You can resort to a traditional gamepad to play many PC games away from a desk thanks to the increase in native controller support, but some games either require or simply must be played using a keyboard and mouse. There have been a few solutions to bring full PC controls to the couch, but nothing quite like Corsair's new lapboard and K63 wireless mechanical keyboard. The K63 and lapboard combo carries a fairly hefty price tag at $160 USD / £160 GBP, but it's a light and compact wireless solution that doesn't sacrifice the quality you'd expect from high-end gaming keyboards.
In the video above, we review the Corsair K63/lapboard by highlighting some of its best features and explaining some its shortcomings. Overall, we find it to be the best solution for bringing keyboard and mouse controls to couches and home theater setups, and you can find out why in the video review or in the text below.
You should note that this isn't Corsair's first attempt at a lapboard. The company also has the Lapdog, which uses a wired USB connection and an external power source to work properly. It was a bit bulky and heavy, and wasn't ideal in certain situations, especially compared to the new K63 lapboard combo. The K63 sports a tenkeyless design, which means it ditches the number pad for a smaller footprint but still includes useful dedicated media keys. When it comes to mechanical switches, Cherry MX Red is your only option right now, and might disappoint those who aren't into smooth, linear, non-tactile keystrokes. Blue is also your only color option when it comes to the LED backlighting.
One key improvement over Corsair's previous lapboard is this new one is wireless. A 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle offers 1ms response time, according to Corsair, and for us, there was no perceivable latency. The K63 can also connect via Bluetooth, which is a neat feature if you wish to use it for other devices. Battery life was a big question, and thankfully the K63 holds plenty of juice in its built-in micro USB-charged battery. We spent about 8 hours in total using the K63 and not once had to worry about charging. Granted, we used it at the lower preset backlight brightness most of the time. Corsair states that on a full charge the K63 lasts around 15 hours at full brightness, 25 hours on low brightness, and 75 hours without backlighting.
The lapboard attachment is the reason we're here, though. The K63 snaps into the lapboard effortlessly and two latches on the back help keep the keyboard secured. There are also rubbery silicon textures at the palm area, but they aren't quite positioned right; our palms tend to rest atop the plastic parts, but it's not much of problem. A cloth mousepad is built into the lapboard that offers slick and accurate tracking. If you prefer a different type of surface, you can use your own since most pads will grip onto the lapboard and stay in place. But for those used to larger mouse surfaces, you may need to adjust to the smaller size. Considering that the main goal is to be compact and portable, we found the mouse surface to offer enough space for gaming.
Comfort is a main concern when it comes to lapboards, and it's an aspect that was not overlooked in the design. A dense memory foam covers the bottom of the lapboard and makes it comfortable to have on your lap, even for long sessions. The K63 and lapboard together isn't very heavy either, weighing in at about 5.5 pounds. Build quality is impressive; there aren't any parts that feel flimsy or loose, and there's no excessive bulk that would make it cumbersome.
An important thing to note is that there aren't any USB passthrough ports on the K63 or the lapboard, so you'll definitely need to pick up a good wireless mouse to get the most out of this setup.
Overall, Corsair is on point with this pairing. The K63 itself is a great mechanical keyboard in its own right; Cherry MX Red switches, decent battery life, dedicated media keys, and a fast wireless response rate make it stand out. But when you pair it with the expertly designed, well-built lapboard, you get the best solution for PC gaming on a coach or home theater without resorting to a gamepad, if you're willing to shell out the dough.
If you want to dig deeper into mechanical keyboards to find which one is right for you, check out our roundup of gaming keyboards. We've taken a close look at the Corsair K68, Logitech G413, and SteelSeries Apex M750 keyboards, so be sure to watch our video reviews.