Comfort and Ergonomics:
The Vengeance K90 is a full layout keyboard with an additional Macro bank of keys, so it takes up more space on your desk than an average keyboard. With the wrist rest installed, the Corsair Vengeance K90 measures 20cm x 50cm but the body itself is only 2.5cm tall at its highest point and, including the keys, just under 3.5cm. The macro keys sit at a much lower stage than the rest of the keys, so the chances of accidentally pressing the wrong button while gaming is minimal. Since there is no bezel, the base of the Cherry switches are exposed and they are much easier to clean during maintenance. The blue LED backlighting illuminates the keyboard further because of the light reflection on the aluminum base. A detachable wrist-rest with a soft-touch rubber feel is included for users who will be typing or gaming for long periods. The angle of the wrist-rest does not sit flush with the base of the K90 body, so this might be awkward for some users when reaching the lowest row of keys.
Chery MX red switches are very light switches that don’t need heavy hands or longer distance to actuate, compared to other switches. It is a linear switch so it is preferred by most gamers, although those who primarily use the keyboard to type pages upon pages of work will need some time to get used to the linear feel. The macro assignment software is very simple and straightforward, so users can be up and running and playing immediately. Macro assignments can also be application specific so users who play multiple games do not need to switch out profiles. The macro key bank is not mechanical, however, and feels noticeably different from the regular keys. Each macro “G” key is grouped into a cluster of six for easier key press negotiation, even when not looking down.
As with other gaming keyboards, the Windows key can be disabled through a single button press. The LED indicator lights up, so there is no confusion whenever this mode is enabled. Each macro bank is also back lit to indicate the current active bank and is located near the left-side so users can switch without letting go of the mouse while playing or moving the left hand too far to return to the action. It would’ve been preferable if the macro bank switching shortcuts were located directly above the macro keys so that accidental ESC and function key presses are avoided.
The Corsair Vengeance K90 has an optional USB pass-through port at the top which can do full USB 2.0 speeds, perfect for USB storage drives or USB gaming headsets. Both USB 2.0 ports need to be plugged on your system to make full of the pass-through USB port. A benchmark comparison of the pass-through USB port and a regular USB port can be seen in the screenshot below.
My favorite part of the Corsair Vengeance K90 is the implementation of the multimedia controls. These are dedicated buttons that do not rely on function key combinations and the volume control is analog. This makes the control very easy to use and convenient to adjust even when you are in the middle of a game or watching a movie. Cherry MX red switches do not require a lot of force to actuate and are very quiet if you do not bottom them out, unlike Cherry MX blue switches. Unlike Cherry MX black switches, long periods of typing are not as stressful to the fingers as they would be if the switches required more force to register key presses. The membrane based keys are not a hindrance when it comes to typing although the feel of each key is noticeably different, compared to the Cherry MX switch keys.