CM Storm Trigger Z Review

We’ve reviewed the Quickfire TK from Cooler Master before. This time, we’re taking a look at the Trigger Z. It’s a full size mechanical keyboard and has been around for quite awhile, but no one can resist getting their hands on a good mechanical keyboard. It’s mainly constructed out of plastic polymer materials with pretty decent build quality. It’s coated with a soft touch finish that’s pretty scratch resistant. On the bottom we get numerous rubber feets to keep the keyboard from sliding around. Even the extendable feets are rubber capped to keep it from sliding around when they are extended. Something the Corsair K70 lacked before.

CM Storm Trigger Z Review | | Calvin Pixels
Rubber feets on Keyboard, Extend Legs and Palm Rest

There is also a wrist rest included. It also has the same soft touch finish that’s on the keyboard. I grew very fond of this as it provides support and gives you a very comfortable typing experience. On the bottom, there are rubber feets as well to keep it in place. Moving on to the other side. We get a detachable USB cable, which I would always like to see. It makes it much more durable by reducing the risk of the cable breaking and it makes it much much more easier to transport. It doesn’t offer USB pass through or audio connections though. Cooler Master even included a key puller in the box. So, you wouldn’t have to go around looking for one should you decide to swap out the keycaps or take it down for cleaning.

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Type A detachable cable

The Trigger Z has backlights as well. Albeit, lacking RGB LED’s and complex lighting patterns. I find the backlighting quite satisfying despite lacking those features. The LED’s glow white in colour. Plus, the back plate is made white as well to accentuate the white colour LED’s glow and fill the gaps between the keys well. The lighting system is quite simple. It’s controlled using the FN key with the F1-F4 keys. You can turn the backlight on/off, toggle the backlight brightness levels, and choose in between three lighting modes (Full Backlight, Breathing, or Gaming Keys lit only). I find the lighting quite sufficient even at the lowest brightness setting, though some keys aren’t really lit well due to the nature of top mounted LED’s.

CM Storm Trigger Z Review | | Calvin Pixels
White back panel helps the LED illumination

The remaining function keys control other secondary functions (F5-F11 are dedicated to volume and media control while F12 being the Windows Lock Key). The Windows Lock key’s LED is set to be always on. It changes between full brightness and normal brightness to in indicate whether Windows Lock is engaged or not. The same goes for the caps lock, number lock and scroll lock. For the column on the most left labelled M1 to M5, those are the dedicated macro keys which can store up to 25 macros with the 5 on-board profiles. To switch the profiles, simply press the FN key and keys 1 to 5. When you switch profiles, the backlight would flash to indicate this even if backlighting has been disabled. This is great way to provide some sort of confirmation that the profiles has been changed. To set the Trigger Z back to its default mode, simply Press the FN key and the ` key.

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Media Controls

Moving on to the software. It feels quite a bit like the customization software from days past. It doesn’t feel quite as polished in comparison ones from other competitors. Though, it gets the job done and works really well most of the time. Here profiles can be customized and all of them are stored in the keyboard’s own on-board memory. Profiles can be stored on the PC as well and it sports application-based auto-switching. You have to swap them out with the ones in the keyboard’s on-board memory for them to be accessible though. To save the profiles and settings, you can just close the software and it would take a couple seconds to save them all at once. It’s quite responsive and everything works well without bugs and delays.

CM Storm Trigger Z Review | | Calvin Pixels
Macro Keys

Recording macros are pretty easy as well. Select the profile you want to use, then hold the FN and Alt keys down for a few seconds. The scroll lock indicator will start blinking to indicate that the keyboard is in record mode. Just record the buttons you want to record, select which keys you want in your macro, press the FN and Alt keys again, then finally select which macro key to assign it to. You can open up the Trigger Z software and you should see it as well as edit it should you want to do that.

CM Storm Trigger Z Review | | Calvin Pixels

For macros using other keys on the Trigger Z is a whole different story. You can’t program them on the fly like how the macro keys are programmed and have to be done through the Trigger Z software. Most of the FN-based secondary functions can be reprogrammed using the 5 available customizable profiles. Though, there are a small number of them that can’t be reprogrammed. Another thing that may put people off is the interface to record these macros. It’s much simpler to use pre-determined command sequences but you have to use a grid. Each block is 50ms is apart and you are limited to 25 key presses and 30 seconds. The limit for the keyboard’s on-board memory is 75 macro keys.

Now to the most important bit, the typing experience. The high quality Cherry MX switches get most of the praises here. With Cherry MX Browns you get a tactile feel while having the same light actuation weight of Cherry MX Reds. For those whom really like the MX Browns, is mostly due to the tactile bump that would help them type without bottoming out the keys for much more quieter operation compared to MX Reds and especially MX Blues. Cooler Master deserves some props from me due to how comfortable it is to type on it. I usually raise the two keyboard feets with the wrist rest in place. The keyboard doesn’t move around at all when using it and the angle of the keyboard is just nice comfortable for typing and gaming. I mean it, it’s one comfy keyboard to use. To top it all off, it sports full 64-key rollover as well.

CM Storm Trigger Z Review | | Calvin Pixels

For my verdict, to simply put it, I would say it’s really good. You can’t go wrong with a mechanical keyboard these days. Especially if they’re using Cherry MX switches. All these manufacturers are doing is simply adding a little their touch, some extra customization capabilities for the users and to make sure the keyboards are as comfortable as possible. If I were to be really picky, I would say the adding of a USB pass-through and dedicated media keys would be great. But again for the price I would say it’s given a lot and it’s worth every penny.

Keyboards mentions:
CM TK Fire: Here
Cosair K70: Here

Buy @ Amazon: Here

CM Official Store: Here (RM399)

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