CM Storm QuickFire TK Keyboard ReviewBluePanda - December 6, 2012
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Cooler Master's CM Storm Quickfire TK was definitely put through over a week of use and testing. During this time it was used it in everyday use, writing emails, surfing the Internet, typing documents, anything the average person might usually do on a day to day basis. A few games were played to check the response from the keyboard, as much different expectations are held here than writing to Mom. The last abuse the keyboard received was through working. This included various tasks such as writing code, using Excel, and working with other tasks where layout of the keyboard might make a difference in productivity.
As a keyboard is a rather subjective review to start with, it is more appropriate to provide the feedback from its use rather than trying to assign meaningless numbers. It is pretty easy to distinguish a keyboard one likes compared to another one hates by explaining things rather than trying to assign a concrete number. The things that bothered me during testing might not be something you ever use a keyboard for – and thus won't bother you if you buy the keyboard. This type of feedback feels more productive than you guessing why I rate the keyboard you own a seven and the reviewed keyboard a five. No more guessing - here's what I loved, and what I hated.
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 991996 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 8 GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970 Black Edition
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: OCZ Agility 3 120 GB, 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
Writing emails and trolling on the forums doesn't seem like a complicated task from any desk or for that matter any keyboard. It almost seems like any keyboard will do. However, some are better than others. This particular CM Storm Quickfire TK has Cherry MX Blues – quite frankly my new favorite switches. It's a very loud keyboard, but it's a very confident keyboard. You mis-type rarely and when you do you know almost immediately that you've missed a stroke. I really like the feel of these and would highly recommend playing with some Cherry Blues if you haven't had the chance. The only real downfall for everyday use I could even think of was the loudness of the keys. But if you don't mind the sound, I'm sure your roommate can just find a set of headphones to avoid you.
Playing a game is where most keyboards (especially gaming keyboards) tend to rise or fall. The CM Quickfire TK rose to the occasion and performed quite well. Besides the loud clickly clack and the excessive key bang rage all my friends heard on the other end of my mic, there wasn't much to complain about. I could really feel the click in the key, so when I wanted to sneak up on someone I had full control. The overall shorter length of the keyboard also played quite the roll here as well, serving two real benefits in my case. First, I tend to like rather large mouse pads. For whatever reason when I game my mouse goes where I want my character to go – so if I look right, my mouse goes quite far right. It's really quite a problem of mine, which is somewhat fixed with a large mousepad. Large mouse pad and large keyboard aren't two to go together. The shorter length allowed me to keep my two arms on one desk rather than feeling so wide spread. The second issue I personally have is a lot of stuff on my desk during busy times of the school year. The keyboard gets shifted one way and a book takes up half my mouse space. In any manner – the keyboard took up so little space compared to my usual Razer Lycossa, that playing games was easier than I recall during finals week. The response is great and the NK rollover makes it all the better. +1 from Gaming.
Getting work done is where the CM Storm QuickFire TK really hit the wall for me. I'm pretty adaptable to the strangest things I review here on OCC and can adapt to using any mouse and usually just about any keyboard. However, I won't joke; I did about break this keyboard in half when working last night. I literally tossed it aside and broke out an old Logitech Internet keyboard – your basic "stock" keyboard to get things done. Writing code, or working even in Microsoft Excel without ease of access to the arrow keys or END/HOME keys is almost murderous in a sense. If I had the arrow keys, I didn't have the numbers; if I had the numbers, I didn't have my END key. I reach for one and receive the other – no matter the indicator light, I don't look at the keyboard while I type so I was lost time and time again. I had survived in nights past of work, toggling back and forth and making the same mistakes with the wrong one toggled again and again, but promised myself it would be something to come to be natural. It never did. The keyboard sits on the floor still - until I get my work done, it does not have the privilege of my desk.
It's hard to win. Most keyboards that are great for gaming are likely not so great to get work done on and vice versa. There are some that meet halfway and are pretty good in both but never really great at one thing. They are somewhat like people. Some of us are much better at gaming than others, and some of us geeks are just better at math. No matter which way you look at it you have to find what is best for you. This keyboard may murder you in getting work done but it's a hell of a line of keys for your everyday use and a great set for gaming. I did like this keyboard quite a bit – but taking away my working keys means I likely won't be keeping her around, but she very well could be your new best friend.