Cooler Master expands clicky keyboard lineup

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage these days, and Cooler Master is eager to get in on the action. The company had a number of clickety-clack designs on display at CES, including the numpad-less QuickFire keyboard introduced last year. That particular design features Cherry MX blue switches and carries an $80 asking price, making it a reasonably good value if you can live without a numpad. For those who can't, the QuickFire Pro and Trigger provide full-sized layouts at higher price points.

For $100, the Pro offers Cherry MX brown switches that have the same tactile "bump" as the blues, but without the click. The Pro also sports an LED backlight around the WASD triangle, and it has an adjustable polling rate for particularly picky gamers. Like the standard QuickFire model, the Pro's USB cable is removable for easy transportation to LAN parties, and the like.

If you're in the market for something a little more exotic, the Cooler Master Trigger extends LED backlighting across the entire keyboard. This puppy has a removable palm rest and a series of media keys, too. 64KB of onboard memory is capable of storing multiple macros and profiles, and those macros run directly from the keyboard without the need for auxiliary software. A configuration application is included, of course, but it's only required to load macros and profiles onto the keyboard.

Cooler Master says the Trigger will sell for $120 when it hits the market in the second quarter of this year. The Pro will arrive around the same time, giving the company a trifecta of mechanical offerings. As a fan of Cherry MX brown switches, I'm eager to see how Cooler Master's designs compare to my Das Keyboard and the other mechanical models collecting in our labs.

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