Corsair K100 Air gaming keyboard side.

Corsair K100 Air Wireless review: too expensive to recommend | Digital trends

Corsair K100 Air Wireless

MSRP $280.00

“The Corsair K100 Air Wireless offers superb performance, but it’s way too expensive for its feature set.”


  • Excellent typing experience

  • Elegant design

  • iCUE Customization

  • Connects to multiple devices including game consoles

The inconvenients

  • Dear

  • Only choice is touch

  • No hot-swappable keys

Smaller 60% or keyless gaming keyboards have become popular in recent years, but there will always be room for a full-size gaming keyboard that gives you all the buttons or keys you might need.

The Corsair K100 Air Wireless is a great mechanical keyboard in this vein, offering superb performance and a sleek design. At $280, however, it’s too high a price to pay, especially when it lacks some features we’ve come to expect at this price.


Design-wise, the Corsair K100 Air Wireless is an attractive and understated keyboard. The keyboard itself is well-made and stiff, with no real noticeable flex despite being very thin. It inspires confidence that it will last thousands of gaming sessions and workdays. Also, despite being a full-size keyboard, it doesn’t take up more space than it should.

The K100 Air has all the usual touches you’d expect. The characters themselves are easy to read and are laid out logically. Along the top are a bunch of buttons to control different features like a brightness toggle, Windows lock key, media controls, and a handy volume roller.

Top view of the Corsair K100 Air gaming keyboard.

The lack of Mac-specific icons was an annoyance for me, but 99% of people who buy this gaming keyboard won’t have that problem.

The K100 Air comes with a nice braided USB-C to USB-A cable. Unfortunately, there’s no USB-C to USB-C option, so if you have a device with all USB-C connections (like a Mac or non-gaming laptop), you’ll need to purchase an adapter if you prefer a wired connection.

I’ll talk about the iCUE software later in this review, but you can configure a wide range of lighting effects and keyboard colors to suit your preferred style. The keyboard lighting itself is well balanced for most keys. Some keys such as Home, End, Page Up/Down and Rest in this group are not fully lit, with the edges of the words being a bit dark.

Switches and typing experience

Multimedia keys on the Corsair K100 Air gaming keyboard.

I’ve personally owned the Logitech G915 Lightspeed gaming keyboard (the full-size version), so I’m used to the feel of low-profile keyboards. In fact, I tend to prefer these types of keyboards because I lean towards shorter key travel.

Corsair uses Cherry’s ultra-low-profile tactile switches, which are similar to MX Brown switches in feel. Those used to a tactile switch will feel right at home, but those who prefer other types of switches will be out of luck. There is no option for linear or clickable switch options, which will disappoint many who prefer these types of key switches.

Let me start with what I liked about these low profile switches. I tend to prefer linear switches, but the typing experience on the K100 Air was excellent. I was able to adapt quite well and didn’t feel any long-term fatigue or strain while typing. Key actuation (0.8mm) and travel (1.8mm) were satisfactory for my needs.

Those who will be using this keyboard primarily for productivity tasks such as writing or coding will have no problem using these switches.

The backspace, enter, and spacebar keys are significantly stronger than the alphabet keys.

My main complaint with these key switches is the sound. Specifically, volume inconsistent with keys. Most keys offer what you expect from tactile keys. They are not as loud as traditional clicky switches (or MX Blue). However, the backspace, enter, and spacebar keys are significantly stronger than the letter keys.

When you’re a writer (and programmer) like me, these three keys are essential for smooth typing. Maybe your tolerance level may vary, but I wish these keys were as (relatively) quiet as the other keys. This may have been by design in order to hear audibly when using these keys. Anyway, it was a persistent distraction while I was typing so I have to report it.

A big drawback for many people will be the lack of replaceable switches. Unlike other gaming keyboards like the ROG Strix Flare II Animate, you won’t be able to swap keys with one of your preferences. In fact, Corsair told me directly that due to the construction of the switches, it is very risky to remove the keys without damaging the switches.

