Cooler Master CM Storm QuickFire TK Compact Mechanical Keyboard Review

Posted by on Monday, February 11, 2013 - 8:00am

We will be taking a look at one of their latest keyboard called the QuickFire TK. The QuickFire TK is a compact gaming mechanical for those that maybe a little short of space or just simply wants a smaller keyboard for whatever reason. With the smaller size you do not have to give up features like the number pad or FN keys.

Cooler Master CM Storm QuickFire TK Compact Mechanical Keyboard Review

 

Introduction

It seems that every manufacturer on the planet have altered their storyline to include a gaming brand. Rightfully so, as gamers and enthusiasts are the one to keep this desktop PC era continuing into the future, so why not cater to them with their own gear? One no has been as good at this as Cooler Master. There CM Storm line has been around longer than any other, I do believe. It started with cases and migrated to other components like mice, keyboard, surfaces and audio gear.

We will be taking a look at one of their latest keyboard called the QuickFire TK. The QuickFire TK is a compact gaming mechanical for those that maybe a little short of space or just simply wants a smaller keyboard for whatever reason. With the smaller size you do not have to give up features like the number pad or FN keys.

Cooler Master ’s take on the QuickFire TK

You're a gamer. You know that a mechanical keyboard means the difference between winning and losing. The original QuickFire Rapid gaming keyboard was embraced by gamers worldwide because it made the difference. Now the QuickFire TK takes the QuickFire Rapid and put it on steroids! Choose between 3 different Cherry MX switches. Each keycap is UV coated to make it durable. There's full LED backlighting with 3 modes and 5 brightness levels. NKRO over USB means every single keystroke will be registered. An embedded steel plate give you maximum stability and durability. 7 easy-access multimedia shortcut keys save time. A complete numpad lets you get work done while not gaming. The slim and lightweight size gives you plenty of room for your mouse. Great for LAN parties.


Specifications

Model Number

SGK-4020-GKCR1(Red switch)
SGK-4020-GKCM1(Brown switch)
SGK-4020-GKCL1(Blue switch)

Key Switch

Cherry MX Blue/ Brown/ Red

Keycaps

ABS, grip coated, removable

Keycap Puller

Yes, ring-puller

Backlight

All keys backlit, 5 Levels, 3 Modes(Breathing, WASD or full backlight);
Red switch key has red backlight, Blue switch key has blue backlight and Brown switch has white backlight

Key Rollover

NKRO (windows only)

Polling Rate

1000 Hz /1 ms

Interface

USB 2.0 full speed

USB cable

1.8m, braided, gold plated, removable

Dimensions

377.5(L)*138(W)*33(H)mm
14.9(L)*5.4(W)*1.3(H)inch

Weight

544 g/1.2 lbs

Features

N-Key Rollover over USB
N-Key Roll Over in USB mode means even the wildest key combos are registered perfectly.

Easy cable management
Detachable braided USB cable and cable routing groves at the underside of the keyboard. Easy cable management and better flexibility.

Full LED backlight, 3 modes and 5 brightness levels
Stylish and provides optimum visibility even in dark rooms. Different backlight modes highlight different key groups.

Compact layout with integrated Num pad block
The QuickFire TK’s unique NumPad block design merges both navigation and command keys. You get a compact gaming keyboard with a NumPad block.


Closer look

We have taken a look at much of the CM Storm keyboards like the Trigger, QuickFire Pro, and the QuickFire Rapid. The TK has the looks and feel of the latter two keyboards named. This is definitely a good thing as it is very solid and sturdy. It should have no problems of the daily abuse a keyboard would take when tossing it around due to bad results in your favorite FPS or packing it away to get ready for the next LAN party.

The TK's outer shell is made of very durable plastic and as of right now only comes in black. But the consumer does have his or her choice of mechanical Cherry switches which would include Red, brown and blue. We will be taking a look at the blue here today. Each of the red and blue switches comes with matching LED backlighting while the brown comes with white LEDs.

Being is the US market we get a keyboard that has the standard WASD setup. That means that all the lettering and punctuation keys are where you would want them to be. There are two Windows keys on the lower left and right that can be disabled when in battle with the aid of the F12 key.

The FN lock button in the lower right of the letter pad is used in conjunction with the FN1-FN12 keys to control the keyboard's lighting (FN1-FN4) and the media keys (FN5-FN11). Remember from up above the FN12 is for locking of the Windows key.

Off to the far right you get to keep your number pad for all that data input you will need to perform. There are two modes to these keys. The first would be when the NUMLK is activated they become simply number keys, when the NUMLK is deactivated they become directional keys. To determine which mode you are in is indicated by the LED backlighting. If the whole number pad is lit then you are in directional mode, if only the numbers are lit….well you get it.

The upper right corner consists of the indicators for Number Lock, Caps Lock and SCR Lock. CM kept the branding to a minimum with only the CM Storm logo present.

On the reverse side of the TK, we see that CM kept use of the cable management ditch. The ditch runs from the far right to the left with a small section right in the middle. This allows for easier routing to the PC from the desktop.

There are four rubber cushions for the keyboard to sit on. But if you prefer to adjust the height of your keyboard you can do it here via two lever feet that fold out.

With this unit being a Cherry MX blue unit, you will get the clicky clicky noise each and every time you press a key.

Lastly, we have the extra sturdy and thick USB cable that is detachable from the keyboard. It is good to know that the cable can be replaced if damaged. But you have to remember to not use just any cable because this has to carry power for the back lighting.


Testing

When it came time to test it was nice to know that I did not have to good through the troubles of going back behind my PC to pull out the USB cable. I simply unplugged the cable from the back of my Trigger and plugged in the TK.

My first impressions with the TK were not bad at all. I opened a Word document that I needed to finish and begun typing like normal. I found myself not having to get use to the physical size of the keyboard but the Cherry MX blue keys. So, I won't fault the keyboard for me missing letters in my words. It was a matter of pressing the keys a little hard to activate. Over a short period of time I no longer had that issue.

It did think be a little longer to get use to the number pad to the right. Between having to use the numbers and direction keys within a document, I often found myself out of place and having to place the cursor back where it was needed. There is a chance that some may not have this problem as they may only use the TK for gaming and not everyday typing.

Now comes the fun part…..gaming. I will be completely honest and say that I did not miss a step when it came time to engage in battle. I played several hour of Call of Duty: MW3 and my stats much pretty stayed about the same or slightly increased.

In these last images we show the different illumination stages of the TK. There are three different modes with five different brightness levels.

 


Conclusion

First, I would like to say that I love how CM listening to the community when it comes time to release a new product or when it is time to make some changes in an old one. In this case many (especially LAN gamers) wanted a smaller more compact keyboard to transport between LAN parties. CM gave us that with the QuickFire TK.

Second, many wanted less branding with the continuation of great quality in a keyboard. Once again we got that with the QuickFire TK. Only the CM Storm logo is present on the surface of the keyboard. And the TK is built like a rock. It should last you many years.

Third, the consumer wants choices. And again he got that with the QuickFire TK. With this keyboard you got your choice of three different Cherry MX switches as well as three different back lightings. This here allows you to be a little different from the next guy.

Using the QuickFire TK will take some getting used to but then again what keyboard or mouse for that matter doesn’t? It took me less than a day to become comfort with this keyboard. It may take many lesser time and a few longer. But in the end it is a pretty good keyboard once you have settled in.

If you are a MMO/RPG gamer you may find that the lack of macro keys a reason not to spend the money on the TK. If you a FPS player, you may come to love this keyboard as you may not have a reason for these types of keys.

Google shopping shows the QuickFire TK going for as low as $79.

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