CM Storm Quickfire XT Mechanical Keyboard – Review
I always enjoy reviewing mechanical keyboards, and I was extremely happy when Cooler Master sent me the Quickfire XT to review as I am in the process of currently changing work keyboards and am a bit undecided on what to purchase as a replacement. The Quickfire XT is the full size brother to the Quickfire Rapid, and echoes many of the same styling choices.
About CM Storm
Owning the PC trenches for almost two decades, Cooler Master’s veterans present their scars from battles past as claims of triumph over the competition. United with a new generation of eSports athletes and engineers, now marching under the flag of CM Storm, the time has come to reveal truly ground-breaking, military grade hardware for the gaming revolution.
Through long-standing research programs, CM Storm is co-developed with the world’s most prolific enthusiasts and eSports prodigies. Thanks to intensive testing and continuous feedback, the CM Storm division has been able to encompass and improve upon gamers’ needs and their tough to handle scenarios.
By working directly with the gaming community we have injected our Storm Tactics into each and every product we make. Storm Tactics, with a heavily dedicated focus on Strength, Security and Control, will keep your most vital gear fortified and well-tuned at all times.
Removable Full Size USB Cable
Adjustable repeat rate (PS/2)
Windows Key Lock
N-Key Rollover (with included PS/2 adapter)
|Part Number (Reviewed Model)||SGK-4030-GKCL1|
|N-Key Rollover Support||In PS/2 Mode|
|Repeat Rate||4 Levels in PS/2 Mode|
|Windows Key Lock||Yes, Both Sides|
|Media Keys||Yes, Via F Keys|
|USB Cable||Removable USB A Connector|
1.1KG / 2.43Lbs
The Packaging and The Product
The CM Storm Quickfire XT is provided in a fairly standard looking CM Storm box, the front features a full size image of the keyboard as well as a proud proclamation that the keyboard is made in Taiwan the switch type in the keyboard is also shown; the one we are reviewing is a Cherry MX Blue keyboard, which means that the keys have a very nice reassuring click to them.
The rear of the box has more information regarding the keyboard itself including the features and specifications of the keyboard; this information is displayed in multiple languages.
Opening up the box shows the keyboard itself, or would if the keyboard wasn’t concealed in foam bag to help prevent the rubberised texture from scratching in the box. Provided with the keyboard is a plastic key cap puller and some additional keycaps, one set which can be used to replace the WASD keycap area and one set that can replace the Windows key caps this second set feature the Cooler Master and CM Storm Logo.
Elsewhere in the box is a braided USB Type A Cable, which is used to connect the keyboard to your PC and a USB to PS/2 converter which can be used to unleash some of the additional features when used in addition to the USB Cable. The cable has a very fine braid which gives for a very plastic feel.
The use of a full size USB type A connector echoes the rugged feel of rest of the keyboard, and is a substantial change to the mini USB that is normally used, this slight change means that the chance of it breaking are slim to none, but could make finding replacement cables a bit more awkward.
Unlike previous CM Storm keyboards the Quickfire XT has quite a subdued look, and features less branding, apart from the included replacement keys the XT has the CM Storm Logo on the back edge; this was one of the main complaints in previous models as it often detracted from the look of the keyboard.
The Quickfire XT features plate mounted switches, in effect this means that the keyboard has a metal plate that goes the length of the keyboard aiding the stability of the keyboard and switches which helps to reduce flex; It also makes the keyboard weigh a lot more than a standard keyboard. With this added weight, and the four rubber strips on the underneath of the keyboard it means that the keyboard is not likely to slip around your desk when gaming when laid flat.
Also on the rear of the keyboard are the two adjustable feet which allow for a slight raise in the keyboard to make it more ergonomic, these legs do not have any rubber pads, and they do mean the keyboard is ever so slightly easier to move on the desk.
Once again, at work I am already lucky enough to have used a mechanical keyboard both at home and work which uses Cherry MX Brown keys, so making the change to the CM Storm with Cherry MX Blues was quite easy and there was no need to get adjusted to the keys themselves.
Blues are a very nice switch to use, and the pronounced click that they have is very satisfying when typing – my typing experience was short lived however because of an unofficial ban on Cherry MX blue keyboards in the CCL office meant that I couldn’t use it as much or as long as I had wanted to.
After trying the keyboard I decided to run the usual barrage of games when testing the keyboard for gaming, which included an array of first person shooters such as Counter Strike and Battlefield 3 to games that require a bit more button mashing -and can cause you to get extremely angry whilst playing.
I tested the keyboard thoroughly in these games to see how well it performed, and unsurprisingly the keyboard performed admirably with it even handled my rage quits without any issue –not that there were many.
Having used the Quickfire TK for a while, I have to say I enjoyed it, the build of the keyboard is extremely nice and the keyboard is extremely sturdy and while the rubberised texture may not be to everyone’s tastes, it fits the subdued style very nicely.
One slight issue concerns the price of the Quick Fire XT which makes it a bit of an oddity in the Quick Fire range, its price currently sits at around £78, and in the range currently the Quick Fire Ultimate with Cherry MX Browns is available for just a few pounds more at £81 which has better features including a full LED backlight, and N-Key Rollover via USB, because of this close competition with itself it makes it a difficult sell.
All in all the Quickfire XT is a very solid mechanical gaming keyboard, but one that is unfortunately overshadowed by others from the same manufacturer.
You can find out where to buy the Quickfire TK at http://www.cmstorm.com/en/products/keyboards/quickfiretk/