One of the most crucial peripherals when it comes to gaming is your keyboard and having a decent, responsive one can make all the difference over your opponents. Mechanical keyboards have long been considered far superior to their rubber-dome brothers, so it is of no surprise that nearly every pro gamer uses a one. The performance increase, coupled with a great build quality (in most cases), not only means you game better, but also type – allowing you to increase your words per minute (WPM) quite significantly.
Cooler Master’s gaming arm – CM Storm, have been a contender in the mechanical keyboards market for quite some time now, having created numerous mechanical keyboards such as the huge MECH, the macro filled Trigger and the incredibly popular original Quick Fire Rapid (QFR), which was their first TenKeyLess (TKL) keyboard. This latter model is the predecessor to the keyboard I am taking a look at today – the Quick Fire Rapid-i. This new iteration of the QFR features individual key back-lighting and a whole new redesign of the PCB and the overall appearance of the keyboard itself: recently CM Storm have really been focusing on customer feedback and advanced sample testing (like with the NovaTouch), so they have really put a lot of thought into the product. The keyboard itself has a range of features, which can be seen below. What is interesting is that this is the first keyboard I have come across which uses Micro USB instead of Mini.
- CHERRY MX Mechanical Key Switches
Guarantees Up To 50 Million Keystrokes
- Full LED Backlighting
5 Modes and 5 Illumination Level Adjustments
- ActivLite- Reactive Illumination
Set Keys To Light Up on Touch
- LED Profile Management
Save Specific backlit keys in Up to 4 Lighting Mode Presets
- Repeat Rate Tweaking Over USB
Execute Commands Quicker Than Ever
- Luxurious Soft Touch Feel & Minimalist Style
Official TKL form factor with limited branding (logo’s) and rubberized finish.
- Multimedia Functions and Keyboard Adjustment Shortcuts
Via FN shortcuts and Ins, Del, Home, End, Page Up and Page Down
- Detachable 1.8 mm Durable Braided USB Cable
For ease of transportation when traveling to LAN events.
• Key Switch: CHERRY MX Blue / Brown / Red (EU launch = MX Brown)
• Key Rollover: NKRO (Windows only)
• Keycaps: ABS, grip coated, removable
• Polling Rate: 1000 Hz/1ms
• Backlight: All keys, 5 settings, 5 modes
• Windows Key Lock: Yes
• On-board Memory: 128k bytes
• Media Keys: Yes (via F keys)
• Interface: Micro USB 2.0, full speed
• USB cable: 1.8m braided, gold plated and removable
• Dimensions: 35.9(L) *13.8(W) *3.9(H) cm – 14.1(L) *5.4(W) *1.5(H) inch
• Weight: 932 g / 2.05 lbs
Overall it seems the biggest difference is the back-lighting, which puts it in direct competition with the Ducky Shine 3 TKL, albeit at a lower price. Let’s see how it looks: