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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

They keys have very good feel and it is a boon for typists, even in comparison with Cherry MX blue keys and Cherry MX red. When I shifted from membrane to mechanical, it took a while for me to appreciate mechanical key’s feedback. But it didn’t take me anymore than an hour to truly appreciate the keyboard. I felt that the response was quicker, or at least, the feedback gave me that sensation. Even when bottoming out, the keyboard felt solid. The construction of CM’s keyboards is a real thing and its brilliant! If I as a user have to pick something, I will choose Novatouch TKL in a heartbeat. I went crazy with that keyboard.

The feedback from actuation is very different from the mechanical. Its hard to explain since this is the first topre-switch based keyboard I am ever trying, but it should ever suffice to say that the bounce-back effect is much better than mechanical’s counterpart. I was sceptical at first since (by the looks of it) it looked like a membrane with a spring below it. But this keyboard proved it wrong- every word of it.

But…

When you bring the cost of the product into this discussion, everything changes. Like many users would, you’ll take a step back- and think really hard if you REALLY want it in comparison to Cherry MX mechanical counterparts. This is the test for true love!

India (est.) U.S. U.K.
 Rs. 15,000/- $239.99

There’s also NKRO support which isn’t usually found in topre-based keyboards that offer 6 key roll-over. There’s also the fact that its Cherry MX keycaps compatible. Guys like WASD Keyboards sell such keycap sets. There’s also the function to turn off the windows key. You wouldn’t mind tenkeyless unless you need numpads. But then, there’s no LED backlit. As a counter-point, do typists and typing elites need backlit considering that many of such users prefer blank keycaps. But I am sure they would like to have a rubberized-feel keycaps.

Besides, the mechanical switch’s casing allows keyboard manufacturers to install a LED. Either this topre key manufacturer has to come up with a similar idea- or CM need to find another way to implement it. I am assuming that CM would be encouraged to have another variant such this topre switches.

Those who want numpads will ignore the keyboard. Its a preference. But CM could have priced this in a way that more wider users could pick up this keyboard just like how many users ditched membrane for the mechanical switches. The absence of LED indicator for Caps and Scroll Lock is just weird.

One can easily conclude that CM aimed this keyboard towards people who love typing a lot with few features that other topre-type keyboards don’t usually offer. That’s the best thing about topre switches. Rest of it is a cherry on the top feature that you’ll like at some point. In all fairness, CM went ahead to reach to a very specific niche. Judging by their previous keyboards, I am sure they don’t need to be told about the annoying part of the lack of backlit LED and the price. CM is testing ‘unchartered territory’ with this special topre switch keyboard. Maybe CM could have ignored the gaming-centric features and concentrated on finding a solution to implement backlit?

People will love CM Storm Novatouch TKL keyboard once they have tried it. But when you know the price, you start to squeal- not because its expensive- but because you love the keyboard that would make a big hole for an average gaming/PC enthusiast Joe. Few will pass through this intense fire of love, buy this keyboard, maybe even change the keycaps and they will never ever look back.

  • Solid Built Quality
  • Switch perfect for typing
  • Few gamin features: Rapid Rate, NKRO, Windows Lock Key
  • Compatible with Cherry MX aftermarket keycaps
  • 2 Years Warranty
  • Expensive
  • Mediocre keycaps
  • No Caps Lock and Scroll Lock Indicator (weird)
  • O-ring is more useful for mechanical rather than for Novatouch TKL

That’s what I love about the Rapid-i. It is a perfect tenkeyless keyboard even with a premium price but will attract a broader set of enthusiasts- gaming and PC. It has everything you need. The built quality is so solid that it could be used as a melee weapon (not suggesting that you should). LAN gamers will appreciate it more because it can take a good beating when bottoming out because of the built quality.