The second keyboard in BenQ’s Zowie Celeritas series, Zowie Celeritas II is a mechanical gaming keyboard which is unique because it uses Flaretech Optical switches instead of Cherry MX switches.
- Size (cm): 44.2 x 17 x 3.8
- Weight (kg): 1.89
- Illumination: Red LED Backlit
- Keyboard Type – Optical Mechanical
- Switch – Optical Adomax Flaretech
- Keystroke (Average Lifespan) – 100 million
- Driverless – Yes
- Anti-Ghosting – NKRO
- Media function keys – Yes
- Interface: USB + PS2
- Key Travel: 1.9mm
- Polling Rate: 1000Hz (default)
- N-Key Rollover: Yes
- Actuation Force: 33g initial, 55g +/- peak
- Real-Time Response: 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x over PS/2
- Working Voltage: 5V ± 10%
- Working Current: Under 350mA
- Support OS: Win XP, 7, 8.1, 10 32/64bit
Zowie Celeritas II Unboxing
Unlike certain brands who make the product box very fancy, Celeritas II comes in a simple box, along with a user guide, a product information booklet and a USB to PS / 2 adapter.
Zowie Celeritas II is a little bit on the heavy end at 1.89Kg. It has a very tiny wrist rest, that doesn’t really make you feel comfortable. It’s so small that your wrists will be on your table 90% of the time while using the keyboard. There isn’t any option to replace it either.
Unlike most other keyboards, Zowie Celeritas II does not have any keyboard feet to increase its height. However, the build is so thick and robust, that it is already at an elevated position compared to other keyboards.
Zowie Celeritas II does not have RGB lighting and comes with Red LED backlit keys instead. The Caps Lock, Scroll lock and Num Lock buttons have an additional blue light which lights up when turned on.
Oddly enough, the ‘backslash’ key which is generally located above the ‘enter’ key is placed between the right shift key and the forward slash button. This tiny replacement bugged me a lot because I kept typing ‘|’ instead of ‘?’ every time, and I had to keep re-correcting myself.
Adomax Flaretech Optical Switches
Zowie Celeritas II features optical switches instead of the popular Cherry MX switches that are common in gaming keyboards. The optical switches are custom made by Adomax Flaretech.
The most amazing feature of the optical switches is that they are built to negate double key presses. Double key press is a very common nuisance for gamers and it ruins many games. The optical switches were customized by Flaretech for this specific purpose.
The actuation point of the optical switches is lower than that of Cherry MX Red switches, which means that they are supposed to feel smoother and faster than Cherry MX Red Switches.
However, when I was using the keyboard to play Dota 2, the switches felt exactly like the way Cherry MX Red switches feel. I could only observe a very slight difference in feel between the both of them. Since Cherry MX Red switches are the most popular in the market for gamers, most users will be satisfied with the switches.
BenQ claim that they have done a lot of testing with CS:GO players before releasing the product.
We wanted to make a keyboard, that will solve the current problem CS Players have, also enhance their gameplay at the same time. That is specifically tailormade for CS:GO
Therefore, many of the features might not seem reasonable, or meet the “common sense” of keyboard nowadays. That I have been questioned by many users and reviewers already – From the product guide.
So if you’re a CS:GO player, you should definitely give Celeritas II a try.
Optimal Pre-Travel Distance
The keys on Celeritas II create optimal and precise ‘pre-travel distance’. Pre-travel distance is the distance a key travels before it activates the signal. The tolerance of pre-travel distance on Celeritas II is smaller than general mechanical keyboard which means every keystroke feeling is comparatively consistent on Celeritas II.
Because of this feature, Celeritas II feels much faster than other mechanical keyboards, and it might take you a while to get comfortable using it.
This is one of the best features of this keyboard. The keys on Celeritas II utilize High Quality Iron Springs which help produce consistent keystrokes on use.
The term ‘consistent keystroke’ means that the actuation force of the switches is linear. The keys on Celeritas II undergo a linear amount of increase in weight, per millimetre travelled.
The keys on some other mechanical keyboards are lighter at start and heavier at the end, or heavier at start and lighter at the end. You can barely feel the difference when trying out the keyboard, but it becomes very clear when you compare it side-by-side with another keyboard.
BenQ claims that it is easier to warm-up on Celeritas II, and that you can play for longer without tiring your fingers.
RTR Function with PS/2 Interface
RTR stands for Real Time Response. This feature allows you to input through your keyboard at much faster rate than normal. Watch the video below to better understand what the RTR function is for.
This feature can be very useful for RTS players who’s APM is so high that the keyboard is not able to keep up with the player’s speed.
The RTR Function can only be enabled while using the PS/2 interface. Celeritas II comes with a USB to PS/2 adapter as shown in the unboxing section above.
The difference between USB and PS/2 is as follows: USB constantly retrieves information from your Motherboard to your device even if you are not performing any action, while in PS/2 the signal is only sent when a button is pressed.
An interesting feature of the Zowie Celeritas II is its simplicity. You don’t need to install any software/drivers to start using the keyboard. Just plug and play.
This means that the settings on your device will be the same as when you last used it. You don’t need to load a profile or anything of that sort.
However, this also means that you are unable to customize the keyboard in any way.
Celeritas II is a bit on the costly end at Rs.10900. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
If you are looking for cheaper keyboards, check out this article.