- Created on 27 June 2012
If you are a serious gamer, you will most likely have considered buying a dedicated gaming keyboard so that you can up your game against your competitors. So what's the difference between your average desktop keyboard and a gaming keyboard? The most obvious differences lie in the build quality and responsiveness, but generally they all have a alevel of customisability that make them ideal for playing games as well as multimedia uses. There are a number of options for the serious gamer, however the latest mechanical keyboard to be released by CM Storm, the QuickFire Pro should definitely be up there on any wish list!
- Mechanical CHERRY MX switches
- USB 2.0 full speed
- NKRO in USB mode
- Multimedia shortcuts
- 1000Hz/1ms response time
- Windows key disabled in game mode
- Partial Red LED backlight
- Removable braided USB cable with cable routing
The build quality of the CM Storm Quick Fire Pro keyboard is instantly obvious the moment you pick up the package, with the keyboard clearly made of sterner stuff than the average keyboard weighing in at 1.3 kg. Inside the keyboard is shipped with a braided 1.8 M USB cable that plugs into the back of the keyboard via a set of gold plated terminals in to the mini USB port, and the cable is easily routed via a number of channels to the gaming PC. In our case the keyboard was instantly recognised as an input device in Windows 7 (although wasn't recognised in the bios so don't discard your old keyboard if you have a habit of reinstalling your PC on a regular basis!).
The Keyboard itself as mentioned is really heavy duty and comes in a matt black finish with red keys (a set of which can be backlit in various modes to make finding keys easy during games). Setting up the backlit LED gaming keys is easy and brightness can be altered to suit your tastes as well as the number of keys illuminated using a series of function keys. In the same way the polling rate and NKRO (Nkey rollover mode) can be altered to change responsiveness and also the ability to detect multiple combined independent key presses (6 or full keyboard support) simultaneously. Although full NKRO is a impressive advance for a USB keyboard (in comparison to PS/2 connections that can differentiate across the full keyboard anyway) the importance for the average gamer will be most likely be massively outweighed by the impressive strength and feel of the keyboard whilst in use.
In our tests (playing a number of games) we detected no flex in the keyboard and it was incredibly responsive, and looked really cool with the pulsating backlit LEDs! The keyboard can be bought in four different variants (or flavours if you prefer!) that reflect the type of Cherry MX switches (Black, Blue, Brown or Red) which give different levels of feedback when pressed for the best user experience. Importantly Cooler Master have put their money where their mouth is with a 2 year warranty on the keyboard, so it's probably safe to say that it should be able to take whatever you throw at it.
£81.01 at the time of writing (available at Amazon)
4.5/5 - This has to be one of the heaviest duty keyboards we have had the opportunity to try out and doubled with excellent responsiveness it would make a force to be reckoned with in any gaming session. The setup is easy, ultimately customisable and there is a switch variant to suit any taste. This build quality does come at a cost (as with any of the top of the range gaming keyboards) however we felt that it was entirely worth the money.