I've gone through four keyboards in my time at OC3D, but then I've typed more than JK Rowling did. Not a billionaire though but hey. The other main boon of a mechanical keyboard such as the Corsair K70 is the NKEY rollover function. This means, because each switch is self-contained, that you can hold all the keys down and still have the last one recorded accurately. Non-mechanical keyboards tend to have smaller rollover numbers. The plain K55 had an 8 key rollover, whilst this new Pro XT version has 12 key rollover. You'll still find situations where a key press won't be recognised if you're a particularly fast typer, but it's be carefully routed so that the majority of keys people will use - WASD and other popular FPS keys - work perfectly all the time.
What has been apparent at the top of every page of this review, and on the previous page, is how excellent the RGB lighting on the Corsair K55 Pro XT is. Every colour is well represented, richly saturated, and very bright. Because the switch below those key caps is free to be lit rather than having to squeeze the lighting around a mechanical switch the light through the key cap font is bright, but there is also a lovely underglow that enhances the effect. It positively beams. When you add to that you're getting dedicated macro keys on the left hand side which can also seamlessly integrate with the Elgato Stream Deck you're already on to a winner, but the dedicated media keys on the top right are icing on the cake. About the only part of the K55 RGB Pro XT which you're missing out on compared to models higher in the Corsair range is their famous volume roller. The final plus point for the K55 Pro XT is the IP42 spill protection, should you happen to be particularly clumsy when drinking mid-game. It won't let the keyboard survive a soaking, but it's enough to rescue you from accidents.
The vanilla K55 RGB has a street price of £55 and this Pro XT model only ups the amount of NKEY rollover you get and improves the lighting, so we expect it to come in beneath £70. It's the perfect option if you want a keyboard that has all the looks and features you expect from a top end model, without the prohibitive price tag of a Corsair K95 or similar. The next model up in the Corsair range the K63 might have the mechanical switches, but it's TKL so you're giving up the right hand side of the keyboard, it has no dedicated macro keys and only lights up red. It shows how much of the high end features the K55 RGB Pro XT brings to the party for a very affordable price and wins our OC3D Gamers Choice.