Tecware Phantom RGB
+ Impressively feature set. - No detachable cable.
The Tecware Phantom RGB is a staggeringly feature-rich keyboard for its price. At $69, this is a pretty sweet deal for a mechanical keyboard, even if it is the most expensive keyboard in our eld of bargain options.
It uses Outemu Brown switches, which are e ectively Cherry MX Brown clones with a higher actuation force of 55g. But save for the slightly sti er operation, they’re nearly indistinguishable from their Cherry counterparts.
The Brown switches are also far more suitable for use in an o ce than their Blue siblings. They lack the distracting clicky feedback, so you’re less likely to annoy your co-workers. The switches are modular, so you can swap out the switches if you’re bored of them.
The keyboard supports per-key RGB lighting and macro recording, which is a huge bonus at this price point. You can set up to three proles in Tecware’s software utility, and if per-key customizations sound too tedious, you can pick from 18 di erent lighting presets.
As it turns out, you don’t even have to use the driver if you don’t want to, as the Phantom o ers plenty of ways for you to adjust the lighting e ects right on the keyboard itself. For instance, you can switch between nine di erent LED colors using a combination of the Fn and RGB key.
That aside, the Phantom also uses surface-mounted LEDs, which means they sit directly on top of the PCB, instead of being mounted on the switch housing. Each LED is also positioned directly beneath the key legends, so you get rather even illumination. It’s a small detail, but it’s also one that many keyboards overlook.
Most of the function keys double up as media controls and convenient shortcuts to your music player, calculator, web browser, and even le explorer. Better still, the keyboard supports true N-key rollover, which is an area where many of the other keyboards falter.
Tecware also needs to be commended for its use of double-shot ABS keycaps, which is still a rarity even on keyboards that cost twice as much. These comprise of two di erent pieces of plastic molded into each other so that the legends won’t fade over time.
Finally, build quality is much better than I expected from a keyboard that costs under $70; it feels solid and well put together. Plus. the oating key design is nice as well, as it makes it easier to keep the keyboard clean.
The doubleshot molding process ensures that the legends will never fade.
The braided cable contributes to the overall impression of quality.
The switches can be replaced with a different switch type.