on 30 September 2013
Let me get this out of the way at the start: The only major problem with the keyboard was with the Fn key. When it is turned on, you cannot press it to access to the F1 - F12 keys. The only way to access those keys is to press the Fn key for 3 seconds to turn it off (and then you'll want to press it again for 3 seconds to turn it back on). On top of this, if you accidentally hold the Fn key for too long it will annoyingly activate itself!
Putting that aside, this compact keyboard is excellent and does everything that you expect it to. However there are a few other minor issues. Firstly, it is much louder than non-mechanical keyboards but that doesn't bother me since there is no one else around me. Secondly, you have to get used to the new arrow-keys and number-pad layout (and going back to a normal keyboard also requires adjustment!)
Some particularly good notes are that the keyboard has some very useful features such as the media keys and back-lighting. (However, the windows key lock button and NKRO <-> 6KRO are less useful - I suppose some people find it handy.) Finally, the keyboard is quite compact which is a big plus. The keys being laser etched mean that the text won't fade away which is very good for longevity.
It says it is a mechanical keyboard but it doesn't feel that much different from my Microsoft Media keyboard (except it is much louder). It came with a key-puller.
I should point out that despite the picture this was a UK keyboard layout (with accented characters on the vowel keys).
on 8 January 2014
It is such a dream to type on, every key has a definite click (I got cherry mx brown) the body of the keyboard is so tough it surprised me I honestly thought based on the photos and videos that it would feel a bit more fragile then it does, you could probly kill someone with it. The matt finish is fantastic but I find it not as durable as it should be smooth spots on the sides of the keyboard are forming (not because I was leaning on them or anything) I tend to move around a lot with keyboard so it could have been that if you have it sitting on a desk peacefully then it should last years.
The backlight is perfect, you cannot take the key appart without desoldering it first so in the unfortunate event of getting fizzy drink in the actuall key switch you have to get a needle, syringe and isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) of the highest percentage you can get and inject the alcohol into the key switch while holding the keyboard up side down, be brave and gentle, everything should work out fine.
Love the brown key type (it's personal preference the black to me feels sticky) , love the backlight, it is a space saver when compared to full sized keyboards, I love it, you'll love it, my friends love it, I could recommend this to anyone.
on 9 June 2014
* I had to return this keyboard as the space bar had a horrible tinny sound to it whenever the key was actuated and returned to its original position. Not the first case of this I've heard reading around - and it cannot be remedied with oil like the older models as the space bar stabilizer is hidden under the backplate on this version.
* The tenkeyless design on this board is harder to get used to than a standard tenkeyless with the numpad removed; integrating the delete section with the numbers you have to be consciously aware of whether the numlock is on to delete - which becomes tiresome when using the numpad.
* The function key which allows the user to swap between F1-F12 and media buttons will lock itself on or off when you hold it for three seconds or more, even when holding it to alter a setting (meaning you either hold it down briefly, press an F key, let go, and do it again, or you hold it in for another 3 seconds after you finish).
* The accented letters on the keyboard itself make it appear cluttered and the font is difficult to read..
To the keyboards credit the rest of the keys felt and sounded lovely to use, the laser etched lettering was clear and the keyboard is weighty enough not to move around on the desk, hence the extra star. I advise looking elsewhere for a mechanical keyboard.
on 8 April 2013
I didn't buy on Amazon but wanted to do a review regardless. The description on Amazon lacks sufficient information for people to make an informed purchase so I intend to fix that with this review. Don't forget to look at the size of the enter key and shift, as keyboards are often a little bit different between regions.
The most important part of a mechanical keyboard is the type of switches. This particular keyboard has three different types of switches available, RED, BLUE and BROWN (I'm not sure what kind Amazon has as the picture indicates brown switches but a review indicates red so contact them to make absolute sure). The plate below the keys indicates what switches there are used, a blue plate for blue switches, a red for red switches and either white or brown for brown switches.
My keyboard has reds. They offer light linear resistance that don't have a tactile ''click'' like some other switches do. This makes the keyboard excellent at gaming, especially for games where you spam keys repeatedly (such as Starcraft). The switches are also quite silent for mechanical switches but are not dead silent like some laptop keyboards are. While RED switches are good for gaming it doesn't mean they are bad for typing. Because of their low resistance typing on it comes off as easy and the keys bottom out unlike traditional rubber membrane keyboards do. For hardcore typists, I'd recommend Blue switches instead that have an audible tactile click. The downside to them is that they don't push much back making them worse for certain games such as first person shooters (there were many times I didn't notice I was holding down for example control but I did get used to that eventually). Brown switches seem to be a sort of a hybrid between the two, being a little quieter than the loud blues and offering a tactile bump that you need to get past to register a keystroke. You may even want to ignore my recommendation on switches as many people simply prefer one type of switches over another regardless of whether they are ''optimized'' for this or that. Try to see if you can find a keyboard to test in person.
