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EVGA Z15 Keyboard Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Nov 01, 2022 at 11:19 am
EVGA Z15 Picture
9.3
Gaming
3.0
Mobile/Tablet
7.8
Office
8.0
Programming
5.5
Entertainment / HTPC

The EVGA Z15 is a full-sized mechanical gaming keyboard with a hot-swappable printed circuit board (PCB). It's a feature-loaded model with outstanding gaming performance in terms of a higher-than-average polling rate and exceptionally low latency. It also features a very gamer-forward aesthetic with an aggressive font on the keycaps and a large metal EVGA logo on top of the board.

Our Verdict

9.3 Gaming

The EVGA Z15 is a remarkable gaming keyboard. It has exceptionally low latency, and the stock Kailh Speed Bronze switches offer a short pre-travel and fairly light actuation force, so they feel responsive. However, if you don't like the stock switch options, this keyboard is hot-swappable, so you can replace these switches with your preferred switch, if you want. It feels well-built and comfortable to use, thanks to the included wrist rest, and the companion software allows you to program macros to any key and adjust the RGB backlighting.

Pros
  • Outstandingly low click latency.
  • Hot-swappable switches.
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • ABS keycaps easily develop shine.
3.0 Mobile/Tablet

Since the EVGA Z15 is a wired-only unit, it isn't recommended for use with mobile devices and tablets.

7.8 Office

The EVGA Z15 is a good office keyboard, although it isn't designed for this use. It feels well-built and comfortable to use, thanks to the included wrist rest and incline settings. While the stock Kailh Speed Bronze switches are too loud to use in an open office environment, you can also get this keyboard with Kailh Speed Silver switches, which are quieter. Or, you can change the stock switches out since it has a hot-swappable PCB.

Pros
  • Hot-swappable switches.
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • ABS keycaps easily develop shine.
8.0 Programming

The EVGA Z15 is a very good keyboard for programming. It has a good build quality and feels comfortable to use thanks to the included wrist rest. You can use the companion software to program macros to any key and adjust the RGB backlighting to best suit your tastes. Unfortunately, its companion software is only available on Windows, so you can't make changes if you use macOS. Also, it's wired-only, so you can't use it in multi-device setups.

Pros
  • Hot-swappable switches.
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
  • All keys are macro-programmable.
Cons
  • Wired-only design.
  • ABS keycaps easily develop shine.
5.5 Entertainment / HTPC

Theย EVGA Z15 isn't ideal for home theater PC setups since it's a wired keyboard. It lacks a trackpad, so you need a mouse on the side to navigate the user interface. On the plus side, it does have RGB backlighting, dedicated media keys, and a volume control wheel.

Pros
  • Customizable RGB backlighting.
Cons
  • Wired-only design.
  • No trackpad or trackball.
  • ABS keycaps easily develop shine.
  • 9.3 Gaming
  • 3.0 Mobile/Tablet
  • 7.8 Office
  • 8.0 Programming
  • 5.5 Entertainment / HTPC
  1. Updated Nov 09, 2022: Updated the compatibility box to reflect that all default button assignments work as intended on all operating systems.
  2. Updated Nov 01, 2022: Updated text of the review to align with current guidelines. Added in a mention in the Build Quality section about product durability and issues reported by online users.
  3. Updated Apr 07, 2021: Review published.
  4. Updated Apr 02, 2021: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the EVGA Z15 in black with Kailh Speed Bronze clicky switches, but it's also available with Kailh Speed Silver linear switches. While it doesn't have any variants, the EVGA Z20 is a very similar board but has extra features, like dedicated macro keys, a USB and audio passthrough, and a time-of-flight sensor; however, it isn't hot-swappable like the Z15. You can see the label of our unit here.

Compared To Other Keyboards

The EVGA Z15 is a full-size, wired-only gaming keyboard. It has an exceptionally low latency, and the stock Kailh Speed switch options are very gaming oriented as they have a short pre-travel distance and a fairly light actuation force. This keyboard also has a hot-swappable PCB, which is a bit rare to find on a keyboard with such great base performance. While the overall external build quality feels good, users online have experienced a few issues related to the durability and connectivity of that board. Some of these issues range from switch malfunctioning, double keypresses, and the keyboard disconnecting after going to sleep, requiring you to restart your PC. However, we didn't experience any of these issues during testing.

For other options, see our recommendations for the best gaming keyboards, the best mechanical keyboards, and the best gaming keyboards under $100.

EVGA Z20

The EVGA Z15 and the EVGA Z20 are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards with very similar designs, but there are a few differences. The Z20 has dedicated macro keys, a USB and audio passthrough, and a unique time-of-flight sensor that you can program to perform certain functions when you approach or move away from your keyboard. It's available with linear or clicky Light Strike LK Optical switches. On the other hand, the Z15 is a hot-swappable board that lets you easily swap out the switches without needing to solder anything. It's also available with clicky Kailh Speed Bronze and linear Speed Silver switches.

