Zowie Celeritas Competive Gaming Keyboard ReviewBluePanda - September 14, 2011
Category: Input Devices
» Discuss this article (22)
If you have been looking for a new mechanical keyboard or you are looking to finally feel what it’s like to actually have full control over your computer, this might be the keyboard for you. ZOWIE returns to us today after their debut of the G-TF Speed and EC2 White Edition to try out their Celeritas mechanical keyboard. ‘SpawN’, ‘Flash’, and ‘Ho-Jun’ are the three professional gamers, that every product addition ZOWIE adds, that the products must pass by. Now it’s time to take it off their hands and see what it can do. Designed for competitive gaming, the Celeritas features the most durable 18k gold plated Cherry MX Brown switches with nylon key caps. Talk about having some bling in your keys – you might not be able to see it but your keyboard is sporting some gold. Also, ZOWIE’s newly developed RTR™ technology allows you to define the response rate right at your fingertips, no pun intended. When plugged in with the included USB to PS/2 connector the ZOWIE function key (which replaces the right hand Windows-key) can be used to change the character repeat rate from 1x, 2x, 4x, or 8x the normal response instantly. Of course using only USB the rate control is disabled but the ZOWIE function key is still functional for the media keys on the F1-F6 keys.
For those of you who have a hard time locating your keys or tend to fat finger what you are trying to type, the Celeritas allows you to disable that pesky Windows key that keeps causing you to lose your battles and be shot down while you return to your desktop. Instead, the Windows key functions as an added Ctrl key, so now you have two of them and can’t blame Windows for your lousy game play. I must say I’m very impressed with gaming manufactures who are making it more and more difficult to come up with excuses as to why you suck at games. With a 0.2 second response time, the ZOWIE Celeritas has the fastest reaction of any mechanical keyboard currently on the market. It supports all key anti-ghosting through PS/2 as well as 6 key anti-ghosting through USB. Featuring a red or blue illuminated logo (depending on your settings) and red NUM, CAP, and SCR indicators along with red illuminated repeat rate indicators the Celeritas is your classic old school keyboard with the ever so soothing “clicky-clacky” mechanical key sound. Let’s take a closer look at what the Celeratis has to offer.
Arriving in ZOWIE’s usually classy style, the box doesn’t have to brag up what is to be found inside. The classic grey and simple for ZOWIE with a simple white all caps “CELERITAS” with a peak window makes you question what is to be inside while still making you want to treat the box with some care. On the reverse of the box, about everyone that can read will find their language on the back of this box. The selling features of the Celeratis are listed in 12 languages. A brief “how-to” guide with pictures is printed with pictures for a quick start to using the keyboard – so when you get this for your birthday and have to wait to get home to use it… at least you can figure out how to use it ahead of time.
After tearing into the box, no matter how “pretty” it may be, you finally get to the keyboard! Since you spent time reading how to use it at your birthday party, you’ll be satisfied when there are no extra scraps of “instructions” included inside and you are essentially ready to go. The box contains only your new Celeritas keyboard, a USB to PS/2 adapter and another flashy aluminum ZOWIE sticker! The keyboard looks like your old school keyboard from when computers were becoming something back in the day, but without the gross yellowing of age. Just in case I haven't reinforced the concept enough, the keys do make that amazing “clicky-clack” sound!
The cable is coiled nicely so that you really notice that gold plated USB plug. The fancy ZOWIE Velcro strap keeps it nicely together and looks much better than the usual twist tie. Either which way the nice ZOWIE tie will probably get tossed with your other packaging, but if you really thought about it, you could use it to wrap up your cable for your lan parties as well as general cable management. But, I digress, let’s focus back on the keyboard.
The main features I seem to immediately notice out of the box are the key illumination, the function keys, and the usual keyboard layout - which is slightly different than normal. The right hand Windows key has been conveniently replaced with a “ZOWIE” key. It works as a function key to access all the media keys represented in subscripts below the F1 through F6 keys as well as access to the repeat rate modifiers located from F9 to F12. The key also allows for the Windows to Control key change mentioned earlier. The only other change really comes to something I fear taking time to get used to; the backslash/bar key has been moved from the usual upper right to the right of the forward slash. Although it seems to make sense for them to be next to each other and it provides room for that classic reverse L shaped Enter key, I’m not sure how much I’m going to like it.
Flipping the keyboard over a very plain smooth bottom side is revealed. Four massive rubber feet keep your keyboard from moving on any surface during even the most vigorous game play. Two nifty hologram ZOWIE logos are stuck on the bottom – too bad most people won’t ever see them. The center features the fact that it was indeed made in Taiwan and your serial number so that you know you are special compared to the next owner.
The illuminated ZOWIE logo and indicator lights look very nice once the keyboard has been plugged in. Turning the Windows key to a Ctrl key illuminates the ZOWIE logo in blue to remind you why your Windows key isn’t popping up your Windows Start menu. Unfortunately, the red backlighting is difficult to capture with my camera. Although the pictures of the logo appear to be more orange on the logo than the indicators, in person these are blood red and are more or less the same hue of red. The image unfortunately makes this statement seem untrue, but I promise you the ZOWIE logo might be slightly less deep red but it is very red, not orange.