6 posts in this topic

Posted

[size=6][b]CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard Review (Cherry MX Brown Switch)[/b][/size]

[size=5][b]Introduction[/b][/size]
As a person who spends the [i]vast[/i] majority of my day behind a keyboard, both at work and at home, I believe that there is value in buying decent peripherals to use with a PC, but I've always bought cheap keyboards. So given that I already own a high-end mouse and decent headphones and monitors, I opted to check out some mechanical keyboards. I opted for the [url=http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/keyboards/quickfirerapid/]CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid[/url], with Cherry MX Brown Switches (Switches are the things that sit under the keys to trigger the keypress signals).

[size=5][b]Summary[/b][/size]
[b]The Good[/b]
[color=green]
[list]
[*] Great value for money
[*] Excellent feedback
[*] Windows-key disable button
[*] Aesthetically pleasing
[*] Media/Volume Keys
[*] PS/2 adapter
[*] Extra key caps for customization
[*] N-key rollover (NKRO)
[*] Detachable cord
[/list]
[/color]

[b]The Bad[/b]
[color=red]
[list]
[*] Wire can become loose when moving
[*] Key caps can be difficult to remove with tool
[*] Caps/Scroll Lock keys have embedded lights
[/list]
[/color]

[size=5][b]Specifications[/b][/size]

[code]
Model: CM Storm (Cooler Master) Quick Fire Rapid
Model No: SGK-4000-GKCM1-UK

Height: 30mm (1.2 inches approx)
Length: 356.6mm (14.0 inches approx)
Width: 135.5mm (5.3 inches approx)

Weight: 940g (33.2oz approx)

Layout: UK-QWERTY Tenkeyless
Keys: 88
Lettering: Laser Etched


Switches: Cherry MX Brown
Connectivity: USB, PS/2 (via included adapter)

USB Response Time: 1ms

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux

Colour: Board: Silver-Grey
Keys: Black (Red WASD keys included) with white text
Status Lights: Red
[/code]

[size=5][b]Unboxing[/b][/size]

Credit goes to CM Storm here for making one of the few keyboard packages that I can get into easily. As a long-time user of Microsoft and Logitech keyboards, I know only too well the pain of untangling the cables from vast amounts of plastic and twist-ties. The box opens easily, and because the keyboard and wire are separable, it all comes out easily.

[b]Contents[/b]
[list]
[*] 1 x Keyboard
[*] 1 x USB-A to mini USB-B cord.
[*] 1 x Quick-start guide
[*] 1 x USB -> PS/2 adapter
[*] 1 x Key puller tool
[*] 1 x Red key cap set for WASD.
[*] 2 x Cooler Master logo key caps for Alt/Win/Fn/Ctrl keys.
[/list]

There was very little in the box, which explained the small size of the package. Pretty much just the keyboard and the wire, although they do include a set of extra keycaps for W, A, S and D in red, which was a pleasant surprise.

[attachment=322946:IMAG0079.jpg]
[attachment=322948:IMAG0080.jpg]
[attachment=322950:IMAG0086.jpg]

[size=5][b]First Impressions[/b][/size]
I was a little nervous getting the keyboard out of the box. This is the second iteration of QuickFire Rapid keyboards, and the first iteration, while well received, was mocked for the fact that Cooler Master insisted on plastering their logos [i]everywhere[/i]. Upon opening though, I found that they've done a full 180 on that policy, and that except for a small logo on the back, and sticker on the bottom, the keyboard is completely logo-free. This gives it a very cool and functional appearance that I find to be very aesthetically pleasing.

The board itself is silver-grey plastic, with an interesting rubberized finish. It's quite odd to touch, although not unpleasant. I do suspect however that it may prove harder to clean than a standard plastic finish.

The keys are black (or red, if you choose the alternate WASD key caps) with white lettering. The lettering is laser marked, which means it's slightly raised against the key. This should make the keys long lasting, with no worry about the lettering rubbing off.

[attachment=322952:IMAG0097_2.jpg]

[size=5][b]Features[/b][/size]
As far as keyboards go it's pretty basic, no macro functionality, profiles, or any of that kind of thing. For the price though (

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Posted

Thank you for this review :)...

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Posted

I don't get the fascination with mechanical keyboards, but if you think it makes you better, more power to you.

Howver, you said it used a A to mini B cable, from what I can make out in the picture, the plug is a micro B.

Personally, I find it a bit to bare, can't be without my numpad, and in ever had an issue with the distance either. And I hate fn buttons, I'd rather have separate,edia buttons and a separate disable winked button, not that I use it much, but...

The red keys are clever, but again I don't really see a point, once I get my postion on the keyboard I don't look at it anymore I look at the screen, I'm more likely to look at the keyboard when typing.

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Posted

Nice review!

I looked at this keyboard when I was on the hunt a few months ago. Ended up going for the Q-Pad MK-50 I absolutely love it. Well worth the money which I think was around

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Posted

I don't understand why companies remove the number pad. I really don't.
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Posted

Sorry I missed the replies to this thread.

[quote name='Optimash Prime' timestamp='1356472358' post='595415182']
Thank you for this review :)...
[/quote]

You're very welcome :).

[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1356477585' post='595415356']
I don't get the fascination with mechanical keyboards, but if you think it makes you better, more power to you.

Howver, you said it used a A to mini B cable, from what I can make out in the picture, the plug is a micro B.

Personally, I find it a bit to bare, can't be without my numpad, and in ever had an issue with the distance either. And I hate fn buttons, I'd rather have separate,edia buttons and a separate disable winked button, not that I use it much, but...

The red keys are clever, but again I don't really see a point, once I get my postion on the keyboard I don't look at it anymore I look at the screen, I'm more likely to look at the keyboard when typing.
[/quote]

I like my mechanical for the fact that I find the feedback better than rubber domes. I've used rubber-dome keyboards more expensive than the KB above, but even using them after this, I find that the feedback on a rubber dome keyboard is spongy. There's no real feeling of when the switch has been triggered, whereas with my mechanical, I can feel the exact point in my fingers where the click registers, and the motion is smooth and (mostly) frictionless. I don't know, it just feels vastly better IMO.

Regarding the plug thing, it's definitely a [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USB_Mini_B.png"]Mini-B[/url].

Regarding the numpad thing. I hear ya, I punch in too many numbers to NOT have a numpad, but the aim with this keyboard was to have the number pad on the left. I have a bad right shoulder (exercise injury), and various pieces of internet advice recommended tenkeyless keyboards as being better ergonomically because you're not moving your arm as far when using the mouse. I don't know if it's conclusively made a difference to my posture at my desk, but it seems to help ease my shoulder pain a bit. Need to get back to the physio at some point too though :p.

I've got a seperate numpad now which sits on the left, so I'm not without a numpad, it's just in a different place. Keyboards with in-build numpads on the left cost a bomb. This was a cheaper solution :).

Honestly I don't really use the red keys. Like you I know where my keys are on my keyboard, but I replaced the 'W' anyway because it personalised the keyboard a bit. Not a big deal, but a nice addition nonetheless. They didn't [i]have[/i] to provide any extra keys, so it's a bonus that they did.

[quote name='witalit' timestamp='1357322535' post='595432604']
Nice review!

I looked at this keyboard when I was on the hunt a few months ago. Ended up going for the Q-Pad MK-50 I absolutely love it. Well worth the money which I think was around

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