When it comes to PC gaming, just owning a beast of a machine is not enough – at least not for the majority of gamers. Instead, gamers demand the best peripherals to improve the experience even more. Mice, keyboards, speakers, and mouse pads are just some examples of the important things we all want to optimize our gaming time.
Today, we are going to look at two of the higher-end gaming mice and keyboards: Corsair’s Vengeance series K95 Fully Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and M95 Performance MMO and RTS Laser Gaming Mouse. How do they perform in day-to-day usage, and are they worth the cost?
Best of all, we are giving away this gaming keyboard and mouse set to one lucky winner. Keep reading to find out how you can enter and be in the running to enjoy these top-of-the-line gaming accessories for yourself.
Introducing The Vengeance K95 Fully Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
The K95 is one of the more expensive keyboards on the market, coming in with a price tag of $149.99. Obviously, when you compare that to basic keyboards, the price might seem a little shocking. However, when compared with other high-end gaming keyboards with mechanical keys, what Corsair charges is actually quite reasonable. For example, Logitech’s G710+ is priced almost the same as the Corsair Vengeance K95. Razer’s BlackWidow line starts at $99, and goes up to about $140, depending on options. However, both of those have substantially fewer macro keys.
When it comes to branding, most people tend to think of Razer and Logitech first for gaming peripherals, but Corsair is no slouch. And when you consider that it’s one of the most popular supplier of high-performance gaming memory, it’s no surprise that they understand building other gaming accessories as well. Purely from a feature standpoint, the Corsair stacks up with the best on the market.
Design Of The Vengeance K95 Gaming Keyboard
When you first pull the keyboard out of the box, you can’t help but be impressed by the way it looks. It features a sleek, modern design with dark colors that borders on complete black, and will match the decor of any room.
As far as packaging goes, it’s nothing fancy. In the box, you’ll find the keyboard itself, the wrist support, and some documentation to show you how to get up and running. The desktop software is not included, but it’s readily available from Corsair’s website.
A quick look at the keys and you will notice 18 macro buttons, four buttons to switch between different sets of macros, media keys, a volume slider, backlighting buttons, and a button to lock the windows keys while in games. Of course, all the standard keys and a number pad are available as well. Everything you would expect to find on a North American keyboard layout is present.
The USB cable is quite strong, and it features a braided design that is intended to add to the durability. It also has a USB port on the back of the keyboard so you can hook up a mouse or any other device using the pass-through. This is quite a nice feature, as it allows you to have a quick-access port for anything you need. Next to the USB port is a BIOS switch, which allows users to fix compatibility issues when trying to enter your PC’s BIOS menu. It also changes the response time, so it’s best left at 1 (1 ms) for optimal performance.
Playing Games On The Vengeance K95 Keyboard
Since this is a gaming keyboard with a high price tag, the people most interested in it will be PC gamers who take their hardware very seriously. Right off the bat, we have mechanical keys with Cherry MX Red switches, which have been established as the optimal way to play PC games. Instead of a membrane, each key features a separate switch, which in addition to making the satisfying clicking sound for which the keyboards are known, they also offer faster response time and overall better performance. At least in theory, but in all honesty, coming from the Logitech G510, I really can’t feel a difference in response.
While I can’t actually perceive the speed difference, I do prefer this keyboard over any other I have used for gaming. The mechanical keys are incredibly sensitive, which definitely improves play. The 100% anti-ghosting keys means the user can press multiple buttons simulatneously without worrying about them not being read. It also comes with onboard memory, which allows gamers to store their profiles and take the keyboard elsewhere with their macros intact.
the layout of the K95 is identical to the Logitech G510. The G macro keys are in the exact same place, just with a smaller space between each row. The only difference is the lack of an LCD screen, but I don’t miss it at all.
The chassis is another nice feature, which is made with anodized aluminum for durability. This means you won’t need to worry about unnecessary damage to the keyboard.
For me, the best feature for gaming, besides the quality of the keys, is the customizable backlight. It features three different levels of brightness, but the real treat is the ability to light up only certain keys. You simply hold down the customization button on the keyboard and then press the keys you want lit up. So if you are playing a first-person shooter, you would want to light up the W, A, S, and D keys. For Dota 2 and League of Legends, you would light up Q, W, E, and R. With this feature, if you have to move your hands from the main keys for any reason, you can get back there in a snap.
