Tt eSports POSEIDON Z Illuminated Keyboard

fullboar

Due to a bit of luck on my part I was selected by Thermaltake Australia to provide some feedback and review the Thermaltake Tt eSports Poseidon Z illuminated Mechanical Keyboard.

I’ve owned many a keyboard in the past including a few mechanical so I am certainly excited to give this one a run through it’s paces and compare it to other mechanical keyboards using Cherry MX switches.

At a glance it certainly appears to be capable – some of it’s features include:

  • Fully illuminated back lit keys

  • Mechanical switches

  • Anti-Ghosting 6-8 key rollover

  • Windows key disable switch (never accidentally tab out of a game again!)

  • Media Keys

  • 5 Year warranty!

with that in mind, lets get stuck into it shall we?

Typing

The keyboard has a pretty good feel compared to other keyboards i’ve used.  the keys strike with a lovely clack and have that wonderful response you get from mechanical keyboards as your fingers strike the keys.  The key caps feel nice they fit snugly on the switches which lends to a pretty nice experience.

However like most things in life there are some niggles.  The biggest thing that strikes me is that the keys are not consistent, for example on my example the A key feels a mushy  and heavy compared to S or D and weirdly Q and W seem to respond much better again – it’s hard to describe in words, but you can “feel” some irregularities in the switches used.  Typing can be quite jarring when you hit multiple keys on the keyboard and they all feel different.  Comparatively on my Filco Majestouch every key is very consistent and they all feel the same – I know this is a gaming keyboard but it’s something to consider, though in game it’s a non issue.

While not necessarily a negative the keys require a little more activation pressure than my Filco keyboard and I certainly get more finger fatigue using this keyboard over a Filco Majestouch, or even the HP rubber dome keyboard I used at work.  Something to consider though is that this is my first 48 hours with this keyboard and it always takes some time to adjust.

Overall it’s an improvement on just about any rubber dome keyboard out there.  Some will find the keys take some getting used to, people who’re used to typing on laptop style keys will take longer again as this keyboard is pretty much the other end of the spectrum.

Lastly, and one very important thing to mention is that it’s a completely standard layout.  If you’re already using a keyboard with a standard QWERTY layout you won’t need to adjust to any quirks.  This might not sound important – however I once owned a keyboard with a smaller than normal left CTRL key and that was so rage inducing that that particular keyboard met an untimely death.  Buy a keyboard with an adjusted layout at your peril…

7/10

Gaming

Certainly gaming is what this keyboards built for and it doesn’t disappoint.  While not as full featured as other gaming keyboards it makes up for it with great responsive keys that do what you want when you want.  The keys give you a great feel when struck which provides feedback and thus confidence that the key you wanted actually did it’s job.  In the heat of a game when you’re wildly hitting keys this can really help to know just from feel that you’ve actually registered the keystroke.

They keys respond very quickly and there would be next to 0 lag between repeating keystrokes despite making my self red in the face in the progress i couldn’t manage to make the keyboard miss by repeatedly mashing a key – I actually haven’t experienced this problem in a keyboard, but I have read some mechanical keyboard switch styles do exhibit this problem – thankfully Thermaltake have avoided this here.

The back lit keys are excellent for some late night gaming – who hasn’t when they’re a little tired gone searching for a key and had to angle the keyboard up to the glow of your monitor to find the pipe character (|) key or something.  I’m a pretty competent typist, but I am guilty of not knowing exactly where every character is on the keyboard.

Basically for gaming I can’t fault it – sure, it’d be nice to have palm rests and macro keys and other gizmo’s – but does it need it? No, I don’t think so.  Some people out there might have a genuine need for macros and other such features – but I and i’d imagine the majority of the population have little genuine need and they would go unused anyway.

9/10

Style

The keyboard looks fantastic and thankfully a lot less tacky than a lot of the gaming keyboards out there.  I love the fact that the keys use a pretty standard type face (unlike a certain brand).

It has a great presence on my desk and looks the part – it would be really nice to be able to change the colours of the LED’s so you can match a theme you might have going – personally before I purchased my Logitech G502 I would have preferred red LED’s to match my mouse – overall not that important but something to think about.

closeupkeysfullboar

From a design point of view the only bit that irks me is the top right of the keyboard that contains the indicators and a button which disables the Win key.  This button isn’t overly attractive, doesn’t glow or match the other keys and overall looks pretty out of place.  The dragon logo here seems poorly thought out and actually off center (I measured it, it’s about 1cm to far left).  It kinda feels like they just put it there to fill some space.

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Overall though the keyboard looks awesome on the desk and the back lit keys are really bright and sexy.  Thankfully as well Thermaltake took a less is more approach and didn’t overload it with ‘gamer’ graphics and flashy logos, one might even say that this keyboard appeals to the mature gaming crowd – someone who wants a pretty standard looking keyboard, with just enough bling to remind you that it’s a premium product.

8/10

Build Quality and Feel

Considering how well the keyboard has fared so far it’s probably not surprising to learn that the build quality and weight of this keyboard is pretty darned good.  The board has a fair heftiness to this that is at least equal to the Filco Majestouch (perhaps even a smidge heavier)  The benefits of a heavy keyboard are numerous, but mostly it stops it moving around unexpectedly on your desk and ensures you’ve got a solid weapon at LANs when things get rough over a game of COD.

The keycaps themselves could use improvement.  It appears they’re made of a clear plastic and then coated black leaving the lettering exposed – they look great when new, but there is the danger that over time you’ll wear off the black down and end up with some pretty ugly keys.  Furthermore, i have to mention that when using the keyboard with the LEDs turned off the lettering isn’t super clear – though most would use it with the LEDs all the time.

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The “E” key specifically on my sample has a weird rough texture – it’s uniform enough it might be deliberate but i don’t see the same texture on photos online.  I’d argue it’d make sense if it was on the WASD keys to help orientate your fingers – but just the “E” seems a little odd to me, i’d be interested to see if this is the same on all or if mine is an exception.

Notice the oddness on the 'E' key?

Notice the oddness on the ‘E’ key?

noledwierde

Finally, I’m not really sure why there are rubber strips along the top of the keyboard – they don’t seem to serve any purpose – they however hamper nothing.

Overall though, i am very happy with the build quality and i have no doubts that this keyboard would last for the 5 year warranty period.  Thermaltake certainly believe in it and it’s great to see a company really get behind their products – well done TT.

8/10

Final Impressions

I must say, i’ve been nothing but impressed to be honest.  Thermaltake never took me as a quality producer of peripherals.  I’ve owned products by better known (in this sphere) and more regarded companies and have been so terribly disappointed (to the point where i refuse to buy their products) yet Thermaltake, a relative upstart has made something that within days i’m proud to be using and feel like it’ll stand the test of time.  It feels solid, performs excellently and i’m sure as time progresses and i acclimate more to it, it’ll be become indispensable.  My review might sound picky and it is but I think it’s important to tell the whole story.

Thermaltake have impressed with the quality here and it’s certainly given me pause to consider their products more in future.  I urge anyone in the market for a keyboard to consider the Tt eSports Poseidon Z for their next purchase.

My final score is 8/10

The good:

  • Solid build quality

  • Good looks

  • 5 year Warranty

The bad:

  • Keycaps could be better

  • Some switches feel inconsistent

  • Not especially stylish if you’re after a modern minimal look.
  • Some weird design choices

  • Weird rough “E” key on my sample

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