Observations and Experience
The ABS plastic keys with grip coating provide a nice, comfortable feel. The keyboard also uses a heavy duty braided USB cable with optional routing along the bottom of the keyboard. It also has two rubber coated foldable feet to adjust the angle of the keyboard on a desk.
The QuickFire TK has a sturdy and somewhat dense/heavy feel to it, though it is much smaller than a full sized keyboard. However, it has approximately the same dimensions as a Tenkeyless keyboard. The way Cooler Master achieved this was by having a hybrid num pad that doubles as both a num pad and as the arrow keys plus Insert, Home, Page Up, Page Down, Delete, End, Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause. The way to switch between the two modes is by simply using the Num Lock key. We found this to be an ingenious design, and appreciated both the functionality and simplicity of the mechanism.
The QuickFire TK also has a range of media keys available on the F keys through the use of the FN key that sits between the Windows key and Ctrl key on the right side of the keyboard (taking the place of the Menu key found on many keyboards). The FN key allows the user to Pause/Play, Stop, Rewind/Step Back, and Fast Forward/Step Forward in all media applications we encountered. It also allows the user to lock the Windows key, and lower or increase system volume, as well as mute it with one keystroke.
The FN key also allows the user to manipulate the keyboard’s backlighting modes. The keyboard has three modes: On, Pulse, and WASD on. It also had five brightness settings, as well as a key to turn off the lighting completely. Since we have MX Blue mechanical switches, the lighting on our keyboard is blue. For a QuickFire TK with MX Red switches, the lighting would be red, and for one with MX Brown switches, the lighting would be white.
The MX Blue switches provide an excellent typing experience. However, as we described in our review of the Logitech G710+
, while MX Blue switches are considered optimal for typing, many gamers find them to be lacking, though this is entirely a matter of personal preference as many gamers also enthusiastically use and recommend MX Blue switches. Since the QuickFire TK is marketed as a compact gaming keyboard that is especially useful for LAN parties, many might see this as a shortcoming. However, this is not the case, as we mentioned above: the QuickFire TK is available with MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches, so users can choose the switch type most useful and comfortable to them.
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