CM Storm is the gaming division of popular PC hardware manufacturer Cooler Master. CM Storm is not operating for a long time, but already became popular among gamers by their cases, mouses, keyboard and pads. 

Today we will review their new keyboard CM Storm Trigger with MX Cherry Switches.

trigger-main

Specifications:


  • gold plated cherry switches (black, red, brown, blue)
  • 64kb memory for macro and profiles
  • 5 dedicated programmable keys
  • Two port USB hub with 5VDC jack
  • 5 levels backlight for all keys
  • anti-ghosting 6 key-roll-over
  • 1000Hz driveless polling / 1ms response time
  • detachable wrist rest
  • braided cabel with gold plated connectors


Unpacking


Keyboard CM Storm Trigger comes in interesting “camouflage” box.
keyboard-1

In front of the box there are highlighted 3 main features of the keyboard. Also, you can find information about the type of Cherry MX Switcher which is used in this particular keyboard. In our case it was “Cherry MX Black”.
box-2

Interesting and creative idea was to create transparent fragment in the box. Through this “window” you can see QWERTY area of the real CM Storm Trigger keyboard.
box-3

On backside of the keyboard you will find list of all specifications in 8 languages. On right side payed attention to dedicated macro keys, dual USB hub and embedded 64kb memory.
box-back
First impression after unboxing is “it's fully matte!”. Awesome!
unboxing-1
Inside the box we will find CM Storm Trigger keyboard itself, wrist rest, Quick Start Guide, 2m cable and reminder about the necessity of downloading software from the CM Storm website. There is no CD with software and in my opinion it's the correct move. Even if you got CD with software for particular hardware, way better to visit official website and download latest software and driver with fixed known issues, more features, etc.
unboxing-2

Design


Size of the CM Storm Trigger in mm approximately 475(L) x 165 (W) x 25 (H) with weight 1.2kg. Design is close to “default” and looks very serious. As previously mentioned, it's fully matte, so you can forget about fingertips on it.
keyboard-1
There are only 5 dedicated keys which are assigned for using with macro-commands. Also, instead of Win key there is a “Storm” key which can play a role of Win or “FN” key for running alternative commands for F-keys or switching profile in combination with "Storm" + "tilda, 1-5" for switching the profiles.
keyboard-2-keys
Storm key in combination with F-keys gives you option to turn off/on, adjust level or mode of backlight. Media control's keys assigned to F5-F11.
keyboard-3-f-keys
On side panel there are two USB ports, which makes connecting headset, mouse, flash drive etc. way easier. Mini-USB port is necessary for connecting CM Storm Trigger itself. There is a DC5V jack (optional) which will give you 2 additional brightness level for backlight and more power for “power eager” USB devices.
keyboard-4-side
On backside there are 6 non-slip rubber coating areas which prevent any kind of slides on desk.
keyboard-5-back-1
Two stands for changing angle of keyboard approximately for 6 degrees.
keyboard-6-back-2
Wrist rest is big and made from very pleasant to touch material. Connecting the wrist rest shouldn't be an issue for any user. Just attach 3 connectors and you're done.
keyboard-7-palm-rest-1
With attached wrist rest keyboard CM Storm Trigger becomes almost double time bigger and sexier.
keyboard-8-palm-rest-2

Software


Installation procedure is pretty simple. Just follow the wizard and you're done. Program consists of 3 main tabs. First and main tab is Storm CFG.
soft-storm-cfg
You need to select the key with the mouse (red square after selection) and assign desired action to the key from the top bar. There are 6 function for most of the keys:

Default Key – reset to the default factory-assigned key
Single Key – remap the key to another single key. For example, “A” can operate as “D” or “Enter”.
Macro – assign macro command. We will talk about macro commands in details later.
Advanced – by this function you can assign specific Windows actions such as Volume Up, Mute, My Computer, Calculator, Back in Internet Browser, etc..
No Function – Disable key at all. It could be useful not for disabling Windows key only. Maybe you saw how hardcore gamers removing some keys from keyboard entirely for preventing any misclicks during the battle. With Trigger keyboard no reason to do that. Disable unnecessary keys, save it in a custom profile, activate it during the game and that's it!
Launch Program - this function gives you option to execute any software just by clicking on single key.

