Cooler Master NovaTouch TKL

From Deskthority wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Cooler Master NovaTouch TKL
CM Novatouch TKL -- Top.jpg
Part number SGK-5000-GKCT1-UK (UK version)
Branding Cooler Master, CM Storm
Manufacturer Topre
Features 18K gold plated braided, detachable cable, wire plastic keycap puller, o-ring set
Layouts 87-key US ANSI, 88-key ISO
Keyswitches 45g Topre Switches
Keycaps ABS, lasered
Interface USB with full n-key rollover support (Windows only)
Dimensions 35.9(L)x13.8(W)x3.9(H) cm,
14.1(L)x5.4(W)x1.5(H) inch
Weight 895g (1.97lb)
Introduced 2014
Discontinued 2016
Price ~$180-200

The Cooler Master NovaTouch TKL was the first and only keyboard from Cooler Master to employ Topre switches and the first keyboard with Topre switches to have Cherry MX mount. The keyboard was announced at CES 2014[1], introduced in August that year and discontinued in September 2016[2].

Description

The switches have Cherry-compatible keycap mount. The stabilisers for longer keys other than the space bar work like a hybrid of regular Topre and Cherry stabilisers: the keycaps' stems only push against outliers of the stabilised key stem.

The NovaTouch TKL has a rather minimalistic case design with no indicator lights for Caps Lock or Scroll Lock. The same design was reused for the QuickFire Rapid-I and MasterKeys Pro S that instead are backlit keyboards.

The NovaTouch TKL has support for full N-key rollover, which has been confirmed to work only with MS Windows.

History

Announcement

The keyboard was announced at CES in January 2014. The only confirmed version then was a 45g uniformly weighted 87-key (ANSI) model, however, Cooler Master had suggested that additional models might be released in future with different layouts, and uniform weights of 30g or 55g[3][4]. The possibility of an European ISO model had already been hinted at in a post by Deskthority member and Cooler Master representative CM Bram[5]. This was further solidified in an article on ComputerBase.de where a series of images of an ISO layout NovaTouch TKL appeared[6]. Cooler Master initially suggested that the NovaTouch TKL should be available early in the second quarter of 2014, however it seems that the projected released date was later revised to be by mid-2014[7].

At Computex 2014, held June 3rd - 6th, Cooler Master announced that the NovaTouch TKL would be available in July 2014[8]. In August 2014, the NovaTouch TKL appeared for sale on Cooler Master's North American web site[9][10].

Cooler Master collaborated with Topre to produce the first Topre switch compatible with Cherry MX compatible keycaps

Cooler Master's announcement of the NovaTouch TKL marked a milestone for Topre; it was the first keyboard with Topre switches that accepted keycaps with a cross-shaped keystem compatible with the abundant keycaps for the already popular Cherry MX family of switches. This change from Topre's standard proprietary slider and keystem design had been welcomed by the keyboard enthusiast community. There was initial concern about the method used for stabilising the larger keycaps on the NovaTouch TKL, as Topre's standard method has the stabiliser bar beneath the mounting plate and a large switch housing, whereas most other manufacturers have the stabiliser bar above the mounting plate (or PCB) and a standard sized switch housing. The concerns were alleviated by CM Bram when his picture illustrated the stabilising method for the NovaTouch TKL[11]. The new stabilising method was largely compatible with Cherry MX keycaps.

Prototypes

Prototype sample keyboards of the NovaTouch TKL were made available to a number of members of the keyboard enthusiast community. There are four known prototypes in the wild, two being 88-key ISO layout and the other two being 87-key US ANSI layout. The two ISO keyboards are in the possession of European Deskthority members 'Matt3o'[12] and 'Muirium'[13]. Geekhack member, 'YuukiHaruto' has another[14]. The fourth prototype is held by reddit user 'ripster55'. More prototypes exist and are likely held by Cooler Master employees. The prototypes do not represent the final version of the NovaTouch TKL, which as of June 2014 remained unreleased. They have stand-in lasered with infill keycaps which were outdated when the prototypes were first sent out. The rest of the keyboard is very minimal. The case has minimal labelling, with only the branding 'CM Storm' appearing on the back edge, there is no cable-routing and there are no DIP switches. The LED lock indicators are all blue.

Reception

Many keyboards have been bought by enthusiasts solely for grabbing the sliders for installation into other Topre keyboards.

The keyboard has received criticism for its keycap legends, especially the alignment of symbols.

End and legacy

In September 2016, it was mentioned as discontinued in passing on Reddit[2].

Topre's own Realforce RGB uses similar switches in clear housing for backlighting of Cherry MX-compatible keycaps.

Modifications

Damping

Foam rings have been successfully installed in the sliders for damping the sound of the slider hitting the top housing on the upstroke[15][16].

Firmware hacks

The controller's programming interface has been figured out, allowing the firmware to be backed up, replaced and modified.[1] So far, modifications include only the keymap, and only for specific revisions of the firmware.

Gallery

External Links

References

  1. brightsideofnews.com - Cooler Master Suite at CES 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Post by CM_Glenn on Reddit's r/MechanicalKeyboards: Win Something Money Can't Buy; NovaTouch TKL Slider Set. Retrieved 2016-10-23
  3. YouTube - New Hybrid Keyboard! Novatouch TKL - Cooler Master Keyboards CES 2014
  4. Geekhack - Topre switch w/ MX Compatible Stem.....
  5. Deskthority - Topre switch / Cherry MX compatible
  6. ComputerBase.de - Cooler Master zeigt mechanische Tastatur mit Schaltern von Topre - ComputerBase
  7. /r/mechanicalkeyboards - chillin with ya boy
  8. The Tech Report - Capacitive keyboard, refreshed Nepton coolers coming from Cooler Master in July - The Tech Report
  9. Deskthority - Topre switch / Cherry MX compatible
  10. CM Store USA - CM Storm NovaTouch TKL - Premium Keyboard with Hybrid Capacitive Switches - Cooler Master Store
  11. Deskthority - Topre switch / Cherry MX compatible
  12. Deskthority - Topre switch / Cherry MX compatible
  13. Deskthority - Topre switch / Cherry MX compatible
  14. Geekhack - CM Storm Novatouch Pre-Launch Showcase & First Impressions & Typing test
  15. Geekhack.org thread: [[https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=84008.0 Novatouch with hypersphere rings
  16. Deskthority thread: [[https://deskthority.net/help-f53/silencing-rings-for-topre-rf-or-hhkb-t10051.html Help:Interest Check: Silencing Rings for Topre RF or HHKB