The Coolermaster Quickfire TK is not ''that'' heavy for a mechanical keyboard, probably because it's not a full sized one. I didn't have any issues with it sliding on my table so the weight is not an issue and it seems sturdy enough to last for many many years (it doesn't bend if you try to twist it from both ends).
The cord for the keyboard is removable, it is long and it is braided so I give it full score. You can choose where it pops out from under the keyboard, straight up, left or right.
The LEDS are bright and have a color corresponding to the type of switches on the keyboard (except for brown switches where the LED color is white). The arrow keys don't illuminate unless you turn them on with the numlock keys (displaying them as ''offline'' which makes sense) but the right enter key stays illuminated regardless whether it's on or not. That brings me to the main issue that I have with this keyboard.
The right enter key doesn't function when the arrow keys are activated which doesn't make much sense to me. When I play video games where using the arrow keys would be useful you cannot type a quick message by pressing the right enter key. There is also the problem with using the delete button as I like to keep it on keypad mode by default which makes the delete button register as 4. Switching back and forth can be tiring especially if you've gotten used to using delete and arrow keys for fixing spelling errors. This is not an issue when trying to enter BIOS as the keyboard will be automatically set on arrow key mode on startup that has delete active (for motherboards that use that key to enter BIOS).
This keyboard has allows you to press up to 6 keys at once with 6KRO mode which will be more than enough for most people. If you want to take it one step further you can switch it into full NKRO mode that allows you to press as many keys at once as you like which truly is the future. The downside to the latter mode is that some motherboards don't like that. I cannot use full NKRO in bios but switching between the modes is very easy and only takes around 1-2 seconds (google the instructions).
The keyboard doesn't come with any kind of software and there is nothing available from Coolermaster from their website.
I give it 4 out of 5 because of the right enter key issue. I knew about the issues of switching back and forth between keypad and arrow keys but I never imagined the enter key would be affected (since it has only one function). This may or may not bother people. I've seen surprisingly few people mention this.
Pros and cons:
+ Cheap for a fully backlit mechanical keyboard and it looks stylish.
+ build quality seems to be good so far and the switches are solid.
+ N-key rollover: It supports as many key presses at a time as you'd want.
+ It has a small form factor (although some might look at this in a negative way).
+ It doesn't collect fingerprints because of the matte finish.
+ Good USB cord included as well as a tool for making removal of keys easier.
+ You can toggle the FN key on/off by holding it in for a few seconds, making the function keys easier to use.
+ It has a gaming mode available that disables the windows key (thank the lord!).
- It's not full sized and it might take time getting used to switching between the uncommon hybrid of arrow keys/numpad.
- the right enter key is disabled with arrow key mode on.
- no included software to customize key setup or macros.
I would recommend this keyboard despite the issues, but I can understand some of them can be a potential deal breaker. I think I'm not forgetting anything important :)
on 1 July 2013
Like a previous reviewer, I also ordered this keyboard expecting a long wait (1-3 months). Less than two weeks later, and it had arrived - a fantastic start!
The main features of this keyboard are:
1) Brown Cherry MX switches under each key
These are kind of the middle ground between the very clicky blue switches and the quiet and squidgy red ones. You get some feedback as to when the key is actually pressed, but not a loud click. All this means is that you can type without hammering the keys right down to the bottom of their movement (as found in any non-mechanical keyboard out there). This both speeds up and also lightens the whole typing experience. The switches are also rated for more presses that you will likely do in a lifetime.
2) Reduced form factor
Cooler Master have integrated the arrow keys (with home/end etc.) and number keys (10-keys) into one block. This is a really smart design; the keyboard is smaller and neater, but can also perform both functions. Switching between them is a simple press of the NUMLK key (although Mac users should note that this function does not work, and you are stuck with the arrows/home pgup/pgdown etc. keys).
3) Backlit keyboard
Each key is individually lit with a white LED. There are various modes to vary the brightness or turn the lights off. My only gripe with the product comes in this area - when in 'arrow key' mode the arrow key lights stay on even when the rest of the lights turn off. In Windows, you can substitute this light for the Num Lock LED indicator, but OSX there is no way to get rid of the light under the arrows. Although not very bright, if this is the kind of thing that would disturb you when leaving your machine on overnight, it should be taken into consideration. Why Cooler Master didn't simply include a genuine 'all off' mode is beyond me.
