CM Storm Quickfire XTi Review
Published: 8th September 2015 | Source: CM Storm | Price: |
The XTi packaging is very classy with a full-size rendition of the keyboard on the front, highlighted by a silver model name. It gives an air of quality before you've even opened the box. When you do you'll discover the Quickfire XTi itself within an unbranded cloth bag, adding to the high-end impression.
The cable for the XTi is separate, a braided micro-USB offering that is sturdy enough to withstand a pounding without being so stiff that the bends don't drop out quickly. Anyone who has endured a cable that is more of a zig-zag shape than anything useful will know the pain of cable braid improperly chosen. As well as the invaluable - for reasons we'll get to in the testing and conclusion page - guide the Quickfire XTi has a key-puller and a Cooler Master logo key to replace one of your bottom row keys should you wish to have more overt branding.
The XTi design is about as minimalist as you can get whilst retaining the full amount of keys. Nary a millimetre of excess surrounds the keys. The keys themselves have a nice regular font on them, no attempts at quirky typefaces here, and by virtue of its standard key sizing you can purchase an alternative keycap set if the mood strikes you. The underside is where you find the only hint as to the manufacturer of the Quickfire XTi, as well as routing canals to put the cable whichever side you wish.
This is the first CM Storm keyboard we can remember that has the seam on the case at the bottom of the keyboard. When combined with the compact design and lack of obvious branding this gives the XTi a very serious look. No frippery, just function. It makes a nice change from the 'shoutier' designs of many keyboards. Beneath the gently textured keycaps are the Cherry MX Brown switches that form the heart of the XTi.
Rather than going with the full-RGB offerings that have rapidly taken over the gaming keyboard market, the Quickfire XTi only supports red and blue, and thus purple. This is an odd choice, particularly given that the MSRP is £140, deeply into the 'seriously expensive' category. It does come with per-key lighting so you can mix and match them however you wish, including different colours for different key groupings.