Corsair’s latest keyboard, the K83 Wireless, is the manufacturer’s new attempt at a keyboard that you can use on your lap in a living room. In addition to a laptop-style 76-key keyboard, the K83 also includes a joystick, two shoulder buttons, and a trackpad that supports up to four-finger gestures in Windows 10.
This joystick is the K83’s most unique aspect; it’s a pretty unusual inclusion on a keyboard. As well as allowing you to navigate menus, the joystick can also be set to emulate a mouse, which could be very useful in any game that would otherwise let you use it to control the game’s camera. In this mode, the two shoulder buttons stand in for the mouse’s left and right buttons, or you can click in the stick itself for a middle mouse click.
This isn’t the first time Corsair has tried to make a keyboard work in the context of a living room couch, although it’s certainly the neatest. Previously, the company released the Lapdog, a $119.99 hunk of plastic that you lay across your lap and strap an existing keyboard and mouse into. It was big, it was bulky, and having to buy a keyboard and mouse separately meant that a complete setup was eye-wateringly expensive.
In contrast, the K83 Wireless is a much more stripped down affair. Instead of mechanical keyswitches you get low-profile membrane scissor switches. The keyboard is backlit, but each key doesn’t have its own RGB LED like on Corsair’s full size keyboards. Corsair claims the keyboard’s battery should give you 40 hours of use, after which it can be recharged using a MicroUSB cable, and you get a choice of connecting over Bluetooth or via 2.4GHz using an included USB dongle.
Although the popularity of small form-factor PCs has made it easier than ever to have a desktop computer connected to your living room TV, the fact that so many PC games need to be controlled with a keyboard and mouse has continued to be a problem for would be PC couch gamers. To find out whether the K83 Wireless has solves it, you’ll have to stay tuned for our full review.
The Corsair K83 Wireless is available for $99.99 starting today.