Corsair just launched the K70 MAX, its first mechanical keyboard with CORSAIR MGX magnetic hall effect switches. This $230 keyboard is a bit niche, but it offers extreme customization that may appeal to some gamers, especially those who want to use a single keyboard for gaming, writing, working, and other tasks.
You may know about hall effect joysticks, which are not affected by “drift” and other common problems. Hall effect keyboard switches serve a different purpose — they allow a user to set their preferred actuation point (the amount of travel distance required to register a key press). Keyboards like the Corsair K70 MAX are ideal for gamers who want to switch between several actuation settings. You may use a sensitive setting while gaming but switch to a deeper actuation point when working.
Corsair K70 MAX supports actuation travel distances between .4mm and 3.6mm, and you can set a custom actuation for each individual key (most gamers will use per-key actuation settings to make their WASD keys extra-sensitive). Note that by enabling Corsair’s “rapid trigger” mode, your keys will reset as they’re released, which may come in handy if you set a high actuation point for lesser-used keys in a game.
Additionally, the K70 MAX offers dual-point actuation. You can effectively set two functions for a single key. The first function is triggered when you lightly press the key, while additional pressure triggers the second function (sort of like the shoulder buttons on a GameCube controller). This is a highly customizable setting that you can use to perform combos in games, or simply make a game’s controls more intuitive. If you’re an absolute madman, you can also use dual-point actuation to trigger caps-lock when you type really hard.
Even without its hall effect switches, the K70 MAX is an impressive and fully-featured keyboard. It uses a 100% layout with PDT keycaps, it comes with a (very nice looking) detachable wrist rest, and it features a selection of media controls above its numpad (including a big fat “mute” button and a shiny metal volume wheel). The keyboard’s 8,000Hz polling rate will appeal to hardcore gamers, and its internal sound dampening should prevent any resonant “pinging” noises. Note that these hall effect switches are not silent, though they aren’t very clicky, either.
The keyboard is lined with customizable RGB lighting, of course. But RGB settings (and actuation point settings) require the iCue software, which is quite powerful but somewhat unintuitive.
You can buy Corsair’s K70 MAX keyboard at Amazon for a whopping $230. Note that other keyboards with adjustable actuation, such as the SteelSeries Apex Pro and Razer Huntsman V2 Analog, are about the same price.