Sandberg FireStorm Keyboard Test

Sandberg FireStorm Keyboard Test

The FireStorm mechanical keyboard turned out to be the next addition to Sandberg’s esports periphery. So let’s check how in practice the equipment (supposedly) worthy of a professional falls out.

Box and accessories included

In terms of the cardboard, the manufacturer is not impressive, just a simple box with atmospheric renderings of lightning. It is a pity that it is more of a “storm” than “firestorm”, but customers will probably swallow it somehow. Inside, there is a keyboard with a factory-attached pad, a good-quality plastic key for the keys and a user manual.

Highlights of Sandberg FireStorm

  • Full-size keyboard with numeric keypad
  • Material: plastic and metal
  • Switches: Outemu Blue
  • Dimensions: 38.01 x 14.38 x 4.24 cm
  • Weight: 1000 grams
  • 180 cm long USB cable with a fabric braid
  • Channels for draining the cable
  • Backlight: RGB for all keys
  • Application support
  • Multimedia and function buttons
  • Producer price: PLN 329
  • Warranty: 5 years!

Materials, design and workmanship

A quick glance is enough to notice a rather non-standard shape of FireStorm, which tapers from the top to the pad itself. Thanks to this, the keyboard is not only interesting in terms of design, but also more comfortable, thanks to placing each successive row of buttons slightly higher. In addition, Sandberg did not opt ​​for the usual perpendicular shapes, aiming for something a bit more distinctive. The sides are decorated with regular indentations, and the upper part of the housing is decorated with cut walls.

The FireStorm top cover, which keeps all Outemu switches in check, is made of metal and the only fancy additions to the surface are embossing on the left and right sides and silver-plated, polished edges. Traditionally, in the upper right corner, i.e. above the numeric block, there is a place for a “panel” indicating the activation of caps-, num- and scroll-lock as well as the gaming mode.

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The switches overlays, i.e. the keys, are made of a combination of matte plastic that is pleasant to the touch and finished with delicate valleys. All this, of course, in accordance with the dual-injection technique, which guarantees the strength of the font. One of the most elegant fonts I have ever met in this edition.

The problem is that someone really botched the layout of the buttons. He shortened the left shift by adding a button responsible for the ” |” signs, and for some unknown reasons he enriched the ‘i button with the @ image, and ~ with two strange signs. Maybe it is part of a specific arrangement, but I have never encountered it, although I must congratulate the presence of a “traditional” enter, not a stripped down one.

On the bottom there are four anti-slip pads that do a great job, two traditional feet with rubber pads, and even more and more often used channels for leading the cable from the “left, right and top”. Slightly lower, because on the lower beam, we are surprised by the presence of two hinges that keep a large wrist rest in check.

The surface of this pad consists of numerous diamonds made of matte, pleasant to the touch plastic, and on its bottom the manufacturer has placed a pair of non-slip pads as solid as on the keyboard itself. Fortunately, this is the type of pad that is simply useful (not too small), but if necessary, you will be able to unscrew it anyway or just “hide” under the keyboard.

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Software

FireStorm simply could not fail to receive a dedicated application to manage the whole, and you can download it from the manufacturer’s website. However, this one does not seem revolutionary, offering standard options that are a staple in any keyboard application. I have to admit, however, that the “pass” that Sandberg chose is a good pass, because the interface is clear and everything works without any problems.

Functions

Although the issue of macros, backlighting and button function overrides on FireStorm is possible from the application, the manufacturer added several functional buttons to the keyboard itself. However, these are only responsible for the backlight and I pay special attention here to the functions hidden under PageDown. It is with this that we will adjust the backlight of the side parts of the keyboard.

Backlight system

Just as we are already in the backlight, it must be noted immediately that FireStorm offers a little enriched effects compared to the competition. This is because it is not only about the illumination of each key separately, but also the separation of two dependent sectors on the left and right edges. It is there that numerous indentations are illuminated with additional LEDs, the management of which, however, is limited.

Not like the backlight of the keys. Here we can influence not only the color, but also the brightness and speed of the effect. Its quality is high, which can be seen, among others, in a well-lit font. However, if I had anything to attach to, it was the brightness of the LEDs on the second (from the top) notches on both sides – there is clearly no glow there.

Switch test

So we go through what by far the weakest element of the FireStorm model, which are switches. Of course, it’s good that there are no mechanical “no-name” here, but as I have already found out with the Hermes model by Gamdias, these can also show class. However, the Outemu Blue here just offers a gentle feeling of using the “clicking Blue” versions. There is a reason why Outemu comes last in the ranking of three producers (Cherry MX, Kailh, Outemu). Of course, it is not bad – “you can click it”, but the transition to these switches from such Cherry MX Blue is very noticeable.

Summary

At the moment, the FireStorm mechanical keyboard is not available in any of the Polish stores. Sandberg, however, valued it at PLN 329, which seems to be an exaggeration, considering the switches used. The Kailh version would do much better here. However, switches are not the only important element of this model.

FireStorm boasts an interesting design, an integrated (and indeed useful) wrist rest, great RGB lighting and its complement on both sides. In addition, there is a whole 5-year warranty, so this proposal from this manufacturer simply deserves a recommendation. Especially since its future is painted in the light of delicate reductions after filling the shelves of domestic stores.

All of the above photos were taken with the Wiko View 2 Pro phone.

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