Tecware is a relatively unknown company in the western hemisphere that specializes in PC cases and peripherals, and yet they have been around for nearly a decade now. As with most such companies, a humble beginning in Asia created enough of a base to begin carving out a global name, which is exactly why Tecware contacted us, and others no doubt, to get the word out on their products. Expect to see more from the company sooner rather than later, especially as we have added them to our list of brands to visit at Computex, but we begin with a look at one of their keyboards here. Thanks to the company for providing us with a review sample.
The Phantom RGB keyboard series from Tecware consists of the TKL 87-key and full size 104-key versions (not counting the similar but still distinctly different Phantom Elite keyboard lineup). At this time, they are only offered in a US ANSI layout, but Tecware is open to feedback from readers on other layouts pending interest. I have here the 104-key version, and the numpad aside, this review should help provide a better picture for both keyboards as a whole. This is a mechanical keyboard with a CIY switch design to allow for easy switch swapping, and it supports a variety of mechanical switches from the company or separately. As the name suggests, RGB lighting is a prominent marketing feature here. We go through this feature and everything else, but begin with a look at the specifications below.
|Tecware Phantom RGB Keyboard|
|Layout:||104-key US ANSI layout, 87-key version also available|
|Material:||ABS plastic case and keycaps, aluminium alloy cover plate|
|Weight:||1.14 kg / 2.51 lbs.|
|Anti-ghosting:||Full N-Key rollover|
|Media Keys:||Available as a secondary function|
|Dimensions:||134 (L) x 444 (W) x 22 (H) mm|
|Cable Length:||6.0 ft / 1.8 m|
|Switch Type:||Outemu Blue, Brown, or Red RGB mechanical switch|
|Backlighting:||Yes, per-key RGB backlighting|
Packaging and Accessories
Packaging for the Tecware Phantom RGB is on the cleaner side of things with a predominantly monochrome finish on the front. Here, we see the company and product name in white, and RGB feature accents to point out the RGB feature set. There is also a subtly large render of the keyboard, which switches over to a full-color version on the back, along with more marketing features and technical specifications. Tecware lets people know that the Phantom RGB can be purchased with one of three different Outemu switch options on the side, and this particular version came with the Outemu blue switches. A double flap and seal on the side help keep the contents inside in place during transit.
Opening the box, we see the keyboard with a molded plastic clamshell over it in a soft foam wrap for further protection. The non-detachable keyboard cable is neatly tucked away in the cardboard cutout compartment above. The accessories are housed underneath the keyboard as well as alongside the cable, so ensure you have it all out of the box. Tecware includes a set of four replacement switches, a metal switch puller, and a quick start guide (online copy here). The spare switches are different than the usual set of accessories, too, which sometimes includes replacement keycaps for some keys. It makes sense with the CIY switch design employed here, however, and these spare switches are useful for not only showing off the switches used on the keyboard, but replacing switches that may be going bad, or even just as a cool souvenir. Interestingly, there is no keycap puller to be seen here, but we should perhaps read on before casting judgment prematurely.
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