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MX-compatible Hybrid Capacitive Switch

CM Storm Novatouch TKL Keyboard Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Packaging and Specification
  3. Closer Look
  4. User Experience and Conclusion
  5. Online Purchase Links
  6. View All


CM Storm hardware made a very good impression- from its performance to its built quality. I’ll be honest, CM Storm tend to be under-rated products, hidden away below piles of similar products made by other brands. CM made an impression that they listen to people’s feedback. That’s the impression that I’ve got from Rapid-i mechanical keyboard.

…and then comes CM Storm Novatouch TKL.

CM states that this keyboard will provide the ultimate typing experience. These keyboards don’t use mechanical keys, rather something that CM calls it as ‘exclusive hybrid capacitive switches’. The exact words are:

“The actuation force is precision-tuned to the strength of your fingers, while an ultra smooth, tactile key process makes NovaTouch the best feeling keyboard on the market”.

An impressive presentation can be seen at CM Storm Novatouch TKL product page. But how good is this keyboard? And if its worth the cost?

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CM pitches NovaTouch TKL towards heavy-duty typists, but it should be noted that couple of marketing slides showed that NovaTouch is also aimed towards gamers. Not surprisingly, this keyboard comes with NKRO and repeat rate.

Another best part is that these keys are backward compatible with Cherry MX keycaps. There are companies who do make aftermarket keycaps, so should you really decide to swap the default keys for something else that’s made originally for the Cherry MX mechanical switches, you do not have to worry.

If you’re using the word “heavy-duty” typists, a lot of people come under it. Anything from those who type a lot of content like me to even software engineers. That being said, there are many who can easily find the different between low-cost membrane keyboards with mechanical switch keyboards. The feel, response, the tactile feedback- Cherry MX offers many types of keys that entertain many types of users. My preference is either Cherry MX Red, brown and blue.

key 2

CM Novatouch TKL is Tenkeyless design, just like CM Storm Rapid-i. No numpads. Apart from the switch, the rest of the keyboard is a plain-Jane-with-no-extra-buttons keyboard (ignore the USB cable on the board, CM bundles it with right-angled cables. No backlit, unfortunately. But it does offer certain featured in CM Storm keyboards. CM probably did this to use this keyboard to check if users would be interested to such keyboards with switches.

Speaking of switches:

These switches are made by Topre. They have a patent for the keys. What would differentiate between the topre switch based keyboards from each other is the feature on the Novatouch TKL.

key 1

The main feature of the actual switch as per what CM said that its meant to avoid finger fatigue. The switches are topre switches with MX compatible stem and 45g actuation.  As you can see from the illustration mentioned above, each switch has many layers. Below the stem that stays on the keyboard is an electrostatic layer and conical spring. CM uses steel-plated PCB. This ensures that you get a solid feel once you actuate all the way to the bottom of the keyboard. A lot of typists should be able to feel the “rigid” towards the base as soon as one actuates the key. At least I did. This keyboard also supports NKRO, unlike many other topre switch keyboards that support up to 6KRO (depending on what you’re buying).

Moving on with the rest of the review…