A Closer Look
Without looking closely the QFP resembles a very standard keyboard. In this day and age where every input device you use has oversized textures buttons and 7862392934 extra macro keys this was somewhat refreshing.
The feel of the keyboard is different than any other keyboard I’ve ever used. At first I thought that the entire thing was covered with a thin rubber coating but after using it for a while I determined that it isn’t. The whole keyboard is made out of what seems to be a very heavy plastic. This heavy plastic strangely had a very soft touch to it. It’s very difficult to explain but know that the texture of the keyboard was never irritating and was very enjoyable to the touch.
The spacing on this keyboard is the best I’ve seen so far from all the products I’ve reviewed on ThinkComputers.org. All the keys are the “standard” size and feature all the normal functionality that we’ve come to know and love. Above the classic number pad are 3 indication lights. The indicators are rather large so there shouldn’t be any issues when it comes to knowing if you have “Caps Lock” on. OMG CAPS LOCK!
The QFP also did something that I LOVE. They implemented the multimedia keys in the “F” keys ala laptop style. This way you don’t accidently press the keys and you also don’t have to make your keyboard the size of a school bus to accommodate them. The Illumination keys are also located within the “F” row.
An interesting aspect of this keyboard is the fact that it has a mode to switch from standard (default) 6 normal key roll over to full normal key roll over (NKRO). NKRO is something you don’t typically see on keyboards of any kind. Most have a key roll-over limit, i.e. 18. This means that theoretically, in full NKRO, I can hold down every key of this keyboard and it should still work. Now, I do not doubt Cooler Master in this regard but I’m not going to test this feature out either. If I experience any key ghosting in testing I’ll be sure to document it, If not I trust the mode is working as expected.
The keys themselves are all set up to have LED’s behind them. The QFP only features a small section of the keyboard with illumination but the more expensive CM Storm Trigger Mechanical Gaming Keyboard has full illumination. The nice thing is that both of these keyboards share the same key caps. Both designed for illumination regards of its presence. The lettering is essentially translucent plastic with an extremely durable feel to each and every one of them.
On the bottom and the top of the QFP you have very vivid CM Storm logo. From this angle you can see how high the QFP is in the back and the front. Something I found odd about the QFP is the lack of a USB port. Most mechanical gaming keyboards in this price range feature at least one USB port. The lack of one isn’t a deal breaker for me but I didn’t like the idea of having to plug my mouse into the back of my tower for testing. Hey, I’m lazy, what can I say?
From the side you can see two things. 1. The QFP is a thick bitch and 2. Even with the feet popped it doesn’t sit much higher in the rear. This might pose a problem because when dealing with keyboards this high you typically get quicker wrist fatigue. The majority of the keyboards in this range could benefit from a wrist rest but I guess that’s why they make a more expensive model with one. (Damn you, Trigger.)
The QFP is the first Mechanical Gaming Keyboard that I’ve tested that features a removable USB cable. The bottom of the unit features your typical cable guides, left, right, and center, but the because of the removable cable I figured the area to plug in the cable would be a bit on the larger side. The port they use of the cable connection is the now defunct USB-Mini (long live the MINI). Due to the braiding on the cable it was a bit difficult to insert but once it was installed I didn’t have to worry about it being pulled out. This begs the question “is the cable really meant to be removable?” I know it’s marketed like this and the feature is nice to have but due to the small connector (long live the MINI) and the difficulty in removing it I wouldn’t make it routine to pull it in and out.
The cable is a very nice braided 1.8m USB to USB-MINI. Not too long and not too short.