Best of Both Worlds
There’s lots of choices for gamers and pc consumers when it comes to mechanical keyboards as every company out there has their own range in the ever expanding massive market. With companies jumping aboard RGB or making their ‘own’ switches – CoolerMaster has been working on their brand new keyboard, the Novatouch TKL.
Before you roll your eyes and go “not another mechanical keyboard”, You’ll be pleasantly surprised that the new CM Storm product does not utilise the ‘popular’ Cherry MX mechanical switches or their in-house version. The Novatouch TKL uses hybrid capacitive switches or in other words – Topre switches that support Cherry MX caps. If you’ve ever heard of Topre switches, you know keyboards containing those switches go for quite a bit of coin and CM Storm doesn’t hide that calling this a top of the range premium range keyboard coming at $229 AUD RRP.
Design wise, CoolerMaster has gone with a really normal minimalistic reference setup. The keyboard doesn’t glow in the dark or feature crazy bling – it’s simplistic and premium looking which honestly is how I prefer my keyboards. It’s also Tenkeyless meaning there’s no numpad for users crunching calculations down which took me a while to get used to.
The Novatouch TKL is the only keyboard currently in the market to support custom Cherry MX keycaps so anyone using a custom setup can easily transition over. The hybrid switches are uniformly weighted at 45g to actuate with a incredibly short travel distance of 1mm. The unit does come with O-rings for more dampening and resistance if the user required it plus a key-cap puller for changing keys or for gazing at the purple switches in your spare time.
It’s hard to review keyboards when everyone has their preferences but I really dig the hybrid capacitive switches. As a owner of various Cherry MX Blue and Brown mechanical keyboards, I feel the Novatouch TKL hybrid switches is a step above Cherry MX but only slightly. It feels more accurate and smoother than the Cherry MX Browns I use and doesn’t create a loud bottoming out noise even when you’re slamming the keys. I find myself typing faster and gaming with comfort without the stress put on my fingers because of the smooth usage.
At a premium price for a keyboard, we’re talking $200+ here – the new CM Storm Novatouch TKL Keyboard can be a tough sell so it’s quite hard to make the judgement call whether to jump ship from the Cherry MX switches to the Hybrid Capacitive switches. Some people do prefer the noisy clicks the Cherry MX makes or the light tactile feedback – it all comes down to preference. If you’ve used Topre keyboards before and know how excellent of a switch they are then the Novatouch TKL is something for you. It’s brilliant for the typist and for the occasional games – it does quite well. It’s a hard sell for those who haven’t tried it but don’t knock it before you’ve tried it.
A review unit was provided by the manufacturer.