Battle of the Mech Keyboards: Razer Blackwidow Ultimate VS. CM Storm Trigger VS. CM Storm QuickFire Pro
If you’ve been following my blog, you would have read my post wherein i detailed mechanical keyboards and the different cherry MX switches. The post did feel a little incomplete, though, so i decided to take some actual mechanical keyboards and compare them and their switches. In this review, we’re going to take a look at the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate (with blue keys), the CM Storm Trigger (with black keys) and the CM Storm QuickFire Pro (with red keys).
Before we begin, however, I’d just like to recap you on the specifications of the different cherry MX switches.
|Name||Switch Type||Clicky||Force Required||Distance to Actuation||Distance to Bottom||Main Purpose|
|MX Brown||Tactile||No||45g||2mm||4mm||Gaming and Typing|
|Membrane||Varies||No||~55-60g||Requires full Distance||Varies by Model|
Now let’s begin.
THE RAZER BLACKWIDOW ULTIMATE
- Full mechanical keys with 50g actuation force
- Individually backlit keys with 5 levels of lighting
- 1000Hz Ultrapolling / 1ms response time
- Programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording
- Gaming mode option for deactivation of the Windows key
- 10 customizable software profiles with on-the-fly switching
- 5 additional macro keys
- Gaming optimized key matrix for minimized ghosting
- Multi-Media Controls
- Braided fibre cable
- Audio-Out / Mic-In Jacks
- Approximate Size : 475 mm / 18.70” (Width) x 171 mm / 6.73” (Height) x 30 mm / 1.18” (Depth)
- Approximate Weight: 1500 g / 3.31 lbs
Impressions: The Razer Blackwidow is Razer’s top of the line keyboard. It features Cherry MX Blue switches which is the most popular of all. It does have a stealth edition which features Cherry MX Brown keys which is much silent than the blue switch but is as tactile. Going further, the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate has programmable keys and macro recording functions – No drivers necessary for installation but to use the features, you must install the Razer software.
The keys feature 3 levels of brightness and are well spaced out but it would’ve been better if they stretch it out a bit more to avoid typing the wrong keys which happened to me, even if only for a few times. Another thing which bothered me more, though, was the styling of the printed characters on each key wherein all characters aren’t printed out in CAPS. It’s a minor detail but i find it rather unpleasant to look at. Lastly, the cable is quite stiff. It is very sturdy though.
Nevertheless, the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate is very good for gaming and typing. This is the keyboard i actually use to type my blogs since i enjoy continuous button mashing as i type on my thoughts and impressions. The click clack sound is pleasing to my ear and it’s the only keyboard from all 3 that I’ve tested today that i found enjoying to use. It can get rather annoying sometimes when you need it to be quiet, though, because it just won’t. My only other wish was that it featured 2 USB ports instead of just 1.0. In the end, Razer was right to use the blue keys to serve all types of purposes since they offer only one version for retail. The stealth edition is available only at the Online Razer Store.
The SRP of the RAZER BLACKWIDOW ULTIMATE is P6499.
CM STORM Trigger
- 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
- Approximate Size :475(L)x162(W)x25(H) mm
- Approximate Weight: 1260 g / 2.78 lbs
Impressions: The CM Storm Trigger is my favorite of all the keyboards. It’s well built, flashy and jampacked with features. One of the things it has over the other keyboards in this review is the additional wrist pad that you can attach at the bottom of the keyboard for that extra comfort. Another good feature is that it’s exterior is made from rubber as compared to the plastic coating of the other keyboards. This is a plus for me.
The one i tested was the CM Storm Trigger with Cherry MX Black keys which did not have any of that click clack noise. It felt great to use but my hands got tired faster than it did compared to when i used the BlackWidow Ultimate with blue keys and the Quickfire Pro with Red keys. This is because i the black keys require more force to depress compared to the blue and red. What’s suprising though is that the Trigger, being bigger than the other 2 keyboards, is actually the lightest of the bunch.
