Zalman Goes RGB With ZM-K900M Mechanical Keyboard

Zalman will be officially debuting a new mechanical keyboard, the ZM-K900M, at Computex. The full size keyboard will be the company’s first with RGB lighting. Other features include a function layer with media controls, programmable lighting and macros, and custom user profiles.

The keyboard also has the ability to record macros straight from the keyboard and store them on the keyboard's internal memory. This lets you use the macros with any device the keyboard is plugged into without any reliance on software.

A notable difference between the ZM-K700M (our review here) and the new ZM-K900M is that Zalman has switched from Cherry MX switches to Kailh switches. You'll be able to select your preferred switch type between Kailh Blue, Black, Brown or Red.

The ZM-K900M will not feature the dedicated macro buttons on the left-hand side that the ZM-K700M featured; instead, it appears that macro keys will be limited to a cluster near the center of the keyboard (the keys with black bars on them in the illustration below):

The macro recording looks quite powerful, and it even allows you to add mouse clicks to macros. Users can also adjust the speed of the macros and utilize auto, loop and timing macro settings.

Without any software currently listed on the website, it's unclear if any will be released for the ZM-K900M. The manual makes it seem like everything from customizing the lighting, recording macros, and setting/changing user profiles can all be done directly from the keyboard, so software won't be necessary (although it may be an option).

Keyboards that utilize onboard controls over software tend to have a longer learning curve to them, but there are also plenty of benefits. Not only will the keyboard have all of the user-defined parameters (lighting, macros and profiles) in place regardless of what computer the keyboard is plugged into, but not having to install software to fully utilize the keyboard makes it ideal for use on networks (such at work or school) that don't allow users to install software.

Zalman did not yet disclose pricing.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Zalman ZM-K900M
TypeFull size, 104 keys
Switch TypeKailh Blue, Black, Brown, Red
Key CapsLaser-etched ABS "Step Sculpture2"
Polling Rate1000 Hz
Key RolloverN-key Rollover
LightingRGB w/ 12 Modes
Additional PortsNone
Dimensions440 x 140 x 35 mm (LxWxH)
Weight1.25 kg / 2.75 lbs

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Andy Cook is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews, specializing in mechanical keyboards.