CM Storm Quickfire TK Keyboard Review
Published: 15th November 2012 | Source: CM Storm | Price: |
Initially this reminds us a lot of the Ducky Channel we just reviewed a couple of weeks ago. It has Cherry Red switches, a detachable USB cable, and some fancy lighting trickery. Indeed it is very similar. In the same way that all modern family cars are approximately the same, and all TVs are about the same, so it's true with keyboards. If you choose the Cherry Red switches with built in LED and are constrained by the requirements of the 105 key QWERTY layout, then you're very likely to end up with a keyboard that looks and feels a lot like all the others.
So what does the CM Storm Quickfire TK offer to separate it from the pack?
Firstly of course there is branding. As much as it shouldn't make a difference whose name is on the product as long as the quality is there, we know that many of you are fans of a particular brand. Because Cooler Master, and thus CM Storm, are purveyors of a wide-range of high-quality hardware then it's even easier to desire all your products are from the same company.
However, we hold no bias towards particular brands here at OC3D, and so we have to look a little deeper for the gold at the end of the rainbow.
The two key points of the Quickfire TK are the compact size, and that colour-coded steel plate. As well as providing a very sturdy backbone to the whole keyboard the plate is a nice aesthetic touch. Even with the keyboard darkened there is a glimpse of the colour beneath. The size though is the big selling point. Usually when keyboards are reduced there are features that have been cut out that either cause consternation or, as any touch typer who has changed keyboard knows, cause you to spend half your initial period with it endlessly deleting things your muscle-memory refuses to forget. The TK dispenses with both these problems by including a full numpad and the main QWERTY part of the keyboard is in the standard format.
The lighting is seriously bright. If you've ever felt that the colours on your peripherals were a bit weak then have no fear, as this could easily double as a source of mood lighting in an evil lair. Thankfully it can be turned down dramatically, or even off entirely, but it's nice to have the ability to bathe your face in a red glow if the mood takes you.
Pricing is the one place we cannot comment, as this is a pre-production sample and no pricing information is available at the time of going to press. We do know that both the 'lacking a numpad' model and the full-size one in the Quickfire range are available for around £70, and if the TK comes out at that price point it's a very tempting buy indeed. The build-quality is excellent, the Cherry switches are the best in the business, and the compact design suits anyone who is lacking in desk-space. With the assumption that it will appear at this price point, we're happy to award it the OC3D Silver award.
Update - on the day of going live we found out that the price would be £62, we felt this meant we should move its price score up from a 7 to an 8 in the price graph and this then moved it in to Gold award territory.