When we look at the QuickFire Rapid-i as just a mechanical keyboard first, we are in no way disappointed. CMStorm has kept to that same level of super sturdy construction that you cannot twist more than a degree or two with your best try. We found no issues in our few weeks of use; our fingers did not get numb from resonance in the plate, there were no problems with any of the Cherry MX blue switches, and the LEDs worked just great. While we wouldn't take this out to our driveway to have a go with it, it certainly feels as if it would be up for the task.
Beyond its function as a basic TKL design, we also get things like five intensity settings, and five modes of LED lighting without the need for drivers. We don't often make repeat adjustments to keys, but there seems to be a surge of this feature on many boards lately, so it is nice to see it here for those that can take advantage of its benefits. Of course, there are also the six multimedia keys that make life a bit easier at times, but the coolest thing about this Rapid-i has to be the modes and complete customization of the LEDs. If you want to draw a picture in lights, you can do it. If you want to try to spell your name, then go ahead. Outside of a very few select keys, the majority can be turned on or off to fit whatever it is you are trying to do; there is even a guy on YouTube that has hacked his to play Snake on the keyboard without a monitor.
Any way we want to look at this QuickFire Rapid-i, we find it to be fully functional as described, even if we have spent most of our time just playing around with the LED profile function. So, the real question comes down to this: Is the Rapid-i worth the extra investment over the many other TKLs we have seen lately? Most of them are also driver-less, allowing you the same feel and settings anywhere you might use your keyboard. Most of them also offer full LED backlighting in some color or another, and we have even seen painted steel plates before. What we have never seen on a keyboard without software is the ability to drop into a record mode and customize LEDs that we want to use, and not what some guy in an office thinks we want. Then, the fact that the keyboard will save these four profiles, so you can show off your handy work to anyone is a costly option.
Looking at the Poseidon ZX, and the RGB80 from Rosewill, we can get the basics for less than $80. Even something like the KUL ES-87 that feels stronger than both mentioned before is under $110. While we absolutely are transfixed with the custom LED option and modes to go with it, the price is a bit intimidating. However, the fact that it costs $149.99 is something you are just going to have to deal with if you like this QuickFire Rapid-i as much as we do.
PRICING: You can find the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid-i for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
Canada: The CMStorm QuickFire Rapid-I with Cherry MX Blue switches retails for CDN$156.99 at Amazon Canada, and the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid-i with Cherry MX Brown switches retails for CDN$139.99 at Amazon Canada.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||100%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||85%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||96%|
The Bottom Line: While the QuickFire is a tad pricey, you do get a very solid TKL mechanical keyboard. The best thing is you still get full functionality, and the coolest driverless LED options on the market.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging, Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 3 [CMStorm QuickFire Rapid-i Mechanical Keyboard]
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