What does the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT offer that we didn't already have? Upgrades, people, upgrades. We already loved the original version when it was released way back in 2013 (it's consistently rated among the best gaming keyboards), but the latest iteration takes that formula and improves upon it. This upgrade certainly isn't cheap, but I suppose that’s the premium you pay for the best keyboard experience around.
The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is a powerhouse keyboard in every sense of the word. A full-size key layout with numpad and macro keys is joined by a large wrist rest and heaps of RGB lighting, including a strip along the top edge of the board. As such, it weighs over a kilo in total. At $200 / £210 it’s also on the expensive side, but there's a lot of cool stuff crammed inside.
And yes, it looks very similar to the old K95. But there’s a major upgrade here that isn’t immediately obvious; the keycaps have been replaced with new ‘Double Shot’ keys, which are formed from two separate layers of coloured plastic for improved durability and a more premium typing sensation. The RGB lighting shines through brilliantly, customisable in Corsair’s iCue software.
There are classy media controls too, not to mention a column of six macro keys on the left-hand side. They - and the spacebar - come with textured keycaps as standard. The keyboard also includes alternate keycaps for your WASD keys, should you want some extra traction when controlling your character in games. These textured alternatives have a nice, grippy surface that doesn’t distract.
What's more, the macro keys can be swapped out for blue S-keys (the default is grey G-keys) to indicate the new functionality they have with Elgato’s Stream Deck software. Using Stream Deck, the macro keys can be used for all sorts of quick shortcuts, whether it’s managing a Twitch chat or launching third-party software.
The K95 has never been this good for streamers, and user-created plugins allow everyone else to take advantage too.
The K95 has never looked so good, either. Its upper face is carved out of a single piece of brushed aluminum, with an RGB strip and Corsair logo along the top edge. Joining them is a thick USB cable, six feet long and braided for improved durability. It’s permanently attached, which given the generally bulky shape of the keyboard, makes the whole assembly less than portable. The detachable wrist rest is quite bulky as well, but the rubber of previous iterations has been replaced with a softer, more comfortable leatherette.
The visual design differs only slightly from previous models, then; the same metal volume wheel and rounded media control buttons occupy the space above the function keys. However, that's no bad thing. The K95 has always been a handsome piece of kit.
A set of reliable Cherry MX RGB Speed key switches ensure that this keyboard is optimised both for typing and gaming. Those switches are similar to their more common MX Red siblings, designed to rapidly undergo multiple key presses; each one is rated for up to 10 million key presses in total.
The K95 RGB Platinum XT also comes with Cherry MX Red and Blue mechanical switch options, should you have a preference. The Blue variant are the only ‘clicky’ keys available for this keyboard, and are generally better suited for typing over gaming.
The whole keyboard feels great to use, in fact, with the smooth rolling motion of the volume wheel and satisfying input sensation on every key. The wrist rest is perfectly angled as well, making for a strain-free and pleasantly cushioned typing experience even after hours of use.
The K95 series has always been some of Corsair’s best work, and the K95 RGB Platinum XT is no exception. Brilliant performance and top-notch build quality make this one of the best mechanical keyboards on the market right now, without question.
While $200 / £210 is undeniably a high asking price, consider this: Elgato’s dedicated Stream Desk peripheral, which contains a map of keys for streaming macros, costs half that. If you consider the fact that this keyboard supports the Stream Deck software, we’d say it’s definitely worth the price. Improved keycap and switch durability means that a Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT is guaranteed to last, too.