Another subtle detail, the keys are somewhat louder than regular keyboards. Switching from a fairly quiet keyboard, I notice the clacking Zboard keys. It’s not a major issue, but I know it’s there. The sound is not annoying, but it’s not stealthy either. If you need an ultra-quiet keyboard, as to leave your significant other undisturbed, a Zboard is not for you. “Honey, stop playing Guild Wars and go to bed!”
At first, the auto run button didn’t work for me. When I pressed it, my chat window opened up. Instead of running, it typed the letter “r” over and over. I thought something was wrong with the Zboard. Perhaps it was a programming glitch. No, it was a default settings issue. I had customized my “R” key to be my reply button. I’m a creature of habit, as that’s how it’s done in other MMORPGs. I changed my Guild Wars settings to be more like a traditional MMORPG, The Zboard didn’t like that. To truly make the most of the Zboard, you’ll want to use the default Guild Wars control setup. There’s no sense to key labeling if you’re going to rearrange all the keys.
I don’t swap out keysets. I pretty much leave the Guild Wars keyset in the cradle. Yet, I realize how often I use a number pad. That corner “Enter” key is terribly missed. Why don’t the Targeting and Menu keys double as number pad keys, especially when Guild Wars is not in use? An LED does light up when Guild Wars is in the foreground. It is easy to change keyset, but not as easy as it is to change programs. While the Guild Wars keyset does make the game easier, things outside the game can get cumbersome. You’d be surprised how lazy you’ll become about swapping keysets. “You mean I have to lean to the other side of my desk? No way!”
Also, be careful when changing keysets. The bottom edges of the keysets are quite ridged. While it hasn’t happened yet, I feel like I could cut myself on this thing. The Zboard is comprised of hard plastic. It feels quite sturdy and unforgiving. I unlocked the handle the wrong way and I scraped my finger. Ouch!
The Good News
I typed this entire article with a Zboard. The split space bar still tricks me sometimes and I keep forgetting that I don’t have a number pad, but the Zboard is too fun to give up. When I drive my car, I can tell if someone moved my seat. It’s the same with typing. It’s tough to adjust to the differences that a Zboard creates, but I like all the extra features it has to offer.