The Zowie Celerits II is the first professional-grade gaming keyboard manufactured in collaboration with eSports athletes. With a durable and ergonomic design, it’s designed for long hours of gameplay in high-pressure situations. It has been tested by professionals and optimized for gamers. It features NKRO (N-Key Rollover), anti-ghosting, onboard memory stores up to 3 profiles per side key switch, and adjustable illumination options. Another sleek Zowie product, this time in the form of an esports-ready keyboard, is simple but attractive. The Celeritas II looks as good as it performs.

Zowie is occasionally praised for its simple gaming solutions since they frequently produce valuable goods that look and feel high-end. The Celeritas II is no exception, as it aids Zowie in completing a peripheral set, leaving just a headset to complete.

The Celeritas II keyboard is a stroke of brilliance in terms of simplicity since the keyboard’s unadorned appearance is stunning. Some may find the design uninteresting, but it is a matter of taste, and this board compensates with some fascinating switch development behind the keycaps. It has optical switches among the most sensitive I’ve ever seen, and the board was a joy to write on and play on. The Celeritas II may lack some of the features and RGB you’d expect from a keyboard at this price point, but it’s difficult not to appreciate when it’s on your desk, and it was designed with professional gaming in mind.

Pros

  • Quality construction — This is a sturdy, well-built keyboard.
  • Fantastic optical switches in terms of design
  • Elegant — Sleek and simple design
  • Plug in and play

Cons

  • Some may perceive the weight to be excessive.
  • Limited features
  • Customization is not available.

Zowie BenQ Celeritas II Keyboard Birds Eye View

Keyboard Size & Weight

  • Weight (with cable): 1890g
  • 100 percent in size
  • 44.2cm (17.4 inches) in length
  • 17cm – 6.7 inches in width
  • 3.8cm – 1.5 inches tall

Tech Support for Keyboards

  • Flaretech Optical Red Switches
  • Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10 are supported.
  • Yes, there are media keys (not dedicated)
  • CMYK: No (backlit: red)
  • No passthrough
  • Wired connection
  • 1.8 m cable length
  • Non-braided cable

What is included in the box?

Zowie BenQ Celeritas II Keyboard Box

The Celeritas II’s packaging is similar to that of previous Zowie goods in that it seems to match the color of the object within. A lifesize depiction of the board is centered on the front of a basic black box. It comes in exquisite packaging that helps to give it a more premium feel.

We have the following items on the inside:

  • Mechanical Keyboard Celeritas II
  • Adapter from USB to PS/2
  • User’s Manual

Size & Weight

Zowie BenQ Celeritas II Keyboard Side Profile

The Celeritas II is a full-sized keyboard (100%) with a thick, durable casing that gives the board an actual appearance and feel. It is 44.2 cm long, putting it in between the Corsair K70 and the ROG Strix Flare. This is one of the more giant boards I’ve used (17cm), but just by a few centimeters, and it’s not due to special media keys as on other keyboards. The Celeritas II casing is expanded to accommodate a half-wrist rest, which seems to be more for looks than function but gives comfort. The depth is almost identical to that of the Corsair K70 MK. 2 board with a thickness of 3.8mm, and it seems to be somewhat substantial.

It weighs 1890 grams, making it the heaviest board I’ve ever used. It has a lot of weight to it, but only when compared to other boards; otherwise, it won’t be that difficult to move if you’re accustomed to carrying full-sized keyboards about. Because the board is permanently attached to my desk, the weight makes it seem like an excellent device that might withstand a nuclear bomb (doubtful). It would have been wonderful to see a TKL version of the board for those who don’t like 100 percent boards and frequent tournament attendees who don’t want to carry around an additional kilogram.

Keycaps

Zowie BenQ Celeritas II Keyboard Side Angle 1

The board has standard black OEM caps with a modest ergonomic bend for comfort and the unobtrusive typeface that we find on many keyboards. The keycaps are composed of ABS plastic and have a transparent legend to allow the backlight to pass through. The keys collect dirt like other boards, but the biggest problem with this conventional cap material is that it wears out much more quickly. I’d want to see manufacturers take this into account for keyboards costing more than £100/$100 and include PBT caps as standard.

Switches

My favorite aspect of this Zowie board is the switches. I had never used an optical switch before, so I removed the lid and examined the contents. When the button is pushed, an LED separate from the switch’s backlight emits a steady beam, which is reflected through the controller and into the LED sensor, resulting in a keypress. This switch looks a lot like the ones used in console pad trigger buttons, but don’t let that fool you; it’s the same thing, only it uses light instead of an electrical signal. Flaretech switches come in red or blue and have the same properties as Cherry switches; however, the red buttons on this board are linear and do not have a tactile bump. Compared to Cherry MX Red switches, the regulators seem to be more dependable and are less prone to make unintentional double presses.