As the keys are back-lit, there is no printing on the key-caps themselves (the light shines through the laser-etched keycaps). This means that nothing can get rubbed off over time, again enhancing product durability and lifespan.
Although this product is marketed towards gamers, this is only really apparent in the chunky font of the keycaps. Branding is kept to a minimum; there is one logo on the whole thing (not counting the sticker on the back). It is just next to the lock indicator lights and is dull grey on the black background of the keyboard. The white back-lighting seems more functional that anything else. To me, this all combines to look pretty darn classy.
A very sturdy build (there is a metal plate embedded in the body) and risers at the back (rubber tipped) add to all the other features to make this a great keyboard for just about any application, apart from numeric data entry under OSX, due to the problems I outlined above.
There is also some media key functionality; the rest of the F keys control the backlight and other keyboard features (such as N-key rollover in Windows).
Overall, I am very happy with this product. It has a great, solid, quality feel and has, for me, the perfect combination of technical features. That I got it from Amazon for around £50 where other retailers were charging £70-£90, absolutely sweetens the deal. Go buy now!
Note 1: As commented by another user, there is a querk with this keyboard in that some keys (the vowels for example) have the accented versions underneath the regular letter. This is a bit odd (and I have contacted Cooler Master Around this), but rest assured that this IS the UK version - with our big "Enter" key, and the £ symbol right on key 3 (not as show on Amazon's default picture).
Note 2: To Mac users - at first, my keyboard was in N-key rollover mode. This made it unusable under OSX. To solve this you'll need to change to 6-key mode. To do this first make sure the light is on under the "FN" key (hold down that key until it is). Then hold down the "6" key and press the "Esc" key. Release both keys and the lights should go on and off. The keyboard should then 'boot' into 6-key mode, making the keyboard much more usable under OSX (albeit with the limitations I mention above).
on 22 October 2013
Classy, quiet (for a mechanical keyboard) and a wonderful typing feeling.
Its small size really is a blessing when compared to my previous Razer Lycosa, without losing any of its capabilities.
I'd recommend it for anyone looking for a quiet, tactile, small and not-too-expensive mech KB.
Not many things against it, just the backlight being a little too bright at the lowest setting, and the right shift key feeling just a little less sturdy than the others.
9/10 would buy again.
on 23 January 2015
The keyboard itself feels built to last and it looks as good as it does in the press shots but I'm about the send my second one back for a third. The first two had LEDs die on me randomly.
Here's a pic of my second one. The O, D and X keys no longer light up and the M and ? keys have both gone dim, like they're about to go too.
Customer service at Cooler Master was also very poor.. Disappointed
on 25 February 2014
I ordered this keyboard as a first ever mechanical keyboard, and I decided to treat myself with a backlit one. So far, the brown switches have been just right for me, but this obviously depends on the end user. The backlighting is bright and clear and can be adjusted to a couple modes. (On, off; Brightness; All keys lit, WASD and arrow keys lit, all keys lit while pulsating) It was also nice to have a more comacp keyboard combining the numberpad and the funcion keypad, a very useful feature. As for the design, it looks sleek and very nice by it's curves & lines. It is also very rigid.
The order (As by a couple reviewers before) came much earlier than the original 1-2 month "usual". I got it in about two weeks.
I have found no real flaws, the stands are rubberized, backplate is clean, prints look nice. But those are just enhancements. Overall, this keyboard is a good choice for those who want a compact backlit MX Brown, without any compromizes.
Also, one handy thing I noticed, is that the spacebar (and other large keys) don't have the metal braces in them, just some additional crosses, that allows the key to slide down. This might be especially useful for those who want to replace the keycaps. (A remover tool is included!)
on 13 July 2013
Best Keyboard i've ever owned, however I paid £50 on amazon and now its gone up to £75
The WHITE back lighting is excellent very clear and sound of clicks of the BROWN KEYS is very satisfying.
takes a little getting used to the redesigned num-keypad. But once that's out of the way its full steam ahead
have recommended to a few friends already. GAME ON
on 11 July 2013
Looks a lot better in person than it does online, super easy on the fingers, very good key lighting and allows me to game much easier and more enjoyably. I used to get joint pains after using a normal keyboard for several hours but I've had 4 hour gaming sessions with friends and haven't had any pains with this marvelous keyboard.