CM Storm QuickFire TK Keyboard ReviewBluePanda -
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Plugging in that cable takes a little effort, like any cable, if it isn't turned the right way, it's not going to go in. However, once you do get it in place, it's pretty easy from there. You can route the cable directly out the top like most standard keyboards, you can route the cable to the right to feed your rig, or you can route the cable to the left to keep your desk nice and tidy. It really depends on where you are plugging it in, but being able to route it one specific direction really helps clean up your desk.
These next couple pictures serve more a purpose than to just show you more of the keyboard. They provide an idea of how the keyboard sits on your desk along the edge where your wrists may sit. I think it also provides a nice indication of how tall the keys are (your typical mech key height really). The second shot lets you peer in at the blue between the first and second column of number keys (merely because this is where the camera centered) getting a glance at the blue once again. I must say the blue is quite a bit less noticeable in any less lighting. It really serves as a rebound for the LEDs and a very subtle accent when off. So if you're not digging the color of the steelplate – it's not the end of the world.
The top line of function keys F1-F12 all serve as dual purpose keys as well. F1-F4 control the lighting options, F5-F8 control the media playback, F9-F11 control the volume options, and F12 toggles the Windows key on or off. The ESC key is no exception from that row of options and serves as a dual for toggling 6KRO for Mac users or NKRO for Windows users.
Now I can't quite decide if I want to give my true feelings on the number pad here or in the testing section itself, but if you can guess at all, I'm not too fond of it. A lot of laptops have a similar pad, if they have a number pad at all, that has the nested navigation keys so some of you are quite used to this – or have a slight problem with it as I do. Nonetheless it does allow the keyboard to be quite tightly keyed allowing for a nice small deskspace or great for travel – I'll leave my true thoughts for later.
This is perhaps one of the more fun parts about shooting pictures of a keyboard – popping off a key. If you didn't get in trouble for popping keys off keyboards in class or have never had the pleasure of moving the keys around for those too unfortunate to touch type -- you won't understand. But as a kid I always liked taking things apart, including pulling keys off keyboards. Underneath it really isn't all that exciting, but you can see the top end of the blue switch (literally colored blue) and the mounted LED that allows this beauty to light up. So if you haven't had the fun – why not go mess up your dad's keys and see how long it takes him to figure it out…
Lighting up the keyboard was pretty simple – plugged it in and BLUE! By default all the lighting is lit except for the F12 key (the Windows key toggle). The first picture shows the lighting at its lowest setting – the second the lighting at its brightest. Don't let the pictures fool you; this keyboard gets bright. Toggling the light mode with FN F4 there is the option to pulse the lighting as well. The other option allows you to only light up the "gaming" keys: W,A,S,D, and the arrow keys. I never really liked the appearance of such on my Razer Lycossa – but it is nice to be able to reduce the amount of keys lit up at a dimly lit LAN party. The last picture is to show you what it looks like when you toggle on all the NUM LK, PGLK, and CAPS LK keys. All three of the indicator lights at the top right of the keyboard light up. And the arrow keys in the number pad turn off. I'm guessing this design was to show you that you have the numbers as the current enabled setting making the arrow keys as "don't use me, I don't work that way right now" - it's just a reminder of the need to annoyingly toggle the NUM LK to use the keyboard as a keyboard.
The blue is just about everywhere on this keyboard; even the indicator lights are blue! I really like this, as a lot of times there seems to be a need for companies to mix blue and red or now even green with things. I like themes, and that little accent always ruins it. The three light up quite brightly and with the angle of the keyboard you can always see what is toggle on or off. I also thought I'd return to the favorite pulled key and show off that LED in its true color. Quite bright when turned up to full.