A Closer Look
Laid out on the desk you first notice how closely this keyboard resembles the Quick Fire Pro. If you subtract the wrist-rest and the macro keys on the left side you basically have a carbon copy of the QFP. If you read the review I did on the QFP you’ll know that this isn’t a bad thing. The QFP had a similar overall construction to the Trigger but when you first touch the new keyboard you’ll immediately notice how different they really are. Each key on the Trigger has a rubberized coating. The same coating is applied to the entire wrist-rest. Even though I can see nasty oil build up eventually occurring that particular coating is very pleasing to the touch.
The Trigger is really nice in the size department. When you first see the wrist-rest you’ll probably say the same thing I said, “That’s a huge bitch”. But after you attach it and place your hands on it you’ll realize how perfectly sized it actually is (and how much it’s not a bitch of any kind).
The Trigger’s “Lock” indicator buttons aren’t as extravagant as the QFP but they serve their purpose. The “F” keys running across the top of the keyboard integrate all the media functionality that you could desire. I love when Companies incorporate these buttons into other buttons. With the frequency that I actually use these buttons they don’t need a dedicated space. You can also find the illumination settings keys located in this row.
The key layout is something to truly marvel at. You know why? BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING! I praised the QFP for having a gaming keyboard that was first a keyboard and then a gaming device second. The Trigger is no different in this aspect. They didn’t move any keys. The keys are the right size. There are no special textured keys. This is a keyboard that can be used at its highest function as a gaming device.
On the left of the keyboard you will find the only row of rouge keys: 5 dedicated macro keys labeled M1-M5. Cooler Master did an excellent job in putting just enough space between these keys and the normal keys. I hate more than anything reaching for my “Left-Ctrl” key only to hit “M5”. The macro keys can’t be programmed unless you have the software installed so for the time being they are “dead” buttons.
On the back of the keyboard we have one of the nicest features. Cooler Master made a serious step up from the QFP by including a 2 port low voltage USB Hub. Next to that is place that you would plug in the included braided USB cable. The QFP placed this connector in the middle of the bottom of the keyboard. I liked the idea of a removable mini-USB cable but located where it was located on the QFP made it difficult to remove. On the Trigger you don’t have that problem. Next to the mini-USB cable connector you have an additional port that allows you to provide external power to the Trigger that turns your low voltage USB Hub into a higher voltage USB Hub. This would be useful if you wanted to power a food processor off of your keyboard. Hey, you never know when you need to slice some carrots. Sadly, Cooler Master did not provide the DC Power Supply needed to convert the Hub.
From the side you can see that the Trigger illuminated gaming keyboard doesn’t sit that high. Even with the feet popped the back may only raise 2 centimeters. Due to the curvature of the keys this isn’t an issue. Once you have the wrist-rest installed and the feet propped up you have this very ergonomically pleasing setup. At this point the wrist-rest looks as if it was never a separate part of the keyboard. It has a very nice flowing look to it.
The bottom features 6 HUGE rubber pads. With pads like this I don’t think you’ll be seeing this keyboard sliding around your desk anytime soon. The feet that are incorporated in the bottom back aren’t much to marvel at but the keyboard raises and sits level when the feet are propped up and I guess you can’t ask for more.
The illumination on the CM Storm Trigger has 3 modes, 4 if you count “off” as a mode. As soon as you plug the Trigger in the first time it lights up. The illumination macros are controllered with the “F1-F4” keys. If you notice the Trigger does not feature a “Windows” key. Instead they have a key with the CM Storm logo (which looks badass). This particular key is basically the “Fn” key you would find on every laptop keyboard. It’s used the same way “Shift” is used in conjunction with alpha and symbol keys.
The first illumination mode is a “gaming” mode, which only illuminates the dedicated macro keys, WASD, and the arrow keys. Next is a pulse mode that for all intents and purposes is designed to solely screw with my eyes. And lastly we have a fully illuminated mode, which I use. The illumination is so good on this keyboard it’s a shame to use any other mode. The LED’s that the Trigger uses are really a sight to look at. No matter what angle you look at each key the character is very vibrant.