Tesoro first hinted at a low profile mechanical keyboard back at Computex 2017, and even though they did not have a suite/booth at CES this year, I just had to get my hands on it as soon as possible. Tesoro was kind enough to actually meet TechPowerUp during the CES week, and some hands-on time with the keyboard, now with a proper name as well, was had. It was a teaser, however, of a longer experience with the product—something many people have been wanting for a while now. Mechanical keyboards are great in offering a variety of options in terms of feedback, force required for actuation, and add-on features, including dust and spill resistance. To many, the travel distance is a selling point, but this is a con to some others. The chiclet-style keyboard has retained its popularity for this very reason, with a flat and thin profile overall. Tesoro thinks their GRAM XS keyboard can compete with that, and today, we take a look at it in detail. Thanks again to them for providing a review sample for TechPowerUp.
The GRAM XS, as the name suggests, is part of their high-end GRAM family of keyboards. The previous addition, the GRAM SE Spectrum, went with optical switches instead of purely mechanical ones. I am sure Tesoro would have preferred to use optical switches here as well, but the technology is simply not there yet for such short optical switches. Kailh introduced low-profile mechanical switches last year, which we examined in the HAVIT HV-KB390L, and then Cherry decided they wanted a piece of this pie with the announcement of the new Cherry MX Low Profile switch at CES. Tesoro tells us the GRAM XS is using switches they helped develop, as with the optical switches before, and I do like companies getting involved to this extent. They also hinted at a revamped driver, and I had complaints of mine for their previous keyboards owing to the poor user experience with their driver, so I am, needless to say, thoroughly intrigued as we begin the review with a look at the specifications below.
|Tesoro GRAM XS Keyboard|
|Layout:||104-key modified US ANSI layout; left-side numpad|
|Material:||Aluminum top cover, Stainless steel plate, ABS plastic bottom panel and keycaps|
|Weight:||0.8 kg / 1.76 lbs.|
|Anti-ghosting:||Full N-Key rollover|
|Media Keys:||Available as a secondary function or re-assigned to keys from software driver|
|Dimensions:||127 (L) x 450 (W) x 23 (H) mm|
|Cable Length:||6.0 ft / 1.8 m|
|Switch Type:||Tesoro/TTC Ultra-slim Red or Blue mechanical switch|
|Backlighting:||16.8 M RGB backlighting|