The Zboard Review – With Guild Wars: Factions Keyset

What is a Zboard? It’s a keyboard with interchangeable keysets, which fold up into a ‘Z’ shape. It’s a gamer’s keyboard, designed to improve your experience with your favorite video games. Now that Guild Wars has it’s own keyset, I decided to take a closer look at Ideazon’s Zboard. If you’re a Guild Wars fan, who’s wondering if a Zboard is worth owning, this article is for you.

Anything that makes Guild Wars easier to play is welcomed sight. Guild Wars has an incredibly steep learning curve. I’ve been playing for over two years and I still find the interface to be unwieldy. Which key was it to show my skills? I’ll fumble between the ‘K’ and ‘L’ keys. “No, that’s the quest window.” I’ve seen players leave Guild Wars in disgust, simply because the controls were too confusing. What if they had a Zboard, would it have made a difference?

The Zboard is a keyboard designed for Gamers.
The Zboard is a keyboard designed for Gamers.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Zboard is the labeling. You can’t forget which key does what. Just look at the board! From chat commands to movement keys, everything is neatly tagged. The Zboard goes beyond that though. Keys are rearranged for maximized gameplay. On the Guild Wars Keyset, the number pad is gone. In its place, you will find the most common commands. Ideazon really did their homework on this one. Not only do they have the newer commands, such as ‘observe’ for observer mode, they also have commands that I completely forgot about. I can’t remembered the last time I used the target ‘Self’ command. I used to drag my mouse to the party window, then click my name from there. That split second delay is dangerous in PvP combat.

With a Zboard in my possession, I was ready to rock. The biggest strength of the Zboard is the look. It’s a sexy keyboard. I play Guild Wars. A standard keyboard doesn’t properly represent my persona. No, I’d rather have an attractive Assassin looking at me. Her alluring eyes seem to say, “That’s right Mike, I like a man with a custom keyboard.” With the Zboard ready to go, I made the switch. It was time to ditch my plain keyboard. Ick, you never really notice how grimy your keyboard can get until you get rid of it. The best part about getting a new Zboard is not having to scrape the dirt off your old keyboard.

Out with the old, in with the new

Instructions?! What is that?! With total disregard for safety and procedure, I plugged in my Zboard while Guild Wars running. Hey, I can type. Alright! It works. No wait… some of these keys still don’t work. Stupid Zboard! Ideazon’s creation sorta mocked me. It was as if it said, “Ha ha, it’s not that easy fool! You’ll need to use the Install CD.”