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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Deal Alert: CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Keyboard for $52

This is an amazing deal.

OfficeMax currently has the CM Storm QuickFire Rapid mechanical keyboard on sale for $65 (regularly $75). Promo code BIGDEALS takes the price down to $52, and OfficeMax is offering free shipping today on orders over $20. It's important to note that this keyboard is fully mechanical--some more expensive "gaming" keyboards only use mechanical switches for half of the keys (Corsair Vengeance) or forgo mechanical switches completely (Logitech, Mad Catz, etc).

The product page states that this is a QuickFire Pro, but the product picture and product code both indicate that it's a QuickFire Rapid. OfficeMax also has the more-expensive QuickFire Pro available for $85, which should come down to $68 with the promo code applied. The Pro version takes the features of the Rapid keyboard and adds a numpad, N-key rollover over USB, and partial backlighting around the WASD area of the keyboard.

I'm currently using a QuickFire Rapid with Cherry MX Blues and I love it. Mechanical keys feel much better under finger (in my opinion) than a standard rubber dome key, which tends to feel a little mushy. The responsiveness and tactile feedback of the keys is pretty fantastic. One caveat: mechanical keyboards tend to be much louder than their standard counterparts, especially MX Blues. I wear around-ear headphones 99% of the time when I'm on my PC so the noise doesn't bother me, but it's borderline deafening with the headphones off. The OfficeMax product page doesn't specify which type of switches are included; the standard original release used MX Blues, so I'd bet on those.

If you're near a Best Buy or similar store, you can test out the feel and sound of MX Blues on a Razer Blackwidow. Make sure to do yourself (and your wallet) a favor by not buying anything while you're there.

The Mechanical Keyboard Guide on is a must-read if you're new to mechanical keyboards. If you're interested in taking the plunge but worried about the noise, there are things like O-ring dampeners that you can add to your keys to lessen some of the impact noise. On the plus side, the actuation point of the keys lies in the middle of the keypress; if you can avoid "bottoming out" while typing you can avoid the noise of the key impacting the base of the keyboard.

If you're at all interested in stepping up to a mechanical keyboard, this is a deal to seriously consider. 50 bucks for a fully-mechanical Cherry MX keyboard is straight up ridiculous.

Deal Link: Office Max
Promo Code: BIGDEALS


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