EVGA Z10 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: Final Analysis and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Although Kailh switches are Cherry MX clones, we could feel a difference between the two switch types. The Kailh switches took a bit more force to actuate, which made them feel heavier than their Cherry MX counterparts. There was a slight difference in sound as well. Audibly the difference was minor and we only noticed it while typing side-by-side with a Cherry MX keyboard. We wouldn't say one is measurably louder than the other, there is just a slight audible difference between the switches. Other than that the performance was similar and each key press was consistent and reliable.
In terms of comfort, the wrist wrest included with the Z10 is top notch. There are plenty of keyboards on the market that don't even include a wrist rest, and those that do usually only lay in one position. By allowing the user to customize the position of the wrist rest, the Z10 adds extra comfort where others do not. We found the wrist rest to be the most comfortable in the position furthest away from the keyboard. In this position, our wrist had plenty of support and all the keys were still easily accessible.
After spending some time with the Z10 mechanical keyboard, it's clear to see EVGA wanted to incorporate some unique features into this keyboard. Perusing the specs along reveals that EVGA clearly tried to give their fans reason to get excited. For the most partm we have to say EVGA delivered a winner here, but only die hard EVGA / NVIDIA fans will be able to reap ALL of the benefits -- we'll explain in just a bit.
Let's summarize some of the aforementioned features, because this keyboard truly offers a lot. When it comes to customization, there are 7 macro keys that can be setup with both a primary and secondary function. In addition, any key can be customized via the include software to perform different operations, like launch a browser or application. Adding short cuts and macros can make some tasks easier, which enhances the overall user experience. Beyond just the macro's though there are options to disable keys when putting the keyboard in gaming mode and the on-board LCD displays important information from real-time temperatures to macro settings.
Like many companies releasing keyboard in 2018, EVGA has been looking beyond Cherry and went with Kailh switches. In our testing we did notice a difference between the two when typing side, by side, but the differences were minimal. The Kailh switches felt a bit heavier and there was an audible difference between the two as well. But after typing on the Kailh switches for the better part of a week, we found them to be comfortable and responsive. While not quite identical clones, Cherry users should easily be able to make the jump to Kailh with only minimal growing pains.
The EVGA Z10 offers a lot, but there were some issues we have to point out. First, its software needs some time to mature. There were multiple times were the software would affect the keyboard in an unintended way. EVGA has ensured us most of the bugs will be worked out before wide availability ramps up, but as with most new hardware launches, expect some pretty quick software patches right out of the gate. The only other real issue we had was the lack of support for non-NVIDIA GPUs. In order to get EVGA Precision to work and display real-time information on the LCD, you need to be sporting an NVIDIA graphics card. This cuts out a big part of the market, but for those with the right hardware the Z10 will fit right into your setup.
The Z10 is an admirable first keyboard offering from EVGA and we look forward to their future products. As it stands, the EVGA Z10 will be offered for $149.99, with an EVGA X10 mouse thrown in for good measure, making it quite a bargain. EVGA is also offering a long 3 year warranty for this product, so you can feel secure in your purchase over the long haul.