As a quick aside, my judgment on keyboards is mostly based on the functionality/specs and I can overlook some things if it allows me to perform better, although in my opinion this keyboard doesn''t really disappoint me in terms of how it feels to use. Also, ever since I...
As a quick aside, my judgment on keyboards is mostly based on the functionality/specs and I can overlook some things if it allows me to perform better, although in my opinion this keyboard doesn''t really disappoint me in terms of how it feels to use. Also, ever since I experienced the lower input delay of an optical switch board, I''ll probably never go back to traditional mechanical, so I''ve been stuck in the limited optical switch/hall effect switch keyboard market. I''ve tried several of the other optical switch keyboards as more brands begin to offer them, and up until now I concluded that Bloody provided the best performing optical switch boards for my uses. The Z20 takes the functionality of Bloody''s optical switches and puts a better build quality and feel on it. The Bloody B820 (linear) was my favorite keyboard before this, and the reason the Z20 caught my eye was because it''s also a 3mm travel distance optical switch keyboard, which there are very very few of.
I''ll first explain the main thing I''m very picky about when it comes to optical switch keyboards, that can make or break a keyboard for me no matter how good it otherwise is.
I primarily do very hard challenges in precision platformers and play osu!mania. As a result, I''m part of the subset of people who perhaps benefit the most from the lowest latency/fastest/most consistent hardware. For the things I do in platformers, I need to be able to consistently do inputs of at least as low as 2 frames (so at least as low as 16ms-17ms). I was surprised to find out that pretty much EVERY other optical switch keyboard was capped at a minimal input of 22ms-28ms (this effectively makes it so that about half the time I do the lowest input the keyboard is capable of, it will actually output as a 3 frame input). The reason I liked the Bloody keyboards was because they had no limitation and were able to do inputs as low as 1ms, giving me full control. The Z20 can do inputs of as low as 1ms just like with Bloody''s optical switches, which is more than good but doesn''t really matter because anything below 15ms is essentially useless.
The second thing I''m picky about when it comes to optical switch keyboards is how low the travel distance is. Ever since I experienced 3.0mm travel I pretty much can''t go back, at least for the keyboard I use for osu!mania; travel distance makes a huge difference for speed and stamina for rhythm games, or really any game where you need to mash as fast as you can. The Z20 linear has a 3.0mm travel, which is incredible not only because I feel right at home again, but because SO few other brands offer that, Bloody being the only other one up until now as far as I''m aware. For other games low travel distance isn''t really important, but it''s nice to know that I''m not really limited in how fast I can press buttons.
My thoughts on all the other personally less important miscellaneous things about the keyboard that I can think of:
- keypresses are just as responsive as I''ve experienced with other optical switches, very low input delay
- 45g actuation force is great for mashing speed/stamina; I wish brands would make switches with lower actuation force but as far as the main standard values go this is as low as you could ask for
- I like that the keys feel softer to press and have lower clack pitch than the Bloody B820 I used before (typing doesn''t sound like a rattlesnake to Me LOL)
- 4000hz doesn''t really matter for the games I play
- don''t care about special dedicated hotkeys or media buttons
- the Top Sensor feature is cool but not really important I feel
- there is some key ping, but I can''t hear it with headphones on, and otherwise you kind of have to be listening for it
- I don''t usually use wrist rests, so I can''t tell you how good I think it is. All I can say is that it''s soft, squishy, and made with leather material.
- RGB looks nice with the side bars
- RGB software is more limited than others, but I''m fine with any of the default rainbow effects. (it''s at least not as bad as Bloody''s software lmao)
The Z20 is basically a keyboard that functions the same as the Bloody B820 but feels better and has a lot of added features that may or may not matter to you. Nonetheless it''s the best keyboard I''ve used so far, and I''ve used a lot. If you''re thinking you want a keyboard like this but don''t want to totally break the bank, I''d recommend just getting the Bloody B820.