I keep saying that the keyboard market is quickly becoming saturated with very unimaginative keyboards and that it is rare to see any form of innovation, yet recently I find myself seriously doubting my statement, with several new and exciting keyboards, which have brought more creativity and unique features to the table. With the NovaTouch, it is notably the hybrid capacity switches that really shine through and make it stand out over both Cherry MX switch based – and even Topre switch based keyboards. CM Storm has combined the best features of both switches: Cherry’s compatibility and Topre’s performance, creating a unique keyboard that really does feel great to type on. It’s difficult to create something new, without making any really noticeable physical changes, however CM Storm have managed to keep things incredibly simple, in terms of performance and looks.
Whilst the CM Storm does perform admirably when gaming and typing, it does come at a price, £149.99 to be precise (at time of writing this review), which is almost double what the QuickFire Rapid cost when it first made an appearance. This is a high price to pay considering the TKL format and the lack of any additional features other than the hybrid switches, which is no doubt because of the large development and manufacturing costs for them. To try and lessen the hit to your wallet, CM Storm have really emphasised the quality of the keyboard, which some might say is unnecessary if it would keep the price down. I personally think that the price could do with slight reduction, but with the NovaTouch being the first “test” keyboard featuring the new capacitive switches, I doubt we’ll see a price drop any time soon – especially considering it is the first keyboard to feature the Cherry MX stems.
Overall I have been thoroughly impressed at how well CM Storm have executed the amalgamation of Topre and Cherry MX switches, to deliver a very sound and decent performing keyboard. I was very surprised at how switching to this keyboard affected my typing speed and accuracy, as I already thought it was quite good. When it came to gaming, again I could not fault it, except for the lack of extra buttons, which is not really a valid negative characteristic of the keyboard, as otherwise you would opt for a full sized board. The main kicker of the NovaTouch is the price, which unfortunately, is not something that is easy to shy from. It is a major sting to the wallet, despite its fancy switches. If you wanted switches like the ones in the NovaTouch, you could pick up a Realforce 87/88u for a bit less – although of course, you would have a hard time finding replacement key caps.
I love the direction CM Storm have taken with the NovaTouch TKL and rumour has it that there are more hybrid switch keyboards in the pipeline (hint: CM Storm called this the NovaTouch TKL). The keyboard really is a decent performer and is an all-round quality piece of kit. If I had the money, I would buy the CM Storm NovaTouch TKL in a flash, however most of us will not, so because of this, there will be no value award, however, since the NovaTouch really has improved my performance, I am happy to award it the:
and further still, I love that CM Storm have enabled Topre-based switches to become much more mainstream, whilst also appealing to those that really love to customise their keyboards, so I am also very pleased to award the NovaTouch with the:
The only major point that is stopping me from giving this our most prestigious platinum award is the cost, so I’m afraid it won’t happen this time CM Storm, but on the bright-side, it easily deserves the next best:
Well done CM Storm and thank you for sponsoring us with the NovaTouch.
Hybrid switches offer great performance whilst maintaining high customisability. Simple, but premium design – no gimmicks or excessive branding. However, expensive for what it is.
– Feels great and features decent performance.
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