Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB Keyboard

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Product: Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB Keyboard
Provided By: Thermaltake
Price: ~$120 USD at time of publication

 

Introduction:

Mechanical Keyboards have become a mainstay in today's gaming industry and rightly so. The fast responses, more accurate key presses, better macro configurations and the ability to backlight the keyboard and keys with tons of color combinations has really brought keyboards to another level. Today I will be checking out Thermaltake's eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB (brown switches). This keyboard is nice and compact for either gaming in tight spaces or for easy packing for events such as LANs. 

Box of Poseidon

 

First Look:

Packaging is pretty straight forward for this product, and highlights some of the main features which I will go over a bit later. Upon opening there is one main difference that you don't see too often. This keyboard was wrapped in bubble wrap to ensure protection which differs from most competitors in which they mainly use thin plastic molds.

Bubble Wrap

Aside from the keyboard however there is basically nothing else inside the box except for the warranty policy and the quick install guide. With the keyboard having a 32 bit MCU inside of it, this keyboard can function with just the basic windows drivers while still being able to use its advanced features.

The underside of the keyboard is pretty straight forward with a couple channels for the cord to pass through along with flip feet to stand the keyboard up if one so desires. What's nice about the underside is that the flip feet have rubber padding on them that complement the other rubber pads to help keep the keyboard from sliding all over the desk.

Bottom

The backside also has two rubber pads that are positioned directly in line with the flip feet which looks to be intentional from my opinion, however they also could be used to protect the keyboard if placed against a wall. Overall the keyboard looks and feels very sturdy.

Rubber Bumpers

 

On the next page, we'll cover some of the features and specifications of this keyboard before we jump into testing.


Features:

The following features and Specifications are taken from the TT eSPORTS website. 

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. Personalize, customize 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.
 
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 customize, reprogram and adjust every RGB lighting detail right down to the brightness and speed at which effects perform - endless possibilities await you.
 
TT ESPORTS MECHANICAL SWITCHES
Tt eSPORTS certified Mechanical Switches are engineered to deliver unrivalled mechanical tactile responsiveness as you game. Each switch is optimized, 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 5-Year Warranty on a mechanical RGB gaming keyboard.
 
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 colored brightness even in direct sunlight. We've engineered and optimized the Poseidon Z RGB to be as bright as possible across every keycap, enhancing your 16.8 million colored RGB lighting whilst also helping to ensure that you never miss a keystroke or hotkey again.
 
ON-THE FLY MACRO’S & 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 5 Reprogrammable Function keys as well as a dedicated Windows Disable Key - allowing you to easily swap as you're gaming to different colored lighting setups, profiles, and macro functions as you play.
 
 
 
POWERFUL ON BOARD 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 5 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.

 

Further features can be found here

 

Specifications:

Specs

 

On the next page, we'll plug it in and test out the classy Poseidon Z RGB Keyboard.


Testing:

For the last two weeks this has been the only keyboard I have used so that I could properly test it in all situations such as typing, gaming, and general use. Upon first use I did notice that the brown switches were definitely quieter than other mechanical keyboards I have used. I was also still able to feel when a key is pressed as there is a slight catchy feel to it upon initial pressing. The responsiveness of the keys are very good with basically no delays from what I press to what I see on screen. I did however notice that the space bar is much longer on this keyboard than other keyboards I have used which in my opinion is not a good thing. I say this because my thumb ends up having to reach way too far under my hand to get to other keys. During game play such as CoD Black Ops 2, Rocket League, and Dying Light, not once did I ever experience any problems with keypresses. On a side note to touch on the durability of the keyboard and its switches and while I don't recommend doing this as it may result in a voided warranty, I did smash (not a hulk smash) the keys with my hands a few times with some good force to see how well it would hold up. The good result was that no keys stopped working and am able to finish this article with this keyboard.

