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Open letter to Corsair, concerning the K70 RGB


brighttail

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Greetings,

 

When I first heard of these products coming out many months ago I was so excited. I remember watching the various videos from the conventions where Corsair was showing off their new product. The look and colour combinations of these keyboards were nothing short of amazing and it was very hard to wait until September when they would be come available to the public. During this time I did a lot of searching around the internet for information on these keyboards. Unfortunately in all my searching I failed to see what glaring omission on the K70 RGB keyboard, there was no USB Pass-through slot.

 

When I got my K70 RGB keyboard, I opened the box, assembled the handrest and unbraided the dual USB cords. The first thing I noticed on these USB cables was just like previous K70, K90 and K95 keyboards, each cable had a little icon to identify it. The first shows the image of a keyboard and the second shows a pass-through image for USB. After plugging these into my computer I looked around the back of the keyboard to plug in my mouse. To my astonishment, there was no slot to plug anything in. I spent the next 2 hours looking all over that keyboard, searching the box for information and searching online for "k70 rgb no USB pass-through". I was in for some major disappointment.

 

As most manufactures do these days, there was minimal support documentation included in the box and I had to go to Corsair's website to download the manuals, drivers and all other things necessary. One thing I noticed then, which I didn't notice in the months prior was that all the pictures on the internet showed the keyboard from the front, side or top and NOT the back. The only images I saw of the back was a close up of the BIOS switch. It was at this point I decided to give the keyboard a shot, even though I really needed that pass-though port for my current home configuration. I was in for a long day.

 

I found on Corsair's website the K70 RGB page and went to downloads. There I found the manual as well as the program that allows you to make all the nifty colors on the keyboard work. I have to admit I was excited again. The first thing that popped up when I loaded the software was a warning to update the firmware. I figured this was a possibility and clicked update, but it wanted a file from my own computer. I went back to Corsair's website and spent the next 2 hours trying to find the firmware update. In the forums some called it version 1.09 others 1.10 and yet, I couldn't find any firmware update for specifically the K70 RGB keyboard. I did find one for the original K70. I go back and read everything i can find on the forums, unplug the keyboard, insert the USBs in USB 2.0, the software should direct you to the firmware and reboot the computer, nothing is working and my frustration is growing.

 

In the end I ended up playing with the BIOS switch and I think I was able to download some firmware, whether it was for the K70 or the K70 RGB i honestly don't remember at this point. So I dive into the manual. My first thought is 132 pages is a lot of pages! At this point I just want to see different colours, so I try to start a new profile. I go up to the left corner and try to click the profile button but it is greyed out. So at this point i can't start a new profile and even following step by step to turn a single key a different colour will not work because i haven't started my own profile. Things should NOT be this difficult.

 

I go online and see people with different mods uploading their configurations. Okay this might work, I think. I see a few i like, download their files and attempt to load them on to my keyboard. I had no success. I went to several different IMPORT options and not a single one would recognize the file i had on my computer as a valid one. At this point I look at the clock and over 5 hours have flown by and I have done little with this keyboard other than to type a few searches. I have no pass-through USB and the keyboard is still glowing the red/white default configuration back at me. I have had enough and pack it back up.

 

I love Corsair products. I have a lot of them, including 3 SSD drives, SP 2500 speakers, 600T case, 750 HX Fan, 16 gigs Vengeance pro memory, H100i CPU cooler, 770GTX video card, K95 keyboard, M95 mouse and various case fans. So it takes a lot for me to give up on a Corsair product, especially when it is something i have been waiting for months to get. A product should not be this frustrating at unpackaging and during setup. I understand each product has a period of time that it needs to be broken in and used by the EU to work out the bugs, but I feel the way this all was rolled out was very sloppy. I also build/repair computers for a living so I'm quite experienced where they are concerned. I would therefore like to make the following suggestions:

 

1. On the K70 RGB home page, include an updated link directly for the latest Firmware file.

2. Perhaps include in the documentation the steps of how to update the firmware and the URL where you can find the files. (If it was there I apologized I looked but did not see.) Also if it is supposed to be all automatic through the software, a step-by-step process of how it is supposed to work would be nice. All I saw was, "launch setup, update firmware through software." but I never figured out how.

