Thursday, 02 May 2013 20:55

Mechanical keyboards from MSI

msikboards

MSI has introduced two interesting keyboards designed for gamers, but also for home and business users. Presented model GK-601 and Classic are the mechanical type keyboards with Cherry MX Red switches.

tk01

When Cooler Master Launched their new QuickFire Line of gaming keyboards with Mechanical switched they were very well received. We have had the chance to test out all of the models even though we have not always been able to try out the different Cherry MX Switch types (we have gone through Red, Brown and Blue). Now while all of the models were well received there were complaints about more than a few of the features that were built in. One of the most common complaints that we have heard about the QuickFire line up is that the QuickFire Pro did not have full back lighting. Instead Cooler Master chose to only light up a small selection of keys that they called the gaming cluster. Still this keyboard has been bought by many gamers because it is one of the only mechanical keyboards that supports NKRO over USB. As an added bonus the QuickFire Pro has two modes of NKRO; Full and 6-Key. Well for those of you that have wished for a mechanical keyboard with full NKRO over USB and full back lighting your wait is over. Cooler Master has taken some of the best features of the QuickFire Pro and put them in a smaller version named the QuickFire TK and the best part,… it has full backlighting. Read on to find out all of the nice details.

introThere was a time when the only type of keyboard you could buy was one with mechanical switches. This was pretty much it for the old AT days of computing. This style of keyboard later extended into the first ATX boards which featured PS/2 connectors (and later USB). This style of keyboard was later replaced by the smaller digital input (also known as capacitive and which was actually designed in the 1970s). These were nothing more than a sponge pad that would press a contact into two trace contacts on a PCB. As these were cheaper to make and boasted the same reliability as the older mechanical switches (which mean one switch per key) it soon became the standard and the older mechanical switch went away… That is until the gaming community resurrected it. Now we have a new generation of keyboards based on the old one-switch-per-key style of manufacturing. We have taken three of these for a stroll around the lab and now have a fourth to tell you about. This is the CM Storm Trigger Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Let’s see if it can stand up to the rest of the pack.

kb01In order to combat the growing popularity of console gaming (and also to support a growing population of gamers) many peripheral companies began to invest money into making real devices to support gaming on the PC. We have seen many of these products (usually mice of game controllers), but with the exception of a few of the mice we were not all that impressed with them. That is until we started to see the first mechanical switch based keyboards. As we spend a large amount of time behind the keyboard (and also still game) we had a serious interest in these devices. Most of them are centered on the Cherry MX switch. These mechanical switches come in different colors; each of these has different properties. We have shown you blue and brown and what they each bring to the table. Now we are going to take a look at the Thermaltake Tt eSports MEKA G1 Mechanical gaming keyboard. This product takes a little different tack on switches and has opted for Cherry MX Black. So let’s dive in and see if the MEKA G1 will be worth the $100 Thermaltake wants for it.

kb04Although keyboards are normally not exciting there are a few that will certainly grab your attention especially if you are into gaming. During CES Cooler Master showed off their lineup of gaming keyboards under the CM Storm brand one in particular caught our eye, the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid. This is a small gaming keyboard with replaceable keys that we just had to try out. Cooler Master has finally sent one to us and we have been using it on our gaming system for a few days and are now ready to tell you if it is worth the $80 or not.