In moving on to the more advanced functions of the keyboard, selecting color profiles stored on the keyboard was fairly easy to figure out. The media keys are straight forward as well along with the raise and lower brightness keys. The gaming key button is always a great idea for gaming keyboards as when enabled, accidentally hitting the windows key doesn't kick you out a game anymore because it is disabled. For more advanced uses of the color profiles and macro settings, the quick start guide directed me to the Tt eSPORTS webpage to download the Poseidon keyboard software. On the webpage there was a link for the software along with a firmware update for the keyboard. In addition to that, there was also manuals for the on the fly macro function as well as the GUI software. Before going any further I updated the application and firmware to latest versions to ensure proper functionality of everything. 

Keyboard

 

Before focusing on the GUI software, I decided to read up on just how exactly the on the fly macro recording worked. Download it here if interested.

For the most part it was pretty straight forward going by the step titles however upon further reading it became very clear that this guide may have been put through an automatic translator as the grammar could use some serious work. Due to this I decided to check out the manual for the GUI software before going further. (I know I am no grammar GURU and have my faults, but this guide was hard to get through.)

Though the grammar in this guide was better, there were still some areas that could be fixed.

 

After browsing through the GUI software guide, I jumped right into using the software. Switching between color profiles is easy and quick though I am not sure it is entirely necessary to display on the screen what profile you have just switched too though as it pops up over videos that might be playing. It does not however seem to pop up on screen while in a games, which is good. There is however an option via the system tray icon that gives the option to turn the OSD off. Changing the settings of the current color profile are fairly straight forward however they will not take effect until the Apply or OK buttons are pressed. The down side is that applying changes always takes effect about 10 seconds later as the keyboard MCU has to have its instructions or data overwritten. In my opinion that just seems a bit slow with today's standards and could be a deterrent to some people. One cool thing is that you can store different sets of colors that you created for a specific profile. One of the tools to help accomplish that is the key selector tool however is can be buggy. I noticed that the selector lines would stay on the screen if I pressed the right mouse button while trying to select keys. Another disappointing aspect I came across with this tool was that when I tried to start a selection outside the keyboard area, instead of starting a selection, I only ended up moving the whole GUI window. My third issue with the tool comes from trying to type numbers into the RGB boxes. It does not immediately show what I typed in as it has a one second delay from when I finish typing. The other issue is that sometimes what I have typed in (following the range limits), becomes something different, usually a default to 255. Trying to type in a hex value in the color code box also does not work as it won't let me type anything in at all. I did hope to do even more with the color customizations but there is only so much the software will allow.

The macro settings on the other hand are pretty straight forward, though the one big stipulation is that they can only be used in game mode. Maybe just having a separate mode for turning the macro keys on and off could be a good idea. On the more relevant side of things, creating macro key combinations is simple while having great customizability. I was able to name, record and assign the macro to any key I wanted while also having the ability to choose how long it would run. I was also able to reassign keys for example, pressing the key "P" would act as if I was pressing the tab key or I could set it to launch a specific application or execute a basic windows command (paste, PgUp, close window, etc).

Overall the color effects potion of the GUI is cool but there are some bugs or functionalities that need to be fixed however the macro settings and customizations are very easy to use and understand. I am not much of a mmorpg player so me trying to play one in order to test out macros would more than likely be a complete failure, though I figure if it's this easy to figure out, the pros should have no problem at all.

Please note the images of the selection glitch in the GUI pictured below.

 

Conclusion:

On looking back on this keyboard itself, I can understand why Thermaltake would give it a 5 year warranty, as it is very well made and very sturdy. My only, minor gripe would be the spacebar being too long but in the grand picture of things it's a non-factor. Stock functionality works very well and if you decide to use the advanced features and settings be prepared for some issues with the GUI software. At the time of the publication of this article, the manuals are a good reference to look at as well but need to have some changes made to them. All in all even though this keyboard and software have some limitations, it performs very well and has some cool features to go along with probably one of the best warranties for keyboards out there.

 

Pros:

  • Durable, well made, very responsive
  • Quiet brown tactile switches
  • 5 RGB color profiles (customizable)
  • Easy to use macro settings
  • On the fly macro recording
  • Gaming mode button
  • 32 bit MCU
  • 5 year warranty

 

Cons:

  • GUI software is buggy (color settings)
  • Limitations on color customizations
  • No macros in normal mode

 

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending out the Poseidon Z for us to review.

Please post your thoughts, comments and questions in the forum at this link.