No more than a few months old is the RGB version of the Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard, an input device which is geared toward the gaming crowd. With fancy lighting, a fully mechanical layout, and macro functionality this keyboard looks to be loaded with features. Let’s see how it stacks up with the fierce competition in the gaming keyboard market.
Specifications and Features
Here are the Poseidon Z RGB specifications as given by the Tt eSPORTS product page.
|Tt eSPORTS Posedion Z RGB (Brown Switch) Specifications|
|Anti-ghosting||100% Anti-Ghosting w/ 104-key Rollover on USB|
|Switches||Tt eSPORTS Certified Mechanical Switches|
|Switch Lifecycle||50 million keystrokes|
|Backlit||Individually-backlit RGB keys with four level settings|
|Keycap Material||Unlisted material, painted|
|Media Keys||Volume control, play/pause, previous track and next track|
|Macro Keys||Five re-programmable function keys|
|Cable Management||Yes – Three Ways|
|Special features||– On-the-fly macro recording|
– Mirror plate for optimized lighting
– Gaming mode (disables Windows® key)
|Box contents||– Keyboard|
– Quick-start guide
– Warranty guide
|Dimensions||– 440 x 133 x 37mm (17.3 x 5.2 x 1.45in)|
– 995g (2 lb 3.1 oz)
Featuring macro recording (even on the fly), a 104-key fully mechanical layout, and 16.8M programmable lighting for every key; the Poseidon Z RGB packs a load of functionality into a standard layout. Here are some other high-level features of the keyboard.
Here are the Poseidon Z RGB features as given by the Tt eSPORTS product page.
|Tt eSPORTS Posedion Z RGB (Brown Switch) Features|
|16.8 Million Colors||Built with latest cutting edge 32bit gaming keyboard microprocessor, the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard delivers a complete 16.8 million color RGB spectrum to each light emitting diode. With an array of gorgeous lighting pre-sets available out of the box, as well as the ability to completely customise, reprogram and adjust every RGB lighting detail right down to the brightness and speed at which effects perform – endless possibilities await you.|
|Custom Lighting Effects|
Take full advantage of the Poseidon Z RGB’s 16.8 Million Color RGB spectrum thanks to our powerful Tt eSPORTS Windows Software. Personalise, customise and finely tune and adjust your Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard across every key – and game just the way you want. Setup up to 5 different profiles and lighting configurations in no time at all – and save them directly to the in-built memory on the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard so that all your settings come with you, no matter where you’re gaming.
Wave – An RGB wave flows across the entire keyboard.
|Tt eSPORTS Mechanical Switches||Tt eSPORTS Certified Mechanical Switches are engineered to deliver unrivalled mechanical tactile responsiveness as you game. Each switch is optimised, developed and tested to give you the ultimate feedback and actuation accuracy that you need to stay at the top of your game. Our switches are designed to improve switch and keycap durability, resulting in a mechanical switch lifetime rating of 50 million keystrokes. This world-class reliability means that we also offer the world’s first Five Year Warranty on a mechanical RGB gaming keyboard.|
|For Those Who Prefer Stealth||Tt eSPORTS Brown Switches are perfectly designed for those who’re looking for that unbeatable mechanical switch feel and responsiveness without keeping the house awake at night as you game. The Brown Switch is a lighter, tactile mechanical switch that has a quiet and refined tap as you bottom out the key – giving you unmatched mechanical performance without all the noise.|
|Mirror Plate for Optimized Lighting||A special mirrored back plate located beneath each switch brings the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to life – giving you pronounced and hyper resilient RGB LED coloured brightness even in direct sunlight. We’ve engineered and optimised the Poseidon Z RGB to be as bright as possible across every keycap, enhancing your 16.8 million coloured RGB lighting whilst also helping to ensure that you never miss a keystroke or hotkey again.|
|On-The-Fly Macros and Function Keys||The Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard makes recording advanced macro configurations a breeze. We’ve implemented a dedicated switch that allows you to record and assign quick macro functions on-the-fly to the board, even without using software. In addition to this, the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard also includes five Reprogrammable Function keys as well as a dedicated Windows Disable Key – allowing you to easily swap as you’re gaming to different coloured lighting setups, profiles, and macro functions as you play.|
|Powerful Onboard CPU||We’ve embedded a state-of-the-art 32bit ARM CORTAX-M0 chipset into the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to control and accurately process every keystroke and LED lighting function, giving you the best possible lighting responsiveness and input time possible for gaming. Game With Complete Confidence.|
|Game With Complete Confidence||We take things to the next level – offering the world’s first five Year Warranty on an RGB Mechanical Keyboard. Our Tt eSPORTS Blue and Brown Switches go the extra mile – with an incredible lifespan rating of 50 million keystrokes, allowing you to game with confidence. When you’re looking for performance and reliability, nothing else comes close to the Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.|
The packaging for the Poseidon Z RGB has a front that’s fairly simple, but gets the brand name, model name, and a handful of high-level features listed. On the back there are more details about system requirements, package contents, and the software. Opening the packaging the keyboard is wrapped in bubble wrap with the USB cable tucked away.
