Cooler Master Storm Trigger Gaming Keyboard Review

Author: AkG
Date: June 28, 2012
Product Name: Storm Trigger
Part Number: SGK-6000-GKCM1
Warranty: 1 Year
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Hands-On Testing

The Trigger certainly looks great and boasts an intuitive software stack but that doesn’t make it a good gaming peripheral. During our lengthy testing, we were initially less than impressed with the keycaps which populate this mechanical keyboard. Simply put, they’re small—both narrow in depth and width—and widely spaced. This combination means that when we started using the Trigger, our fingers had a disturbing tendency to either hit the wrong key altogether or fan within the space between two keys, causing both to be registered. With a few hours of practice we did learn to overcome this issue by slowing down and being more precise in our finger placement, but for anyone who’s used to rubber dome keyboards (or other mechanical keyboards) there may be a significant learning curve here.

Once we became acclimatized to the slightly small keycaps, the Trigger started to shine. Thanks to the Cherry Brown switches, which not only have a low actuation pressure of only 45 grams but also require only 2mm of distance to be actuated, this keyboard lives up to its “QuickFire” moniker. Better still, once you get used to using it, the fine art of key floating becomes a distinct possibility. Key floating is when you don’t allow a key to travel back to its full extension and rather hold it just above its reset point. This allows double/triple/quadruple taps to become so fast that the device’s 1000Hz / 1ms polling response rate is actually a necessity.

While Cherry Brown switches are considered tactile-feedback-only, the fact of the matter is that the Cooler Master Trigger can be a lot louder than rubber dome or even Cherry Blue keyboards. If you are looking for a silent option this is definitely not the one for you. With practice you can indeed get all the benefits of mechanical switches while making very little noise, but mastering this will take a lot of practice since pushing a key just past the 2mm actuation point will result in a slight bump rather than audible feedback. However, if you bottom out the key—as you are most likely to do when touch typing at word output or during gaming—there is a loud CLACK and a lot of vibration is transferred to your fingertips. This noise is louder than any CLICK you get with a Cherry Blue switch and much more noticeable than the dull thud of rubber domes being actuated. If the sound is annoying, you can always purchase rubber O-ring “silencers” via various third party sources.

Helping to balance the increased noise factor is the longevity Cherry MX switches afford the Cooler Master Storm Trigger. As with most of the Cherry MX line, Cherry Browns are good for 50 MILLION activations. By comparison, rubber domes are good for one to ten million, with most usually falling into the lower end of this spectrum. To put this in perspective: if your rubber dome keyboard lasts you three years, this one could potentially last between 15 and 150 years.

Overall, if you are used to rubber dome keys it will take a few hours to adjust to the feel of these Browns, but you will most likely enjoy any time spent doing so. However, the same cannot be said for someone who is accustomed to Cherry Black or Blue switches, and thus the Storm Trigger would not be our first recommendation for experienced users. The MX Brown really is more a jack-of-all-trades option designed to be decent at both typing and gaming but less effective than either Blacks or Blues in their respective specialties. If you already know what you like and demand from a keyboard, these switches may leave you wanting more. More importantly, the type of Cherry switches used will vary depending on geographic location so this may in fact be a moot point.

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