3. In the forums, under Keyboard/Mice make a few sticky topics dedicated solely for the K70 RGB. These would include "Firmware Information", "Software questions", "Discussion" and "Technical help". These topics would ONLY be for the RGB series of Keyboard/Mice. Currently there is only ONE sticky topic created by the Admin, specifically for the RGB and it is concerning Corsair's response to Amazon. The other topics are general and may include posts about the new RGB as well as other devices.

4. During roll out, there were many cool things we saw that this Keyboard could do, wave patterns, flashing keys, ripple effects. It would be nice if Corsair had 10-15 of these pre-configured and available for download for the novice user who wants the pretty, blinkie effects but doesn't have the time, patience or knowledge to go through a 132 page booklet.

4. While it is great that Corsair points out the positive differences between the new RGB and the older models of the K70 and K95, it would be nice to point out ALL the differences, such as no USB pass-through.

 

At this time I have sent my K70 RGB back to the store where I bought it. In the end it was too much of an overall negative experience for me to spend more time. I did try to call technical support but after 30 minutes of waiting, I gave up. I had expected this, after all it is a new product and I'm sure there are many other people having similar issues as me. It saddens me that I will not be able to use such an awesome looking product. I could have probably worked around being able to plug in my mouse to a USB port on the keyboard, but the rest of the experience and difficulties in even updating firmware much less turning a single key a different colour was too much for me. I wish everyone well and hope you enjoy it and to Corsair, I hope you take my suggestions to heart and get things organized a bit better.

 

Regards,

 

Ron D.

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I read your whole post and kind of chuckled at the part where you had problems updating the firmware.

 

It seems you didn't even try to look for the SETTINGS tab and if you did you missed the part where it has the DEVICE tab.

 

All the info is there, Bootloader v.0.09, firmware v1.10. There is also a button that says "Update firmware" click it and it'll prompt a save command or just download it.

 

I really hope you didnt return your keyboard because of this.

 

Then, the importing part. Were the files you were downloading .PRF or .Mode? Their different, and some people .Zip the file, so you have to unzip it before importing.

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I read your whole post and kind of chuckled at the part where you had problems updating the firmware.

 

It seems you didn't even try to look for the SETTINGS tab and if you did you missed the part where it has the DEVICE tab.

 

All the info is there, Bootloader v.0.09, firmware v1.10. There is also a button that says "Update firmware" click it and it'll prompt a save command or just download it.

 

I really hope you didnt return your keyboard because of this.

 

Then, the importing part. Were the files you were downloading .PRF or .Mode? Their different, and some people .Zip the file, so you have to unzip it before importing.

 

If I remember correctly when I entered the software, the very first thing that comes up is a warning to update the firmware. There is an update button on that popup window, which I clicked. It brought me to a directory of my computer where it was looking for a file. Considering the K70 and k95 previous versions required you to download firmware updates from the website, this made sense to me, but couldn't find it anywhere. The settings tab you are talking about is after this initial popup window and there was no documentation that i saw that suggested that is where you needed to look, tho it does make sense after the fact.

 

The files I downloaded were not zipped, first thing I checked. I returned the keyboard for a few reasons. There is not a lot about this keyboard that is "user friendly". I own the k95 and m95 keyboard/mouse and I figured If i can figure out how to program macros in those this shouldn't be so difficult, but as you read, I never got anywhere close to that stage.

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Im sorry that you had so many problems with this.

 

Keep in mind that this is the first of its kinds in terms of software and hardware. You cant expect everything to run smoothly when you are innovating a product. Corsair didn't have someone to get any sort of feedback or market analysis because no one's done it.

 

I am confident this will build up the platform for future keyboard programming and will be a somewhat of a base (in terms of research) to other companies who are attempting to launch their own RGB keyboard software.

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