With my new computer I also ordered a Cooler Master QuickFire Ultimate keyboard for € 83. Why so expensive you might ask? Because this is a mechanical keyboard. I admit it’s a luxury and in my experience so far it doesn’t really offer a significantly better typing experience. The difference is minor, but I appreciate it. Compared with a standard rubber dome switch keyboard the Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches in this keyboard require very little force to be pressed. This does allow you to type slightly faster, even though I don’t gain much because I only use my two index fingers to type. Compared to the other types of Cherry MX switches, the brown switches occupy the middle ground and are suitable for both gaming and typing.
Maybe an even more important motive for me to buy this keyboard is that it seems to be more durable. My previous keyboard was a Logitech UltraX Flat, which had rubber dome switches and laptop style keys. Nice keyboard, but when you want to clean it and pull off the keys you have to be very careful not to destroy the key press mechanism. Putting them back on is a challenge too. This QuickFire Ultimate comes with a key puller and allows for easier removal which is certainly not destructive. I still have to try this though because I didn’t need to clean it so far.
All the keys also have a red backlight which can optionally be activated. It’s a nice gimmick, but I never use it. I can touch type – with two index fingers –and my bedroom is adequately lit when it’s dark, so I don’t see the point in having a backlit keyboard. It might be useful for a laptop if you’re outside at night though. I’d prefer having no backlight at all and a lower purchase price instead. The keyboard is marketed towards gamers and that’s probably why it has the fancy name and the “Quick Fire” on the space bar, but I would have preferred a slightly more formal look. But this keyboard was the one of the cheapest mechanical keyboards and the only one I could find with Cherry MX Brown switches for such a price, so that’s why I bought it anyway.
One disadvantage is that it didn’t work at all when an OS wasn’t booted yet – i.e. in GRUB and the BIOS – on my older PC. My older PC had a Gigabyte P35-DS3L motherboard, but my latest PC doesn’t have this issue.
It was hard for me to justify spending € 83 on a keyboard, but in the end the fact that I use my keyboard every day convinced me. If this one can last many years and last longer than a rubber dome switch keyboard, it will be money well spent. I wouldn’t spend more than € 100 though.