E-Element Z-88 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

The keyboard is an 81 key keyboard with full anti-ghosting keys that work well for all games especially FPS or MMOs. The keyboard itself is black and around 30 cm long with full RGB LED lighting underneath the keycaps with which has 10 different lighting modes and 7 different solid colors.

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The different lighting modes are as follows:

  • Motionless Light mode. In this mode, the keyboard stays lit constantly and only 1 color. The colors are White, Purple, Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow and Red and can be changed by pressing FN + “+ ” or “-“.
  • Breathing mode. In this mode, the keyboard will stay 1 of the previously listed colors but will make a “breathing” motion pulsating in and out. Colors can be changed in this mode too.
  • Gaming mode. In this mode, the keyboard will only light up WASD, Esc. & the arrow keys. This lights up and shows the most commonly pressed keys used in games.
  • Rainbow mode. In this mode, the keyboard lights will cycle through each of the 7 colors listed previously. The speed can be changed by pressing FN + “←” or “→”.
  • Press mode. In this mode, the keys will light up 1 of the 7 listed colors when pressed and then dim after a second or so. Each press of a button will light it up a different color than before.
  • Flag mode. In this mode the keyboard will be lit Red, Purple, Green, Yellow, Blue, White constantly from the top row to bottom and will have a “waving flag” effect running from left to right on the keyboard.
  • Snake mode. In this mode, the keyboard lights will snake from top left to bottom right in a rainbow pattern running through each key like the popular mobile game Snake and then will go backward from the bottom right to top left.
  • Ripple mode. In this mode, the keys will make a “ripple” effect in which when a key is pressed the keyboard lights will ripple outward across the keyboard when pressed in whichever color you choose. The speed can be sped up or slowed down using the aforementioned keys.
  • Spread mode. When a key is pressed in this mode each immediately surrounding key will light up in a circle around it with a random color.
  • Wave mode. This mode uses all 7 colors to create a wave pattern across the keyboard which runs through each color the keyboard has from right to left. This mode can also be sped up or slowed down.

The E-Element Z-88 uses Outemu switches which are on a black aluminum board. The switches themselves are not soldered on PCB and are easy to detach and replace if need be. They feel not entirely different from Cherry MX switches albeit a little bit harder to press. When purchasing the keyboard you can select between Blue, Red or Brown switches. This review will be on the Blue switches. The switches have that authentic mechanical keyboard sound of the “click” to them when pressed down and don’t feel all that different in comparison to Cherry MX Blue switches to press.

The keycaps are ABS double-shot injection keycaps and are in a US layout on the keyboard. They feel sturdy and are a nice tough keycap with a nice spring to them off of the switches. The keycaps do make a clicking sound when fully pressed down due to being pressed into the aluminum board below but can be easily solved by using some o-rings if you aren’t a fan of the clicking.

The keyboard has a detachable micro USB which has three entry slots on the left, middle and right side of the keyboard with a channel to slide the wire into if it causes any problems. There are rubber pads and feet on the bottom of the keyboard to prevent it from sliding or moving while using and keep it sturdily in place. It also has a drain hole if you wish to wash the keyboard.

I have had this keyboard since 12/20/2018 when I purchased it from Amazon for $42.99 and Postage included. I received it 10 days later packaged well and in perfect condition as should be expected. Since purchasing I have used it around 16 hours/day to play competitive Fortnite and several other high intensity and competitive games. It has been a joy to use and a major upgrade on what I used before. I have no complaints about the keyboard and firmly believe that for its price it is the best mechanical gaming keyboard on the market for anyone looking to get an entry-level keyboard and jump into gaming with a mechanical keyboard on a budget.