CM Storm Quickfire TK Review
What we have here is the CM Storm Quickfire TK gaming keyboard. This particular keyboard (SGK-4020-GKCR1) features Cherry MX Red mechanical switches and as you can see from the image below left we have received an early non-retail version specifically for review. The keyboard is also available with either Brown or Blue switches (see Specifications/Features).
In this instance the box provided very little information of what was inside so let’s just get on and open it, shall we…
The accessories include a key puller for removal of individual keys and a 1.8 metre braided cable for connecting the keyboard to your rig.
In this case (as this was a pre-production sample) no instructions were included, Cooler Master have stated that the full retail version will have the User Guide in the box. If not the instructions (PDF) can be downloaded from here.
After reading the instructions the keyboard has the following additional functions:
- LED Backlight Control
- Media Keys
- Windows Lock Key
- Full N Key Rollover / 6 Key Rollover
Once the protective packaging was removed the CM Storm Quickfire TK could be seen for the first time.
At the time of writing Scan.co.uk are selling the CM Storm Quickfire TK for approximately £68.00 and it comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
courtesy of CM Storm
|Model Number||SGK-4020-GKCR1(Red switch)
|Key Switch||Cherry MX Blue/Brown/Red|
|Keycaps||ABS, grip coated, removable|
|Keycap Puller||Yes, ring-puller|
All keys backlit, 5 Levels, 3 Modes(Breathing, WASD or full backlight);
Red switch key has red backlight, Blue switch key has blue backlight
and Brown switch has white backlight
|Key Rollover||NKRO (windows only)|
|Polling Rate||1000 Hz /1 ms|
|Interface||USB 2.0 full speed|
|USB cable||1.8m, braided, gold plated, removable|
|Weight||544 g/1.2 lbs|
The CM Storm Quickfire TK keyboard fits into the compact variety of keyboards when it comes to size. The merging of the cursor / home keys onto the numeric keypad means this keyboard is definitely a lot smaller than my current Logitech G15 keyboard. It’s obvious from its feel that the CM Storm Quickfire TK is well built as it feels particularly solid when handled.
The keyboard has 4 rubber pads on its underside to prevent the keyboard from moving. The feet also have rubber on the bottom. The mini USB connection is situated on the underside of the keyboard in the centre, which is well away from the keyboard’s feet, these can be used to raise the back of the keyboard if your gaming/typing preference requires it.
The underside of the keyboard also has several channels into which the braided keyboard USB cable can be inserted to help keep your desk tidy.
After downloading the user guide I was slightly perplexed by NKRO/6NKRO mode? which the keyboard is supposed to do? After a little bit of research I found that is stands for ‘n-Key Rollover’, or in English, the ability of the keyboard to detect more than n keys depressed at the same time. This should allow you to provide more accurate instructions, via the keyboard to your avatar / vehicle / soldier etc.
The enclosed 1.8 metre braided cable was connected to the mini USB connection under the keyboard and channeled through the rear of the keyboard to allow the USB A connector to connect to my Test Rig.
The CM Storm Quickfire TK keyboard was tested using my Test Rig, running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (Service Pack 1) with all associated drivers installed. As no software is supplied or required for the CM Storm Quickfire TK keyboard no fresh install of Windows was performed.
The keyboard was then tested with the following games / software over a 3 week plus test period:
- Call of Duty – Black Ops 2
- Blacklight Retribution
- Crysis 2
- Media Player (testing of media keys)
I must confess that the CM Storm Quickfire TK keyboard is the first mechanical keyboard that I have had the pleasure of testing.
In the past I haven’t seen the need to use a mechanical keyboard over normal membrane keyboards. I have to say that my thoughts on this have now changed. Initially when testing the keyboard I didn’t think there was any difference so partway through the test I went back to my own keyboard and was amazed at the difference a mechanical keyboard makes. I can assure you that my old keyboard was replaced with the CM Storm Quickfire TK again the next day. The rubber pads at the base of the keyboard locks the keyboard to the desk and prevents the keyboard from moving even during those intense firefight moments in game. When the keyboard is raised onto its feet the rubber pads on the bottom of the feet don’t have the same stability level as the rubber pads on the base of the keyboard. In using the keyboard in the upright position I have had it slide on the desk a couple of times in game. The feet themselves have been stable (i.e. not collapsed) and kept the keyboard in the raised position throughout the test.
The keyboard doesn’t have a wrist rest so if you used to being lazy with your wrists you may find the Quickfire TK a little uncomfortable…
The keyboard’s special functions (lighting, media keys, Windows lock key and NKRO) are accessed by using a function key (FN). Pressing the FN key at the same time as any of the F1-F12 keys enables a second function programmed to this key. This FN key can be found just to the left of the keyboard’s right CTRL key. The function key can be activated in 2 ways. By holding the FN key for 3 seconds you can lock the FN key in an always on state, pressing the FN key for 3 seconds again restores the F1-F12 keys to their default functions. Or by just holding the FN key (for less than three seconds!) and pressing one of the F1-F12 keys. This first state is similar to using the CAPS LOCK key, the second state is similar to using the SHIFT key.
LED Backlight Control
The keyboard comes with 3 different modes of backlighting
- Breathing (not shown)