So you’re favorite keyboard is getting a bit long in the tooth. It’s survived many years of candy crumbs and coffee spillage. If it were dismantled it would mostly likely yield a Hungry Man-sized lunch of petrified snack treats. If any of this sounds like your current board, chances are; it’s already retired itself. You’re just in denial.

Chin up, young gamer! Instead of mourning the demised, this is your chance for Carpe Diem. No doubt! You can “seize the day” and use this opportunity to upgrade to something better, stronger, faster! There is no easier way to enhance your typing and gaming skills than by stepping up to mechanical-country. Our friends at CoolerMaster know what’s up and are positive productive residents with several offerings to choose from. Today we fondle and dissect their handsome CM Storm Trigger Mechanical keyboard. Let’s see how it holds up to our more favored mechanicals.

The keys on a mechanical keyboards require less force to actuate than your garden variety “membrane” or standard keyboard keys. Less force means less fatigue over longer typing sessions. Just how much force is dictated by the type of key switches used. Both the Corsair K60 and MaxKeyboard Nighthawk X9 feature softer gamer-friendly Cherry MX Red key switches. The Masters of Cool have chosen the more rigid Cherry MX Brown switches. Sadly, Black, Blue and Red are not available from CM in the U.S. market! Cherry MX Brown require more force to actuate so they are considered to the toe the line between gamers and typist alike. Indeed the keys on the CM Storm Trigger are rigid enough for fewer typos, but soft enough for relatively speedy gaming sessions. My gaming and typing prowess excels better with the baby soft Cherry MX Red. But this is purely preferential. If you can, I highly suggest either visiting a computer store and ask for a test run of the various options, or taking a good long look at this stellar keyboard guide here.

For those who need it, Cherry MX Brown keys offer the additional benefit of tactile feedback. When depressing a key, midway before the key bottoms out, users can feel a slight tactile indication that the key has been actuated. This is a must for some gamers and typists. The CM Storm Trigger’s key switches are no different and offer a noticeable tactile “bump” signifying actuation. Conversely, Cherry MX Red key switches offer no tactile feedback. Again this is a matter of preference. The point here: the Trigger gaming keyboard handles the feedback nicely without adding unwanted rigidity to the key-press.

It’s true! Typing with the Cherry MX Brown’s is an elegant affair matched only by the product’s elegant design and feature set. This is a good looking keyboard. All the keys are individually backlit with red LEDs, for dark den gaming and added bling. I prefer to use the included but detachable wrist rest. It’s more comfortable for typing and adds a more unique and stylized look to the board. The wrist rest is, however, made of hard plastic. It can’t compete at all against the cushy padded wrist rest on the Nighthawk X9. Yet it does span the length of the Trigger, unlike the tiny single-handed hard plastic wrist rest found on the Corsair K60.

The CM Storm Trigger also features 5 macro keys and companion software to customize your hotkeys and macros, where a single button can be outfitted to do a series of actions. The software is your standard fare and very easy to use. Plus the Trigger sports 64kb of onboard memory to store your various profiles. It also comes bundled on a CD, where some companies require an internet download of their software. CoolerMaster has also opted for a more humble “rollover” mechanic. The Trigger features a 6-key rollover–meaning up to 6 keys can be depressed at once and all will be actuated/recognized. If rollover is important to you then the K60′s 20-key or the Nighthawk X9 NKRO may be more up your alley. For me rollover is unimportant. But again this is a matter of choice and your typical usage behavior.

You will also find two high speed USB ports (2.0 flavor) for handy and simple accessory connections. I charge my iPhone and plug in controllers here just fine. CoolerMaster also boasts of media keys on the board. Ok sure! But they are not dedicated media keys. Like the Nighthawk X9, these are a 2-button press scenario. Hold the function key and F9, F10, F11 respectively for muting, volume down and volume up. I still prefer dedicated media keys toggles like we saw on the K60 mechanical keyboard. Sure I could set macros and make this a 1-key affair but that’s a waste of macros in my opinion. How about more effort here, CM on the next go ’round?

That’s about it. I really like the CM Storm Trigger keyboard! It looks sharp and the performance is formidable. I still prefer the feel and key switches used on the Nighthawk X9 as my go-to board. But this is only because I prefer the smooth cushier feel of Cherry MX Red key switches and have no need for the tactile feedback. That aside, I highly recommend Cherry MX Brown fans take the Trigger out for some practice shots. It has all you need in a high end mechanical board with the comfort to match.

Editor Rating:

Rating: ★★★★☆

Great

Bottom Line: This is one fantastic board! My main gripes only take off a half point each. Do your mechanical homework, because much of what will drive your decision is preferential and not performance driven. The CM Storm Trigger is one powerful Cherry MX Brown offering.

Pros

  • Mechanical precision (Cherry MX Brown key switches)
  • Handsome and stylish
  • USB hub
  • Individual key backlighting

Cons

  • No dedicated media keys
  • Hard plastic wrist rest

You can buy the Coolermaster CM Storm Trigger keyboard at Amazon for $119.97.



Shawn Sanders

 
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.