Tecware Phan­tom RGB

+ Im­pres­sively fea­ture set. - No de­tach­able ca­ble.

HWM (Singapore) - - Contents -

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 proles 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.

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