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Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Tt eSPORTS delivers a mechanical keyboard that is not Cherry MX based, and the company is the first to offer a five-year warranty in the Poseidon Z.

@chad_sebring
Published Mon, May 5 2014 8:00 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Tt eSPORTS

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 99 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 27 IMAGES

With the huge influx of all mechanical keyboards these days, from just about every company we deal with on a regular basis, one issue can rear its ugly head pretty quickly. That is the basic rule of economics: supply versus demand. Everyone and they pet monkey is now offering Cherry MX based keyboards, which has put a huge demand on Cherry to keep up with the demand. So, what does that do to the companies wanting to make new designs? Well, they have two routes to take. The first route follows economic flow of supply and demand, and when supply runs short, pricing increases. Companies are not into giving away their products, as it makes no business sense at all, so the cost would have to be placed on the customers to make up for that difference in cost. However, there is one other route left. There is always the option to source switches from another manufacturer and build a design off of them.

From what we have seen in the past from Thermaltake, the top-tier boards are fully featured and offer driver packages that can maximize the potential of your left hand while gaming. The thing that sticks out most about all of their mechanical keyboard offerings as of late is that they are all economically friendly to the wallet. Paying more for switches and raising their prices is definitely not the way to go, so the obvious decision was made to source switches from another manufacturer. While these do not come with the fame of the Cherry MX lineup, Thermaltake has done their due diligence to be sure they have a product that is comparable to, or even somewhat better, than the raved about Cherry switches.

Today, we will be getting up close and personal with the first mechanical keyboard from Thermaltake to offer these new switches. We have received the Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard for testing as per our request for the heavier spring pressure than the brother to this keyboard offers in the Brown switch variant. Since we now have a few reviews finished with the help of this keyboard, we feel we have spent enough time with this product to give it, and these new switches, a fair shake down.

Considering Thermaltake is so impressed with the product, they offer another first with the five-year warranty; we have to assume they have all their ducks in a row before releasing a potential nightmare of an RMA issue. Since everything we have tested from Thermaltake has lasted the test of time as we continued using their products, we highly doubt they would start any shenanigans with us now.

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Considering the last few charts we have seen from various products, we would like to commend Thermaltake for offering up a full list of things that will better educate their customers. The chart starts off with the simple things like its black color, that it connects via USB, and that this is a mechanical keyboard that offers blue switches. Then things dive into the facts of what aren't included like a fan, onboard memory, game profiles, or even Macro keys, but the Poseidon Z does offer 6 to 8 key NKRO or anti-ghosting. This keyboard is also set to a 1ms polling rate, and as its title suggests, it is fully backlit with blue LEDs.

Continuing with the rest of the chart, we have few more things this keyboard lacks, like a wrist rest, drivers, or onboard audio jacks, but they do offer a bit of cable management to the underside of the Poseidon Z. The keyboard does weigh in at just under a kilogram. It does not come with a gold plated connection, the cable is not detachable, and while it does offer seven multimedia and two lighting keys, there are no onboard USB ports either. The last bits of information offered tells us that each key has a fifty million click lifespan; it does say the 1.8 meter cable is braided, but ours is not, and they finish out with the dimensions of the keyboard.

As we said in the beginning, most of what Thermaltake brings forth is very friendly to your wallets or purses; the Poseidon Z fits into that mold as well. Looking around to see what is available and at what cost, we find that stock is pretty readily available at quite a few locations, and the better part is that most are sticking to or are very near the MSRP. If you do find yourself having issues locating stock, you can always buy them directly through Thermaltake as well, and they have it listed at $89.99, as do most other places. All things considered, with the chart showing what this offers, as well as what it lacks, we feel the pricing is on point and in no way should be a reason not to consider the Illuminated Poseidon Z mechanical keyboard.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z retails for $79.98 at Amazon.

Canada: The Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z retails for CDN$90.51 at Amazon Canada.

Packaging and Documentation

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The packaging is completely as expected with the industrial metal looking background that comes in black with the bright red accents. Along with the company naming and a fairly good look at the keyboard that is inside, there is a yellow sticker placed proudly proclaiming the industry first: a five-year warranty on their Poseidon Z.

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Since we sort of glossed over it in the last image, as we look to the long sides of the packaging, we have the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS name and logo to the far left. We zoomed in on the naming of the product and the box next to it highlighting a blue mechanical switch.

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Both of the shorter ends are red like this is. While this end uses it fully for the naming and logo, the opposite end is more condensed to leave room for the product sticker with the model number and bar codes on it.

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The back of the packaging highlights all the features to the left, on and under the image of the keyboard. Things like multimedia keys, Windows lockout keys, lifespan, illumination, and NKIRO support are all there. To the right, it says to visit the site for more information and ends with the requirements and contents listed at the bottom.

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Inside of the box, we find the cable is tied up and placed under the cardboard at the back edge. As for the Poseidon Z, it gets to ride in a bubble wrap sleeve that ensures that it arrives in great shape.

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Aside from the keyboard and its attached cable, the warranty information and the quick installation guide are all that is left inside of the box. The smaller book discusses what is and what is not covered in the five-year warranty, and the guide basically says to plug in the keyboard to a USB port and get right to enjoying the product without any hassles.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Keyboard

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Starting things off with a look at the left edge of the Poseidon Z, we see that the top frame section wraps from the top and completely covers the sides of the keyboard. We can also see that with the feet left in the keyboard at the back, the key caps angle away from the user.

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The seventy-four key layout of the main section of the Poseidon comes in an ANSI US layout with all of the normal iconography to go along with it.

