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CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices
Written by Austin Downing   
Thursday, 01 March 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboard
Closer Look: CM Storm QuickFire Rapid
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: CM Storm QuickFire Rapid

Although the physical layout of most keyboards is similar, the small differences between products can still take some getting used to. At the same time, many users have a very specific aesthetic quality they are looking for when they buy products. Some companies cater to this greatly e.g. Razer, rather opposite of this the Quickfire Rapid except for a couple CM Storm logos is a fairly non-descript keyboard.

CM_Storm_QuickFire_Rapid_Top.jpg

The QuickFire Rapid is an interesting design that is much smaller than many of its contemporary counterparts thanks to its lack of a number pad. For some this may be an annoyance but I found that in its day-to-day use that this was not problematic once I stopped automatically going for the number pad out of habit.

CM_Storm_QuickFire_Rapid_Back.jpg

The QuickFire Rapid with its four rubber pads and 2.1lbs weight sits quite stably on a user's desk. For users who prefer a more elevated typing experience Cooler Masters has added a single height adjustment that adds around an inch of height to the rear of the QuickFire Rapid.

CM_Storm_QuickFire_Rapid_Side.jpg

With a fully mechanical layout, the QuickFire Rapid tends to have taller keys than its rubber dome counterparts do. Thankfully, this discrepancy is made up for by the fact that each of Cherry MX Blue switches activates half way through its full 4mm of travel.

CM_Storm_QuickFire_Rapid_Switch.jpg

The Cherry MX Blue switch is what makes this keyboard such a great little device. Preferred by many typists because they provide both auditory and haptic feedback, the Cherry MX Blue switches require a full 60 Grams of pressure to actuate. This helps create a stable platform for typing and gaming as a user does not need to worry as much about accidently activating the Cherry MX Blue switch as with its Red sibling which require only 45 grams of pressure to actuate.

CM_Storm_QuickFire_Rapid_Extras.jpg

Although the QuickFire Rapid does not come with many frills, Cooler Master does provide its users with some extra keycaps for the WASD key cluster and for each of Windows. Easing the process of switching these keys is a included key cap grabber that allows for easy and safe removal of each of the key caps.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboardwhynotv2 2012-03-02 03:41
There is a compromise which was stated under the cons area...no number pad. In both my day to day activities and gaming, I personally would miss a dedicated number pad and do whenever I'm using most laptops.

Nice review, thanks.
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# RE: RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid KeyboardAustin Downing 2012-03-02 08:01
The only reason I disagree is because if CM Storm wanted to create shorter more mobile keyboard then the only thing they could really remove without completely changing the keyboard layout was the number pad. When it comes to gaming and typing it is just as good as my daily driver the Razer BlackWidow.

Hopefully they will make one with a number pad in the future but I would hope that they continue to make the Rapid also because it to has a place in the market.
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# All my KBsBruce 2012-03-02 08:34
All my Keyboards are shorty versions, because it pulls the mouse in closer. Maybe if I hadd NFL fullback shoulders I would'nt mind, but the full size boards push the mouse too far out to the right,for me. And yes, I had a Model M Space-Saver board back in the day.

It's all personal preference..... I like my Enermax micro-Aurora because it has the scissors-action keys, like a high-end laptop. They have the "snap" like the IBM buckling spring keys, but it's much less force and travel, which I like. Not everyone does. I like the fact that my desktop and laptop have the same feel and general layout.
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# AgreedMergatroid 2012-03-03 01:36
I agree. I'm not a big guy and I have no problems using the BlackWidow or any other keyboard. I used to use a Merc Stealth keyboard and it's even bigger. I suppose it may be an issue for a little kid, but any adult can and do use normal sized keyboards. I could do without the numeric keypad if I had to, but thankfully I don't. For people who never use it though, this looks like a pretty nice keyboard. Personally I like having backlights as well as the mechanical keys on the BW.
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# RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid KeyboardArgos 2012-03-02 04:27
I can not imagine CM selling many of these. I would never buy an incomplete keyboard like this, And I still do not understand why I would want to dish out extra money for a mechanical one. I am not buying into this mechanical hype at all.