EVGA Z12

The EVGA Z15 is much better overall than the EVGA Z12 mainly because it's higher-end, meaning it has more features. The Z15 is a mechanical keyboard available with linear and clicky switches, while the Z12 is non-mechanical and has rubber dome switches. The Z15 feels better built, comes with a wrist rest, has individually lit keys, and the latency is much lower. One of the few advantages the Z12 has over the Z15 is that it has extra macro keys, but you can reprogram any key on both.

SteelSeries Apex Pro

The SteelSeries Apex Pro and the EVGA Z15 are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards. The SteelSeries uses proprietary OmniPoint linear switches, which let you customize the pre-travel distance of every key. Also, it has a small, customizable OLED screen that lets you access keyboard functions or display game stats, CPU operations, and gifs. Unfortunately, it isn't available with other switch types. On the other hand, the EVGA is available in more switch types. It's a hot-swappable board that lets you replace the stock switches with any type you prefer. It also has one of the lowest latencies we've tested.

Redragon K582 SURARA RGB

The Redragon K582 SURARA RGB and the EVGA Z15 are full-size mechanical gaming keyboards, but the EVGA performs better. Its latency is substantially lower, and it offers features that the Redragon lacks, like dedicated media keys and a volume control wheel. Also, it has an extra incline setting and a wrist rest. Both boards are hot-swappable, so you can replace their stock switches with any others you prefer.

NZXT Function

The EVGA Z15 and the NZXT Function are both wired-only, hot-swappable keyboards. However, the EVGA Z15 has a more aggressive gamer aesthetic and significantly lower latency. The NXZT is a more versatile choice if you want a keyboard for both work and play.

NPET K20

The EVGA Z15 is a much better gaming keyboard than the NPET K20. The EVGA has more features like macro-programmable keys, a wrist rest, dedicated software, and full RGB backlighting, while the NPET is limited to multi-colored backlighting. The EVGA is also hot-swappable, which the NPET isn't, so you can put whichever switches you prefer. Latency is also much lower on the EVGA.

Corsair K100 RGB

The EVGA Z15 and the Corsair K100 RGB are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards. They both have fully customizable RGB backlighting, dedicated media keys, a volume control wheel, and all of their keys are macro-programmable. However, the Corsair keyboard has a USB passthrough and a programmable multi-function dial. It also has slightly lower latency, although the difference isn't significant enough to be noticeable. On the other hand, if you like the option of changing the switches whenever you want, the EVGA is hot-swappable.

Razer BlackWidow Elite

The EVGA Z15 and the Razer BlackWidow Elite are both fantastic wired gaming keyboards. They both have dedicated media keys and a volume control wheel, and all of their keys are macro-programmable. The Razer is available with clicky Razer Green, tactile Orange, and linear Yellow switches, while the EVGA is available with clicky Kailh Speed Bronze and linear Speed Silver switches. Also, the EVGA is a better option if you like to easily swap out the switches for other ones whenever you want since the board is hot-swappable. While they both have incredibly low latencies, the EVGA's is lower and is among the lowest we've tested.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Dimensions
Size
Full-size (100%)
Height
1.5" (3.8 cm)
Width 17.5" (44.5 cm)
Depth
6.0" (15.2 cm)
Depth With Wrist Rest
8.8" (22.4 cm)
Weight
2.23 lbs (1.010 kg)
8.0
Design
Build Quality
Keycap Material ABS

The EVGA Z15 has a good overall build quality. The plastic chassis feels sturdy, and the metal top plate means there's no flex. Although all the keys have a little wobble, it isn't too noticeable during regular use. The ABS keycaps feel okay, though they're prone to becoming slippery and shiny over time. Users have noted that these keycaps aren't very durable and that the hot-swappable PCB is a bit fragile. While the external features of the keyboard are fairly well-built, this keyboard does suffer from connectivity issues, meaning you may have to reboot your PC or reconnect the keyboard for it to work.

7.5
Design
Ergonomics
Board Design
Straight
Minimum Incline
4ยฐ
Medium Incline
7ยฐ
Maximum Incline
10ยฐ
Wrist Rest Detachable

The EVGA Z15 has good ergonomics. It's a straight board with two incline settings and slightly curved keycaps. It has a magnetically-attached hard plastic wrist rest that helps a bit with posture, but it isn't plushy like the wrist rest on the EVGA Z20. However, it still feels comfortable enough to not cause fatigue during long periods of typing.

