When Cooler Master introduced its Devastator Bundle last year, it seemed like it was a neat gaming deal Cooler Master with its latest offering, the QuickFire XT introduces a mechanical keyboard at a really affordable price range. Join us as we check it out.
Design & Build Quality
As you can see, the QuickFire XT is a full-sized keyboard, with a standard 104-key count. We love the smart, no-frills, no-nonsense matte black aesthetic. We also quite adore the fact that overt branding seems to have been kept to a minimum on the QuickFire XT’s most visible surfaces. Our review sample is equipped with Cherry MX key switches. The photo shows those snazzy caps. There are also two extra replacement keycaps featuring the Cooler Master logo and the CM Storm logo; these two extra key caps can replace the Ctrl, Alt, Fn, and Win keys on the bottom row, if you wish. A key cap puller is included, too.
This keyboard has no special keys, except for a “Fn” key. This key is a function modifier; when pressed simultaneously with one of eight Function keys (F5 – F12) it enables some special commands.
Speaking of those special command keys, here is a look at them. Like the rest its CM Storm mechanical keyboard kin, the QuickFire XT has Function keys that double as multi-media shortcuts (that is, except for the F9 key). F5 is Play/Pause; F6 is Stop; F7 is Previous Track; F8, Next Track; F9 toggles the Windows Key lock on or off (handy for when you’re gaming); F10 will Mute your PC’s sound; F11 is volume down; finally, F12 increases volume.
The new QuickFire XT is markedly different compared to the rest of the CM Storm mechanical keyboard line in one significant aspect: While it does still have a detachable USB cable, this is the first CM Storm mech that eschews the mini-USB connector on the keyboard side. Instead, it has a full-size USB connector. While we’re not a fan per se of the detachable cable feature, we think having both connectors be the same size on both ends of the cable is more convenient since it doesn’t matter which end of the cable you plug into the keyboard. The Quickfire XT is also the first CM Storm mech that doesn’t have its USB connector on the bottom of the keyboard; instead, the connector is at the rear right of the chassis.
The cable features a very fine braided sleeve, easily one of the best looking ones at this price range. The USB connector, meanwhile, conforms to the now-established CM Storm style by being gold-plated.
The key caps and the cable also exude the same kind of quality. The cable sleeving, in particular, is top-notch, with its fine threads, tight fit around the cable inside, and absolutely no fraying whatsoever. The cable is very flexible even with the tight sleeve enveloping it. The key caps, for their part, feel like they would stand up to everything except a elephant stepping on them 😉
They definitely don’t appear as if you could crush them with your fingers. In case you care about it, branding is kept to the top-left corner of the keyboard. You can only see it from the rear of the QF XT. So, yeah, the branding is loud and proud, but you can only really see it if you look at your QF XT from the back.
We admire how it’s the most basic looking CM Storm mechanical keyboard yet. It doesn’t have any loud logos, and we love that. It retains the signature CM Storm font on its laser-marked key caps, and it has red LEDs for the Num Lock, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Win Key Lock indicators. This is one keyboard you won’t get any embarrassing comments about in terms of its looks.
Ergonomically, it’s close enough to perfect. The only thing which can turn you off is that the key caps seem to be just a little bit too smooth to the touch since the QuickFire XT’s are dangerously close to being too slick. Good ergonomics go a long way towards enhancing a typist’s performance. Having your favorite type of Cherry MX switch type (Blue, in my case) also helps. A comment about its size and styling: It’s a full-sized keyboard, but its minimalist design ethic means it’s slightly smaller than the most mechanical keyboards in the market. In gaming situations, the QF XT is as good as any other mechanical keyboard that I’ve used. So you can have your whole share of games you play with a keyboard right from First Person Shooters to Massive Multiplayer Games as in DOTA & League of Legends.
With its MRP at INR 5000, it’s a well-priced product, in my opinion exclusively available at Flipkart. You get high-end quality of construction, mostly clean aesthetics, superb details such as a great cable (I still don’t get why it needs to be detachable, though), spot-on ergonomics, and superior performance in typing (the most important criterion in any keyboard for this reviewer). Most importantly, though, you get that essential 10-key number pad. Extras such as multi-media shortcuts and a detachable cable are just that, extras; to me they aren’t strictly necessary. I will admit, though, that I quite like the red WASD replacement keycaps as they provide a neat, color-coordinated visual counterpoint. Despite this, in sum Quickfire XT is a good bet for a starting level Mechanical keyboard.
P.S. And you can win by participating in our ongoing contest to WIN this cool keyboard here.
Tech Specs (Boring, but let’s get the formalities aside)
Here we see everything that is included in the box. The accessories included are the detachable braided cord, USB adapter. a bag of key caps and tool.
•CM Storm QuickFire XT Keyboard
•Braided detachable USB cable
•USB to PS/2 adapter
•Quick Start Guide (not included in this sample)
•Mechanical CHERRY MX keyboard ~ Guaranteed 50 million + keystrokes
•Super slim keyboard body ~ More ergonomic and comfortable typing angles
•Embedded steel plate for extreme stability and durability
•N-KRO for unlimited simultaneous key presses (PS/2)
•Command rate adjustments via key-combo (PS/2)
•Windows keys can be disabled via key-combo
•Multimedia shortcuts via key-combos
•Detachable braided cable with full size USB plug