EVGA Z20 Gaming Keyboard Review

Usage & Final Thoughts

I’ve been using the EVGA Z20 for the past week and I have to say I do really like it. If you’ve read some of my past keyboard reviews you know I am not the biggest fan of full-size keyboards, but EVGA has done a really good job on the Z20. Not only do you get the big full-size layout you have dedicated volume and multi-media controls as well as five fully programmable “E” keys on the left side of the keyboard. So if you are someone who needs those dedicated macro keys this keyboard is definitely for you. On top of that you can fully reprogram every key on this keyboard and even give each key an alternate function.

Another new addition to the Z20 is Light Strike optical mechanical switches. We’ve seen many companies offer optical switches recently. For those not familiar with optical switches they use an optical light sensor inside the switch. Upon pressing a key, you allow a receiver to be activated by this light signal, instantly actuating the switch command. These type of switches are considered faster and more accurate than mechanical switches. On top of that these switches offer twice the lifespan of typical mechanical switches. EVGA offers both clicky and linear Light Strike optical switches with the Z20. Our Z20 had clicky switches and they felt very good and responsive.

One feature of the Z20 that really sets it apart from other keyboards is the ToF proximity sensor. Basically it will tell your PC when you get up and come back to your desk. With that information it can lock your PC, put your PC to sleep, or simply turn the RGB lighting on the keyboard off when you walk away. Upon walking back to your desk it will unlock your PC, wake it up, or turn the RGB lighting on the keyboard back on. It is a pretty cool feature and would definitely help out in office situations when you walk away from your PC.

The included magnetic palm rest is simple and just works. Too many palm rests try and do too much and just overcomplicate things. This keyboard also offers a pass-through USB port and pass-through 3.5mm audio connection so you can connect both your headset and mouse to the keyboard no problem.

EVGA’s Unleash software allows you to fully reprogram the keyboard, create macros, and control the lighting. Talking about the lighting the per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard is great and the addition of the two lightbars on each side of the keyboard will add some nice bling to your setup.

While there is a lot to like about this keyboard I really would have liked to have seen PBT keycaps. As I’ve always said PBT keycaps are so much more comfortable than ABS keycaps and they don’t wear or show oils from your skin like ABS keycaps do. I would have much rather had PBT keycaps than the ToF proximity sensor.

EVGA will be offering the Z20 at our favorite online retailer for $174.99. Now if you are an EVGA ELITE Member you can get a significant discount down to $87.99. You can find out how to become an EVGA ELITE member here. Overall ThinkComputers gives the EVGA Z20 Gaming Keyboard a 9 out of 10 score.

Pros:
– Pretty solid construction
– Five dedicated macro keys
– Light Strike optical switches
– ToF proximity sensor
– Fully programmable with EVGA Unleash software
– USB and 3.5mm audio pass-through

Cons:
– ABS keycaps

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