Hardware Peripherals Reviews 2

Cooler Master CM Storm Trigger Gaming Keyboard Review

As of lately it seems Cooler Master has been adding more and more gaming grade mechanical keyboards to it’s arsenal. However, its latest release is none other than the CM Storm Trigger which aims to be one of the best gaming mechanical keyboards you can buy. It’s packed with all the latest features you may find on most keyboards with impressive visuals to boot. We’ve been especially impressed with the other mechanical keyboards from Cooler Master, so we have high hopes for this one.

Some of the key features of this keyboard are the Cherry MX mechanical switches, macro keys backed with 64Kb of onboard memory, built in USB hub, and fully back-lit keys with different color options. Continue on to the next page for a more in depth review of the Trigger’s many features. In this review we will be looking at the CM Storm Trigger with Cherry MX Brown switches installed. Currently the Trigger has an MSRP of $119.99 USD.

As stated earlier, the CM Storm Trigger we are testing is equipped with Cherry MX Brown switches which is standard for the US. Outside the US, you switch type may vary. The Cherry MX Brown switches offer a slight tactile feel about half way though the key press which is a good mix for either gaming or typing. If you are new to mechanical keyboards, it may be wise to educate yourself before making a purchase to see which switch is right for you. If you are looking for more in depth review on the different switches, you can find a very in depth guide to mechanical keyboard switches. Overall, mechanical keyboards far outlast standard keyboards as far as durability goes.

Features and Specifications

The following information can be found on the CM Storm website. Below is a list of some of the Trigger’s features.

  • High durability gold-plated Cherry switches rated for over 50 million key strokes
  • Multi-media control keys for convenient sound control
  • 5 macro keys with profile management
  • 18K gold plated ultra low latency USB plugs
  • Anti-ghosting 6 key rollover
  • 64KB on-board memory for profile storage
  • Storm tactics key for deactivation of Windows key
  • 1000Hz driverless polling / 1ms response time
  • Two port enhanced USB 2.0 hub
  • Detachable wrist rest
  • Braided cable for durability
  • Non-slip rubber coating

 

Model Number SGK-6000-GKCC1 (Black Switch)
SGK-6000-GKCL1 (Blue Switch)
SGK-6000-GKCM1 (Brown Switch)
SGK-6000-GKCR1(Red Switch)
Key Switch CHERRY Black / Blue / Brown / Red
N Key Rollover 6
Macro Key 5
Polling Key 1000 Hz /1 ms
Backlighting All Keys
Windows Key Disable Yes
On Board Memory 64kb
Media Keys Yes
Dimensions 475(L)x162(W)x25(H) mm
18.7(L)x6.5(W)x0.98(H) inch
Weight 1260 g / 2.78 lbs

 

A Closer Look

Packaging

At first glance the The box that the Trigger is packaged in is massive! it was hard to believe that there was just a keyboard in there. The below photos show the packaging design of the outside of the box.

The keyboard itself was packaged very well which should keep it safe during shipping. As you can see below, the keyboard is nested inside a bed of custom foam packaging giving it no wiggle room. All the components are contained inside cardboard cutouts located underneath the keyboard.

The overall layout of the Trigger is pretty standard compared to most other keyboards. Some of the more obvious differences are the five macro buttons located along the left side. The design is very simple for a gaming keyboard. It seemed like in the past gaming keyboards were filled with lots of flashy lights, and multiple edges. The design of the CM Storm Trigger is very square and simple, but this simple-ness gives it an appearance of durability.

Below are the five programmable Macro keys which can be controlled with Cooler Masters included custom software.

The mechanical keys are your typical full size concave style. The etched letters are a bit larger than those of a typical keyboard. They are very solid and don’t appear to have any wiggle or tilt to them.

Included with the Trigger is a rather large palm rest that locks into the underside of the of the front of the keyboard. This really adds to the appearance factor of the trigger as well as being very comfortable.

And here we have the underside. Besides the huge CM Storm logo, the only other important features are the keyboard angle stands. One nice feature about these are that they are rubber coated unlike most keyboards. So this should keep it from sliding around in most cases.

Here we have the rear ports. From left to right we have a +5V power adapter for the USB hub (not included), the Keyboard cable port, and two USB ports. Low power devices, such as a mouse, should work fine in the USB hub without the power connector, but the power connector will be required for more power hungry devices.

