In the vast ocean of mechanical keyboards, there’s always that one gem that makes waves. That keyboard which not only resonates with every tactile and linear keystroke but also stands apart with its design aesthetics. Such is the allure of the YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro. It’s not just about efficiency and precision, but also about making a statement every time you place your fingers on its keys.
The YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro has many great features for gamers and people who type a lot. Offering both wired and wireless connectivity options (including Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless), it provides flexibility in setup, all backed by a robust 3750mAh battery and a user-friendly OLED for seamless mode transitions. You can also change the switches in the keyboard easily, and it has soft foam and keycaps that feel good to type on. The OLED screen allows users display their preferred wallpapers or a handy clock. It is also compatible to various devices, from Windows and Mac to iOS and Android.
The YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro is priced at $139.99, equivalent to PHP 7,972.99. Given its range of features and design, the keyboard is positioned competitively in the market.
Now that we’ve covered the features and pricing, let’s dive deeper into our hands-on experience with the YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro and see how it truly performs.
Unboxing begins with its packaging – a robust blend of white and yellow hues. On the front, there’s a clear depiction of the keyboard, though it showcases the default color variant rather than the specific one we’re reviewing. The product’s name, Z98, stands boldly on the box, with lettering that mirrors the playful and casual style of the KZZI logo.
Turning to the side of the box, it maintains a minimalist white design. There’s a text caption that reads, “The Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” adding a touch of whimsy to the overall packaging.
On the back, the prominent KZZI logo is displayed, accompanied by logos from several governing bodies, reinforcing the product’s compliance and certifications.
On one of the sides, the box provides the keyboard’s specifications and its serial number. Additionally, there’s a unique logo seal, allowing users to verify the authenticity of the KZZI product.
Upon opening the package, the first thing that greets you is the instruction manual, detailing the steps and guidance for using the keyboard. Alongside, the keyboard itself is securely wrapped in a protective sheet of plastic.
Unwrapping from its initial plastic sheet, you’ll find that the keyboard has another layer of protection: a transparent hard plastic casing. Tucked alongside is an additional flyer, providing further connection instructions and steps.
The KZZI Z98 Pro Keyboard
Moving on to the keyboard itself, it boasts a striking purple hue that seamlessly transitions into a complementary pink gradient, giving it a distinct and vibrant appearance. The base of the keyboard is crafted from glossy plastic finish that are smooth to touch.
The keyboard’s print and the feel of its glossy, round and edgy plastic keys are reminiscent of retro telephones and keyboards, perfectly aligning with its ’90s vibrant theme. The letter prints on the keys appear to be meticulously crafted, suggesting durability against frequent use. The inclusion of a numpad is certainly a plus for many users. However, given the unique layout of the keyboard, there might be a bit of a learning curve before you become fully accustomed to it.
The keys come in a trio of colors: black, pink, and purple. While the black and purple keys present no readability issues due to their contrasting text color, the pink keys have a notably lower contrast, making the text slightly challenging to read.
Fortunately, these pink keys are designated for commonly recognized functions, such as the enter, arrow, and escape keys, which most users will instinctively identify without needing to read the labels.
Flipping the keyboard over reveals its simple purple base, consistent with the front’s design. This backside is equipped with rubber stoppers to ensure stability, visible screws anchoring its structure, and a stand to adjust its angle for optimal typing comfort.
The keyboard also has two adjustable stands. The smaller stand gives a slight height increase, while the bigger stand lifts the keyboard up more for those who prefer a taller angle.
At the top of the keyboard, there’s a variety of ports available for different purposes. There are two Type-C ports designed for connecting the keyboard, while another Type-C and a standard USB port are designated for storage. Additionally, you’ll find a slot for the wireless dongle, allowing easy connection to your PC.
The keyboard comes with rounded metallic-like corners that give a nostalgic feel, taking you back to the times of vintage sci-fi films. These corners are designed to be smooth and safe, eliminating any sharp edges. Additionally, they are designed to be removable and can magnetically reattach to their designated spots.
On the bottom edge and the base, the keyboard continues to embrace its distinctive design with an overarching rounded shape. This curvature extends the keyboard’s aesthetic, giving it a unified and cohesive look from every angle.
