As I mentioned in my Havoc review, it really does seem like I am always looking at something from Cooler Master. Whether a chassis, cooler, mouse or a keyboard, Cooler Master isn't afraid to keep the products rolling out to everyone, rather than making one or two products in each segment over a year, and then expecting their potential buyers to just deal with their solutions. Cooler Master has the complete opposite outlook, where they believe that if they build a strong, solid and dependable unit, many variations on a similar idea will give the customers exactly what they are desiring, with little money being spent on retooling, new molds, or anything that would typically jack up the price for each individual offering.
Just in my short time reviewing keyboards at TweakTown, I have seen many variations on what Cooler Master delivers in mechanical keyboards. First to arrive was the QuickFire Pro. In this keyboard you had NKRO, anti-ghosting, as well as a few other features, but most importantly, Cherry MX brown switches, and the Pro had the sectioned backlighting that just illuminated parts of the keyboard. Then the Trigger arrived. This keyboard is fully backlit, as well as offering all of the features that speedy typists need to not get ahead of what they are writing, nor did the keyboard drop any letters, but the most beneficial part to me were the super heavy Cherry MX green switches that are a perfect fit for my typing style.
After that we looked at the QuickFire Stealth, and in this keyboard the rules were changed a bit. The board is meant to be a mainstream offering, but more for the touch typist than those who need to constantly look at the keyboard for numbers, letters and symbols. Removing the legends from the keycaps is something that will not only make your friends look in bewilderment, but with the addition of much smaller legends to the front side of the keycaps, it still allows visual typists something to use until they get the full feel for the key positioning as well. I really loved the styling of the Stealth, but it arrived with Cherry MX blue switches, so I soon opted to use my Trigger again.
The latest keyboard to hit the lab for testing is the QuickFire XT. This is a more basic design, without backlighting, but it does still come with the solid construction that has been seen to be run over by vehicles and still work. While they stripped off some of the CM Storm branding, that isn't to say that the XT is a stripped down version of any keyboard really, it is just a different way of offering certain features with this device. Things like NKRO and Anti-Ghosting are not mentioned for the USB mode using the standard provided cable, but rather there is a PS/2 adapter included so that you can use it that way to get all of the features most fluent typists are searching for in a keyboard.
I don't want to spill all of the bean out of the can this early in the review, so continue reading as I take you on the trip through what is Cooler Master's and CM Storm's latest entry, the QuickFire XT mechanical gaming keyboard.