BenQ Zowie Celeritas II Review

Simple and elegant

When you think of a gaming keyboard, there are a few things that you expect. RGB lighting, edgy design, customisation and macros are just a few. However, BenQ strips it all down and decides to go simple with the BenQ Zowie Celeritas II, and it works.

Keep it simple

BenQ follows a very simple and functional pattern with their Zowie line-up. You won’t find fancy designs and lighting on the Celeritas II, but instead you get a very simple keyboard focused on functionality.

The Celeritas II follows the conventional black rectangle standard for keyboards, with a full set of keys including a number pad. The keys come with red lighting all around, except for the Num Lock and Caps Lock keys, which turn white when pressed. There are no macro keys, and since the keyboard is plug-and-play, there is no software either. This also means that there are no customisation options such as RGB lighting or custom functions.

Similar to most BenQ Zowie products, the Celeritas II is designed for the e-sports player, hence the focus on functionality rather than aesthetic appeal. However, BenQ does make it work.

Functionality, not aesthetics

On a technical front, the Celeritas II comes with optical switches that have an actuation force of 45g and operating travel of 2.0mm. Simply put, this makes the keyboard fast. However, due to its low operating level and the smooth rubber finish, even the slightest touch can get registered. While initially this led to a lot of typing errors, it eventually grew on me, and I found great comfort typing on it.

E-sports players are known for removing switches from their keyboards to minimise unwanted errors and for better reachability. Since that is the target market for the BenQ Zowie Celeritas II, the company has incorporated this feature as well. All the keys are easily removable, allowing for easy layout configuration. Additionally, the left Windows key can also be mapped as a control key to avoid errors during gameplay.

The BenQ Zowie Celeritas II also comes with RTR technology to increase the repeat-response of a key press up to two, four or eight times. This is designed to help RTS players receive higher responsiveness from their key presses and achieve more APM in one go.

Performance-wise, the Celeritas II is pretty impressive. It is dependable and functional, without focusing on unwanted gimmicks. The smooth rubber finish over the keyboard is comfortable to type on. However, it might take some time to get used to. This finish also poses the risk of hard-to-clean stains. I used this keyboard for both gaming and work purposes and it suited both roles. Being a mechanical keyboard, you always expect the loud clicking noises, which was surprisingly quiet on the BenQ Zowie Celeritas II, making it ideal for office use as well.

Something a little extra

Along with the Celeritas II, BenQ also sent us the EC1-A gaming mouse. Ergonomically designed for right-handed users, the EC1-A is another addition to the BenQ Zowie gaming line. Following a similar style as the Celeritas II, the EC1-A has a very simple design that allows different play styles. It’s a full-fledged gaming mouse, which is why we get it as a wired unit, along with DPI adjustments.

The EC1-A is pretty simple and to the point. The mouse does not come with any fancy lighting or additional buttons than the standard five. Using the mouse was pretty standard as well. You can opt for two different sizes, medium or large.

Verdict

The BenQ Zowie Celeritas II is a little expensive, coming in at Dh588. While the Celeritas II is more functional, there are other keyboards you can get for a similar price with more features and customisation. However, if you are looking for something light to carry around to your e-sports games, the BenQ Zowie Celeritas II is the right choice.

The BenQ Zowie EC1-A Gaming mouse is available for Dh257.