PC Hardware Peripherals

REVIEW | BenQ Zowie Celeritas II e-sports keyboard

Being the successor to the original Zowie Celeritas which used Cherry MX switches, the Celeritas II brings to the table the a similar keyboard design from the Celeritas but this time, it is fitted with  Zowie’s custom optical switches which gives a quick response time that can be a love or hate experience depending on the user.

Build and design

The keyboard looks straightforward with a matte black finish and red LED lighting. The keyboard has no dedicated software just like most Zowie products keeping true to the standards of e-sport tournaments which forbids the use of driver software for peripherals. The keyboard also has media controls and an option to disable the Windows button to prevent accidental presses are very apparent with this keyboard which we’ll get into in a little bit.

The keyboard is fitted with a USB cable, but it also includes a PS/2 adapter since there are still modern motherboards that has a PS/2 port, and a lot of users that still prefer this over USB.

Keys and switches

The Celeritas II uses a custom Optical Switches that are specifically made for this keyboard. The optical switches are a new type of mechanical switch and they are supposed to have a quicker response time and more durable than traditional mechanical switches. I think the feel of the switch is almost as silent as Cherry MX reds but with lesser key travel.

The keys themselves are linear but they have a very short travel time and each key press registers quickly. This could be a good thing for some FPS gamers who needs quick response for their movements but as a traditional touch typist, I find it less comfortable to type on especially with the small right shift key, the placement backward slash (\) key and the sensitivity of the spacebar key.

Conclusion

The Celeritas II is pretty much a no-fuss keyboard that you just plug and play. The sensitivity of the optical switch is not suited for everyone and like I said earlier, FPS players like CS:GGO pros might benefit with the quick response of each key press and I would vision them carrying this in their arsenal when going to tournaments.

The red LED lighting might now be everyone as well with all the RGB craze going on, but I personally find simplicity of this keyboard is very attractive. The only problems that I have with the keyboard are the placement of the backward slash (\) key and the small right shift key. I could get used to the sensitivity of the keystrokes, but I don’t think I can easily re-train my touch typing to get used to this key layout.

For its price, I would see the Zowie Celeritas II to appeal to pro e-sports gamers who are all about performance. But if you are just a regular weekend gamer, this keyboard might not be for you.

Pros
  • Solid build
  • Just plug and play, no fuss.
  • Inclusion of PS/2 adapter.
  • Silent switches
Cons
  • Non-standard key layout that traditional touch typists might find difficult to get used to.

 

 

 

 

 

Ira James
Editor-in-chief | Tech Journalist | AMD Ryzen and AOC Gaming influencer | PC Hardware Enthusiast |

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