Zowie Celeritas Competive Gaming Keyboard ReviewBluePanda - September 14, 2011
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The ZOWIE Celeritas was put through a one week testing period. During this time I did everything from writing school papers, random internet-ing, and, most importantly, some casual gaming. Since it’s a partial PS/2 keyboard there is absolutely no need for driver installment so there is no wait; just plug it in and GO.
Although a keyboard is a crucial part of any system build there really are no concrete “tests” that can be performed that can really define this keyboard as better than any other. However, in a subjective manner it can easily be broken down into key categories that really show where a keyboard shines or fails miserably. The most defining traits of a keyboard can be summarized numerically with Comfort, Customization, Gaming, and Accuracy.
- Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.6 GHz
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD3
- Memory: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 Redline
- Video Card: 4870X2 2GB
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drives: 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1
- Case: Corsair Graphite Series 600T
- OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit SP1
- Razer Lycossa
- Logitech Internet 350 keyboard
Personally, comfort is a major player when it comes to choosing a keyboard. If I need to spend 15 hours working on a report I want to be miserable from the report itself, not because my hands are cramping from the unusual keyboard design. If the keys are too far apart or it has a sharp edge where my palms sit then I probably will not be much of a happy camper. With this in mind, comfort is measured on a scale from 1-10 with a score of 1 being, “Are you sure this is even a keyboard?” and a score of 10 as, “This keyboard was molded to fit my hands”. A 5 shall represent your typical "stock keyboard".
In a gaming situation it might be nice to have a few keys on a keyboard that are designated for weapon selection or giving commands. The ability to assign macro keys can be the difference when you are being beaten by someone who simply does not have to click to do every action. Therefore a scale of 1-10 is assigned with a value of 1 representing, “There are fewer keys than an average keyboard”, and a value of 10 as “WOW! Where are my normal keys, there are SOOO many”. Again a 5 is representative of the “stock” keyboard (including media keys). This category also covers the options of appearance customization (i.e. replacement keys, lighting, and other color options)
Gaming plays in hand with customization. Being able to assign macros can make some games much easier to play – especially if it replaces scrolling through several menu options. This category for rating is based on the concept of the keyboard being designed for gaming or not. This category is based completely on the compatibility to play with games. Does it have specific designed macro keys, are there many of them, and how easy are easy they to use. A scale of 1-10 is used with a score of 1 represents a keyboard with only the main keys (no media keys, no number pad), a score of 10 means the keyboard was designed solely for a gamer.
No matter how fast a keyboard can respond or how fast you can type, writing up papers and maneuvering the battlefield both require great accuracy. If you can’t get your point across in an email because you had to spend half your time going back to retype words because a keystroke was missed or over typed then why even bother. Same goes for in game – pressing the correct key should always, always, always produce the correct response. A scale of 1 – 10 was used to rate accuracy; a score of 1 represents you might as well give up, and a 10 means your keyboard knows what you were thinking before you typed it.
The Celeritas doesn’t have any specific features to make it especially comfortable. It has the feel of an older style keyboard with clicky noises and clicky feel to confirm your keystroke. I think what made the keyboard a bit uncomfortable as opposed to rubber coated keys or a laptop style layout would be the space bar itself. The space bar has a rather harsh edge which, yes fits in with the style, but after some use makes you want to avoid using it. The space bar doesn’t have the usual clicky sound like the other keys, as it is rather soft feeling and somewhat lacks the satisfaction for every press. With the space bar set aside the keyboard is just as comfortable as any stock keyboard. (As a reminder: this is a usual theme of mechanical keyboards – they are not typically designed for über comfort.)
It is nice to be able to turn off the Windows key for game play as long as you can remember to turn it on. Fortunately, the ZOWIE logo changing colors is a nice constant reminder that something is different than normal. The repeating rate is a nice change if you are capable of handling more than the normal speed. I’ve made the mistake of glancing down while not realizing my thumbs were just enough on the space bar to fill a few pages with blankness. But it’s so nice to be able to have such a quick response; makes typing seem so much less effortless. I really like it. But beyond this – there isn’t much for customizing your game play – but need I remind you again, take the type of keyboard into consideration before complaining that it doesn’t have macros for WoW.
I can’t tell if it is truly more accurate or if just being able to type faster without a delay in response rate nor an accidental “press of too many keys” but I really like the feel of typing on this keyboard. I would say though that the shift in location of the backslash key has really thrown me off – even after a week it’s hard to beat years of practice out of my mind of where I think it should be. With all that said, the Celeritas is one hell of a mechanical keyboard.