Performance and Connectivity

Corsair prides itself on its 8,000Hz polling rate, similar to its K70 Pro Mini wireless keyboard. Using the keyboard in wired mode or with its Slipstream wireless dongle gives you access to the highest polling rates (it defaults to 2000Hz in wireless mode). If plugged into a game console (more on that later), it can only go up to 1000Hz.

I want to be able to say that I felt a difference between wired and wireless modes, but I didn’t. I tried with some Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a game that can definitely benefit from that responsive, lag-free performance. I may not be the best shooter in the world, but using the keyboard felt no different whether wired, SlipStream or Bluetooth.

Corsair K100 Air gaming keyboard with PS5 and SlipStream dongle.

Most of the games I made were on my PS5. The K100 Air has a “PlayStation Mode” which allows you to connect to a PS4/PS5. No such mode was needed for an Xbox console. I played mostly on a wired connection, but you can also use the Slipstream wireless dongle. I didn’t feel any difference between wired and wireless mode while playing first person shooter games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Destiny 2 (connection via Bluetooth was unfortunately not available for the PS5).

While I didn’t notice any real change, my favorite thing about this keyboard is being able to effortlessly pair to multiple devices at the same time. I plugged the Slipstream adapter into my Mac while keeping the wired connection with my PS5. The keyboard automatically switched to the PS5 when it was on and to my MacBook Pro when the PS5 was off. You can’t use both simultaneously, obviously.

You can save up to three Bluetooth profiles and switch between them using the Fn + Bluetooth button corresponding to this device. This is very useful for people who have multiple devices and only want to use one keyboard. Technically, you can connect five devices in total (one wired, one Slipstream, and three Bluetooth).


iCUE software for the K100 Air Wireless Color Picker.

Corsair’s iCUE software offers a true delight of customization features. I’m used to Logitech’s G Hub, but I appreciate all the different options iCUE has to offer.

I echo the sentiments of the Corsair K70 Pro Mini Wireless review in that iCUE lets you bind virtually any key you want or create crazy RGB combinations if you want your keyboard to look like a fire pit. artifice. There are a number of options to make the keyboard work just the way you want it to.

I will admit that I didn’t take full advantage of the ability to remap any key because most of the time I use in-game settings to bind in-game actions. I appreciate having quick actions on my Mac’s status bar at the top. I can change profiles and various settings like polling rate without having to open the iCUE software.

Notice iCUE to use Elgato Stream Deck software.

There are four macro keys that you can use, especially for streaming purposes. However, you will need to download the Elgato Stream Deck software to use these macro keys. If you’re interested in streaming, this can be a decent way to set up a few shortcuts, such as switching cameras or scenes in OBS Studio if you’re not already invested in Elgato’s Stream Deck hardware.

Finally, the keyboard has 8 MB of onboard memory to store up to 50 profiles. This way you don’t even have to use iCUE to switch between profiles.

Should I buy it?

This is where it gets a little hard to recommend. At $280, it’s definitely at the high end of high-end gaming keyboards, and there are other great full-size mechanical keyboards like the Logitech G915 Lightspeed Gaming Keyboard, which costs around $230. It’s still pricey, but it’s a better deal considering what you get.

The K100 Air’s very high polling rate is impressive on paper, but doesn’t really make a difference in actual use. The actual typing experience on the K100 Air is superb, but might be a bit too loud for some sensitive people.

The biggest flaw, however, is the lack of options for key switches. I would have liked a K100 Air with linear switches, as I prefer the overall smoothness. Limiting the K100 Air to only tactile switches is a disappointing decision when other manufacturers offer choices.

If you’re invested in Corsair’s other products and want a high-end mechanical keyboard with ultra-low-profile tactile switches that deliver great typing and gaming performance, I’d recommend this if it’s on sale. Otherwise, you are better served with cheaper alternatives.

Editors’ Recommendations

#Corsair #K100 #Air #Wireless #review #expensive #recommend #Digital #trends

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