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Old 10th Mar 2014, 09:05   #1
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CM Storm Quick Fire TK Stealth Review

Cooler Master's latest mechanical keyboard is compact and stealthy.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/per...ealth-review/1
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 09:21   #2
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I liked reading this review. I am actually reviewing a TK stealth at the moment as well, my review will be in the hardware section soon.

I think you have missed the point of the layout - it is one of my favourite compact layouts (well nearly, they missed a bit with the bottom row). There is a wash of TKL's, 60% boards and full size boards on the market - CM themselves have their own offerings, the QF Rapid is a conventional 87 key tenkeyless board, and they are working on the novatouch which is another standard tenkeyless board. The Quickfire TK though, is a combination betweek a full 104/105 layout and an 87 key layout - that is the whole purpose of the funny layout. So I don't think they have presented a poor layout - they have offerings off all form factors minus a 60%. The only other way I know you can get this layout is if you import a plum96 or build a phantom

Conversely to you - I actually really like the LED backlight on the few caps that have it, I think it gives the keyboard a great look and is a nice touch to a stealthy board. And I think the function lock for the F row is also quite handy.

I am typing this right now on my tk stealth

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Last edited by Margo Baggins; 10th Mar 2014 at 09:37.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 10:01   #3
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Nice review, it's always good to see a good keyboard analysed. Not one I'll own probably, but I can see the niche it fills nicely.

Margon, what I love about you* is not only that whenever a keyboard comes up in conversation you own it (usually modded), but you also always love every keyboard you own. A man truly after my own heart, I find it hard to hate even the most flawed nonsense I've ever typed on.

All that being said, needs moar mystery keys!!



(yes, I love posting pictures of her whenever possible)





* apart from you manly physique and collection of bicycle components of course...
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 10:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
I think you have missed the point of the layout - it is one of my favourite compact layouts (well nearly, they missed a bit with the bottom row). There is a wash of TKL's, 60% boards and full size boards on the market - CM themselves have their own offerings, the QF Rapid is a conventional 87 key tenkeyless board, and they are working on the novatouch which is another standard tenkeyless board. The Quickfire TK though, is a combination betweek a full 104/105 layout and an 87 key layout - that is the whole purpose of the funny layout. So I don't think they have presented a poor layout - they have offerings off all form factors minus a 60%. The only other way I know you can get this layout is if you import a plum96 or build a phantom

Conversely to you - I actually really like the LED backlight on the few caps that have it, I think it gives the keyboard a great look and is a nice touch to a stealthy board. And I think the function lock for the F row is also quite handy.
I suspect you're right about the TK layout and that it's the stealthed keys that are causing the problem. It rather says it all that you're using a decidedly none-stealth set of keys on your version. Speaking of which, why did you choose the Stealth rather than the standard model if you were going to change the keys?
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 11:05   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meanmotion View Post
I suspect you're right about the TK layout and that it's the stealthed keys that are causing the problem. It rather says it all that you're using a decidedly none-stealth set of keys on your version. Speaking of which, why did you choose the Stealth rather than the standard model if you were going to change the keys?
I didn't choose this board - it's what I got sent

Without wanting to spoil my review as this points will come up in that, the stock caps, while I like the idea, the implementation is not great for my fingers (not to say this is the case for everyone). My opinion is the same with the Filco ninja caps. They just don't agree with my hands/fingers. I did have the stealth caps on this board up until last night when I changed them - for the boards I am reviewing I give them a full 2 weeks in their stock form at work so I can get a feel for them (as I type a lot at work) - but I think I get sweaty hands or something, or I have heavy hands, I am not sure, but I managed to put a decent shine on the stealth caps within those 2 weeks - notice too on the keyboard I have started to put a decent shine in the middle below space bar where I rest a thumb.

I also have 15+ different sets of caps, so I tend to change them all about anyway!

If I was going to choose and buy a CM TK - I would probably get one of the backlit ones, as unfortunately there is no hardware to drive LEDs on the non-backlit version. I know that's probably to be expected but sometimes the hardware is there and the LEDs are not but on these that is not the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty View Post
Nice review, it's always good to see a good keyboard analysed. Not one I'll own probably, but I can see the niche it fills nicely.

Margon, what I love about you* is not only that whenever a keyboard comes up in conversation you own it (usually modded), but you also always love every keyboard you own. A man truly after my own heart, I find it hard to hate even the most flawed nonsense I've ever typed on.

All that being said, needs moar mystery keys!!

* apart from you manly physique and collection of bicycle components of course...
I have a real issue in that I genuinely like most mechanical keyboards, and I can only ever use one at a time. this stealth is actually going on the modding block in due course, so is a CM MECH.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 11:13   #6
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I have a real issue
Amen brother.

I only managed to fix my own "issue" by completely running out of all available funds. I'm here if you need me for emotional support

Also you must let me into the secret of being sent things
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 11:36   #7
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Not even tempted until I see a review of a Corsair RGB LED K series board.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 12:38   #8
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Bah, another great idea for a keyboard ruined by silliness!