Similar to the Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, however, this boards features 5 macro keys but ups the Razer flagship by one extra USB port allowing for more connections. The CM Storm Trigger is actually the flagship product of CM Storm featuring red backlighting throughout the whole board. Furthermore, it features multi-media controls for convenience. The design is flashy but some may dislike it. It looks rather too edgy at times with a lot of cuts and bumps here and there. It’s very different but the looks actually grow on you. The design paired with the red back lighting is just out of this world. Another advantage of the CM Storm Trigger, as well, is that it comes in all 4 Cherry MX flavors so there’s one made for every taste.
It also comes with a software which you can use for macros and profiles but it’s just not on par with the software provided by Razer.
Here are the different model numbers of the CM Storm Trigger Keyboards and their SRPs.
|Model Numbers||SGK-6000-GKCC1 (Black Switch) / P6499
SGK-6000-GKCL1 (Blue Switch) / P6499
SGK-6000-GKCM1 (Brown Switch) / P6799
SGK-6000-GKCR1(Red Switch) / P6999
CM STORM QuickFire Pro
- Mechanical CHERRY MX switches
- USB 2.0 full speed
- NKRO in USB mode
- Multimedia shortcuts
- 1000Hz/1ms response time
- Windows key disabled in game mode
- Partial Red LED backlight
- Removable braided USB cable with cable routing
- Approximate Size :454(L) x 155(W) x 31(H) mm
- Approximate Weight: 1300 g / 2.86 lb
Impressions: The CM Storm QuickFire Pro is the last of the keyboards we’re reviewing for today. It’s also the one which features the best of all words being tactile and silent at the same time. Though the Cherry MX Brown may feel better than the Red keys, the red keys actually provide the perfect balance between all keys. There is that tactile bump that relays the message that it has actuated but feeling the way that it does, i keep expecting it to make a lot of click clacks. Unfortunately, it’s very silent. This is actually it’s advantage though.
Feature-wise, the CM Storm QuickFire is packed but not as much as the other two. The polling rate is adjustable but that’s as much as it offers. There are no macro programs or profiles and the the LED lighting is only partial. This is quite a disadvantage since users who will buy expensive keyboards would’ve at least expect the back lighting to be full or none at all. The partiality leaves the user halfway in the middle of their excitement. The multimedia keys work by default but it’s not as convenient as it is to have dedicated ones like in the CM Storm Trigger.
In the end, i think that the only reason why i enjoyed the keyboard was because it featured red keys. Had it featured non-red keys, the keyboard as a whole would’ve left me the feeling of being a half-baked product. That’s only half the story though. If i told you that the keyboard only costed P4999, t hat would’ve made the story much different. A mechanical keyboard that was made to last yet costs under $100 is a steal. Sure, it doesn’t feature a lot of other things you can get on $120+ mechanical keyboards but $20 is $20 and it can go to some other upgrade for your gaming PC.
Like it’s bigger brother, though, it features different sets of switches starting at a suggested retail price of P4999.
|Model number||SGK-4010-GKCC1 (Black)
So there you have it folks. I hope you liked my short review of the three mechanical keyboards. If you’d ask me though which one i liked the most it would be the CM Storm Trigger based on features and looks alone. I would, however, opt for the CHERRY MX BLUE keys version of the keyboard, however, as it is the one i enjoyed using the most. The Razer Blackwidow Ultimate falls in 2nd place because of it’s rich features but it’s exterior could do much better. Lastly, the Quickfire Pro – which was meant to be a cheaper alternative to the Trigger- stands at third place. I mean, why shouldn’t it? If you wanted to buy a mech keyboard for a purpose then it would do you best to go for the best of the best. At the end of the day, however, extra features are still luxuries that not everyone needs so the CM Storm QuickFire Pro is meant to cater to those that don’t need these extra feature.