As we always do, a little history first. Keyboards have always been a part of computing since the very beginning. The original IBM PC came with one, the Model M, which I used as a kid. The Model M, of course, set the standard for all keyboards that came after it. There are some variations in layout, but it's all based off the 101-key Model M. The modern keyboard, thanks to Windows, now has 104 keys, and depending on your location, you can have many more keys than that. Suffice it to say, keyboards are still the most efficient way of interacting with your computer, even with the great strides made in voice-recognition, touch screens, and GUI optimizations. I think the chances of humans ever growing out of the keyboard are pretty slim. In the early days of personal computing the keyboard really meant something because it really was the only way to interact with the machine. Having a good-feeling keyboard was very important, at least until the mouse and GUI came along, and shifted the focus a little bit. Mechanical keyboards have always been around, though, part of the collective geek consciousness, and the enthusiasts that inhabit that world are as hardcore as their keyboards.
LED animation and macro programming
With the Cooler master Quick Fire XTi you get to use options like the lighting portions of the keyboard as well as create some action macros, and profiles.However this is all done at the keyboard with Function keys, there is no software available. Some might like it, others will dislike that. We think that for simple macro profiling this is OK, but for the more advanced stuff you will definitely need to be on the lookout for a keyboard with software suite.
As you can see the Function key is key here (great pun eh ?), FN + F1 allows you to set blue as back lit color in difference levels, FN + F2 is red and FN +F3 selects oen of the three animation modes. We do hope to see more animations with upcoming firmware as just three modes feels a bit too few.
FN + other keys are intended for macro profiling,. have a peek at the example screen-shot above to get an understanding. here I feel a software solution is the better way to go. Then again, 80% of the more regular PC gamers probably do not even use macro programming so who am I to tell right ?
So Dome of Mechanical ?
So, why would you want to spend 150 EURO on a keyboard? Is it really worth it? Yes, we think so. Mechanical keyboards really are in a class on their own and the LED lighting on this one is pretty sweet TBH. Thoughy not for everybody, but for most once you have used a mechanical keyboard, there is no going back to a regular keyboard. The differences are just great, typing is better, faster and gaming is better. It's just no comparison. The one downside though is that they do make a lot more noise and this applies to gamers mostly. 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 mechs are in the noisy keyboard category, it does have a decent clicketyclack though ! Gaming wise I definitely liked these keys and am slowly preferring brown switches over red ones.