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Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

If number pads are not your thing, and you liked the Poseidon Z, Tt eSPORTS now offer a TKL version with their newest mechanical keyboard, the Poseidon ZX.

@chad_sebring
Published Tue, Sep 30 2014 12:10 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 97%Manufacturer: Tt eSPORTS

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 99 | TweakTown.com
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When we first looked at the Poseidon Z keyboard from Tt eSPORTS, it wasn't long before we realized that maybe Cherry MX switches were not the big dog on the porch anymore. Soon enough, other manufacturers jumped on the same bandwagon. Anyone who follows our keyboard reviews has noticed we have come forward with more and more mechanical keyboards based on Kailh switches.

There are a couple of things that separate the Tt eSPORTS keyboards from others we have seen. First, there is the way the switch is designed for Tt eSPORTS, and the way they construct the motherboard. For Instance, after we spent a lot of time with the RGB80 with the same switches, we found there to be slightly more vibration felt at the fingertips, which causes more fatigue over the long haul. Also, the way Thermaltake constructs their frames with designs that are functional yet structural, and the way things are assembled, leaves very little flexibility in any of the design to allow for vibrations or torsion across the keyboard.

With all that being said, we are already pretty sure we are going to like the Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard based on two factors. One is that we much prefer a TKL keyboard; just personal preference there. Secondly, we liked the Poseidon Z so much, that unless there was a major catastrophe during assembly, we have a good handle on what to expect there. For those of you who missed our review of the Poseidon Z, or are in the market for a new tenkeyless mechanical keyboard, Tt eSPORTS has stepped up and provided a great solution for writers, gamers, and general web surfers, anyone can enjoy what the new Poseidon ZX brings to the table.

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Following the chart provided on the Tt eSPORTS web site, we see that the Poseidon ZX is black, with a simple layout. There are no Macro keys, and there are no game profiles either; in fact, just like the Poseidon Z, the ZX is driverless. They show us that the Poseidon ZX has slimmed down to just over two pounds in weight, and then we jump right into the gold plated USB 2.0 connection. It states this is a mechanical keyboard, and tells us there is no fan, but that is does support full NKRO right out of the box, so no changes need to be made.

Without drivers, and a way to make something to save, there is no need for onboard memory. The ZX is fully illuminated with a blue LED at each switch. It does not come with a wrist rest, but it does offer two paths of cable management, though the cable that runs from the keyboard to the PC is not detachable. We do see there are seven multimedia keys, no mention of the two lighting keys, and the Kailh blue switches come with a 50 million click lifespan, but there is no mention in the chart of the five-year warranty covering these Poseidon keyboards.

There are definitely finer details still left to cover, but we will get to those soon enough as we progress with the rest of the review. For now, let's discuss pricing and availability. As for the pricing of the Poseidon ZX, we see the MSRP of $79.99 right on the Tt eSPORTS site, which is $10 cheaper than the Poseidon Z. As we shopped around, we found most of the usual haunts are currently holding stock, and are also sticking with the MSRP; most even offer free shipping. So, not only do we get a seriously strong and vibration free mechanical keyboard, but we also get it at a very reasonable cost. Even if this is your first mechanical keyboard ever, this is still only the second or third submission that can be tried for under $100.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard 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 ZX retails for $79.99 at Amazon.

Packaging

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With lightning on a black background, Tt eSPORTS accents the large image of the Poseidon ZX off to the left. This leaves the right side to show off the Kailh Blue switches used on this eighty percent, or tenkeyless keyboard.

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Both of the longer sides are identical, and show the Poseidon ZX Illuminated naming, as well as the notation to the included switches, over a diamond plate background.

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The shorter ends are identical as well. Both shorter ends offer the large red dog bone shape that allows the white print to pop as it displays the company name, product naming, and even the Battle Dragon logo off to the right.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Around back, we find an image of the keyboard again, this time with the multimedia keys, illumination keys, and the Windows lockout key highlighted, under which we find the system requirements and package contents. To the right, we are asked to visit the website for more information, and we are also offered five features of the Poseidon ZX.

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Inside of the box, we find our Poseidon ZX tenkeyless keyboard has shipped inside of thick bubble wrap. This isn't the flimsy stuff; this is the hard-to-pop kind. With the keyboard well protected, it is also held in place with a section of cardboard to the back. Here the wiring is contained off to the right side, but there is also a small box of goodies to be found on the left. Our sample arrived in perfect condition, so we have absolutely no issue with the way it is packaged.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard

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Looking at the left edge of the Poseidon ZX, we find a simple two-piece frame that is widest at the top, and has a rounded section at the bottom to help get ringers under it to move it easily. We also see that with the adjustable feet still flat, the key caps lean away from the front of the keyboard.

