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CM Storm Quickfire TK Mechanical Keyboard Review

review cm storm quickfire mechanical tk tenkeyless keyboard gaming cherry mx switches

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#1 +Nexus18

Nexus18

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 19:45

Features:

  • N-Key Rollover
  • Easy cable management
  • Full red LED backlight, 3 modes and 5 brightness levels
  • Compact Layout with integrated NumPad block
  • Red switches
  • Detachable braided USB cable

For more info. on this keyboard, visit here.

There aren’t an awful lot of features on this keyboard compared to most other keyboards i.e. no macro keys, no “dedicated” media controls, no fancy screen like other more expensive keyboards. It is just a simple mechanical keyboard with “FN” keys and red back lighting, however, crafted to a very high standard.

Packaging:

The packaging is nice and minimal with the box not being any bigger than required. As usual, you have all the standard info. on the back and sides.

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Along with the USB cable and keyboard, we also get a keycap puller & info. sheet.

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Installation:

Couldn’t be any simpler! No drivers or software are required, simply plug into a spare USB slot and you can start typing straight away.

Build Quality & Aesthetics:

Overall this keyboard is extremely solid, no flex at all! The build quality alone is worth £70! All my previous keyboards had nasty creak noises, gaps, lose plastic etc. but this CM storm keyboard is built like a tank!

Even the USB cable feels solid, it is braided and has a nice length to it, 1.8m.

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Overall this keyboard is superb looking, it is compact and minimal looking and once you turn the back lighting on, it just looks even better. The back lighting is perfectly even throughout the keys/gaps unlike my old saitek eclipse II……. The effect of the red back light is made even better since the back plate is red.

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Unfortunately my camera doesn’t do this keyboard any justice especially with regards to the red back lighting…..

On the back of the keyboard you have cable routes and two rubber feet that can extend the keyboard height/angle when clipped out.

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The weight to the keyboard is just superb too, not too light and not too heavy, it weighs in at 544g.

This keyboard doesn’t have any dedicated media controls but it does have “FN” keys so F1-F12 can be used for things such as; mute, next/previous track, volume control, windows start button lock + control the back lighting; 5 different brightness levels + 3 different modes (pulse, WASD only, entire keyboard)

One very unique thing about this keyboard is that it is a TK (Ten keyless) keyboard, however, it still retains the NumPad and command keys i.e. home, end, pg down/end, scroll lock, it is cleverly done via the num lock key so when the num lock is activated you can use the numbers + enter key etc. and when num lock is disabled you can use the arrow keys + print screen, screen lock etc. keys. If you are someone who is use to the full keyboard layout + uses both functions a lot, this keyboard may not be for you, however, you eventually get used to it, granted it is a bit of a pain having to switch from one mode to the other especially if you are programming for example.

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If you are someone that attends a lot of LAN events, I couldn’t think of a better keyboard to bring.

Key quality:

This is the most important area when getting a new keyboard and after many months of trying to decide between a Corsair K30 membrane keyboard and a £70 mechanical keyboard, I can without a doubt say that this keyboard is easily worth £70 with regards to this area. I went with the red switches over the brown, black, blue switches for a few reasons; lighter/easier to activate & no click noise.

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In terms of noise, mechanical is a fair bit louder than membrane keyboards (I imagine that the other switches will be more noisy than red switches due to the click noise), however, only when you fully bottom out, once you get use to how light the switches are, you can type more quietly than you do on a membrane keyboard. In terms of what sounds better, this cm storm keyboard sounds a lot nicer than the other membrane keyboards in the household.

The sound can be further reduced by using o-rings.

Since switching to this keyboard, the best advantage of red switches/mechanical is that my fingers no longer get cramped/tired after long hours of gaming on BF 4 and as a result I can play at a higher standard for longer. I also feel that I type quicker and more accurately too.

Overall mechanical feels more responsive, I mainly noticed it when flying helis in BF 4 (I use WASD + arrow keys), but not enough to be worth worrying about.

For more info. On the different types of mechanical switches, have a read through this thread.

Onto the quality of the key caps coat/finish, the keys have a nice soft grip touch to them and feel better than the majority of key caps on other keyboards, my only complaint is that they get grubby and show some smear marks after a week or two of medium usage. Thankfully it is easy to clean the key caps though.

