Bottom line: The Corsair K83 is a versatile wireless keyboard that gets a lot right. It's ideal for controlling a home theater PC, and can connect over Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, or in wired mode. The touchpad on the right gives you more flexibility while using a PC, you get 40-hour battery life, LED backlighting, and the aluminum design makes it that much more durable.
- Seamless connectivity
- Great tactile keys
- Durable aluminum design
- Adjustable backlighting
- Excellent battery life
- No way to program buttons
- Joystick isn't really useful
- No dedicated Delete key
Corsair knows how to make a solid gaming keyboard, and the K95 RGB Platinum (opens in new tab) continues to be one of the best in the segment. With the K83, it's doing something different: Corsair is going after the entertainment segment, offering a keyboard that's designed to be used on the couch.
To that effect, the Corsair K83 has a low-profile design and lightweight chassis that makes it easy to use on your lap. You also get a few gaming-focused features in the form of a joystick and trigger buttons. There's also LED backlighting, scissor keys with decent tactile feel, and outstanding battery life. So let's see if the K83 holds up to the rigors of everyday use.
Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard What feels great
The Corsair K83 is designed to be used as an entertainment keyboard, and that stands out thanks to its design. The front plate of the keyboard is made out of brushed aluminum, and the gray texture combined with the white LED backlight lends it an understated elegance. You'll find plastic on the back, but the addition of the aluminum front plate gives it more durability.
Although the K83 has the same width as a full-size keyboard, Corsair removed the number pad for a multi-touch trackpad. You also get two buttons beneath the trackpad for left and right clicks, and two buttons above: one for adjusting the LED backlighting and the other to lock the function keys. The volume knob is one of my favorite features on Corsair's premium boards, and it's no different this time around. The textured roller makes it that much easier to adjust volume, and there's also a nifty push-to-mute feature.
The K83 also has a few gaming-focused extras, including a joystick, shoulder button, and a trigger button at the back. I'll get to the gaming features later on, but what you need to know is that the right side of the keyboard essentially doubles as a game controller. There's also a dedicated power button to switch off the keyboard when you're taking it on the road.
One of the things that makes the K83 a great keyboard is the lightweight design. Coming in at just 1.06 pounds, you can easily throw the keyboard in a bag or put in on your lap to control your smart TV or streaming device without any issues. Another standout feature is the adjustable LED backlighting. There's no RGB backlighting here, but the white LEDs do a great job illuminating the keys, and you get the option to adjust the intensity.
The K83 features contoured keys in a low-profile design, and the scissor keys provide adequate tactile feedback for everyday use. It takes a few hours to get acclimated to the layout of the keys, but once you get going it's an enjoyable experience. They keys obviously don't have the same feedback as mechanical switches, but as far as scissor keys go, the ones on the K83 are pretty great.
Considering the target audience, the K83 is tailored to connect to home theater PCs, smart TVs, streaming boxes, and phones. You can connect two devices over Bluetooth simultaneously or use the dongle to pair it over 2.4GHz wireless. If you're interested in plugging in, you can also use the K83 in wired mode.
Battery life is also great on the K83, with the keyboard delivering 40 hours of use from the rechargeable battery. Of course, the intensity of the LED backlight takes a toll on the battery life, but you'll easily get several days' worth of use consistently.
Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard What needs work
The K83 marks Corsair's foray into the living room keyboard segment, and there are a few things that seem out of place. The first is the analog stick on the right — yes, you can use it for gaming, but in reality it just doesn't work well. The control is too jittery, and when you factor in the lag and the fact that you can't program the shoulder and trigger buttons, it makes the keyboard a non-starter for gaming.
You can set up custom macros and adjust the sensitivity of the joystick from Corsair's iCUE software, but the macros only work in wired mode or 2.4GHz wireless and not via Bluetooth. On the subject of things that don't work, the arrow keys are nestled away at the bottom and are far too small to be of any use. The keyboard is also missing a dedicated Delete key, and you have to use the Fn key with Backspace to use the delete function.
Corsair's Slipstream tech facilitates lag-free connectivity over Bluetooth, but you don't find that option on the K83. You get a 1ms response time when connected in wired or 2.4GHz modes, but over Bluetooth that goes up to 7.5ms. That isn't a big deal for everyday tasks like typing, but if you're looking to use the keyboard for gaming it adds up. A second-generation model with Slipstream tech and better gaming-focused controls would make the K83 much better.
Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard Should you buy it?
Whether you should buy the K83 or not comes down to your use case. If you're planning to pick up a keyboard to use with a home theater PC or streaming media box, the K83 is a decent choice. You can easily pair the keyboard with two Bluetooth devices, and the full-width design makes it easy to use on your lap.
The aluminum chassis, 40-hour battery life, and LED backlighting also make it a fantastic option if you're looking for a portable wireless keyboard you can throw in your bag. The touchpad in particular is a nifty addition that makes it easy to control a PC without connecting a mouse.
There are a lot of things the K83 gets right, but if you're in the market for gaming, you'll have to look elsewhere. However, if you're looking for a keyboard that you can use at work or on the go, the K83 is a great choice.
4 out of 5
If you just need a wireless keyboard, there are plenty of great options available that cost half as much (opens in new tab) as the Corsair K83. If you want a budget entertainment keyboard, the Logitech K400 Plus is a great choice at just $25 (opens in new tab). But if you want a keyboard with LED backlighting and keys with decent tactile feel for everyday use, the K83 is a viable alternative.
A new beginning
Corsair K83 Wireless Keyboard
Great all-round keyboard with LED backlighting.
The Corsair K83 is a versatile wireless keyboard that gets a lot right. It's ideal for controlling a home theater PC, and can connect over Bluetooth, 2.4GHz wireless, or in wired mode. The touchpad on the right gives you more flexibility while using a PC, you get 40-hour battery life, LED backlighting, and the aluminum design makes it that much more durable.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
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