I am still waiting for a true full sized FPS gaming keyboard. Until this very day nobody has made one. Ideazon came close with their Merc Stealth board, but that also featured a #ed up, shoved together cursor/number pad. I bought it and loved the left hand side with the perfectly arranged FPS keys, but I could not get used to the right hand side mess of that the board.

Now I use the out-of-production Ideazon Fang. It is great, but could use a modern overhaul. And I dread the day this tool dies on me. I won't be able to replace it with an FPS keypad that is just as good. Nobody makes one.

Somehow all these Keyboard makers think that an FPS gaming keyboard does not require more than an extra row of programmable keys and in some cases a virtually useless LCD screen on top. And now we have the latest hype: the mechanical board. I am not against mechanical at all, but a true FPS gaming board needs more.

I would gladly pay 200 bucks if someone would give me a board that looked like this:

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000
with detachable Ideazon Fang-like FPS pad and detachable Numeric keypad.
The Fang-like FPS pad and the numerical pad should be interchangeable (comparable to the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 functionality).
The FPS pad has to be programmable.
The board has to be back lit and should offer a choice of multiple colors. The lighting strength can be controlled and switched off.
The board can be mechanical or non-mechanical (I do not care at all about that).

Or.... Microsoft could simply build an Ideazon Fang-like FPS gamingpad that can be attached to their Sidewinder 6 Keyboard. That would do the thing for me too.
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# It's not hypeMergatroid 2012-03-03 01:44
I used to think exactly as you do. I was using a Merc Stealth and I thought it was the best keyboard ever. I still like the layout. When I wore out the keycaps I decided to pick up a mechanical keyboard and am I ever glad I did. My typing and accuracy has improved substantially. The keys feel way better than any membrane or rubber cap keyboard I've ever used over the last 30 years.
I payed about $130 for this Razer BW Ultimate and it's worth every penny. I use it for typing, and I use a Logitech G13 for gaming. I wish they would make a Merc Stealth with Cherry Blue key switches. I'd pay $200 for that.
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# RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboardjoe 2012-03-02 08:11
I see absolutely nothing different from your Ideazon Fang vs the Sidewinder x6 or this CM Quickfire keyboard except that the Fang as well as the G13 and Belkin all shrink the gaming area even further since they aren't as wide as keyboards. The problem with those specialized gaming keypads is that the key strokes aren't recognized as regular keys on a keyboard. You have to program the keys. This is how it's done on G13 and Belkin pads.

The CM keyboard is for people that don't use the numeric pad at home. I personally don't. I've gotten used to the numeric keys at the top for home use on my Sidewinder x6. At work however, I can't live without a numeric pad. With the CM keyboard, you can simply buy a usb numeric pad if you are so in need of it. At that point it would make things no different than a regular keyboard. Infact, I would gladly buy the CM Quickfire and sell my sidewinder x6 IF the Quickfire had LED backlit since I do need that because I type in the dark hehe. Since it doesn't have LED backlit, then I will have to pass. The main reason why I'd buy it is because it shrinks the gaming surface down by 2" being overall 14" compared to my vs my Sidewinder X6 at 16" without numeric pad. Also the Quickfire just like the Sidewinder maintains the fullsize keyboard with the exception of no numeric pad.

The benefit of the mechanical keys is that you can use 1 design of a board and have different variations of keys on the same type of model to suit multiple fans without redesigning the board. For instance, this Quickfire comes in different models having a silent, medium or Hard keystroke. There are other mechanical keyboards that follow the same principle. You simply won't find this luxury with other popular non-mechanical keyboards since they are only 1 type of keystroke. My Sidewinder X6, old G11 and other Saitek I've had only came with 1 type of keystroke. No option
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# RE: RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid KeyboardArgos 2012-03-02 13:40
Joe, you said:
"I see absolutely nothing different from your Ideazon Fang vs the Sidewinder x6 or this CM Quickfire keyboard except that the Fang as well as the G13 and Belkin all shrink the gaming area even further."