Design, Shape & Texture, Case/Internals

Zowie BenQ Celeritas II Keyboard Side Angle 2

When it comes to the style and functions of this keyboard, I’ve heard some people describe it as dull or plain, and I entirely disagree. Everything is red and black in this setup, including the board on my jet-black mouse pad next to my black mouse, black monitor, and black bungee. As we all know, it’s a matter of personal choice, but wait till you have one of these boards in your hands to judge whether it’s boring. I believe it’s one of the sleekest boards on the market and would look great on anyone’s desk. The keys seem to sit rather than float in the casing, an equally appealing design. Yes, it’s a basic full-size keyboard, but it’s great.

The edges have been softened, so it’s a standard form. The board is angled, and its structure resembles a doorstop from the side, with the narrow end resting under your wrists. It seems like a one-of-a-kind design since there are no flip-out feet to generate that angle, which is lovely unless you desire a totally flat board. Despite the absence of a stand, it’s a comfortable keyboard to use right away, and even after a few hours of typing, it’s still a pleasure to use. The board is totally black with some red illumination, which I like since the two colors compliment each other nicely, particularly on peripherals. The form is broader than others owing to the bottom piece jutting out like a tiny wrist rest, but there’s nothing noteworthy about it other than its visual appeal. There are no media or macro buttons on the board’s exterior, which contributes to its understated simplicity, but there is a little space above the number pad where I would have liked to see some dedicated media keys or a volume scroll bar. At the top of the board, there are several function buttons that are doubled up with the F keys, and you can control media by using the Fn key in conjunction with them.

The material is matte black plastic with a nice tactile feel and a great aesthetic, similar to the shell on my FK1+. It contrasts beautifully with the usual ABS plastic keys, but it does appear to gather up dirt, particularly fingerprints, so if you’re a touch OCD, you may want to grab some baby wipes as well. This substance has no give; the board is fully firm and comfortable to grasp.

Apart from a lovely engraved BenQ logo on the side and the Zowie logo along the bottom, the branding is kept to a minimum as we would expect. There’s nothing on the bottom save four extra-long rubber feet for grip, which isn’t going to help this board move much since it’s a bit of a fatty. The Celeritas II comes with a straightforward cable that, like the Zowie mouse, is non-braided rubber and, sadly, cannot be disconnected. The cable is around 1.8 meters long, and you won’t have any problems with it since the keyboard is seldom moved, but given that this is geared for e-Sports players who travel internationally, I’d have wanted to see more protection.

Features & Performance

The brilliant red backlighting greets you as soon as you plug in the board, creating a wonderful visual first impression. The legends are illuminated by a backlit LED on the switch, which has a bright red color. Instead of having an LED positioned at the top of the board, they added a bluish-white LED to display whether the caps lock or number lock is active, which is a nice addition but it doesn’t really matter. So that’s it for lighting on this board, and it’s not as customizable as the Asus Rog Strix Flare when it comes to RGB, but if you’re contemplating the Zowie board, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

The features on this board are essential, and it isn’t for everyone. If you’re a streamer or MOBA player who requires a lot of crucial customization, this board isn’t for you. Still, for casual and professional gamers equally, it accomplishes what you need to do without looking like a Christmas tree. Aside from the media keys, some function keys allow you to change the backlighting brightness and the speed of keystrokes by 1, 2, 4, or 8 times.

The switches’ typing performance was superb. I discovered that inadvertent pushes were reduced to a minimum, yet I still received pleasant audio feedback from them. These switches feature a 2mm actuation distance close to the Cherry MX Blues and a 4mm travel. The actuation force is 45g, the same as the Cherry MX Reds, but you get a faster bounce time with the optical switches. The time it takes for a key to ‘bounce’ back into place following a keypress is bounce time. These Flaretech switches have a 0.3ms bounce back, which may not be visible to our human senses. However, it’s still quicker than cherry, which might be a significant consideration for hardcore gamers seeking faster reaction times.

Conclusion

So, most keyboards in this price range would be jam-packed with functions or have millions of colors to light up your desk, but Zowie took a different approach, which I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love RGB in keyboards, but it all depends on the board, and I can’t help but believe RGB would ruin the look of this keyboard. I’m not sure why it’s so hefty; it feels beautiful, but given that it’s geared for elite players, I’m not sure why they’d make it more difficult to move; at the very least, make the cord. Detachable! Anyway, flaws aside, it’s one of the nicest-looking boards I’ve seen, and I’m beginning to think that keeping things simple and subtle is the best approach. Its performance is excellent; I had no problems and a high degree of consistency, whether I was playing or writing this article. So, if the weight and lack of features don’t bother you and you want a sleek and beautiful board, the Celeritas II from Zowie is an excellent option.

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