The Ideazon ZBoard gaming keyboard is great gaming keyboard for most applications. It has some great customizable features and while I initially had some trouble getting the software to work, once I got it installed it has worked beautifully.
I bought the ZBoard over a year ago, thinking it would help me avoid stretching for (and missing) some of the more difficult key combinations when playing MMOs. I also considered getting a gamepad, but decided on the ZBoard as I thought it would be easier to set up and manage. At the time, I was running Windows XP Media on my desktop, and I had a lot of trouble getting the software installed. The keyboard worked just fine without the software, but it did not have all of the customization capabilities without it. Since then, I’ve upgraded to Windows Vista, and it the software and keyboard work perfectly, allowing me to use all the features to their fullest.
Even without the software, I found that the ZBoard fit my needs very well. All of the navigation keys needed for most MMOs are right under the fingers of my left hand – allowing my right hand to stay on the mouse. The buttons are different shapes and sizes, as well, allowing me to know if my hand is in the right place without looking down at the keyboard. I changed a few of the key settings within my MMO to make them more accessible, but even with no customization the ZBoard reduced my hand movement and wrist strain considerably.
The interchangeable keyboard inserts are interesting. I haven’t bought very many, but the one for Civilization IV was really nice for efficiently controlling everything on the board without having to memorize a bunch of key commands. Most of the time, though, I stick with the generic gaming layout – in fact, I only rarely switch to the standard QWERTY layout for web browsing and such.
I would recommend the Ideazon ZBoard gaming keyboard to anyone looking for an easy-to-use gaming keyboard that isn’t too expensive.