July 10, 2014

Unboxing & Review: Cooler Master CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i

By: Low Chern Lin

CM Storm started off with their Quickfire Rapid back then and in success, received numerous praises for its excellent built quality and value as it is built by the very same manufacturer for Filco, but cost less than RM300. 

If you've been following CM Storm with their product updates, there will be an upcoming replacement for the Quickfire Rapid which known as the Quickfire Rapid-i. Making its d├ębut as CM Storm's first backlit tenkeyless mechanical keyboard and it comes with NKRO over USB support that allows you to press every keys at the same time without having to worry about the infamous keyboard ghosting issue.

We thank Cooler Master for sending us a sample unit of the Quickfire Rapid-i here today which makes this unboxing and review possible. The Quickfire Rapid-i will be available in our local Malaysian market this August retailing at RM399. With no further adieu, let us proceed and check out if this is a worthy investment for the mechanical keyboard lovers.

Technical Specification


The front of the packaging is pretty straight forward, all the features shown in the icon is pretty much understandable, except for the Turbo Mode - we'll find that out later.

At the back of the packaging, we can see some description of the key features of the Quickfire Rapid-i.

This is pretty much what you'll get right out of the box:
  • The keyboard
  • Detachable USB to micro USB cable
  • Ring type key cap puller
  • User's guide
  • Function keys guide

As usual, all CM Storm peripherals comes with gold plated USB connector that is less prone to oxidation and it'll stay shiny for a very long time.

The other end of the cable is a micro USB connector which that attaches to the back of the Quickfire Rapid-i.

Its appearance still resembles the Quickfire Rapid, only that it is now a backlit mechanical keyboard.

The Quickfire Rapid-i we have here is a Brown variant, other variants (Red & Blue) are also available from CM Storm as well. 

Taking a closer look at the key cap, we can see some really clean paint job here.

Instead of the all familiar Costar stabilizer, the Quickfire Rapid-i now uses cherry type stabilizer which is much easier to remove. 

The rubberised coating is still there, but with some improvement as we find that coating to be smoother and slightly thicker compared to the Quickfire Rapid.

Function Keys

F1 basically allows you to toggle the LED, F2/F3 to adjust its brightness and F4 allows you to toggle for the backlit mode.

Now is this the interesting part we're looking at, the turbo mode that we've seen on the box earlier. It basically allows you to toggle the input rate of each key pressed, the higher the multiplier you choose, the faster the input rate is. Ridiculous for normal usage but pretty convenient when it comes to skill spamming in RPG games.

Don't let the M1~M4 fool you, it's actually the LED profile toggle keys instead of macro keys. Yes, no macro keys.

The Windows key lock function has been shifted to the Print Screen key, while the REC function allows you to record your preferred backlit configuration to either one of the backlit profiles on F9 to F12.

The media controls that we're so used to see on F5 to F11 has been relocated to this area, which we personally find it to be more ergonomic compared to its previous location.

Here's a comparison of accessing the media keys, accessing media keys on a CM Storm MECH requires us to lift our palm to reach the controls, while accessing media keys on a Quickfire Rapid-i doesn't even need us to lift our palm. Ergonomic wins.

Let there be light.

Moving on to the bottom of the keyboard, it seems that CM Storm ditched the cable routing design and went for the old school clean bottom. 

We were hoping to see a larger keyboard feet, but this still works pretty well to keep your keyboard from slipping away. 

Depends on your preference, the keyboard feet allows you to tilt your keyboard a little higher to suit your needs.

The ActivLite Introduction from Cooler Master


Final Thoughts

Practically, the LEDs are only for aesthetic purposes and doesn't really give you any advantages over your opponents. From our point of view, the key feature that makes the CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i a worthy choice is its solid build quality, more ergonomic media control keys, ability to configure LED up to 4 personal LED profiles and more up coming LED profiles from Cooler Master.

As far as it goes, we've noticed that there's no software available for customizing the LED by far and we really hope to see that soon from Cooler Master.

  • Solid build quality
  • Better and more ergonomic location for media control keys
  • Capable of up 4 custom LED profiles
  • Detachable and braided USB cable
  • Improved rubber coating quality compared to Quickfire Rapid
  • Full NKRO under USB that allows all keys to be registered simultaneously
  • There's no option for user to customize their own LED lighting 
  • Costly
The CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-i scored a Gold and Recommended award from us here at