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The Poseidon ZX offers a slightly textured frame around all of the keys, and the caps are also ever so slightly textured to help keep fingertips from sliding past the keys. As far as branding goes, there is the Battle Dragon on the space bar, and the red and white logo and naming above the arrow keys; nothing gaudy.

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Moving in much closer at the top edge, as we get to the F1 through F4 keys, we see they are dual purpose with the use of the function key. Here we have last track, play/pause, next track, and stop multimedia functionality.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 10 | TweakTown.com

This is continued through the F5 to F7 keys as well. These function keys offer the mute, volume down, and volume up functionality to complete the set.

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All the way at the other end, we see the F11 and F12 keys are also set for dual purposes. The F11 key can be used to turn down or turn off the LEDs. The F12 key is used to turn them back on, and you can also adjust the LEDs in three levels of intensity with this key.

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All of the key caps on the keyboard are cylindrical in shape to cradle your fingers. We can also see the black coating is pretty thick, as the ledges around the letters show. There are home key bumps to associate your hands blindly to the keys as well.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Continued

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Moving around to the right side of the Poseidon ZX, we are now seeing it with the legs fully extended. This angles the key caps forward, the way they should be, and we also see this side has the convex cutaway at the bottom edge for grip.

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The USB cable that connects to the PC is indeed firmly attached to the center of the back edge of the Poseidon ZX. Around it, we see the back of the keyboard is indented and angled, with two U-channels at the bottom.

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The cable supplied with the ZX has a rubberized sleeve, rather than a cloth braided one, but that is of little issue to us. At the end of the 1.8 meters of wrapped up cabling, there is an easy to find Tt emblazoned, gold plated, USB connection. On the reverse side of the connection, there is even a keyboard icon, in case you have all Tt eSPORTS products connected.

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Under the keyboard, we find five thick rubber pads used to keep the keyboard in place. To either side of the product sticker in the middle, those U-shaped channels we mentioned are used to run the mouse or headphone cable through, to keep them out of your way and tangle free. We also see that there are structural indentations around the rest of the frame to solidify the design.

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The extendable feet do flip out toward the back of the keyboard, but lock hard into place to keep from easily collapsing. The feet also offer rubber pads at the ends of them to be sure not to lose any grip that was allotted without the feet in use.

Accessories and Documentation

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Along with the keyboard (in fact found directly under the keyboard in the box), we find all of the literature that Tt eSPORTS sends along with the Poseidon ZX. There is the quick install guide that shows mostly what the box described to us, points out the multifunctional keys, and pretty much says plug it in and go to town. As for the warranty insert, it is pretty useless. While it does show what is and is not covered, it describes a two-year warranty for keyboards, but that is for rubber dome boards, as Tt eSPORTS' mechanical boards offer a five-year warranty.

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

I mentioned a small box with goodies in it, and this is part of what we found. There is a nine-key set of red key caps that can be installed on the WASD and arrow keys, and a red Battle Dragon key that is intended for use on the Escape key, but could be used on any of the smaller keys. These keys are molded in white to allow for the LED lighting to pass through, and are painted red on the outside, so they will likely wear out over time, as the coating does not seem very thick here.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Since there is a supplied set of optional key caps, it is only right that they also include a key puller tool. This is the same puller we found with the METALCAPS kit, and again, take it easy on the key caps as this puller is just slightly thicker than the access to remove the key caps. It works very well at pulling the caps, it just takes some finesse and wiggling to get the tool on the caps properly before pulling upwards.

Inside the Poseidon ZX

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Just before we gutted the Poseidon ZX, we removed a few caps to get a look at the switches. Unlike others who try to hide the switches, even calling them Tt eSPORTS Certified switches, they do not hide that they chose to use Kailh blue switches in their boards. Also, as expected, there is an LED for every switch.

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As for the stock key caps, they are also molded in white first to allow the blue LEDs to shine through the iconography. After the keys are molded, the textured, black, almost rubbery feeling coating is applied for a perfect color match to the frame.

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After releasing somewhere around ten or twelve little clips around the edge, the top section of the frame can be removed. Of course, there are screws under the keyboard that need removed first. When we removed the top, we like that we found the steel plate is actually screwed to the lower frame section near the arrow keys, and again right by the Escape key.

