Most computer users today probably cannot imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a computer keyboard. I was not an enthusiast back then, nor did I own a computer, but I recall seeing ads for an IBM PC system retailing for $9000 with an IBM Model F AT keyboard included in the bundle, which costs $400 to replace. This, of course, sounds absurd in a day and age where an average powerful desktop PC system costs just over $1,000 and an average PC keyboard costs between $15 to $20. The difference between these keyboards, of course, is the build quality and durability. Many of the old IBM Model F and Model M keyboards survive to this day and remain fully functional, albeit sporting a yellowish tinge from the sharp beige that they originally came in.
These old IBM keyboards were designed with tactile "buckling spring" switches, while most common keyboards today use a dome-switch design made of rubber or silicone. With careful use, rubber dome keyboards can last two or three years on average, but for gamers, the lifespan is a lot shorter because of heavy use. Various mechanical keyboards have been gaining popularity among gamers in the last few years but because of high production costs, scarce availability, and shipping costs, the end retail price discourages a lot of users from trying it out. Cooler Master, through their CM Storm, aims to change this by introducing their own mechanical keyboard line starting with the CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid keyboard.
The CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid keyboard uses mechanical cherry MX switches and is available in two or four variants, depending on your region. The CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid keyboards with blue and red switches are available for the North American market, although the cherry MX red switch is exclusively available through Cooler Master's online store. For the APAC region, users have the choice between four cherry MX switches for the CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid, including black and brown. Since the CM Storm Quick Fire Rapid is a tenkeyless keyboard with a detachable USB cable, it is perfectly portable for LAN parties and other mobile gaming events. Cooler Master also includes replacement keycap sets for the WASD cluster with a key puller so the keys can be readily replaced and backs the Quick Fire Rapid keyboard with a two-year warranty.