The CM Storm QuickFire XT is everything you expect from in a Cooler Master mechanical keyboard offering. I really love tactile keys that I can feel reach their activation point, but for some reason, I love the audible click as well. If Cooler Master had never introduced me to Cherry MX green switches, I would most likely be using blues anyways day to day, so there is nothing bad I can say about the switches. The issue I have with blues is that the springs aren't strong enough for me and I find myself hitting multiple keys, but after a week or so with the XT, I found myself getting very used to the difference in pressure.
Even being slightly stripped of some features that buyers must have, leaving in the repeat rate, multimedia keys, and allowing gamers to personalize the layout with optional keycaps is a good thing in my opinion. To me, with the sleek design and only the one logo on the front edge, I can see more gamers who have other Cooler Master mechanicals at home wanting to buy this version to take to work. Essentially everything is the same, just that for the speediest of typists out there, be sure to connect the USB to PS/2 adapter to take advantage of the full NKRO and anti-ghosting features.
There are a few things I personally miss with this design. I got very used to my Trigger, where you can plug in a headset or mouse right into the keyboard., For me, since my PC is on the left, and I am right handed, the cable now has to run all the way across my desk, whereas before I could plug in to the keyboard within six inches of where the mouse goes. I do miss some form of backlighting, but I will say that the laser etched caps are bright and are very visible with just the light from the monitor illuminating the room. I also like the softer cloth braid that is used on my Trigger. With the XT, the rougher texture snags things on the desk and will roll the edges of larger mouse pads like I use.
One thing that keeps eating at my brain as I try to come to a final conclusion is the current pricing. While I am sure as more of these are sold, me personally, I don't see the justification. Yes, this is a more compact design in overall size than other offerings, but against their own keyboards, I know this is going to be a tough sell. The CM Store is full of variations of mechanical keyboards, and some of those deliver more features. For the more advanced users out there that realize the OEM has been changed, and can realize the need for NKRO support over USB 2.0, this is more for you.
At $89.99 this is a much better solution to take to work than most of the other flashy mechanical keyboards out there. Also against the mainstream offerings from other companies, the pricing is on point. I guess the final decision is up to you as to whether the CM Storm QuickFire XT has the features you require, and isn't missing anything that would make the investment more satisfying for you.
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