CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Keyboard Review
I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since we took a look at the last Cooler Master keyboard, back in 2014 I personally took a look at the CM Storm Quick Fire Stealth. I also remember being impressed with it, with just the price holding it back. This time around we have another CM Storm keyboard from Cooler Master’s gaming arm, this then is the new CM Storm Quick Fire XTi .
The CM Storm Quick Fire XTi is a mechanical Gaming keyboard with Cherry MX switches. The keyboard is available with either Blue, Red or Brown (SGK-4060-KKCM1) switches as we have here. The keyboard also features full backlit illumination, although it’s not RGB ,it is effectively just RB as (curiously) there’s no (G)reen!? The keyboard is also somewhat compact measuring in at just 439mm (L) x 130mm (W) x 41mm (H). The Quick Fire XTi is also equipped with full NKRO (Windows only).
The CM Storm Quick Fire XTi arrived at pcG in a relatively small (for a full sized keyboard) predominately black box with a large image of the XTi on the front. Other than the brand and product name Cooler Master also highlight (in this case) the Cherry MX Brown switches and the English keyboard layout.
The back of the box features another image of the keyboard and also highlights the following features (in English and a variety of other languages):
On opening the box we can see that the keyboard itself is nicely packaged and relatively well protected held within the cardboard frame of the box and further protected within a soft foam bag.
Within the box itself there’s very little else other than the keyboard, a Quick start guide, the detachable USB cable and a rather curious looking key puller, well a least that’s what I think it is! 😉
At the time of writing the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi is available from Overclockers UK for approximately £140 and comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
courtesy of CM Storm
|Model Number||SGK-4060-KKCL1 (Blue switch)
SGK-4060-KKCM1 (Brown switch)
SGK-4060-KKCR1 (Red switch)
|Key Switch Type||CHERRY MX Blue/ Brown/ Red
Availability may vary by region
|Key Rollover||NKRO (Windows only)|
|Keycaps||ABS, grip coated, removable|
|Polling Rate||1000 Hz/1ms|
|Backlight||Full backlit, 35 colors, 5 settings|
|Windows Key Lock||Yes|
|Media Keys||Yes (via F keys)|
|Interface||Micro USB 2.0, full speed|
|USB cable||1.5m braided, gold plated and removable|
|Dimensions||43.9(L) *13(W) *4.1(H) cm
17.28(L) *5.12(W) *1.61(H) inch
|Weight||1114 g / 2.46 lbs|
First impressions of the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi are really rather good, I very much like the compact design and the simplicity of the whole thing. It’s a really solid feeling keyboard that not only feels nice to the touch but also feels sturdy and well made. To be perfectly honest from looking at the keyboard alone, there’s really nothing to dislike here. Let’s take a closer look…
When looking at the top of the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi there’s actually very little to talk about, as all that’s here are the keys! And of course this is by design as the XTi has been designed to be small, compact and free of not only optional extras (bell ‘n whistles) but also software too! The only additions to this keyboard are the four P keys (P1-P4) above the Num-pad.
Somewhat predictably there’s very little to look at on the back of the Quick Fire XTi either. The centrally located cutout allows access to the detachable USB socket that connects by way of a mini-USB connector. The channel above and the channel left and right allows the cable to positioned within the frame of the keyboard to enable it to lie flat. In each corner of the keyboard (attached to the frame) there is a single rubber foot. In addition to this at the back of the keyboard there are two additional feet to allow the back of the keyboard to be raised further. I rather like the fact that the cable disconnects as it simply makes for easier stowage and transportation.
The two feet at the back of the keyboard can be highered to raise the back of the keyboard a further 12mm (approximately) off of the surface. Each foot is also equipped further with a rubber foot of its own.
As you can see the rear feet actually raise the back of the keyboard by a significant amount and this makes the angle of the keyboard actually quite steep, as there is already an inclination built in to its design. After a bit of time I decided to use the keyboard flat on the desk, unusual for me…
Now although there maybe no software for the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi, it still features a great deal of functionality! This functionality can be invoked via the FN key (Cooler Master keycap is also supplied) found to the left of the right CTRL key and any of the F keys (F1 – F12). The first set of two keys (F1 – F2) allows control over the colours (Blue & Red), with five levels for each colour. This in turn provides up to 35 different colours to choose from. F3 allows you to change the lighting mode, choose from (Full On, Breathing, ActivLight on Touch, Color Wave, Waterdrop Effect, Cross Mode and Off) and F4 is actually the Windows Lock key! Note that the F4 key does not illuminate unless the Lock Function is active, the same is true for CAPSLK and SCR LK.
Keys F5 through to F8 allow for the keyboard’s Repeat Rate to be modified, with values from 1x through to 8x. NOTE: Be careful when changing this value from 1x as it can upset the behavior of the keyboard’s input in some Games… 😮
F9 through to F12 are for Macro recording, with the first key being for Record Macro, next up is Delete Macro followed by Single Macro Loop and then finally Infinite Macro Loop.
The last set of keys we’ll take a look at are PRT SC, SCR LK, PAUSE and the additional Profile keys P1 – P4. The PRT SC key allows you to Repeat a Macro continuously, while the SCR LK key allows something that I haven’t worked out yet 😉 and (IMPORTANT) the PAUSE key allows you to record your own Profiles and assign them to one of the four dedicated profiles via the P-keys.
Lastly let’s just have a look at what else was in the box, other than the rather strange key-puller there’s also an additional Cooler Master Key-cap that can be swapped out for the FN key-cap should you wish! That just leaves us with the 1.5m long detachable braided cable.