9.7
Design
Backlighting
Backlighting Yes
Color
RGB
Individually Backlit Keys
Yes
Color Mixing
Ok
Effects
Yes
Programmable
Yes

The EVGA Z15 RGB gaming keyboard has full RGB backlighting with individually-lit keys. You can customize effects and colors using the EVGA Unleash RGB software. It's good at color mixing, but green and blue light reflects off the keycaps, which can get annoying if you only want to see white backlighting.

Design
Cable & Connector
Connectivity Wired
Detachable
No
Length 6.0 ft (1.8 m)
Connector (Keyboard side)
Not Detachable

The EVGA Z15 RGB has a standard braided cable that's fairly thin and retains kinks. If you want a fairly similar hot-swappable keyboard with a detachable cable, check out the GLORIOUS GMMK 2.

0
Design
Wireless Versatility
Bluetooth
No
Bluetooth Multi-Device Pairing
No
Proprietary Receiver
No
Battery Type
No Batteries
Design
Extra Features
Media Keys
Dedicated
Macro Programmable Keys
All
Trackpad / Trackball No
Wheel Yes
USB Passthrough
No
Numpad Yes
Windows Key Lock
Yes
Lock Indicator Caps, Scroll & Num lock

The EVGA Z15 RGB gaming keyboard has quite a few extra features. Along the top, there's a row of dedicated media keys and a volume wheel. It also has a "Game Mode" hotkey you can access by pressing Fn+G, which disables the Windows key so you won't accidentally minimize your game mid-play. Unlike the EVGA Z20, it doesn't have a USB passthrough, a 3.5mm audio jack, or a time-of-flight sensor. However, this keyboard is hot-swappable, meaning you can replace the stock switches with a 3-pin switch of your choosing.

Design
In The Box

  • EVGA Z15 keyboard
  • Wrist rest
  • Keycap puller
  • Switch puller
  • 8 Kailh Speed Silver linear switches
  • User documentation

Typing Experience
Typing Experience
Keystrokes
Key Switches
Kailh Speed Bronze
Mechanical
Yes
Feel
Clicky
Operating Force
54 gf
Actuation Force
54 gf
Pre-Travel
1.1 mm
Total Travel
3.7 mm

The Kailh Speed Bronze switches in the EVGA Z15 feel fairly light and responsive. The pre-travel distance is much shorter than other clicky switches, which may cause you to accidentally actuate keys if you're not used to the sensitivity.

If you don't like the clicky feel, it's also available with Kailh Speed Silver switches, which are linear and don't provide any tactile feedback. If you're unsure which feel you like, the board is hot-swappable, so you can easily swap them out for any three-pin switches you prefer. However, if you want a hot-swappable keyboard with a larger selection of stock switches, check out the NZXT Function. EVGA also has a non-mechanical version, the EVGA Z12, if you don't like the feel of the mechanical switches.

8.0
Typing Experience
Typing Quality

The EVGA Z15 has very good typing quality. The keycaps feel pretty good for ABS, although they may be prone to shine. All the keys feel stable, and even the bigger keys, like the Spacebar, Enter, and Shift keys, don't wobble. The Kailh Speed Bronze switches offer nice tactile feedback, but the short pre-travel distance is shorter than on most clicky switches, which may cause you to accidentally actuate some keys if you aren't used to the sensitivity. While it does come with a wrist rest, it isn't very plushy since it's made of hard plastic with a leatherette cover, which may not feel comfortable to some people.

Typing Experience
Typing Noise
Noise
Loud

With the Kailh Speed Bronze switches installed, typing on the EVGA Z15 is pretty loud. However, you can also get this keyboard with linear Kailh Speed Silver switches, which are much quieter.

10
Typing Experience
Latency
Latency Wired
0.9 ms
Latency Receiver
N/A
Latency Bluetooth
N/A

The EVGA Z15 has an exceptionally low click latency that feels responsive enough even for competitive gamers.

This keyboard has higher-than-average polling rate options, going up to 4000Hz. We obtained these results by testing the keyboard with the 4000Hz polling rate setting.

Software and Operating System
9.1
Software and Operating System
Software & Programming
Software Name EVGA Unleash RGB
Account Required
No
Profiles
6+
Onboard Memory
Yes
Cloud Sync
No
Macro Programming
Software
Ease Of Use
Okay
Software Windows Compatible
Yes
Software macOS Compatible
No

The EVGA Unleash RGB software offers many customization options. While the interface itself is fairly clunky and feels less refined than some other programs, setting macros and changing the RGB backlighting is easy enough to figure out.

The score of this test box is based solely on the companion software's features and not its overall performance. We didn't experience any issues during testing. However, community members have identified a range of issues with this software.

8.2
Software and Operating System
Keyboard Compatibility
Windows Full
macOS Full
Linux Full
Android No
iOS No
iPadOS No

All default button assignments work as intended on both Windows and macOS. However, the companion software is only available for Windows.

Discussions