The backlit keys are one of the best features of this keyboard. The CM Trigger is fully backlit which has three different modes which are shown before. These modes include a WASD and arrow keys lights for a more low profile gaming mode. The next mode is all keys on, then the last mode is all keys on but slowly fading on and off.

 

CM Storm Trigger Software

Software Overview

Cooler Master did a very good job making the software for the CM Storm Trigger easy to use as well as graphically appealing. It covers pretty much anything you would need as far as controlling the back end of your keyboard.

The first tab lets you customize the actions of each key. You can apply alternate macros to pretty much any key. You can also apply your saved macros to the side macro keys here as well. There are also a total of five profiles that can be customized individually.

This screen allows you to control additional features of your profiles such as save, copy, rename, etc. This also lets you specify whether or not you want your profile to be saved on your computer, or on the keyboard’s RAM.

Finally, the last tab allows you to set your custom macros. This is basically a recording studio which you can use to record your keystrokes, then save them for selection on the “Storm CFG” tab.

If you are new to using macros, or need help using it for the first time, Cooler Master provided some very helpful FAQ’s which can be found on their website here. We did find this software very intuitive and after poking around with it for a few minutes, we pretty much had it down.

 

Testing and Construction

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, Cherry MX keys are designed primarily for gaming or typing. The Cherry MX Brown switches are the middle ground for both. The tactile feel is not heavy so there won’t be hardly any added strain when a key is pressed. This should allow for extended periods of either one of the two.

As far as the keys go, they are very comfortable, and have a nice feel to them. There is no wobble or tilt so they feel very solid. I think my only gripe, however, is that the keys are not very quiet; in fact they are quite loud. For most people this won’t be an issue, but if you need come across a time where you need to be quiet, others may find this keyboard detracting.

Gaming
As gaming is the primary function for this keyboard we had high hopes for this keyboard going in, and lets just say that it did not disappoint. We were very impressed at first, how easy the macros were to setup. After hours of gaming there was absolutely no fatigue on my hands, something I can’t say for other keyboards that we’ve tested. This was mostly because of two things, the massive palm rest, and the Cherry MX mechanical keys.

Typing
Typing on the CM Storm Trigger is not too much unlike any other keyboard. The only benefit that we noticed was of course, lack of fatigue due to the very comfortable palm rest and Cherry MX mechanical switches. The only draw back is the louder-than-average sound that this keyboard makes while typing.

Durability
This is by far the most solid and well built keyboard We’ve ever seen. It is pretty heavy overall which should keep it in place on your desk. Some of the other gaming keyboards we’ve tested have a plastic feel to them; this one feels more like a piece of rubberized industrial equipment. Needless to say, this keybaord is likely to last you a very long time.

And, just in case you don’t believe us that it is durable, check out this video below:

 

Conclusion

The CM Storm Trigger was no doubt one of the best keyboards that we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. If you are in the market for a high end gaming keybaord that is comfortable, durable, and nice to look at, the Trigger is most likely to be your best bet. Though it’s not the cheapest on the market, with the price that you pay and the quality you get, this keyboard is worth every penny. The keys have a nice feel overall and the backlights are very bright and can be easily controlled.

The only drawbacks we found were how loud the keys were when typing. For most people, especially those who use headsets most of the time, this won’t be an issue. The other drawback was that you are not able to use the USB hub on the back of the keyboard without a 5V DC adapter which is not included.

  • Appearance 5/5 – Appearance is tricky because it is completely up to personal preferance, but to us we could not find anything bad about the design. The braded cable looks nice and the key backlights are bright and easy on the eyes.
  • Construction 5/5 – The CM Storm Trigger was stronger and more durable than any other keyboard we’ve reviewed. Everything about this keyboard looks and feels very solid.
  • Performance 4.8/5 – Typing and gaming were both very comfortable on the Trigger. The software made it easy to control some of the key features. The only reason for the drop in score is due to how loud the keys are.
  • Functionality 4.9/5 – Cooler Master did an outstanding job making sure this keyboard would meet or exceed the needs of any casual or hard core gamer. For a mechanical gaming keyboard you can’t go wrong with the CM Storm Trigger
  • Value 4.6/5 – The Trigger is priced a little bit higher than the competition, but with added cost comes added features. With the Trigger, you get what you pay for.
 

Overall Score: 97/100


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