The accessories with the Poseidon Z RGB include a quick-start guide and a warranty booklet. They were lurking beneath the keyboard, just waiting for me.
Looking at the front of the keyboard it’s easily seen that it is a standard 104-key layout. Multimedia functions, macro recording, brightness control, and presets are all activated by hitting the Fn key. Multimedia keys include Play/Pause, Previous/Rewind, Next/FF, Mute, Volume Down, and Volume Up. There’s also a “Game Mode” key in the top right that disables the Windows key.
Turning the keyboard over there are folding stands, rubber gripper feet, and three cable management routes. There’s also a tag showing the model, serial, etc.
Here’s a close-up of the USB cable, it’s a typical silver nickel connection and plain cable. You can find this on any given $10 keyboard, it’d be good to see at least a gold plated connector and/or a braided cable like a lot of other mechanical keyboards.
Below are two pictures of the top of the keyboard. The first has the foot retracted, the second has the foot extended. The foot raises the keyboard approx 1/2″ in the back, to a nice ergonomic level. It also shows one of the routing areas for the USB cable.
The keycaps are definitely painted, but the base material isn’t listed. Only time will tell how well the paint holds up to heavy usage.
Time to take a peek under the keycaps at the “Tt eSPORTS Certified Mechanical Switches”. This keyboard comes equipped with Kailh Brown switches. These switches use Cherry MX keycaps, even with the same LED position. This is good news for people looking to change out their keycaps for custom ones.
Below is a demo of some functions the lighting on this keyboard is capable of. The first three images show solid colors that are fully lit; red, blue, and green. The fourth image shows “Arrow Flow” which is a reactive lighting method that sends a spectrum across the keyboard horizontally from the key that was pressed. The last image shows what happens on “Wave,” where the spectrum moves across the keyboard either left to right or right to left.
The back-lighting brightness can be adjusted on the fly, on the keyboard, via the Fn modifier. There are five different levels of brightness, including “Off.”
The software that comes with the Poseidon Z RGB is fairly self-explanatory. On the main screen there is an indicator showing if you’re in Game Mode, a spot to change profiles, and links to the Macro Key and Light Option menus. On the Light Option menu there are options including a color chooser, effect control, and brightness. In the effect control section all the light action settings are contained including the lighting pattern, the zones that are lit, the direction of movement, and the speed of movement. Going back to the main screen and entering the Macro Key menu all the controls for setting up and editing macros are shown. The macro controls are very self-explanatory and can be saved by any name desired, they are bound to any given set of keys the user chooses.
Usability and Conclusion
Now for the part of the review where my opinions get to come out. First, the Kailh switches are a far cry from Cherry switches. Through a lot of research into mechanical keyboards I’ve had the opportunity to try out six different Cherry switch types (Black, Red, Blue, Brown, Green, and Clear), among other brands.
I’ll be the first to admit, that I become excited when review samples show up. Before reading the box the keyboard was in my lap while I was sitting in the recliner and I was fake-typing away. The keys had such an odd feeling that I handed it to my girlfriend and asked if it felt weird to her as well. Her answer was a resounding “yes.” This is when I realized the switches were “Tt eSPORTS Approved,” and that’s the run down of my first experience with Kailh switches. They feel incredibly mushy compared to the Cherry MX Brown switch, with a very subtle tactile bump. Where the Cherry MX Brown switches feel crisp with a smooth keystroke, save for the tactile bump, the Kailh switches used here do not have this feeling and instead feel more similar to a membrane keyboard. There is an initial firmness, but after that the feeling that a mechanical switch should give are gone. The tactile bump is almost imperceptible and if I didn’t know it was supposed to be there, I wouldn’t have noticed it.
The mirror plate, as Tt calls it, does a great job of distributing the light from the LED’s evenly across the whole keyboard. This particular feature really impressed me and gives a great look to the keyboard. One other aesthetic was the USB cable, but it was just normal, it would be great to see a higher quality cable and/or a braided cable here. On a gaming keyboard, the dedicated button to disable the Windows key is a nice feature. The software, including lighting and macro recording, is a polished experience that anyone should be able use with ease. The build quality of the keyboard overall is very good. It’s heavy and feels incredibly solid.
How about we talk money? The Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB comes in with an MSRP of $130, but is currently $120 on Newegg. There’s a lot of competition at this price point, even coming within $20 of other RGB keyboards that are using Cherry MX switches. Since it is on the lower side of the RGB mechanical price range, and has an industry-first five year warranty, this will get an Approved stamp, but there are quite a few places this keyboard can be improved.
Click the stamp for an explanation of what this means.