Cooler Master isn’t a brand you’d associate with gaming, but its CM Storm line has quietly being plugging away at the peripherals segment with regular releases of keyboards, mice and headsets. We reviewed the CM Storm Trigger mechanical keyboard a while back and were seriously impressed. This time around, Cooler Master has sent over the more compact and less extravagantly priced CM Storm Quickfire TK.
The Quickfire TK is once again a fully mechanical keyboard, the big differentiating factor being its size. While it has regular sized keys, the keyboard itself smaller than your standard gaming keyboard thanks to the absence of dedicated direction keys and the cluster of Home, End, Del, etc keys. Instead, the NUM pad now also doubles up to provide those functions, and pressing the NUM lock keys lets you switch between using the NUM pad and the direction key cluster. It takes quite a bit of getting used to and most desktop users will feel the pinch, but if compactness is important to you, it’s not so bad.
Don’t confuse compactness with portability though because the Quickfire TK is one heavy keyboard.
Don’t confuse compactness with portability though because the Quickfire TK is one heavy keyboard. That’s not a problem if you’re using it on your home desktop, but it’s a little too bulky to lug around. Like the Trigger though, the Quickfire TK cuts no corners with its build quality. Everything feels sturdy, and the key presses are smooth and reassuring. Cooler Master offers this keyboard in Cheery MX Brown and Red switches, and our test unit came with the Red variety. These are my favourite because these keys are neither too stiff, nor too delicate, which also makes them ideal for typing, aside from gaming. Importantly, they keys also aren’t as noisy as many of the other Cherry MX switches.
The Quickfire TK is available in all black, or white with black keys. This is a fully backlit keyboard with the ability to adjust the intensity of the lighting. The black model offers red or blue backlighting, while the white keyboard, which we tested, has white backlighting. Since this is a compact gaming keyboard, there are no dedicated macro keys to be found. Like many other keyboards, the top row (F1-F12) also double up for backlight setting and media control functions via the Function key. The F12 key can also be used to lock the Windows key during gameplay.
The Quickfire TK is a quality keyboard. It doesn’t contain too many gaming-specific features, but the gamers will appreciate the high quality Cherry MX keys, the backlighting, the ability to lock the Windows key during gameplay, and the sturdy construction. It’s also a joy to type on. However, I wasn’t too happy with the direction key cluster being merged into the NUM pad. While this is done to make the keyboard more compact, it’s weight doesn’t exactly make it portable. At roughly Rs 7,000, it’s a little too expensive for what is essentially a desktop gaming keyboard without a full set of keys.