Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Corsair K55 Pro XT keyboard

Two-minute review

The Corsair K55 Pro XT should be at the top of the list for budget-conscious folks who need a full sized gaming keyboard with a light focus on streaming. A $20 upgrade from the $49.99 priced K55 Pro, the higher tiered $69.99 (£74.99, $99) variant features a handful of upgrades, including individually lit RGB keys and more than 10 static lighting colors. This is on top of an already impressive membrane switch keyboard offering IP42-rated resistance, media controls, six dedicated macro keys, Elgato Stream Deck software compatibility and detectable soft palm rest. 

If you are solely looking to upgrade from the K55 Pro and don’t mind adding an extra dub to your budget, the XT tier makes sense. There aren’t many quality, brand name full-sized keyboards catering to streamers at that price. Be mindful, those who don’t need the extra macros or stream focused capabilities may want to look elsewhere. 

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Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)
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Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)

The Corsair K55 Pro XT doesn't appear much different than the cheaper variant on a surface level. Both feature a matte-black finish that feels better than plastic. It definitely feels good to hold and strong enough for all sorts of everyday bumps. Elevation level can be raised to a comfortable position due to latches underneath the keyboard. 

Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)

The soft palm rest also helps in providing wrist support for long typing and gaming sessions. When it comes to its RGB lighting, the individually lit keys look great in light or dark room scenarios. Include the added four plus static lighting colors and the Pro XT does an adequate job of personalizing the cosmetic experience.

Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)

From general typing and gaming to streaming, the K55 Pro XT makes the best of its membrane switch keyboard. At its $20 higher price point, it may be better to get one with mechanical switches, though. Regardless, keystrokes fall in line with what competitors like Razer and Logitech offer around this price range. Media keys work well alongside the RGB brightness and Windows lock buttons. 

The 12-key selective roll-over with anti-ghosting and 1,000 Hz report rate means response times are good during usage. The Corsair K55 Pro XT feels great, whether using word processors, browsing the web or gaming went off.  Plus, the extra macro-keys definitely help when playing competitive games like Call of Duty, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and others. 

Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, various macros, keystroke augmentations and RGB lighting can be customized through Corsair’s iCue app. It’s easy to customize the keyboard through the software. Considering the Elgato Stream Deck software compatibility, those macros are put to better use there. That means that aspiring streamers don’t have to buy that expensive Stream Deck to add effects or other streaming specific actions. 

Fans of Corsair’s lower priced K55 looking for a small incremental upgrade may appreciate the Corsair K55 Pro XT. Those looking to host game streaming sessions will most definitely find the Elgato Stream Deck software compatibility and the six additional macro buttons to be extremely useful. The $70 price tag is hard to recommend compared to the cheaper K55 Pro that offers the exact same functionality sans improved RGB. 

Corsair K55 Pro XT

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You need an keyboard that’s offers gaming, streaming and fully featured RGB customization
The K55 Pro XT delivers great gaming performance, features Stream Deck compatibility and offers full iCue customizability for its individually lit RGB keys.

You want more dedicated macros
The six dedicated macro keys don’t have to be used for streaming and can be utilized however users want. 

Don’t buy it if... 

You find $70 too much
$70 sounds a bit expensive considering for $20 less you can enjoy all the same functionality minus better RGB.

You don’t want membrane switches  
Individuals looking for more professional-grade mechanical switches may want to look elsewhere. 

You don’t really need the extra macro buttons
Those six dedicated macro buttons are definitely a huge plus for those looking to actually use them on the regular.

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