Perhaps I misunderstand. The Fang is not intended to be used as a normal keyboard and has a radically different and improved layout for FPS use. Compared to the Fang a normal keyboard is very awkward to use.
The difference between the Fang and the G13 and the Belkin is that the Fang features all the FPS keys you will ever need. And because it is programmable you can also change layouts for games with fixed keys (usually bad console ports). Most of the time, for most games, you do not even need to program the Fang because of the smart standard layout it has.
I tried the G13 and I own a Belkin. They are inferior to the Fang. At least that is how I feel about them.

The only thing I do not like about the Fangs layout is the space/jump button on the sides. The Ideazon Merc Stealth is better in that respect. And it is backlit of course, which I would love on a next gen Fang.

I am totally indifferent about the advantage you mention about silent, medium and hard keystroke models of mechanical boards. I simply do not care about that at all. If that is all there is to it then I pass. I do not perceive this as a luxury, like you, but as completely superfluous.
I have many keyboards and had never complaints about the keystrokes. I simply adapt to the keyboard I use. At the moment it is the Sidewinder X6. The keystrokes feel fine to me. I also have a basic Logitech, an Ideazon Merc Stealth, a Microsoft Natural. None of them made me feel there was something wrong with the keystrokes.

But I would buy a mechanical in an instant if it had the features I mentioned in my previous comment. But to spend extra money on a keyboard just because it is mechanical is out of the question for me.
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# RE: RE: RE: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboardjoe 2012-03-02 20:21
Mechanical may not be something important to you, but it gives companies more options for customers without having to change out the design just to accommodate other types of keys onto a board. I personally feel that the sidewinder x6 keys and the G11 are perfectly fine, but I'd rather encourage mechanical keys since it is more versatile.

I wasn't intending the Fang to be used as a keyboard. The Fang, G13, Belkin are supposed to be for FPS games since they are all programmable keys and fit the layout which is good for some that are ok with it. The thing I was mentioning was that it's thin which decreases the width that the player would normally play at when using a regular wide full size keyboard. So instead you would use a specialized pad such as those so you can play at a more comfortable level. This Quickfire is another option at least for those that don't want to have to switch between devices every time they play a certain game since you obviously aren't going to have your Fang in the same position when you are doing normal computer work. There are also other options in modernized minimalist keybaords like: Deck 82, Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless, Leopold FC200R, Topre Realforce 86U, Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional II, KPC Poker.

This Quickfire is just coping an idea that's already been done and proven to sell since the market likes it.

You may want to check out this page....
##overclock.net/t/491752/mechanical-keyboard-guide
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# Agree about regular keyboard layoutMergatroid 2012-03-03 01:52
I also don't like using a normal keyboard for gaming. There's a huge difference between the offset rows of keys on a regular keyboard and the even rows of keys on the G13 and other dedicated game controllers, or the custom layout on something like the Merc Stealth. I prefer the layout of the dedicated controllers, but I also prefer mechanical keys. You really shouldn't put them down until you try them. They're awesome for typing, especially the Cherry Blue key switches. I've also tried the Cherry Red switches on the Corsair K90. It's a pretty nice keyboard, but I prefer the Blue switches myself.
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# Re: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboardboredgunner 2012-03-02 10:15
Nice review. People looking at this keyboard are generally looking for a keyboard without a numberpad. It costs $30 less than its real competition - Filco and Leopold tenkeyless boards which are even more basic (no multimedia keys, no windows lock). But of course, I can see why people are hesitant to spend $80 on a keyboard. Argos, keyboards like these sell quite well. Not as well as a $20 basic keyboard obviously, but it's basically a $100-$110 Filco TKL (which sells well) but for $80.
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# RE: Re: CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboardandyroo 2012-03-02 14:48
this is a re-branded Filco.
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