I always enjoy reviewing mechanical keyboards, and I was extremely happy when Cooler Master sent me the Quickfire XT to review as I am in the process of currently changing work keyboards and am a bit undecided on what to purchase as a replacement.

The Quickfire XT is the full size brother to the Quickfire Rapid, and echoes many of the same styling choices.

 

About CM Storm

Owning the PC trenches for almost two decades, Cooler Master’s veterans present their scars from battles past as claims of triumph over the competition. United with a new generation of eSports athletes and engineers, now marching under the flag of CM Storm, the time has come to reveal truly ground-breaking, military grade hardware for the gaming revolution.

Through long-standing research programs, CM Storm is co-developed with the world’s most prolific enthusiasts and eSports prodigies. Thanks to intensive testing and continuous feedback, the CM Storm division has been able to encompass and improve upon gamers’ needs and their tough to handle scenarios.

By working directly with the gaming community we have injected our Storm Tactics into each and every product we make. Storm Tactics, with a heavily dedicated focus on Strength, Security and Control, will keep your most vital gear fortified and well-tuned at all times.
 

Features

Rubberised Coating
Removable Full Size USB Cable
Adjustable repeat rate (PS/2)
Windows Key Lock
Multimedia Shortcuts
N-Key Rollover (with included PS/2 adapter)    

Full Specifications

 

Part Number (Reviewed Model)

SGK-4030-GKCL1

N-Key Rollover Support

In PS/2 Mode

Repeat Rate

4 Levels in PS/2 Mode

Interface

USB/PS2

Windows Key Lock

Yes, Both Sides

Media Keys

Yes, Via F Keys

Keycap Puller

Yes

USB Cable

Removable USB A Connector

Dimensions

440(L)x132(W)x29(H) mm

17.3(L)x5.2(W)x1.1(H) inch

Weight

1.1KG / 2.43Lbs


The Packaging and The Product

The CMStorm Quickfire XT is provided in a fairly standard looking CMStorm box, the front features a full size image of the keyboard as well as a proud proclamation that the keyboard is made in Taiwan the switch type in the keyboard is also shown; the one we are reviewing is a Cherry MX Blue keyboard, which means that the keys have a very nice reassuring click to them.

 


The rear of the box has more information regarding the keyboard itself including the features and specifications of the keyboard; this information is displayed in multiple languages.

 

Without the bag in the wayWithout the bag in the way

 

 

Opening up the box shows the keyboard itself, or would if the keyboard wasn’t concealed in foam bag to help prevent the rubberised texture from scratching in the box. Provided with the keyboard is a plastic keycap puller and some additional keycaps, one set which can be used to replace the WASD keycap area and one set that can replace the Windows keycaps this second set feature the Cooler Master and CMStorm Logo.

 

Elsewhere in the box is a braided USB Type A Cable, which is used to connect the keyboard to your PC and a USB to PS/2 converter which can be used to unleash some of the additional features when used in addition to the USB Cable. The cable has a very fine braid which gives for a very plastic feel.

The use of a full size USB type A connector echoes the rugged feel of rest of the keyboard, and is a substantial change to the mini USB that is normally used, this slight change means that the chance of it breaking are slim to none, but could make finding replacement cables a bit more awkward.

 

Unlike previous CMStorm keyboards the Quickfire XT has quite a subdued look, and features less branding, apart from the included replacement keys the XT has the CMStorm Logo on the back edge; this was one of the main complaints in previous models as it often detracted from the look of the keyboard.

 

The Quickfire XT features plate mounted switches, in effect this means that the keyboard has a metal plate that goes the length of the keyboard aiding the stability of the keyboard and switches which helps to reduce flex; It also makes the keyboard weigh a lot more than a standard keyboard. With this added weight, and the four rubber strips on the underneath of the keyboard it means that the keyboard is not likely to slip around your desk when gaming when laid flat.

 

Also on the rear of the keyboard are the two adjustable feet which allow for a slight raise in the keyboard to make it more ergonomic, these legs do not have any rubber pads, and they do mean the keyboard is ever so slightly easier to move on the desk.

 

Testing

Once again, at work I am already lucky enough to have used a mechanical keyboard both at home and work which uses Cherry MX Brown keys, so making the change to the CM Storm with Cherry MX Blues was quite easy and there was no need to get adjusted to the keys themselves.

 

Blues are a very nice switch to use, and the pronounced click that they have is very satisfying when typing - my typing experience was short lived however because of an unofficial ban on Cherry MX blue keyboards in the CCL office meant that I couldn’t use it as much or as long as I had wanted to.

 

After trying the keyboard I decided to run the usual barrage of games when testing the keyboard for gaming, which included an array of first person shooters such as Counter Strike and Battlefield 3 to games that require a bit more button mashing -and can cause you to get extremely angry whilst playing. 

I tested the keyboard thoroughly in these games to see how well it performed, and unsurprisingly the keyboard performed admirably with it even  handled my rage quits without any issue –not that there were many.

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