CMStorm Trigger gaming keyboard
A full-sized mechanical keyboard that's designed for gamers
- Excellent keys and key sound
- Spongy modifier keys
The CMStorm Trigger keyboard by Coolermaster is based on mechanical switches (Cherry MX Blue in this case). It's solidly built, comfortable to use, offers useful macros and backlighting and it looks quite good, too. It's worth considering if you're an avid gamer.
Price$ 130.00 (AUD)
The CMStorm Trigger (by Coolermaster) is a full-sized, 104-key mechanical-switch keyboard that has been designed for gaming. The review model I looked at features Cherry MX Blue switches for the keys, which sport a tactile and "clicky" keystroke. They do create a bit of a racket in the ears of some, but for gamers who wear headphones this won't be an issue — the sound may bother housemates during all-nighters though.
The construction of the CMStorm Trigger is solid, and it's certainly a weighty piece of kit at just under 1.3kg. It will happily stick to your desk during even the most intense deathmatches, thanks to its non-slip rubber base, yet it can also be easily transported to LANs thanks to its removable, braided USB cable and its rigid, scratch-resistant construction. The key switches are rated to handle 50 million presses each, so it'll take some serious effort to wear them down. A two-port USB 2.0 hub lets you charge devices without running extra cables to your rig, but it does require an external power input. While the Trigger has a full-sized, 104-key layout, if you're looking for a more compact, tenkeyless model, the CMStorm QuickFire Rapid keyboard is an alternative, albeit without macro shortcuts.
The keyboard is girded with a black, scratch-resistant TPE-like plastic and has a gunmetal grey faceplate. Its design harks back to older "clicky" keyboards with its angular looks and high keycaps, but it definitely has a gamer touch to it. It fits right in with the matte black/gunmetal designs of my Logitech G9x Laser gaming mouse and ASUS G53 notebook.
The LED lighting on all the keys is a deep red that didn't distract me from the screen, and keys could be easily found during hails of gunfire. It has a few modes: off, steady lowlight, on with pulse, and FPS mode, which lights up only the macro, WASD and cursor key groups. The shifted characters (such as the @ symbol and the semi-colon) are pretty dim though.
Not just for gaming
Despite this hardware being designed for gamers, I started using this keyboard for programming while at the office; I enjoyed the feel of older mechanical keyboards such as the IBM Model M and the Apple Extended Keyboard so I was excited to try out a newer model. It got me some attention from my team, who could hear me clacking away at the board, though we're no strangers to "clicky" keyboards — I sit next to a testing machine equipped with an SGI keyboard. One thing became obvious very early on, however: I found that some of the modifier keys such as the backspace and shift keys were spongy, with a slower rebound compared to the alpha keys on the board. I suspect that with more use these will wear-in.
Gaming: what it does best
The board works just fine without any drivers installed, though you can install the Trigger App (most recent version at 1.1 from the CMStorm website. I used this keyboard to play Diablo III, but with that being more of a mouse-reliant game I moved on to Starcraft II instead. I found that I didn't have the same tendency to spam keys like I do on a laptop or rubber-dome keyboards — on the Trigger, I knew exactly when I had hit a hotkey. It's no wonder professional gamers like these keyboards. Many livestreamers use them despite viewer complaints, though you can always opt for one of the quieter MX Black or Brown models.
I really like the travel and click of each keystroke on the CMStorm Trigger — it makes typing a real joy. For anyone without a mechanical keyboard, I'd recommend this one or its little brother from the Quick Fire Rapid range (if you want a more compact layout without the macro support). It is competitively priced against existing mechanical gaming keyboards, and the only thing I can fault it for is the spongy modifier keys.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- AMD will sneak-peek its high-end Zen CPU in December, starting a new CPU war
- 5 burning questions about AMD's Zen chip
- Nvidia tempts GeForce Experience 3.0 users with Gears of War 4 giveaway
- Intel's latest Xeon chips based on Skylake due next year
- Intel packs more horsepower in its monster 22-core processor
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TP.Net DeveloperVIC
- CCProcurement AnalystQLD
- FTFull Stack PHP DevelopersQLD
- CCSenior C++ Software EngineerQLD
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTSystems Engineer l Citrix NetScalerNSW
- FTSoftware Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTOffice365 Solution SpecialistSA
- FTSolutions Architect - Data Centre/ NetworkQLD
- TPSenior|Principal SAP HR Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCProject DirectorVIC
- FTFull Stack Web Developer - UI/UX - .NET or JAVANSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTRegional Sales Manager - Telco/ICT - Employer of choiceQLD
- FTChief ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior IT Domain Specialist - Integration - CloudVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantVIC
- CCICT Contracts ManagerSA
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTSenior AEM Consultant - Public SectorACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW