Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger review -
Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
The CM Storm Trigger is a really well built keyboard series. The ergonomics are fine and the keyboard feels fantastic to work with and play games on, as such I am pleasantly surprised with the Trigger. Any critique from my side is strictly personal and thus subjective to opinion. I would like to see proper media keys and control, managing volume with a key combination is a little to 2007 for my taste. Also I would have liked to see more macro buttons, five is enough though.
NKRO might be an issue for the true aficionado's, the lacking PS2 port imposes a restriction. See, most mechanical keyboards support NKRO. If your keyboard doesnt specifically say NKRO somewhere on the box, then it is probably the standard 2KRO. NKRO stands for N-Key Roll Over, a feature that allows the keyboard to send any number of simultaneous keystrokes to the computer. Cooler Master calls this Anti-ghosting key, which isnt exactly accurate, but lets assume they are making something sexier out of NKRO.
The Trigger however does not have PS2, so it can not do full NKRO over the PS/2 interface. Over USB however is can do so, yet drops to 6-KRO over the USB interface. This is a limitation of the USB bus, and with some advanced driver trickery, USB can get up to 16KRO.
There are numerous in-game situations where anti-ghosting and NKRO can really save you time and anguish. A few good key combos to try (and test your keyboard) are ASX and WDE. The first two letters should register, but the third will not. Anti-ghosting moves the trouble key combos to other areas of the keyboard, so its possible that your keyboard works fine with these key combos, but problems will still crop up with other (and much less likely) key combos.
There are several websites that test for NKRO, even one provided by Microsoft, which is what I used. Our tests showed the Trigger indeed is 6KRO (as advertised) over USB with the Microsoft tester.
So the million dollar question, or more precise the 100 EUR / $119 question. Is it really worth that money ? Yes, we think so. Mechanical keyboards really are in a class on their own. Are mechanical keyboards really that good? Yeppers -- we think, they are.
Once you have used a mechanical keyboard, there is no going back to a regular keyboard. The differences are just too great, typing is better, faster and gaming is so much better as you get a feel with your keyboard It's terribly hard to describe though -- it's just no comparison. There is one downside though, mechanical keyboards do make a lot more noise.
Making high-end gamers keyboards is nearly an art form these days with a very enthusiastic crowd that is very critical.
Now you don't need a fancy mechanical keyboard to play a game well, but it can make a game much more enjoyable to play. On the other hand, there are keyboards that are better for noise than others. The Cooler Master Trigger is in the noisy keyboard category, it does have a nice sounding clicketyclack though ! Gaming wise I definitely liked the keys, the black cherry MX switches simply work out well.
The CM Storm Trigger has everything in store when it comes to gaming really, next to that, the keyboard is ergonomic and has a very comfortable grip to it. The rubberized feel and sheer weight definitely help out there in that regard.
I'll say this though, the design is a little trivial, some will hate the looks, other will love the strict coloring scheme and design style. Personally I like that as it's a little different. So aesthetically for me it is a pleasing concept, but taste is subjective so I'll happily leave that to your own judgment.
As stated in the first paragraph, the macro functions are good enough you'll have five macro functions at your disposal which can be programmed. It might be a little in the shy side for some. We expect to see more programmability and the memory to store profiles etc with future revisions of this keyboard series. The software itself looks decent and definitely is okay. It could use some touches here and there though.
One note about the application software though:
It's eating away almost half Gig after installation! That's nearly retarded, to the programmer yes you my friend, please use 8-bit color PNG files instead of 24-bit BPM files for every key image and language used. Try to imagine half a GB on your SSD sitting there just for keyboard control software. That is just not acceptable.
Let's see what more do we need to address, ah yes the backlit keys are good, perhaps a little bright though. It would have been nice to have seen the keys switch in different colors corresponding to the macro modes as well. We very much likes the option to just backlit the WASD and arrow keys though.
In closing then we feel the Trigger is a really great keyboard, it's a nice looking extremely sturdy programmable gaming keyboard that could attract masses. There is room for improvements in the software suite and overall but in general we feel this simply is a splendid gaming keyboard which we can recommend very much.
Mechanical keyboards are expensive, the 120 USD / 100 EUR is a lot of money for a set of keys, but as a true gamer we can certainly recommend making that investment as it makes quite a bit of a difference. Only once you start using a mechanical keyboard, you will understand what i am trying to evangelize here. Overall the Trigger carries an okay price for a very good gaming keyboard.
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