PerformanceThe CM Storm Trigger keyboard features Cherry MX Black key mechanisms and soft touch key tops. The Cherry MX Black keys have the highest actuation force of all the mechanical keys available from Cherry, this means that most accidental key presses can be avoided, however, it puts significant strain on your finger muscles when used for normal typing.
Actuation force is of course a user preference and many will probably like the MX Blacks for their high actuation force. The MX Black key mechanisms are linear which means you get no feedback when the button reaches the actuation point like on Cherry MX Browns or Blues. This means that the Blacks are primarily aimed at the gaming crowd along with the newest mechanisms from Cherry the MX Reds. The Reds are also linear but have an actuation force that is similar to that of the MX Browns.
Compared to the other mechanical keyboards we have recently tested, the CM Storm Trigger stands out when it comes to gaming features. For one the keyboard has five macro keys conveniently located at the left side of the keyboard. Besides that the driver suite allows you to reassign all buttons on the keyboard, which works just like the QPAD MK-85.
The dedicated macro buttons are a welcome addition for all MMORPG gamers and with the launch of Diablo III around the corner, a lot of people will probably appreciate the red themed macro enable Trigger keyboard. An interesting lighting mode is available, which only lights up the WASD, arrow keys, and the macro buttons. This is a welcome tweak to the lighting options on other gaming keyboards. Of course the Trigger also allows you to disable the Windows-keys so that you do not accidentally tab-out while gaming.
Adapting to the CM Storm Trigger took a little time, but afterwards it provided a very good gaming experience. The use of Cherry MX Black keys is pretty much a no-brainer on a keyboard like the Trigger, where the focus is on gaming performance. The pressure needed to activate a button is on the high side with the MX Blacks and that is something you have to consider. For a normal gamer the actuation force required is probably above what most would consider comfortable for extended gaming sessions. For double tapping the MX Blacks are still king and anyone playing games where this is done a lot should definitely consider the Trigger or equivalent MX Black equipped keyboard.
TypingTyping on a keyboard featuring MX Black keys is alright. The actuation force is on the high side, which means you have to work for it. The lack of tactile feedback at the actuation point makes it harder to get a real good feel for speed typing, but that is largely down to preferences. Heavy fingered people will undoubtedly love the high actuation force. People coming directly from membrane keyboards will need to get used to the amount of force required to press down the buttons.
DurabilityThe basic construction of the CM Storm Trigger seems solid enough. The implementation of removable cabling is a bit odd, especially the choice of a mini-USB instead of normal USB B type connector which is much better at taking abuse.
Key top wise the Triggers laser etched lettering is top notch. Like all keyboards with soft touch key tops, signs of wear will probably show a bit sooner. However, if CM Storm is using the same process as QPAD it will probably last a long time.