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With everything out of the frame, we can now see that there are five screws that hold the top to the bottom. If you look closely, you can see all the tiny tabs around the edge that also hold the two parts together. As for the bottom section, the plate and PCB stand on standoffs to keep it from being directly on the plastic.

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Since we have no software options for programming or the like, there is no need for s serious MCU, and it is likely why there is this 8-bit ELAN EM78P153KS IC in charge of the day to day information passage from the keystrokes or commands to the PC. It is more than capable of this task.

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We are not used to seeing a power distribution PCB added in like this, just off to the side of the USB connection point on the PCB. This is one version of the 94VO FR4 systems that takes the input voltage, and breaks it down for all the individual systems on this PCB.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 27 | TweakTown.com

While we know most will never see this on their Poseidon ZX, we really do appreciate the attention to detail, even when it comes to clean solder points, and absolutely no remnants of flux like we find on other samples. It all just lends to the quality of these eSPORTS products; if what you can't see is great, you know what you can see and use will be top-end as well.

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After a bit of reassembly, and plugging in the Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless keyboard, we see where all of that naming comes from. It is just like the Poseidon Z in its color, with bright blue LEDs; the only real difference is that twenty percent of the keyboard has been removed, making for more desk space, and a smaller product to carry on the go.

Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review 29 | TweakTown.com

We also wanted to show what the Poseidon ZX looked like with the optional key caps installed. While this is not our favorite look for this keyboard, it does do the intended job of highlighting the WASD keys, arrow keys, and the escape key. We also like that the keys allow the LEDs to pass though them, as not to lose the effect in complete darkness.

Final Thoughts

We do tend to favor tenkeyless keyboards due to the fact that we appreciate the extra desk space and proximity in which the mouse can be kept to the keyboard's WASD keys during gaming. As for writing, we lay keyboards in our lap and put our feet up, as we are in it for the long haul, and without the number pad, a Tenkeyless keyboard feels more centered and easier to use on most occasions. Of course, we have noticed that a lot of our readers prefer the number pads, and we understand that too. However, in reality, unless you tend to game with the 2468 combination on it, how often are you really punching in numbers unless you are a coder or accountant? The reality is, you may not miss it as much as you first think.

As for this Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless offering, once again the Thermaltake eSPORTS crew proves they know what they are doing. While I would not try it on mine, I am sure this keyboard would stand up to significant drops, being stood on, trampled by pets, or teethed on in a fit of rage from a toddler; it really is one of the more structurally stable keyboards we have tested.

We prefer tactile switches with an audible click at actuation, so the choice of Kailh blue switches is right up our alley anyways. After many, many words being typed out on this keyboard, there is very little fatigue generated from the keyboard due to vibrations. We also tested out the NKRO, and it does indeed work correctly out of the box, and we are always down with simple and easy to use layouts, with less "gamer" oriented features; even for our gaming. The fact that this keyboard is driverless means that what I am used to at home I can have anywhere I go, without the need to preprogram anything into it; it's just as simple as plugging it in anywhere you decide to use it.

In the end, we have a sleek, simply laid out, and in our opinion, great entry into mechanical keyboards for both the inexperienced, and the mechanical switch veterans. By this, we mean there is very little investment needed, less than $100 USD, to get a top-tier product. So, if you are just looking to try mechanical keyboards, then why spend two to three times as much to give it a try? On the same token, for experienced mechanical keyboard users out there, you will be hard pressed to find this range of quality at this price. While intentions may have been to get this as a backup, you may find yourself trading out your current board for the Poseidon ZX; it is honestly just that good.

Any way we try to attack this keyboard, in its design, its functionality, or our experience with it, we find ourselves at a loss for harsh words. What was a bonus for us, is after a few reviews on what we thought was a great feeling keyboard, with one of the Tt eSPORTS METALCAPS sets installed on the Poseidon ZX, we completely brought the feel and usage to a whole other level. Even with the added cost of a METALCAPS set, you will still barely come into the price range of most other mechanical solutions, and you will get a full custom look and feel. From every angle, Thermaltake eSPORTS and their Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless mechanical keyboard impress us beyond what we thought possible, and they deliver at a price anyone can afford.

PRICING: You can find the Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless Mechanical Keyboard 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 ZX retails for $79.99 at Amazon.

TweakTown award
Performance97%
Quality including Design and Build99%
General Features90%
Bundle and Packaging98%
Value for Money100%
Overall97%

The Bottom Line: Even with the lack of 'gamer oriented features' and number pad, the Poseidon ZX Illuminated Tenkeyless mechanical gaming keyboard with Kailh blue switches, is so affordable and high quality that you just cannot afford to pass it up and give it a try.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

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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