The cable’s Mini USB plug is simply plugged into the connection on the back of the keyboard (in the centre). The cable can then be either routed straight out of the top or to the left or right, courtesy of those useful little channels. These not only help with cable tidying, but also allow the keyboard (on its lowest setting) to sit flush on the surface.
At this point there’s really a lot to like (and nothing to dislike) about the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi, it’s beautifully made and feels like it could take a beating. It’s nice to the touch (pretty important for a keyboard!) and it’s got some serious features too! From its Media Controls to its illumination and from its Macro recording and playback to its illumination profiles. All of this without the need for any software too! And, as some of you know that’s a good thing in my book, as I’m not a fan of software… The only oddity being, I’m still a little unsure what Cooler Master have against the colour Green!? 😮
|The CM Storm Quick Fire XTi comes with a 1.5m long detectable braided USB cable with gold-plated connectors, the Mini connection plugs into the back of the keyboard while the main USB plug simply plugs into an available USB port on your PC.|
|As the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi has no associated software I updated the firmware as a matter of course from version 1.1.1 to the latest version (1.1.4). The latest firmware update can be found on the Cooler Master website (here) by clicking on the Downloads link.|
The following games were used during testing:
Having already reviewed numerous mechanical keyboards that feature Cherry MX switches, I have to confess I pretty much know what to expect from the (switches) aboard the Quick Fire XTi. And, as I’ve stated before the switch action is simply great, and with this being a Brown switch the action is both good for Gaming and good for typing. If I was going to be using the XTi for just Gaming then I (personally) would opt for the Red switch instead, due to its faster Response Time. The switch action itself whilst very good is no doubt helped by the fact that the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi offers up a very solid platform for you to bash away at! Both the overall Gaming and typing experience are excellent, the only down side for some (but surprisingly not for me) maybe the lack of a wrist-rest. From a pure use (Gaming/Typing) point of view the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi simply cannot be faulted in my opinion… 🙂
Now let’s turn our attention to the RGB lighting, oh hold on I meant RB lighting!? So as you may have gathered by now the CM Storm XTi has no support for the colour Green, why I have absolutely no idea, but that’s the fact of the matter. In fact the XTi supports 35 colours thanks to its Red and Blue LEDs and their ability to adjust their brightness. Now while the lack of Green and the lack of full RGB support disappoints I have to confess the overall effect is still one of beauty. The colour representation is is excellent as are the brightness levels. The image above really does this keyboard no justice at all (I did try, honest!) but the instructional video further up the page does do a far better job! 😉
Of course the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi comes with its fair share of illumination options and they’re all pretty good. But the best aspect of it all is that (despite the lack of software) you can still create your own coloured rofile and bind it to any of the four in-built Profiles (keys P1-P4). Although you’ll need to watch the video above to learn how to do that as it’s not easy, and the supplied Quick start guide is next to useless! 😮
When we talk about the products here at pcG that we like a word that often crops up is, desirable! Now this word is a bit like the X-Factor as you either have it or you don’t. Well there’s no doubt about it the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi has it. In fact, it is one of the most desirable products I’ve seen in some time…
The CM Storm Quick Fire XTi arrived at pcG in a small (for a full sized keyboard) predominately black box, with both the contents well packaged and nicely presented. There’s not much in the box though; other than the keyboard itself there a (very basic) Quick start guide, a key-cap puller, the detachable USB cable and an additional Cooler Master key-cap.
Once out of the box the desirability begins to grow as the Quick Fire XTi is one nice looking keyboard. Not only does it look nice (and we’ve not even powered it up yet!), but it’s nice and compact too, and we all know what they say about small packages! 😉 It’s also extremely well made and it not only feels solid and sturdy but it weighs a fair bit too, in fact it’s over 1KG! The lack of a wrist-rest may bother some, but (unusually) this time around it didn’t bother me, which is surprising. I used the keyboard flat, without the legs at the back being extended and I found it fine, even during the longer Gaming sessions (here’s looking at you XCOM 2).
Once powered on the sheer beauty of the Quick Fire XTi becomes apparent, and what was already a desirable keyboard becomes even more lust worthy! The LED lighting is both vivid and bright with great overall colour representation. Well, that’s as long as you don’t go in search of the colour Green! That’s right folks there’s no Green here and (being frank!) I have no idea why and to me it simply makes no sense!? But that’s the way it is and once you’ve got over the fact (never really liked the colour Green anyway!) it’s easy to settle down at one of the best Gaming keyboards I’ve come across in some time.
The lack of software is of course, in this case a major selling point, and it is for me also, as I’m not a fan of software cluttering up my Gaming Rig! The fact that here aboard the XTi we have support for media control, Macro recording and Profiles with multi-colour illumination and per-key lighting, without the need for software, is simply awesome!
In Game the Cherry MX Brown (Blue & red also available) switches provide an excellent response with a positive feedback, helped (no doubt) by the sturdy chassis on which they are attached to. If I were to be using this keyboard for pure Gaming then I (personally) would opt for the Red switch (SGK-4060-KKCR) due to the faster Response Time offered and the lack of any feedback.
To be perfectly honest you would think that the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi would look at other RGB mechanical keyboard and be Green with Envy, but no. Somehow the lack of full RGB support seems to make this keyboard special (dare I say different) and that combined with its excellent switch action and great feature set places the CM Storm Quick Fire XTi in a special position. And that position, is one of desirability… But as always it’s going to cost you!
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Many thanks to Cooler Master for providing this sample for review