CM Storm QuickFire Stealth Mechanical Keyboard ReviewBluePanda -
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CM Storm QuickFire Stealth Closer Look:
Getting everything out of the box, there's a bit more to find than just a keyboard and paper manual. There is also an included PS/2 adapter, WASD red arrow keys, two CM badge logo keys, a key puller (I really needed one of these), and of course the USB cable to plug things in. The keyboard itself looks rather sexy with the black tops, but if you look closely you can see the white lettering peek out just a little from the front edges. Again this keyboard is rather small in all directions and keeping tight to the keys provides for a minimalist style setup.
Looking straight down on the keyboard, you can barely make out the markings on the keys. This will in turn change as you sit down to actually use the keyboard. The white lettering is surprisingly easy to read when seated typing. I really like the all black look – it's both clean and what my boss would call "simple, stupid". Like I previously mentioned, and likely will again, there is no number pad on this keyboard. I would normally say [/INSERT RANT HERE] but I'll leave it simple and [/END RANT] now. I'll leave a copy-paste of this rant for later.
The back of the board sports the seemingly common feature among CM keyboards: the triple routing groove for the detachable USB cable (oh yeah, did I mention it is 100% detachable?). This cable is a little thinner than the previous keyboard cables I've received from CM and a little more shape holding as well. It doesn't like to fit the grooves all too well, but as with many other things, a little force goes a long way. There are also four thick rubber pads to keep you from sliding too much on just about any surface.
The first few pictures below show off that nifty cable routing ability I mentioned above. The little mini-B cable plugs into a sunken portion of the back of the board leaving it flush to surface. It's a little hard to plug in, but looks super nice once you get it and makes it nice to route. There are a couple flipper feet on the bottom for those of you who like a little added height in the back.
Taking a closer look at the keys you can see exactly where the writing is for the letters, just below the bottom edge of the top of the key. The number row has both the number and symbol marked to the left and right of the keys. Looking at the entire board, the writing is nicely spaced and very uniform across – it just looks good. If you recall from the first page, CM actually includes some extra keys for your fun; red arrow WASD keys and 2 Cooler Master logo caps to put them on the windows keys or the CTRL/ALT key sized keys. I put the red ones on for fun, but really, I like the complete blacked out look – so they didn't stay around very long in my case. I will still say it's a neat addition to the whole package.
The keys are all labeled well; even the Scroll Lock with a light indicator is marked well. Looking down with the keys at eye level you can see how well they are printed. This writing is tough and being on the edge doesn't have much a chance to ever rub away. I'm just happy/impressed with how clear the text is and how easy it is to read even at a distance.
As I stated earlier, this particular CM Stealth has the Cherry MX Blue switches – shown below. It does however come in Green (my favorite), Red, or Brown switches. So if this isn't the switch type for you, let it be known that it is not the only option.
With the red keys "installed", it looks pretty slick. The arrow keys, though obvious in direction, add a bit of a gaming ambiance to the room. The red and white CM Storm and logo on the back edge of the keyboard rounds off the feel – though the only one who will likely ever see this is your monitor(s), it is still neat. I like that it's not stamped all over the keyboard screaming out what it is. It's truly a nice undercover beauty.
Overall, only pictures can speak for how awesome this board really is. My pounding on it over the next week or so will speak for its ruggedness; but with the CM name backing it, where it has been proven a car driving over it won't kill it, I have good faith. The CM Stealth is small and cute, and despite having no number pad, has fit in just right on my desk.