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Conclusion:

Overall I couldn’t be happier! It took me months to decide on a keyboard, mainly if it was worth spending another £30-40, I did so much research and you had two camps when it came to mechanical; people who say it isn’t worth it and those who say that they couldn’t go back, worth every single penny and needless to say, I am part of the latter group now. Membrane keyboards just don’t feel as responsive, nice to use and key feedback is poor in comparison, especially when they start to wear out.

As for what mechanical switch suits you best, it is personal preference, have a read through some forums/guides as linked above and watch videos comparing the switches. The CM storm Quickfire TK also comes with brown and blue switches too.

Whilst the CM storm quickfire TK is one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards on the market, it most certainly does not give that impression from my experience.

Pros:

  • Build quality couldn’t be better
  • Keyboard is extremely nice looking especially with the red back lighting
  • Red switches are a pleasure to type and game on, easy to activate
  • Very compact whilst still retaining the command keys plus numpad

Cons:

 

  • Key caps can get grubby/smeared quite easily



#2 Xilo

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 19:49

I too just got into mechanical keyboards. Have 2 in the mail.

 

The CM Storm keyboards are actually very well built. The got some heft and are extremely sturdy. I think people compare them to Filco which is known to be one of the top quality keyboard manufacturers.

 

Funny how you have the exact same Saitek keyboard as I do. :p



#3 tsupersonic

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 03:47

Nice, thanks for the review. Been looking for a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown or Clear switches that is backlit (anything but blue), and media keys. It's hard to find :\



#4 OP +Nexus18

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 15:48

I too just got into mechanical keyboards. Have 2 in the mail.

 

The CM Storm keyboards are actually very well built. The got some heft and are extremely sturdy. I think people compare them to Filco which is known to be one of the top quality keyboard manufacturers.

 

Funny how you have the exact same Saitek keyboard as I do. :p

 

Nice! Which keyboards have you got arriving?

 

Yeah I have heard very good things about Filco!

 

haha it was a good keyboard! Lasted me for 6 or so years, my only annoyances with it was the back lighting wasn't even at all, red and pink were the brightest and easiest to see, it was pretty hard to make out the letters with blue back lighting and the build quality was pretty terrible.

 

 

Nice, thanks for the review. Been looking for a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown or Clear switches that is backlit (anything but blue), and media keys. It's hard to find :\

 

The only brown switch keyboards that I saw of which had media controls, back lighting was:

 

logitech g710+

corsair vengeance K70

 

Pretty damn pricey here though, £120+

 

Unfortunately the UK only sells the main switches, brown, red, blue and black :(



#5 Liana

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 17:17

Thank you for the review :) It's interesting to see how mechanical keyboards are becoming more popular again.

After going through countless membrane keyboards and always being disappointed by them, and after looking through many mechanical keyboards, I finally came across the Logitech G710+ and I love it. I plan on keeping it for a very long time.



#6 Xilo

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 15:28

 
 

Nice! Which keyboards have you got arriving?

I went with the Poker II with browns for work. It's a 60% keyboard. Then I got a ten keyless Ducky Shine III with blues for home.

 

 

The only brown switch keyboards that I saw of which had media controls, back lighting was:

 

logitech g710+

corsair vengeance K70

There's several. Most notably the Ducky Shine III.



#7 OP +Nexus18

Nexus18

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 15:47

Thank you for the review :) It's interesting to see how mechanical keyboards are becoming more popular again.

After going through countless membrane keyboards and always being disappointed by them, and after looking through many mechanical keyboards, I finally came across the Logitech G710+ and I love it. I plan on keeping it for a very long time.

No problem! :)

 

The logitech g710+ does look superb! And best of all is logitech's customer service, the best there is :D

 

I went with the Poker II with browns for work. It's a 60% keyboard. Then I got a ten keyless Ducky Shine III with blues for home.

 

 

There's several. Most notably the Ducky Shine III.

Oh, very nice! I like the look of that KB a lot!

 

Have heard great things about ducky brand, they seem to be the most popular along with Corsair in the UK.

 

Unfortunately in the UK, we don't have a great selection of mechanical keyboards, those are the only keyboards I could find that had dedicated media keys.