The presentation in itself is quite impressive. The generic FPS ZBoard keyset is eye-catching. When we saw the Battlefield 2 themed one, we could barely hold the excitement over giving it a trial run: it was time to put our helmet on and unleash our secret weapon over our enemies.
We rushed into installing the device. The ZBoard is a USB keyboard so it clashed with the PS2 mouse we use in our trial PC. That was our first problem but it was easily resolved: we got a USB mouse (a not so good game-wise model though) and went from there.
The ZBoad comes with an installation CD that allows the PC to properly configure the new device and search the Internet for updates for each of the game-specific keysets, be that Battlefield 2 or Age of Empires III, for instance. The Zboard base presents a row of multimedia (play/stop, volume up/down) and functional keys up at the top as well as two USB ports – which, unfortunately, were dead even though we updated the driver. It was a pity not being able to plug our USB mouse directly unto the keyboard.
We first used the traditional QWERTY keyset to test it as a typing device. The keys responded very well but the split space bar required attention. Our thumb usually hit the literal space between both halves of the space bar until we adjusted our typing.