Living And Working With The Corsair Vengeance K95
While this is my gaming keyboard, it is also the only one hooked up in my home office, which is where I do all of my writing for MakeUseOf. Sitting and typing all day with the keyboard feels comfortable, but as it’s a mechanical keyboard, expect to make a little extra noise while working. It also collects dust under the keys, as there is a good amount of space down there. A can of compressed air will keep the dust out. This is not a problem specific to the K95, as all mechanical keyboard suffer from the same problem.
Overall, I love the keyboard. You will need a larger than average space, as the extra macro keys make it a little bigger than normal at 19.75 inches across and just under 8.5 inches deep with the wrist support attached. As long as you have the space, I have no problem recommending this as both your gaming and everyday-use keyboard. The only slight drawback is that the wrist support that attached below the keyboard is a little slippery, and the angle makes it feel like your hands will slide a little. However, I grew used to this, and didn’t even notice it after a day.
In the end, the keyboard looks great, performs exactly as you would expect a high-end gaming keyboard to, and honestly, I really don’t have anything bad to say about it.
Introducing The Vengeance M95 Performance MMO and RTS Laser Gaming Mouse
A good keyboard is important, but any gamer will tell you that a mouse is just as key to performance. It’s all about how quickly you can input commands, and in competitive gaming, winning or losing comes down to milliseconds. That’s where a high-end mouse, like the Corsair M95, comes into play. Of course, the M95 is not the only game in town, and we’ve actually put its two major competitors head-to-head in our review of the Razer Naga and Logitech G600. All three come with a $80 price tag, so the market is incredibly competitive.
With mice like this, the button layout is critical. The Naga and G600 use very similar rowed layouts, but the M95 breaks the mold quite a bit with its design. Does this layout improve things, or is it just another method of achieving the same goal? We’ll get to that, and we will answer the critical question: is this the best gaming mouse for your dollar? Both the Razer and Logitech brought some commendable qualities to the table, but neither was able to convince me to replace my trusty Razer Copperhead. Will Corsair’s offering be able to do that?
Design Of The M95 MMO And RTS Gaming Mouse
The packaging for the M95 lets you see both the layout of the buttons as well as the surface on the bottom. Documentation is included, but like the keyboard, you will need to go online to download the software. Thankfully, it uses the same program as the keyboard, but you will need to download the drivers specific to the mouse for it work in the program. We will get to more detail on the software later.
The button layout is a little weird. While most MMO mice opt for a button configured in rows, Corsair threw that out the window with its own layout. The buttons are spaced out in a pattern that seems random. There are two buttons next to the main left button which allow you adjust your DPI on the fly. Another button is placed below the scroll wheel. These two are standard, and are about the only traditionally placed buttons you will find.
As far as the look of the mouse, I am very impressed. The subtle blue lights give it some personality without being overpowered like many other products on the market. The shiny metal bottom looks cool as well. It’s not an overly huge mouse, but it’s certainly bigger than a non-gaming model. It features the same braided cord as the keyboard, albeit quite a bit thinner.
To sum up, you won’t find a better looking mouse than the M95. The weird key configuration is angled in a way that you cannot see if unless you look closely, and even when you do look at it, it’s not ugly, just not like any mouse you’ve seen before. The question is, of course, how does it perform?
Playing Games On The Vengeance M95 Mouse
The first thing you will notice when you sit down to play with the M95 is the comfort. Put simply, it’s one of the most comfortable mice I have ever used. The area where the macro buttons sit makes a perfect thumb rest, the position of the scroll wheel feels just right for gamers. The click of the main right and left buttons feel smooth, and they work swimmingly.