Cutting out of the home block/arrow keys is actually pretty clever, and as far as I know it's something nobody else has done? Bonus points to CM for that, but as usual we have the issue of the bottom row. You'd think that the success of the QuickFire Rapid would have taught them that standard layouts are desirable!
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 13:40   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yslen View Post
Bah, another great idea for a keyboard ruined by silliness!

Cutting out of the home block/arrow keys is actually pretty clever, and as far as I know it's something nobody else has done? Bonus points to CM for that, but as usual we have the issue of the bottom row. You'd think that the success of the QuickFire Rapid would have taught them that standard layouts are desirable!
It's a different OEM to the quickfire rapid. I am not sure what the oem is, it's not costar, and it's not iOne, it's I think the same oem as the logitech g710+ (or whatever its called) - and no one really knows what that is!

The bottom row isn't actually that bad - there is plenty of boards old and new that have mixed the sized of modifiers, and with custom kits there are add-ons that accommodate this, so for the most part the bottom row is alright - EXCEPT, unique space bar. it's a bit bigger than 6.2, its annoying as that bar will shine fast and none of the 30 odd space bars I have fit there!

It has been done before though, Plum96 - which is the same but with standardised layout and as far as I know ANSI only, is a far east board - made by the same guys that make the zelia and is battery wireless AND has the LED hardware on the board. Plum 96 though has 4 additional keys above the numpad bit on the right and the layout and handling of the block/numpad is a bit different. Plum96 also has stock pbt or pom caps (depending on colour) that are cherry profile.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 14:05   #10
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In terms of layout alone, I have to say I became increasingly irked by the dual-function keys on the right; I often found that I wanted to use the arrows whilst typing numbers with my right hand, and that just ain't possible like it is on a full size keyboard. In saying that, I really did like the 00 key... it made me feel like a real accountant LOL.

Quote:
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 15:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margon
The bottom row isn't actually that bad - there is plenty of boards old and new that have mixed the sized of modifiers, and with custom kits there are add-ons that accommodate this, so for the most part the bottom row is alright - EXCEPT, unique space bar. it's a bit bigger than 6.2, its annoying as that bar will shine fast and none of the 30 odd space bars I have fit there!
You're quite right. 7-8 extra for the required mods in most group buys isn't the end of the world, but the space bar is deal breaking. It's all so unnecessary, too, as the bottom row takes up the same amount of space as it would with normal key sizes.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 15:51   #12
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Cutting out of the home block/arrow keys is actually pretty clever, and as far as I know it's something nobody else has done?
My IBM Model F has the same layout - QWERTY block and numberpad with no home and cursor block, although the function keys are in a different place - and dates back to the 1980s. T'ain't a new design.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 20:08   #13
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[...] which removes the cursor and Del/Home/End keys and incorporates them into the Num Pad.
stopped reading.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 20:47   #14
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CM TK fails in 2 ways for me... the thing that pisses me off the most is how they moved things around on the numlock off state. The only other modern mechanical keyboard with this layout (Plum 96) is guilty of the same. If they would have left it as standard like the numpad on pretty much any other keyboard on earth it would have been much better.
Of course the other thing the TK has wrong is the funny bottom row and non standard impossible to replace spacebar size.

I only wish someone could do it right, as this form factor is something I would love to have in lieu of fullsize when I actually do require all of those extra keys a 60% dosen't offer. It's as compact nearly as a tenkeyless without loosing anything.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:08   #15
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stopped reading.
Ok....
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 22:20   #16
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stoppe....
Stopped reading.

:P
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 11:20   #17
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Bah, another great idea for a keyboard ruined by silliness!

Cutting out of the home block/arrow keys is actually pretty clever, and as far as I know it's something nobody else has done? !
No one but IBM. And this board immediately runs into the same problem IBM ran into: anyone using the number pad wants editing keys.
I think the 101-key layout on the AT was ALMOST as big a deal as protected mode, 16-bit accessories, and >640k of RAM were.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 11:24   #18
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No one but IBM. And this board immediately runs into the same problem IBM ran into: anyone using the number pad wants editing keys.
I think the 101-key layout on the AT was ALMOST as big a deal as protected mode, 16-bit accessories, and >640k of RAM were.
The AT launched with the missing-editing-block layout, not a 101 layout. I know, 'cos that's where my Model F came from - it still has the "IBM Personal Computer AT" badge at the top-left and everything.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 11:27   #19
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Originally Posted by jb0 View Post
No one but IBM. And this board immediately runs into the same problem IBM ran into: anyone using the number pad wants editing keys.
I think the 101-key layout on the AT was ALMOST as big a deal as protected mode, 16-bit accessories, and >640k of RAM were.
The AT launched with the missing-editing-block layout, not a 101 layout. I know, 'cos that's where my Model F came from - it still has the "IBM Personal Computer AT" badge at the top-right and everything.
I stand corrected.
I thought I'd heard that, but the internet looked at me funny when I tried to verify it.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 11:28   #20
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I stand corrected.
I thought I'd heard that, but the internet looked at me funny when I tried to verify it.
As wonderful as the wibbly wobbly web is, it does get a bit vague pre-90s. Although I've just realised I wrote "top right" when I mean "top left," so my post is in need of a correction of its own!
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