Keep in mind that some keys are not supporting all 6 functions. F1-F11 comes with pre-assigned media and backlight control. M1-M5 for macro commands only. Tilda and numbers 1-5 for switching the profile in combination with the Storm key.
soft-storm-cfg-2

All re-assigned keys have yellowish color and your overview will be enough to understand which keys are customized. Also, there is All Key List tab on right side with list of all customized Keys/Functions. In same tab you can select and save up to 5 profiles and activate them anywhere by pressing "Storm key" plus "1-5" keys.
soft-storm-cfg-3

In Profile's tab you can operate with your profiles. There are two sections: Keyboard RAM and PC RAM. In Keyboard RAM you can have 5 profiles recorded right to the memory of keyboard. If you'll go to LAN party, all you settings will go with you and your CM Storm Trigger. On PC RAM you can have unlimited number of profiles. Certainly you can easily move profiles between the sections.
soft-profile
Another cool feature of CM Storm Trigger is Auto Switch option. Assign application to desired profile and this profile will be activated once program has launched. Unfortunately, you can assign only one application per profile, but you can duplicate the profile and assign another software.
soft-profile2
In Macro Studio you will prepare macro commands for CM Storm Trigger keyboard. There are two methods for performing this: Manual and Live Recording. Let's start from Manual. Click New and put relevant name for your macro. After that click on Action button which will give you the option to select from pre-assigned actions such as Cut, Copy, Search, Select All, etc.. or from single key. Let's select Single Key. Pressing on it will bring the virtual keyboard and mouse. Click on necessary key on virtual keyboard or mouse. In our case it's “F”.
soft-macro-1
Here you go. “F” inserted to timeline with 50ms duration. Click on it for modifying Start and End timings if you want to.
soft-macro-1-1
Now you can add more keys and actions for creating your own “uber”-combo key combination.
soft-macro-1-2
Another type of macro-recording is live recording. Click on Record button.
soft-macro
Pop-up window with speed modes will appear. Certainly you can modify timings for each command later.
soft-macro-2
After clicking “OK” just type desired combination and CM Storm Trigger will record it on the fly. Click Stop button when you're done.
soft-macro-3-tuneup
After creating the desired macro-commands just go back to Storm CFG tab and assign your macros to desired keys. There are four playback options for all macro commands: play one time, play X (up to 10) times, toggle loop on/off, loop while pushed.
soft-macro-4-playback
As you can see the, software is providing great options for customizing. There are no presets of macro-commands for popular games, but maybe in future releases we will see them as well.

I'm strongly recommending you to check official video-manual here for knowing all features of CM Storm Trigger software.


Conclusion


This keyboard CM Storm Trigger has serious design, matte color, great tactile feelings and not too noisy as some other mechanical keyboards are. This review was wrote entirely on this keyboard and it's just a big pleasure to type on it.

Good idea to have fully detachable connector. You can obtain another cable and participate in LAN-parties without “disturbing” your cable management.

In games keyboard didn't show any ghost problem or slow feedback while switching the profiles. All players should be happy with it.

There are 3 levels of red backlighting. Keyboard supports standard 5DCV (optionally) which will give you +2 levels of brightness. In my opinion even without adapter level of backlight more than enough for all situations. Backlight has 3 modes: on, off and backlight for WASD and Arrow Keys only.

All cons which I found are related to software. The window size of software fixed and you can't maximize it. Also, could be better to have option to assign more than one application for auto-activating the profile. A lot of gamers will be happy to have pre-installed bunch of macro-commands for most popular games. I hope that software will have more options and features in future releases.

Pros:

  • All type of MX Cherry Switches
  • Great build quality, serious design and matte material
  • Detachable big wrist rest
  • Detachable cable for connecting keyboard itself
  • Two port USB-hub
  • Backlight for all keys
  • On-board memory
  • Possibility to re-assign almost all keys


Cons:

  • Lack of additional dedicated keys
  • 5DCV power adapter is optional
  • Software could be better

Take a note that after manipulations with software, don't forget to activate desired profile by pressing "Storm" key plus "1-5 keys". Otherwise you'll wonder why your changes are not affected to keyboard CM Storm Trigger.

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