Cooler Master shrinks mechanical keyboard, keeps numpad


— 12:02 PM on November 7, 2012

Mechanical keyboards typically come in two flavors: full-sized designs and "tenkeyless" ones that ditch the numpad. Cooler Master makes both varieties, and now it's added a twist. The new CM Storm QuickFire TK retains the numpad of full-sized keyboards but ditches the paging block and inverted-T directional keys. Those have been mapped to secondary functions in the numpad, while the top row of F-keys offers a side order of multimedia controls.

As one might expect, the QuickFire TK is equipped with Cherry MX mechanical switches. The keyboard will be available with a choice of red, blue, or brown variants of those switches. The models with red and blue switches have colored backlighting to match, while the brown version has white LEDs under its key caps. There are three different lighting modes in addition to five brightness levels.

Cooler Master calls the QuickFire TK a "true gamer's keyboard," so it's no surprise there's a button to disable the Windows key. The TK also supports n-key rollover, but it doesn't appear to include macro functionality. The keyboard's 14.9" x 5.4" (378 mm x 138 mm) footprint doesn't really leave any room for additional macro keys. Those dimensions make the QuickFire TK about an inch wider than the tenkeyless QuickFire Rapid but three inches narrower than the full-sized QuickFire Pro.

I've always liked the smaller size of tenkeyless keyboards, but I spend entirely too much time in Excel to live without a numpad. The QuickFire TK looks like it might be a good compromise. We should see it on shelves soon for around $100.

   
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