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The Tecware Phantom RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review

Mechanical gaming keyboards are increasingly becoming a must-buy accessory.

The only thing holding back mass adoption is cost – mechanical keyboards cost a lot more than membrane keyboards.

That changes with the Tecware Phantom RGB mechanical keyboard!

 

Tecware

Tecware is a relatively new PC accessories brand with a focus on PC gaming cases, and now mechanical keyboards.

They currently have just two keyboard models – the full-sized Tecware Phantom (Price Check), and the tenkeyless (TKL) model – the Tecware Phantom 87 Key (Price Check).

Tecware Phantom Specifications

SpecificationsTecware Phantom
Available ColoursBlack / Gunmetal
DesignMechanical Keyboard (104 Keys)
Keycap TypeDoubleshot ABS keycaps
Switch OptionsOutemu Brown - 55g tactile bump
Outemu Red - 50g linear
Outemu Blue - 60g tactile click
Switch Lifecycle50 million keystrokes
BacklightingYes, individual RGB SMD LED
18 preset modes, 5 levels, 5 speeds
N-Key Rollover (NKRO) CapabilityYes, Full NKRO
Windows Key DisableYes
InterfaceUSB 2.0 (1000 Hz polling rate)
USB Cable1.8 m braided cable
Dimensions444.5 mm wide
133.5 mm deep
22.5 mm high
Weight1,140 g

 

Unboxing The Tecware Phantom RGB Keyboard

Let’s unbox the Tecware Phantom (Price Check) and see what we find inside!

Once you fully unbox the Tecware Phantom (Price Check), you will find the following items :

  • One Tecware Phantom mechanical keyboard (with 1.8 m USB cable attached)
  • One Tecware Phantom Quick Start Guide
  • One keycap puller (on keyboard underside)
  • Four spare Outemu Brown switches
  • One switch puller

Next Page > Design, Keycaps, Switches, NKRO & Anti-Ghosting Capability

 

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The Tecware Phantom Up Close!

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) is a full-sized keyboard with a 104-key layout.

It comes with Outemu mechanical switches, and individual RGB lighting for each and every key.

This video offers a close-up look!

 

Compact Design

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) is a full-sized keyboard but it has a compact design. It is just under 45 cm wide, and just over 13 cm deep.

More importantly, the base is just 1 cm thin in the front. This allows it to do away with a wrist rest, making it so much more compact than the GAMDIAS Hermes keyboard. This is important if you plan to travel with it.

 

Doubleshot ABS Keycaps

Tecware did not skimp on the keycaps. The keycaps are manufactured using the double-shot moulding process. This is a two-step process that creates legends (the character on the key) that cannot be worn off.

The only downside – the keycaps are made from ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), instead of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). ABS keycaps will become glossy over time, unlike PBT keys. However, double-shot PBT keycaps are relatively rare.

 

Outemu Switches

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) comes with a choice of three types of switches from Outemu. Our sample keyboard came with our favourite switch – the Brown switch. All Outemu switches are rated for 50 million keystrokes.

  • Outemu Brown – they have a 55g tactile bump
  • Outemu Red – linear switches with 50g actuation force
  • Outemu Blue – these switches have a 60g tactile click

Tecware also threw in four spare Outemu switches, and a switch puller. They also cleverly integrated the keycap puller into the base of the Phantom. This ensures you won’t lose the important keycap puller, and have it at hand whenever you need it.

 

N-Key Rollover (NKRO) & Anti-Ghosting

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Like many gaming keyboards, the Tecware Phantom (Price Check) has N-Key Rollover (NKRO) capability. But unlike many cheaper mechanical keyboard, the Tecware Phantom boasts FULL NKRO capability.

We tested this and managed to register 73 simultaneous keypresses. So yes, we can confirm that, for all intents and purposes, this is a full NKRO keyboard.

We also confirmed that it is “anti-ghosting” – no extra keys are registered, other than those we actually pressed.

Next Page > RGB Backlighting, USB Cable, 1000 Hz Polling Rate, Rubber Feet & Stand

 

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RGB Backlighting

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) boasts individual RGB backlighting for every key.

