As we saw before, the K70 RGB MK.2 SE comes in a plastic wrap to keep it pristine and free of dust out of the box. Removing it, we get our first good look at the keyboard, and it is on the heavier side of average as far as full-size keyboards go. For one, there are a few extra keys, as we see in the images above. Secondly, there are also a lot of RGB LEDs, and the case itself is larger than average to accommodate everything. The extra keys include a profile switch, LED brightness toggle, and Win lock on the left, as well as a volume scroll wheel alongside a mute button and playback controls in the top-right corner. Let's also not forget the anodized aluminium frame that adds to the mass of the keyboard. The case is angled with a beveled edge as we proceed from the top to the bottom, which is how CORSAIR has had their recent aluminium frame keyboards be.
The numpad has secondary legends below the primary ones, with the alphanumeric section choosing to have them alongside instead. This, combined with the location of single legends being in the top-center, is indicative of where the backlighting will be more uniform, and those at the bottom may not end up as bright as those at the top. The legends have a different typeface from all recent CORSAIR keyboards, which is due to the use of their relatively new doubleshot-injected PBT keycaps we took a closer look at before. The new mold limits the size and number of characters on the same row, which is why we see some legends shortened to three characters here.
Flipping the keyboard around, we see the usual certification sticker in the middle. There are four large rubber pads on the corners to keep the keyboard from sliding around on the desk, and two feet at the top open up sideways to optionally elevate the keyboard, and these feet also have rubber pads to ensure they don't scratch easily. We see cable routing built into the center section on the back, which is to be used for, say, a mouse cable and not the keyboard cable since that does not make any sense (nor would it fit). There are two cutouts at the bottom to install the provided wrist rest.
Installing the wrist rest is very simple because of the plastic tabs that can be pushed into place in the aforementioned cutouts. Once they click in on one side, do the same for the other and it will remain in place during normal use. Ideally, one should not use a wrist rest at all, but I understand that this is easier said than done for most people.
The keyboard has a non-removable cable coming out of the middle of the front as seen above, and next to it is a USB pass-through port other peripherals or even USB drives can be connected to. As such, the keyboard cable is on the thicker side, comes braided in silver (black for the other versions), and terminates in two male USB Type-A connectors. Both connectors are USB 2.0 only, so be aware of this for the pass-through lest you expect USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds from a portable drive. Also, the casing on these connectors is thick enough to where you may have a hard time plugging both into ports next to each other. The pass-through port, coupled with the cable routing integrated on the back, allows for a neat keyboard and mouse solution to be plugged into your PC.
The keycaps have an OEM profile, and the various rows are thus sculpted accordingly. They have a floating design, which allows for easier cleaning, but causes more light bleed, which may or may not be to your liking. Corsair did not include a keycap puller, which is mostly because there are no replacement keycaps and the stock keycaps are very good to begin with. Indeed, the stock keycaps on this K70 RGB MK.2 SE keyboard are the aforementioned doubleshot-injected PBT plastic set they sell separately for $50 (albeit with some more options in that standalone set), which makes this the first CORSAIR keyboard I won't complain about in this section. Indeed, these also have seamless legends (which makes it a rare item) and no bars on the underside to affect backlighting as with recent offering from Ducky Keyboard. This alone helps extend the lifetime of the keyboard, especially if the hardware inside and the software driver back it up.
Given the limited nature of the SE version of the K70 RGB MK.2, I expected fewer switch options. Indeed, it only has one switch option in the Cherry MX Speed Silver RGB, which effectively makes it a higher-end version of the already high-end RAPIDFIRE version of the K70 RGB MK.2 keyboard. These switches were a timed exclusive for CORSAIR when Cherry first brought them out and have since led to many other switches from other switch makers that allow for a shorter actuation distance than the 2.0 mm average. The RGB version used here has a translucent housing that helps diffuse the light from the LEDs. The larger keycaps use Cherry stabilizers, which makes those keycaps easier to remove and install as well, but at the expense of a slightly mushy and unsatisfying feeling when depressed normally.
I am seeing two keyboard—two K70 RGB MK.2 keyboards, that is. Indeed, CORSAIR had originally sent me a K70 RGB MK.2 keyboard with Cherry MX Blue RGB switches, but then sent the SE version over as well since it might benefit from coverage more. The images above help visually compare the two versions (the RAPIDFIRE looks identical to the non-SE version sans the different switch), including the anodized finish to the aluminium frame, cable braiding color, and, of course, different keycaps with different legend typefaces.