Activating the LED RGB lighting brings the keyboard to life in a radiant display. The colors illuminating each key’s edges lend the keyboard a vibrant and dynamic look, capturing the essence of what many gamers like. Even though the backlit doesn’t shine through the key labels, the overall glow adds a fascinating dimension to the keyboard’s appeal.
Additionally, the uniquely designed edges of the keys cast a star-shaped RGB light at each corner.
Beyond the vibrant RGB, the keyboard also sports a 160 x 80-dimension OLED screen. This screen serves as a functional hub, allowing you to access various keyboard features. Given its OLED nature, the blacks displayed are deep and the color quality is the same at any viewing angle. Additionally, it can display wallpapers and a handy time clock, adding both utility and aesthetic flair to the device. The two buttons on the side are the power/action button and the menu controls.
The OLED not only displays the date and time but also provides useful details about the keyboard. It shows things like the battery life and which connection is currently active.
If you prefer to have a wallpaper on the OLED, you can change the default GIF. The KZZI’s own software lets you upload your choice of GIF to the keyboard.
My primary concern is that the OLED screen’s plastic cover is prone to hairline scratches, even from gentle contact with cloth or a fingertip. While these marks are primarily noticeable under specific lighting conditions, it would be beneficial for future iterations if this aspect were enhanced.
The keyboard’s overall design masterfully bridges the gap between nostalgic elements and modern touches, crafting a visual spectacle. The playful RGB lights, paired with the delightful OLED display, aren’t just functional additions; they’re details that spark joy every time you look and use your keyboard.
Shifting our focus to a crucial component of any keyboard: the mechanical switches. These tiny mechanisms play a significant role in determining the typing experience, responsiveness, and overall feel of the keyboard.
The YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro offers two distinct types of switches to cater to individual typing preferences. If you’re looking for a smoother keystroke without any tactile bump, the blue switch, which is linear, is your go-to. On the other hand, if you prefer a switch that provides noticeable tactile feedback when pressed, the purple switch offers that tactile feel.
Included with the YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro is a handy Switch Puller. This tool makes it a breeze to remove and swap out keys, allowing for easy customization or replacement as needed.
On the flip side of the Switch Puller, there’s a tool designed to assist in replacing the switches themselves. The keyboard is compatible with both 3-pin and 5-pin mechanical switches, convenience when customizing your keyboard.
On the performance front, the Z98 Pro excels. We have received switches both for tactile and linear. The tactile switches offer users satisfying feedback upon each press, perfectly balanced between subtlety and distinctness. The linear switches, on the other hand, provide a direct and unobstructed feel, ideal for those who appreciate a seamless keypress. Additionally, the gasket structure ensures a comfortable typing experience. All these factors combined make the Z98 Pro an excellent choice for both intense gaming sessions and extended writing tasks.
The inbuilt foams also help to manage the sound, making keystrokes both soft, silent but tactile.
In terms of keypress registration, the tactile and linear switches on the Z98 Pro exhibit clear differences. With the tactile switches, a keypress is registered almost immediately upon slight pressure, specifically at about 10% to 20%. This results in quick and responsive feedback. In contrast, the linear switches provide a unique sensation; they require a deeper press to register, around 50% to 70% pressure, but they feel almost effortless to actuate – especially when you are typing.
A keyboard’s connectivity options can influence its utility across different scenarios. With a range of preferences and use cases among users, having multiple ways to connect can enhance the adaptability of the device. The Z98 Pro offers several connection methods, catering to a variety of needs.
The Z98 Pro provides a reliable wired connection through its Type-C ports which also comes with a pink cable. For users seeking a latency-free experience, especially during intense gaming sessions or tasks that demand immediate response, this direct connection ensures optimal performance. The presence of multiple Type-C ports also means you can use one for connection while the other can cater to storage or other peripherals, emphasizing the keyboard’s adaptability.
For those who value flexibility and mobility, the Z98 Pro offers Bluetooth connectivity. This is particularly beneficial for users who might move between different setups, be it from a work desk to a more relaxed lounge setting. The Bluetooth option allows you to connect to PC, mobile devices and laptop wirelessly.
