Corsair K65 Pro Mini review: Not just another gaming keyboard

Sayem Ahmed
Corsair K65 Pro Mini with RGB on on a desk

The Corsair K65 Pro Mini offers optical switches and a teeny tiny form factor that is perfect for playing games. But, does it justify its high price?

Gaming keyboards seem just to be continuously getting smaller, the 60% form factor is perfect for competitive gamers, which has seen full-sized boards left in the dust, as of late. But, Many gamers found that chopping off the arrow keys might have been a bridge too far, and so products in the 65% form factor have finally come to market.

But, that’s not the whole story. Corsair’s K65 Pro Mini also offers optical switches, premium PBT keycaps, and sound-dampening foam, to boot. However, all of these premium trimmings end up being passed on to the user, But, does it manage to keep up in a wildly competitive segment?

Key specs

  • Switch type: Corsair OPX optical
  • Keycaps: PBT double-shot
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Form factor: 65%
  • Lighting: Corsair iCUE
  • Price: $129.99

Included in the box: Corsair K65 Pro Mini, USB-C to USB-A cable, spare space bar keycap, instruction manual


Corsair K65 Pro Mini design on a desk plugged in

If you put several gaming keyboards in a lineup altogether and wanted to pick the Corsair K65 Pro Mini out of the lineup, you couldn’t. The all-black finish when paired with a “gamer-y” looking font for its legend is not particularly impressive, nor is it anything new or exciting. The plastic bottom shell has some adjustable feet and a USB-C port located on its left side and is finished with a matte coating. Meanwhile, the top plate is made from aluminum, with plate-mounted switches.

Luckily, you get premium double-shot PBT keycaps with an extensive legend for additional functions, which also sports shine-through capabilities for all of that RGB goodness. Been there, done that, next keyboard, please. So, what has Corsair done that’s actually new?

To figure out where the true strengths of this keyboard lie, you have to delve deeper into the hardware itself. The Corsair OPX switches are linear, and offer 45g of actuation force, which is fairly standard. The difference between this and a traditional switch is that Optical switches are measured by light.

Furthermore, you also get multiple layers of dampening internally, which should make pressing those switches not ping too much while in actual use. This is a note taken from the enthusiast keyboard scene, which is always welcome.

Don’t expect premium tuning

The stabilizers are more than serviceable, but they still feel and sound quite rickety. Luckily, despite the board not being hot-swappable, you can swill lube them up or replace them entirely. The same can be said for the switches, which can be scratchy.

The overall acoustic profile is above average for a gaming keyboard, but the plate mounting does cause the keyboard to have an irritating metallic ping on some keys, including the space bar. It’s a far cry from the 65% Higround keyboards we have used previously.


Corsair K65 Pro Mini keycaps and switch with RGB on a desk

The main strength of Corsair’s OPX switches is that they allow for a much faster polling rate than compared to a traditional switch. Sporting a blisteringly-fast 8000Hz rate, the K65 Pro Mini is perfectly set up for competitive play.

Just remember that 8000Hz polling can make an impact on lower-end systems, so remember to switch it back to the standard 1000Hz if you notice a loss in performance. The difference between 8000Hz and 1000Hz is subtle at best, but it’s very welcome knowing that your keystrokes are being recorded faster.

Paired with iCUE, where you can set up up to 50 custom profiles, RGB designs, and more. The board still manages to boast a lot of functionality, despite its small size. The layers of functions available from the FN key also allow for additional functionality, though it does make the keycaps feel slightly cluttered. You can also assign macro keys through iCUE here, which is a godsend if you ever need quick access to certain functions.

iCUE is one of our favorite manufacturer software suites, and it’s a testament to how snappy the UX is, and how quickly it is all reflected on your keyboard.

Gaming performance

Corsair K65 Pro Mini close up

The Corsair K65 Pro Mini was immediately comfortable on our desk, and when in competitive titles, the keyboard absolutely sings. While the smoothness of the switches could be improved, we found the smaller footprint of the board to be incredibly useful in games like Fortnite. Meanwhile, in Final Fantasy XIV, we bound its several macro buttons to help us out while raiding.

The pinginess of the board itself did begin to grate on us, but the overall experience of using it for gaming was positive. However, it does feel like Corsair is playing catch-up when it comes to features. Boards like the hall-sensing Wooting H60E have a game-changing “rapid-trigger” feature, which was also replicated by Razer’s optical offerings. But, it’s nowhere to be seen here.

Should you buy it?

The Corsair K65 Pro Mini is a somewhat boring-looking keyboard, with a wealth of features that make it very proficient for gamers. While it does lack some of the more cutting-edge features that its competitors offer, you still get a gaming keyboard that feels like a cut above many others on the market currently.

The Verdict: 4/5

There are various issues, such as the plain design, the lack of a rapid trigger mode, and pinginess in the plate-mounted switches which we were not fans of, but that’s not enough to discredit Corsair’s stride in making quality gaming peripherals. It’s expensive, and some things could have been made better. But, for most PC gamers, the K65 Pro Mini is incredibly performant.

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