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Each of the caps on the board is cylindrical in shape, very smooth with the coating that is applied, and the legends are blank, where the painted coating leaves the inner material exposed for illumination purposes.

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The F-keys serve a dual purpose in this design as they offer multimedia buttons as well. To use the normal assortment of buttons, the Function key must be pressed while using these.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 12 | TweakTown.com

We also found that the F11 and F12 keys offer some dual functionality as well. F11 will turn the lighting down in three LED stages, and will even turn them off. The F12 key is then used to cycle back through the three brightness levels on the way to maximum brightness.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 13 | TweakTown.com

The rest of this 104-key layout is also what we have come to expect with the full number pad and option to use it for movement along with the set of arrow keys designed specifically for that.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z Continued

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At the top of the right side of the keyboard under the lock notification LEDs to the left, we find a flat section with the company name and logo on it. The large button that has rounded arrows on it is the Windows lockout button. When pressed, this keeps accidental key presses from landing you at the desktop in the middle of a heated battle.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 15 | TweakTown.com

Extending the feet under the back edge of the keyboard increases the angle of attack by roughly five degrees, and as you can see, it also makes the key caps more accessible as they lean just slightly forward now.

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Our 1.8 meters of cable has a rubberised sleeve containing the wires, and not the braided cable mentioned in the list. We also see that the USB 2.0 connection is not gold plated, but in reality, that is not something that is mandatory, and if there are connection issues, the five-year warranty has you covered anyway.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 17 | TweakTown.com

The underside of the Poseidon Z has five small rubber feet to keep the keyboard in place while in use. The sticker in the middle does not cover any screws, and just three hold this keyboard together. There is, of course, the adjustable legs at the back edge.

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What you may have missed in the last image is that this design offers three ways for the cable to route. It can go right out the middle, but the keyboard also has a channel in each direction to get the cable pointed to the PC on either side of you to help clean things up a bit.

Tt eSPORTS Illuminated Poseidon Z Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 19 | TweakTown.com

Looking closely at the flip out feet, while we do prefer to have them flip out to the side so that they don't collapse on you, Thermaltake does make sure to rubber coat the ends of the feet to not lose any traction when they are in use.

Inside the Poseidon Z

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The key caps are single shot with an opaque white plastic and are sprayed with a very plastic feeling coating to make them black while leaving the legends blank. You may also notice that while not Cherry switches under the caps, Cherry aftermarket caps will fit this keyboard.

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Under the key caps is where all the excitement is for the Poseidon Z. Thermaltake has chosen to use Kailh blue mechanical switches in this design. While we mostly see this brand in mice, this is the first we have ever seen them used in a keyboard.

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After pulling the three screws, there is quite a battle to release the twenty or so tabs around the edge of the frames to get them to release. Once apart, we see that the bottom section offers support ribs to help keep the plate from vibrating, and the top is a simple design with doubled plastic edges for strength.

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Flipping the steel plate over to look at the PCB, we see that even while an affordable solution, they don't rush the process. Everything is soldered cleanly, and there are no remains of flux left behind. This just proves that even if affordable, that doesn't mean they skip the details most will never see.

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This 8-bit ELAN EM78P153SPJ is plenty capable of handling the functionality that the Poseidon Z offers and helps keep costs down. This offers one time programmable memory to set in the ROM for the keyboard, but it is also why there isn't any onboard storage.

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As we snap and screw the keyboard back together, we ran the cable to the PC and had a quick go with it. We set the LEDs to the maximum brightness, and they are blue, not the purple that this image portrays. It's just a driverless plug in-and-go mechanical keyboard with a bit of flash and style.

Final Thoughts

Coming from a keyboard with Cherry MX green switches, and the caps backed with washers, we didn't notice right away that there isn't that hard impact when you mash on these Kailh switches. After a bit of a discussion on this and activating an individual switch a few times very slowly, we find that this is all intentional. Most mechanical switches have free travel. After which, you reach the activation of the switch, but most switches stop there and allow the caps to clack against the steel plate under the keys, sometimes even resonating, but always felt in the tips of your fingers, especially as a typist rather than a gamer.

These switches, however, have the same two travel sections for the switches, but there is a third stage of sorts. There is a bit more resistance after the activation point, and the switches actually bottom out inside of their individual boxes, rather than allowing the caps to clack away on the steel. It almost gives the feel of a soft O-ring kit, but you don't lose any of that audible "click," the reason why most people opt for these switches over others in the first place.

Beyond that amazing attention to detail, we saw inside the same level of detail carried on throughout the keyboard. Even when using a more economical solution like new switches, and not overpowering the USB controller, Thermaltake is still able to pass on an excellent deal to their customers. Yes, there are quite a few things that this design lacks that a lot of the "gamer" style keyboards offer today, but what is offered is done to the best of their ability.

One of the best features we ran into with this keyboard is the five-year warranty; when other keyboards are starting to show issues in two to three years, the Poseidon Z is still backed as it carries a five-year warranty.

It may not have all the bells and whistles that we have seen in other mechanical keyboards, but not everyone is looking for all of that to begin with. Sometimes finding a keyboard with some basic additional functionality is all you need, and with the flood of everyone shoving profiles, macros, software, and even a bunch of extra goodies that you have to find room for and will inevitably loose anyway, is nice to get back to what is truly necessary to game and write on.

For what the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z offers in illumination, and the excellence in the feel of these blue switches, for well under $100, there just really isn't a way you can go wrong buying one of your very own to enjoy using for some time to come.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z retails for $79.98 at Amazon.

Canada: The Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z retails for CDN$90.51 at Amazon Canada.

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After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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