Orca’s Hardware Review: Mechanical Keyboard

Hey hey, peepels! Howzit? Ready for more of Orca’s rambling? Cool, thank you.

Ok, it’s roundabout one and a half years ago I blogged about my then brand new CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-I  keyboard, so it’s time for a long-term conclusion now.

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As you can see I purchased a second identical kb when we were in Germany this year. As it so happened I needed a second kb for my second desktop PC, and as I refuse to type on English qwerty layout I had to get another one of my beloved German qwertz keyboards with the much needed ä, ö, ü and ß keys.

Also you can (maybe) see that on the older one (on top) many of the LED backlit keys went dark, so I not only needed, but wanted, a new kb. And here is my pretty much only criticism on the CoolerMaster keyboard. The friggin LEDs have a tendency to fail. Even on my new kb already 2 LEDs went out. Jeeze, people of CM, your backlight system is a very simple one, just white, not the usual milions of RGB colours, only a handful of effects and stages of dimming. This keyboard is a simple as can be … and nevertheless you made it failing the easiest task. 😦 How CoolerMaster South Africa weren’t able to organize a German keyboard to fulfill my worldwide warrantee claim is a whole different story for anyother day.

Apart from that I can’t be happier with these keyboards. The Cherry MX Brown switches are like the perfect compromise between gaming and typing usage. They are a bit noisy but have decidedly less click than the more traditional MX Blue switches. Anyway, at least in Germany the Quickfire Rapid-I is only available with Brown switches so I happily took them instead of the legendary Blues.

I can’t say that I have experienced any other mechanical switches than just the über-legendary IBM Buckling springs and the Cherry MX ones. If I remember correctly I’d say I preferred the feeling of hacking away on the super noisy IBMs over the Cherrys but they are still very good. Now that I’m used to typing on mechanical keyboards again I don’t wanna miss the experience ever again. Just can’t imagine going back to one of those modern mushy membrane keyboards. If you’ve ever tried a mechanical keyboard or have used computers in the 80s and 90s you’ll know the difference. And you’ll notice the modern stuff ain’t better – just cheaper to produce. :/

In case of my Coolermaster Quickfire kb we can also add the very nice build quality. This rather utilitarian keyboard is heavy, features a metal plate on which the circuitry and the switches are mounted and a very nicely satin-finished matte casing. And while you can see every little speck of dust on the case, fingerprints won’t ever be a problem. Of course, as proud owner of a somewhat expensive mechanical keyboard you’ll take more care of its well-being and general appearance anyway. My OCD gets triggered quite often here, and you can see me hunting for fine hairs and cookie crumbs all over the kb. But it’s a labour of love. 🙂

I guess I mentioned it in my first writeup of the CoolerMaster KB, the Quickfire Rapid-I is a 80% keyboard, which means it’s missing the 10-key numberpad on the right side of the letters keys. I chose this layout since I never use the tenkey pad anyway and wanted a keyboard that won’t occupy much real estate on my desk.

Conclusion: The CoolerMaster CM Quickfire Rapid-I is a damn fine mechanical keyboard. The build quality is outstanding apart from the failing LED backlit, and even better than that of much more expensive keyboards. CoolerMaster are using one of the best keyboard producers who also makes kbs for more famous and expensive brands. For me it’s near optimal as I’m not 12 y/o anymore and don’t need a full RGB backlight system but put my bias on heavy duty build quality. The use of original German-made Cherry MX switches instead of cheap Chinese knock-offs is the best argument for this keyboard. Also it’s one of the most priceworthy, at least the cheapest tenkey-less keyboards I could find.

The Happyness-Score: 9 out of 10.

 

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