I have spent roughly one month with my latest keyboard, the CM Storm Quickfire rapid with MX Red switches. So far, I freaking love this keyboard. It is a very bare keyboard keeping the focus on the experience of pressing the keys, nothing more – definitely nothing less. There are no extra USB slots, no Numpad since it is a tenkeyless layout. It has media keys and lock the Win key which makes the keyboard pretty much on par with some of the other mechanical gaming keyboards. But seriously, I thought – but didn’t realize how much the tenkeyless setup would mean. For me, a guy closing in on 40 – I’m definitely not in my prime any-more and the ease of shoulders having my arms less spread out is noticeable very quickly. I really prefer my current setup – a lot Another thing is that many older guys like myself enjoy contrast and also backlit keyboards. With the CM Storm I don’t have backlit, but I have very clear keys and I have the Ninja set-up on the WASD keys (the actual key letter is printed on the side towards the user not on top of the key as usual. Being gaming keyboard the WASD instead shows directional arrows and the keys are red. Don’t worry if you like to run a more serious setup or typing is your main battlefield the keyboard comes with normal keys for the WASD. It may look a bit weird in the beginning trying to type something with the red keys, but you pass it quickly enough and when the lighting is not too good and your playing a game – you will definitely appreciate the red keys.
Back to the keyboard. So how does this one compares to my previous baby the QPad MK-80 and the other gaming red switched keyboard Corsair K60?
Well, to begin with – quality and feel – it leaves the others behind not even glancing over the shoulder as it passes them by. Seriously the house for the key s is so rigid you feel like you have set down a small tank on top of your desktop. The red keys? Well except being the ones you prefer or not as always, they are really nice. A bit easy on the touch and hence – no feedback for the registration makes you have to take the stepping curve towards earning a fault free typing session. Once you get accustomed to them, the typing experience is not as good , in my opinion, as the blue switches, but good enough.
Gaming – you are in for a treat. Even though I much prefer typing on the CM Storm over the Corsair K60, the red switches are mainly for gaming in my opinion. The CM Storm works very well in gaming. The clear font on top makes a good contrast, and the keys and feel is absolutely wonderful. It got even better when I added my soft landing pads to the keyboard and noticed that it also helped my typing a bit to have shorter keystrokes.
Installing the keyboard is as easy as to turning the thing over and installing the USB 2 cable and switch the WASD keys if you prefer so – plug it in to the computer and start and enjoy. Should you wish to have more than the NKRO 6keys you can use the PS2 adapter and enjoy full NKRO. So far in Skyrim and CS:GO I haven’t found my game-play hindered by the 6 key NKRO. Also, having tried XCOM Enemy unknown and Dishonored – I have no problems whatsoever with this keyboard on USB2.
One of the things that I really like with this keyboard is as I mentioned earlier the feel and the quality. It feels just – tight in lack of better word. If I press the very edge of the space bar for instance, the entire key presses down and registers the press without any problem. That shit is sexy, for a keyboard 😉
The price may sound steep for your since you are getting a keyboard with less key s and functions that you can get – but honestly if you are thinking about a mechanical keyboard and haven’t realized what you are paying for – you have an experience to make. Some prefer it and some don’t. So far I haven’t seen that many that have complained and went back to the rubber-dome keyboards from mechanical. For me personally I very much prefer the mechanical keyboard both for gaming and for typing on. No question about it.
The tenkeyless CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Red is a delight, it is tight and downright sexy even though they like QPad have a thing for trying to squeeze in their logo as many times as possible on every space not printed. The small size can be a bit offsetting at first but once you start typing and find your way with it and get used to not having a num pad even though math, bank business etc will take a hit here.
My only two negative things to say about this keyboard is that I have more type errors with this keyboard than I have with my QPad MK-80 and as such, I may look into having both keyboards plugged into the computer. The other is that I now require some sort of light in the room when playing since the keyboard doesn’t offer back-lighting.
If you are looking for a keyboard that is tenkeyless, mechanical and either in RED switches or in Black (housing is not black but some sort of silverish dark hue story) – I warmly recommend you to check out the QuickFire Rapid keyboards.