The QuickFire Rapid is a mechanical keyboard with great build quality, a diverse selection of good mechanical switches and a substantially lower retail price compared to other high-end alternatives. It’s ideal for both beginners who are experimenting with mechanical keyboards, and for experienced programmers looking to optimize their coding sessions with a quality product without spending too much.
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Pro High quality mechanical key switches
The CM Storm QuickFire Rapid uses genuine Cherry MX key switches which are generally considered the best available mechanical switches. Their reputation is well-deserved, due to their excellent durability and superior performance and reliability. They go through vigorous testing to ensure they meet the desired quality standards.
Moreover, because they're standard Cherry MX switches, they are interchangeable with custom keycaps. Down the road, if you prefer you can get your own custom keycaps and totally change the look of your board. From a minimalist design like this to a custom image like this, or even different shaped keys like this you can modify them to your hearts content.
Pro Great value for money
The QuickFire Rapid keyboard is often recommended as a great beginners' keyboard on pretty much every enthusiast community out there due to its value for money. Its build quality is great, it's easy to find online & it comes with a good selection of switches for about half the price of the top-of-the-line options.
Pro Switch customization options and alternate versions available
There are 4 different kinds of Cherry MX switches (Blue, Red, Brown and Green) to choose from. There are also alternate versions of the Quickfire Rapid that offer options the original version doesn’t have, like backlighting, numbers pads or media function keys.
Pro Solid build quality
This keyboard is made by the same OEM as the Filco keyboard, so it's of comparable build quality. Given that the Filco costs a lot more money and has one of the best reputations in the industry for quality, this is a great selling point for the Quickfire Rapid.
Pro Good for those new to mechanical keyboards
One of the main objections against getting a mechanical keyboard is how much it usually costs. This keyboard combines good quality and an affordable price. This makes it a good choice for beginners that aren't positive the investment on a mechanical keyboard will pay back.
Pro Easily changeable keycaps
Included with the keyboard are 6 extra keycaps as well as a keypuller. The keypuller allows for easy removal of the installed keycaps, in order to switch them out with caps of the users liking.
Pro Pretty portable
The USB cable connecting the keyboard to one's computer is easily detachable at the base of the keyboard, thanks to the micro USB connection. This makes it easy to detach and reattach the keyboard at will. Couple this with the fact that this is a tenkeyless keyboard that weights just 2.1 pounds, and you can understand how easy it would be to remove the keyboard and throw it into a bag in order to travel with it.
Pro Very sturdy
The included rubber feet and fold out back feet allows for a sturdy hold on one's desk. This keyboard does not move or slide around in the slightest, whether the back feet are folded out or not.
Pro Great cable solution
Not only is the braided cable detachable, but it has cable routing as well. If you want, you can swap out the included braided cable for a longer/shorter/different coloured one that suits your setup better. Also, if you break the cable (or your pet does), it's cheap to get a new one and very easy to do. Cable routing helps organize your cables in a more pleasing way. Instead of having the cord come right out the middle of the back, you can have it go on either side of the back which can help make your setup look cleaner.
Pro Hides wear and tear well
The soft touch coating on the the keyboard's surface makes wear marks minimal, as it tends to hide small scratches and doesn't wear off as easily as some paints do. It has the bonus of making the surface pleasant to touch, because of its softness.
Pro Reliable Costar stabilizers
Costar stabilizers offer less friction in their key motion use. Often Cherry branded stabilizers are a bit more mushy when the key is pressed, which is why many prefer Costars stabilizers.
Con Limited availability
Right now, this option is available only on Newegg and is expected to disappear from the market soon.
Con Small ENTER key
It's hard to aim at such a small enter key.
Con No numpad
The tenkeyless design makes the keyboard more compact, but isn't great for anybody that works with spreadsheets and data entry.
Con Keycap design
Media labels are on the top of the keycaps while FN labels should be on the front of the keycaps (OEM profile).
Hence the user experience is not the best.
Con No backlighting
The QuickFire Rapid can be hard to use in the dark, since it has no backlighting. Also, some people feel backlighting gives a more premium look to the keybard. There is, however, an alternate version of this keyboard that comes with backlighting (the Rapid-i).
Con No alternate layouts
There is no simple option when ordering this keyboard to have it set up for alternate keyboard layouts such as DVORAK. While it is possible thanks to the DSA style keycaps and included keypuller, a new set of keys to swap out will need to be ordered from a third party.
Con Modifier key difficult to use
The dedicated Fn modifier key that activates the Fn keys’ secondary features, like media control or display settings, is inconveniently placed next to the right Control key, making use inconvenient.
Con No spare parts offered on manufacturers site
While the keyboard does come with 6 extra keycaps, if the purchaser wants more or different keycaps (or other parts) they will need to go to a third party. For convenience's sake, it would be easier to get them from the manufacturer.