Amidst the insane ownage at the finals of the summer season of the ESL India Premiership 2017, Zowie announced the Celeritas II gaming keyboard. The Zowie Celeritas II is a mechanical keyboard that houses optical switches from Flaretech which doubles the durability offered by existing mechanical switches. There’s no news on the pricing and availability of the keyboard just yet.
The Celeritas II, just like other Zowie products, will be targeted towards esports players. There are several advantages of optical switches over regular mechanical ones. The biggest advantage of optical switches is its durability. This is again because of how they work where light signals are used to register clicks instead of two mechanical points coming in contact and completing the circuit. Since no mechanical part is being used to register clicks, gamers continuously tapping on the keys won’t face double key presses. Technically, the phototransistor setup is usually embedded on the PCB and not the switch. This essentially makes the switches hot-swappable, which means that you will be able to remove the switches just like keycaps. Although, we have no idea whether this functionality will be offered in the Celeritas II. The use of light signals to register clicks drastically reduces the input lag of key presses but you won’t be really able to notice such a tiny difference in the response rate.
Speaking of the other features on the Zowie Celeritas II, it’s a standard 104-key sized keyboard. It has red per-key LED backlighting with a smooth finish body. There aren’t any dedicated multimedia keys but you get multimedia control through combinations with the Fn key. It also has a Windows key lock toggle and claims to have full N-key rollover. As it’s dedicated to professional gamers, there aren’t any gimmicky or extra features such as RGB backlighting, extended wrist rest, software support, etc. You also will be able to control the brightness of the backlighting and the repeat rate through x1, x2, x4, and x8 with the Fn key. There’s no functionality to record macros on the keyboard. It has a polling rate of 1000 Hz or 1 ms and the keyboard connects to your PC through a USB port. Since the specification mentions a PS/2 interface, we are guessing the box might include a USB to PS/2 adapter.
We haven’t tested any optical switches yet and hence, we are really looking forward to giving the Celeritas II some beating at our test labs in our testing process.