Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
A very good back-lit mechanical keyboard but with some issues.
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 :)