CM Storm QuickFire XT Final Thoughts
During my time at Benchmark reviews I have reviewed many different mechanical keyboards, but I find myself repeatedly coming back to review Cooler Master designs. Every time a new model shows up at my door I can’t help but think, “Surely this is the final design Cooler Master will bring out for a while.” only to Cooler Master announce a new model.
The QuickFire XT is a full sized addition to the QuickFire line. It has everything a user needs and nothing more. Personally, I like that Cooler Master keep things simple with the QuickFire XT. While LED’s in a keyboard are cool, they drive up the price, add complexity and for a touch typist are unnecessary.
Just like QuickFire Rapid, I hope the Cooler Master ends up making a QuickFire Stealth version of the QuickFire XT. (I also would love to review a Cherry MX Green version of the QuickFire XT) Otherwise I would leave the QuickFire XT just the way it is.
CM Storm QuickFire XT Conclusion
Performance in a keyboard is about being able to type quickly and accurately. With the QuickFire XT I was able to type with ease and while gaming I was sure the button I was pressing was the one I needed. Even better because of the auditory feedback provided by the Cherry MX Blue switches, I was able to have faster typing speed because I know as soon as I hear the click that I can move on to the next key.
Cooler Master kept thing simple with the appearance of the QuickFire XT. Its black keys with white lettering look great, whether at home or work. My only concern is that the fill used for the laser etched keys tends to discolor over time. After less than a week of use my WASD cluster is already starting to discolor, nothing terrible but noticeable.
The QuickFire XT like all of Cooler Master’s mechanical offerings is well built. To back that up Cooler Master has provided a two-year warranty should something go awry.
The QuickFire XT is a barebones mechanical keyboard, it has no backlighting or software for creating macros. What it does provide is a amazing platform for typing, in a full sized keyboard layout, with media controls. Overall the QuickFire XT does everything I need and nothing more.
As of August 2013 the CM Storm QuickFire XT is available online for $89.99 (Amazon | Newegg), which is fairly priced for a full sized mechanical keyboard. The SGK-4030-GKCL1-US model has a few competitors that are less expensive, and a quite a few that are more expensive. Many enthusiasts still will have a hard time justifying the extra expense needed for a mechanical keyboard, especially since a basic membrane keyboard can be had for less than $8.
Because of its wonderful build quality, fair price, and high performance, I award the Cooler Master CM Storm QuickFire XT the Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer award.
+ Competitive price for full sized mechanical keyboard
+ Simple design will fit in many different environments
+ Available with many different Cherry MX Switches
+ Two year warranty
- Fill used on laser etched keys stains quickly
- Expensive when compared to a membrane keyboard
Final Score: 9.1 out of 10.