The mouse also moves like a dream. I am not using a high-end mouse mat, just a Steel Series QCK, which is cloth, and it slides beautifully. Between the PTFE glide pads, which are incredibly smooth plastic sliders on the bottom of the M95 and the comfortable hand positioning, I immediately felt right at home moving the mouse during intense gaming sessions. It’s heavier than my Razer Copperhead, but I never found myself wishing to trim it down, especially while playing strategy games. That being said, for shooters, the M95 felt a little on the heavy side. In strategy games, you rarely lift the mouse off the surface, but in shooters this is more common. Still, it’s not too heavy, just not necessarily optimal for any game that requires more than a small amount of lifting.
The mouse features an adjustable DPI rating all the way to 8200. This means it can move quite fast, but generally for strategy games, only need a DPI somewhere in the middle of the range, but it’s good to have the option if you want to keep one mouse for all your gaming needs and not have to switch between different options for different genres.
Now, onto the buttons, which are a little weird in terms of layout. I will say they click nicely, and require enough force to prevent accidental clicks, but not so much as to require you to contort your hand. Sadly, I just could not get comfortable with the layout. Essentially, it’s like learning to play with a new video game controller. I am sure that if I dedicated enough time to memorizing the exact button placement it would feel fine, but I feel that I should not have to do this just to use a mouse.
While I don’t like the layout, my solution was simply not to use all the buttons. Instead, I just used a few of the larger ones for play, and this worked out perfectly. The back three buttons are large and easy to distinguish from the others, so I was able to map key commands to them, and it felt great.
In spite of the fact that I was unable to get used all of the extra buttons because of the abnormal layout, I still think this is the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used. Using just a few of the buttons is easier than on most because each button feels different, which is obviously what Corsair was going for here. The weight, speed, and comfort, along with the flexibility, makes this a must-have gaming mouse, as long as you are willing to put in the time to get used to a new macro layout.
Living And Working With The Corsair Vengeance M95
All of the comfort elements I mentioned in regards to gaming apply for day-to-day life. Spending all day with your hand resting on it will not lead to soreness, which is always good. You are going to want to crank down the DPI a bit when not gaming, but the convenient buttons make that an effortless task.
Another bonus of using a gaming mouse for everyday jobs is the ability to automate redundant tasks with the macro buttons. After all, there is no rule that says they only need to be used in games. You can have strings of letters, commands to copy and paste, and all that good stuff on the mouse. So really, using this instead of a basic mouse is actually the smarter way to go.
The Software For The M95 And K95
The software for the mouse and keyboard is very thought out. First, you only need one program to customize both they keyboard and the mouse, which is a major convenience. It’s also very easy to use, which means you can launch it, make the customizations you need and get back to enjoying your games faster.
The software and the M95 mouse have a feature called automatic surface detection. Here, you can move the mouse around on your surface, and it will grade it based on how much interference there is. Of course, all it can do is tell you how it is, it doesn’t actually do anything to fix the problem. You can also use the software to adjust the report rate between 1 and 8 ms, which might improve performance if using a surface that is rated poorly. Still, this has minimal effect on game performance, and you are probably better off getting a new mouse mat if you are facing problems.
Using the free software, you can set up your macros for both the keyboard and mouse, set up profiles, and customize all of the buttons. You can switch back and forth between the mouse and keyboard at any time, which makes everything more streamlined. It’s a simple application, but it serves its purpose well, and it’s definitely something you are going to want to install if you want to enjoy this mouse and keyboard combination.
Overall, the Corsair Vengeance M95 mouse and K95 keyboard are two fantastic pieces of gaming hardware. They are both comfortable to use for long gaming sessions, they feature all the performance features gamers demand, and they even work well for everyday tasks like typing and browsing the web. The only complaint I have is the odd button layout on the mouse, but even that is something I am willing to work around for the other incredible aspects it brings to the table.
All I can really say is this: this is the best gaming keyboard and mouse combination I have ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot of them.
How do I win the Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Keyboard & M95 Gaming Mouse?
You may enter by submitting your name and email address. You’ll receive one entry simply by doing so.
After that, you’ll also be offered various methods to earn additional entries. They range from sharing a link to this giveaway on social networks; to commenting or visiting a specific page. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning! You will receive 5 additional entries into the giveaway for every successful referral via your shared links.
This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, October 4. The winner will be selected at random and informed via email.
Congratulations, Jarred Stratton! You would have received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please respond before October 13 to claim your prize. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.
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