Cooler Master is the latest PC component maker to dive into the world of mechanical keyboards. The new QuickFire Rapid is targeted at gamers, making its use of Cherry MX blue switches somewhat unusual. The blues offer tactile feedback and an audible click, which is a departure from the linear, non-clicky black switches typically found on gaming keyboards. QuickFire keyboards with black and brown Cherry switches may also be available depending on your region. Cooler Master's US site only lists the blues, though.
While typists might appreciate the clicky switches, they may be dismayed to learn that the QuickFire lacks a dedicated numpad. The extra digits were presumably ditched to allow for a narrower design that's more friendly to the LAN gaming crowd.
To further appeal to gamers, the QuickFire comes with a handful of extra key caps, including a set of red directional keys for the WASD triangle. The key caps are laser-etched for durability, and the keyboard's body has a rubberized coating that should be immune to the fingerprints and smudges that soil the glossy surface of my Das keyboard. As one might expect, Cooler Master also incorporates anti-ghosting technology, a row of multimedia shortcuts keys, and the ability to disable the Windows key.
Cooler Master's press release says the QuickFire will sell for $80 when it becomes available next month. That sounds a reasonable price provided the build quality is up to snuff. However, I hope Cooler Master makes all versions of the keyboard available to end users; segmenting the switch type by region doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.