They also used SMD LEDs, instead of the cheaper DIP LEDs used in some keyboards. SMD LEDs are not only brighter, they last much longer.

In addition the ability to program each key with its own backlight colour, the Phantom also comes with 18 built-in lighting modes.

 

Here are the built-in lighting effects :

  • Breathing effect with colour cycling
  • Breathing effect with fixed colour
  • Fixed colour
  • Reactive with a ripple effect
  • Reactive with single key lighting
  • Reactive with a horizontal effect
  • Horizontal wave effect
  • Pulse wave effect
  • Hurricane effect
  • Vertical wave effect
  • Waterfall effect
  • Swirl effect

You can further customise the lighting effects above with 9 LED colour options – red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, violet, white and RGB.

 

USB Cable

Like most mechanical keyboards, the Tecware Phantom (Price Check) comes with an attached USB cable, braided for strength and durability.

It is 1.8 meters long, or just under 6 feet. The are three cable channels on the underside of the keyboard for cable management.

It has a gold-plated USB connector. The gold-plating does nothing for performance, but prevents corrosion and keeps the connector look shiny for a long time.

It even comes with an attached cap to avoid scratches to other devices during travel.

 

1000 Hz USB Polling Rate

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) boasts a 1000 Hz USB polling rate, which is 8X higher than the default USB polling rate of 125 Hz.

This is important for speed typists and gamers, because it allows for more key presses to be registered per second, and with much lower latencies to boot.

Some people claim that this feature is a gimmick, because of the built-in anti-bounce delay. That is only true if you are tapping the same key. There is no anti-bounce delay when you type different keys.

Without a higher USB polling rate, you would be limited to typing two keys per second. That would be a waste of a mechanical keyboard with its lighter and faster switches and much shorter anti-bounce delays.

 

Rubber Feet & Stand

The Tecware Phantom (Price Check) has four small rubber feet to reduce movement even during the most frenetic action. It also has two small flip stands at the back, with their own rubber feet.

The flip stands raise the back of the keyboard by a full centimetre, from 2.2 cm to 3.2 cm. They also appear to be solidly-made, and capable of handling a fair bit of use and abuse.

Next Page > The Tecware Phantom Verdict & Award

 

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Techware Phantom RGB : Our Verdict & Award

The Tecware Phantom RGB mechanical keyboard (Price Check) is a real nice surprise. Despite its lack of pedigree and low price, it checks off every important feature we like in a mechanical keyboard… and then some.

Like all other mechanical keyboards, it has user-replaceable keycaps. On top of that, they also made the switches user-replaceable. Heck, they even included a switch puller, and four spare switches!

You would have expected a simple LED backlight for mechanical keyboards at this price range. Instead, the Tecware Phantom offers individual RGB lighting for every key!

In addition to the 18 built-in colour modes, you can customise the LED backlight colour, pattern and effect for every key.

They also used SMD LED lights in the Tecware Phantom (Price Check). SMD LEDs are not just brighter and last longer than DIP LED lights, they also use less power. In fact, the Phantom only uses 1.25 W of power.

Tecware did not skimp on the USB interface either. The Phantom has a 1000 Hz USB polling rate, and a gold-plated USB connector protected by a cap during travel.

We not only like it A LOT, we also think that it is a steal. It offers many features that are only found in more expensive keyboards. Tecware has just proven that it is possible to can create an awesome mechanical keyboard that won’t break the bank!

That is why we feel the Tecware Phantom (Price Check) deserves our Editor’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Tecware!

 

Where To Buy The Tecware Phantom

Here is a selection of links to purchase the Tecware Phantom mechanical keyboard, and its Tenkeyless brother, the Tecware Phantom 87 Key :

  • Tecware Phantom (RGB backlight, Outemu Brown) : US$ 49.99
  • Tecware Phantom (RGB backlight, Outemu Blue) : US$ 49.99
  • Tecware Phantom 87 Key (White backlight, Outemu Blue) : US$ 39.99
  • Tecware Phantom 87 Key (Red backlight, Outemu Blue) : US$ 29.99

In Malaysia, you can reach out to SunCycle Distribution (+605-332-5531) or purchase from Lazada.

 

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If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!