The EVGA Z15 offers a few features that have never been found that price range before.
As a new competitor to the gaming keyboard market, let’s see if this keyboard has what it takes to succeed and compete with the big companies.
The Main Takeaways
The EVGA Z15 is fully comprehensive mechanical keyboard that offers a hot-swappable switches, a wicked fast response rate, and full customizability. Although the keycaps and branding are not ideal, the keyboard can be an excellent option at its current price.
General Usage: The Z15 comes with all of the features you would need for general use. With dedicated media keys and powerful software you can maximize your experience. The hot-swappable switches make it easy to choose the ideal switch based on your needs.
Typing: The typing experience of the keyboard is not great out-of-the-box, but with hot-swappable switches you can choose the ideal switch type and tune the stabilizers for the ideal experience.
Gaming: For gaming, the keyboard is an excellent choice. With one of the fastest polling rates of 4000 hz, you’ll have a slightly faster reaction time. Not to mention the Kailh Speed switches have a low actuation point for an even faster keypress.
Programming: For programming, you can customize and remap the keys with the software along with setting macros. For long typing sessions, you can improve your experience by performing aftermarket modifications.
In The Box
The Keyboard: EVGA Z15
Keycap Puller: Plastic and colored black
Switch Puller: Small and metal
Extra Switches: 8 extra switches
Wrist Rest: Thin and made from plastic and mesh.
In the box, you get the usual items along with the keyboard itself. A few extra switches are included so you can test out the hot-swappable feature for yourself. The switch puller and keycap puller are both a bit underwhelming, we recommend finding better options if you plan on changing the keycaps or switches. A wrist rest is also included that you can optionally use with the keyboard.
Material: Brushed aluminum top plate and plastic bottom
Flex: Small amount of bend
Typing Angle: Standard
Kickstands: Yes, with two settings.
Wrist Rest: Yes
The case has minimal flex and is quite sturdy, as the brushed aluminum top plate keeps the keyboard rigid. There is a slight typing angle when the keyboard is flat, but you also have two typing angle adjustment options. The feet themselves are extra wide which result in a very stable typing experience. There are five pads on the back that keep the keyboard from sliding around. The wrist rest offers a bit of extra support for your wrists and detaches magnetically. The wrist rest is made from a combination of plastic and mesh material that won’t break easily.
Layout and Size
Dedicated Media Keys: Yes
Scroll Wheel: Yes
Length: 17.5 in / 445 mm
Width: 5.94 in / 151 mm
Thickness: 1.48 in / 37.5 mm
Weight: 2.72 lbs / 1234 grams
The keyboard comes in the typical full-sized layout, but you also get a dedicated media keys located in the top rate corner of the keyboard. The media keys control the sound and allow you to pause, skip, and mute your music. The buttons have a rubbery top and a shallow click, making for a satisfying keypress. There is also a horizontally mounted scroll wheel that lets you change the volume levels on the fly, which is perfect if you’re in a full screen application and don’t want to close your window.
Keycap Material: Double-shot ABS plastic
Profile: Standard / OEM
Standard Bottom Row: Yes
Aftermarket Keycaps: Yes
The keycaps are made from a cheap material (ABS) that develops a greasy shine to after touching, we would have liked to see higher quality materials used here. The font on the keycaps looks a bit dated and very gamery. On the plus side, the RGB light illuminates the legends to make them easy to read at night. The sub-legends describe the lower-level functionality of the keys and are also illuminated by the lighting. You can easily swap the keycaps out with a new set as the keyboard has a standard layout and bottom row. Aftermarket sets will work with this keyboard.
Options: Speed Brown or Speed Silver
Hot-Swappable: Yes, 3-pin sockets
Lifespan: 70 million keystrokes
Actuation Distance: 1.1 mm
Travel Distance: 3.5 mm
Actuation Force: 50g
The EVGA Z15 comes with two switch choices, the Kailh Speed Browns and Speed Silvers, a clicky and linear option. It would be ideal if they offered a tactile option, but the keyboard is hot-swappable, so you can swap them out if you need to. The Kailh switches are ideal for gaming with a lower actuation distance that is perfect for gaming. The lifespan of the switches is 70 million keystrokes, which is not quite as good as Cherry (100 million), but should be sufficient for a long-lasting keyboard. The hot-swap sockets are 3-pin instead of 5-pin, which means you may need to clip the legs off of your replacement switches if you want to swap them out.
Type: Standard plate-mounted
The stabilizers are responsible for making the spacebar and other larger keys nice and stable on each keypress. For a stock keyboard, the stabilizers are surprisingly good. They offer a nice feel and sound on each keystroke. If you want to improve the stabilizers further, you can easily perform aftermarket modifications to make them feel smoother and more satisfying. We recommend removing them them, clipping the legs, and applying lubricant.
LED Location: North-facing
Change Lighting Effects: FN + Right Arrow / Left Arrow
Change Brightness: FN + Up Arrow/ Down Arrow
The lighting on the keyboard comes in a full-color RGB. You can easily change between a few different presets or customize it yourself using the software. You also have the option to lower or increase the brightness depending on your own preferences. You also have a few indicators that show if you have caps lock, scroll lock, num lock, or windows lock turned on.
Name: EVGA UnleashRGB
Compatibility: Windows only
Per-Key Lighting: Yes
Remap Keys: Yes
Profiles: Yes, up to 9. FN + 1-9
The EVGA software is fully comprehensive and allows you to customize the important aspects of the keyboard. For starters, you can assign up to nine profiles and assign different macros, lighting, and remaps to each profile. The software allows you to choose different lighting layers and change the polling rate between several different options. While the software is a little clunky to use, once you get used to the interface, you have a lot of power at your fingertips.
Port Type: USB-A 2.0
Latency: 0.25 ms (4000 Hz polling rate)
Number of Devices: 1
Braided Cable: Yes
Cable Length: 6.6 ft / 2 m
USB Passthrough: No
The keyboard uses a single non-detachable USB-A 2.0 cable. The latency is extremely low with a polling rate of 4000 hz or 0.25ms. This is four times faster than a normal gaming keyboard (1 ms). The cable itself is braided and feels quite thin.
Why It’s Recommended: If you’re looking for a more comprehensive version of the Z15, the Z20 offers optical switches, a sensor that activates sleep mode, and USB passthrough. The only downside is the lack of a hot-swappable PCB.
Why It’s Recommended: The K100 is the top-of-the-line gaming keyboard that offers premium PBT keycaps, improved stabilizers, and more robust software. Keep in mind, the price is significantly higher.