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CM Storm Quickfire Rapid Keyboard E-mail
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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

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

Testing peripherals like the QuickFire Rapid are quite simply a matter of using them in the real world for an extended amount of time. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the product they are no standardized test that can be done but rather it is a matter of personal opinion from the time spent using the product. In order to analyze the qualities of the QuickFire Rapid I focused on looking at the many different realms of work and play that the QuickFire Rapid is expected to be subjected to. This means looking at both its qualities as a gaming keyboard, but more importantly its qualities as a method of input for work and school related projects.

Test System

Software Tested

  • Battlefield 3
  • Starcraft II
  • Photoshop CS5.5
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Cisco Router, Switch Programming
  • Linux System Configuration
Cooler_Master_Quickfire_Keytest.jpg

Results

Gaming with the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid is quite an enjoyable experience. The responsive keys and quick actuations make it ideal for fast-paced gaming and accurate movements. During my gaming sessions with StarCraft II I could quickly use many sets of keyboard commands to create units in the most efficient pattern possible. At the same time during long sessions of Battlefield 3 I found that I could play comfortably for hours without feeling strain on my wrists, while at the same time being able to accurately fly a plane or helicopter using the keyboard controls. Again, during my gameplay for Skyrim I found that even after a couple hours of exploration that I was not feeling any pain in my wrists or fatigue in my hands. I was also able to quickly and easily vanquish any enemies that might challenge me, quickly switching between spells and weapons effectively using the QuickFire Rapid.

My real experience with the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid was doing schoolwork and working on projects. The small size of the QuickFire Rapid made it a perfect keyboard to bring to school with me and let me test it out in my day-to-day life. I spend a majority of my time working on Cisco switches, ISR's, and Linux Servers. Although I was relatively quick using the rubber dome keyboards that come standard with almost every machine on the market, using the QuickFire Rapid with its Cherry MX Blue switches was like a night and day difference. Along with the increase in speed a much-needed increase in accuracy came with it, as the haptic feedback provided let me feel when my key had activated allowing for more accurate touch-typing.

A small but important test for the QuickFire Rapid is testing its NKRO capabilities when using the included PS/2 adapter. I found that using the PassMark Keyboard test that I could activate nearly every key on QuickFire Rapid at the same time with no problems whatsoever. Even better while using the included PS/2 adapter all of the media fuction continued to work, something that I have found to be not true on some of the QuickFire Rapids competitors.



 

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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