Beyond wired and Bluetooth, the Z98 Pro also features a 2.4GHz wireless connection. The dedicated wireless dongle ensures a straightforward and hassle-free pairing experience with PCs. This connection type is known for its stable and robust signal strength, making it an excellent choice for users who want the freedom of wireless without compromising on response times. However, be cautious when using USB 3.2 ports as it tends to lag significantly. Fortunately, it performs well with USB 2.0 (The white USB port from your motherboard).
Latency Benchmark for 2.4GHz Wireless and Bluetooth
To gauge the latency performance of the Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connection, we executed three specific tests. The aim was to pinpoint the time lapse between releasing a key on the keyboard and the moment it’s recognized by the computer. Given the swiftness traditionally associated with wired connections, we used it as our based benchmark. In our tests, the wired connection exhibited a lag of 83ms. This latency can be attributed to various factors including hardware delays, the overall system load, sound and program delay, among other aspects.
Factoring out the foundational 83ms lag inherent in the wired connection, our measurements highlight that the 2.4GHz wireless connection has an additional latency of 3ms. In contrast, the Bluetooth connection sees a delay of 12ms.
Battery Life in Wireless and Bluetooth
As for wireless and bluetooth connection, the Z98 Pro comes with a 3,750mAh battery, which is generously sized. For users who are fond of the backlit RGB feature, this substantial battery capacity ensures that the keyboard can function smoothly for up to a week of regular use without the need for a recharge.
The OLED Screen
One of the standout features of the YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro is its OLED screen. More than just a decorative element, this screen acts as a handy visual tool, eliminating the need to memorize key shortcuts. With a glance, users can easily switch between different modes, making interactions with the keyboard smoother and more intuitive.
Here are some things that you can do with its OLED screen menu:
- Connect – Where you can switch between wired, wireless, and 3 Bluetooth pairing connection
- Home – Switch between Time Clock and GIF wallpaper
- Layout – Switch Keyboard layout for Windows or Mac
- Config – Switch to additional settings like Home, Layout, Effect, Colour, Brightness, Speed, Language.
- Volume – Adjust system Volume
For even deeper personalization, you can take advantage of the proprietary software that comes with this keyboard. The software offers a range of customization options to tailor your keyboard experience to your liking including a Profile manager that you can switch to different settings anytime.
With the Macro manager, you can create and customize complex commands, keypress events, and even specify delays between actions to optimize your workflow.
Moreover, the lighting effects feature lets you choose from a selection of 19 different lighting modes, allowing you to set the perfect ambiance for your workspace.
The Custom Lights function permits you to pick and choose which keys to illuminate, adding a touch of style and practicality.
Lastly, you can get creative by customizing the OLED screen on your keyboard, uploading GIFs to display, and truly making your keyboard your own.
What’s in the Box
In addition to the keyboard itself, the package includes several essential items:
You’ll find extra key caps for Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys.
Also included is a convenient wired USB to USB type-C cable.
Lastly, you’ll discover the handy Switch Puller, a useful tool for modifying or replacing your keyboard switches with ease.
Extra switches are included, handy in case replacements are needed.
The YUNZII KZZI Z98 Pro Keyboard offers a fresh take on mechanical keyboards. With its diverse connection choices, it seamlessly merges retro design elements with modern features like the OLED screen. The variety of switch options, along with its compatibility with other switches, and the dynamic RGB lighting, showcase a well-considered balance between functionality and user experience.
For those eyeing its wireless and Bluetooth functionalities, the keyboard boasts a 3,750mAh battery. This capacity is commendable, allowing the keyboard to last up to a week with the backlit RGB in use, reducing the frequency of recharges and ensuring uninterrupted usage.
Having gathered significant data on latency performance, the Z98 Pro manifests as a powerhouse in the wireless keyboard arena. The minor latency difference between wired and wireless connections speaks volumes about its technical prowess. For those in the gaming community chasing that split-second advantage, writers aiming for fluid typing marathons, or simply anyone on the hunt for a keyboard that combines sleek design with top-notch functionality, the Z98 Pro is undeniably a contender to consider.