Inside the Excalibur
As we start off with our dissection of the Excalibur, the first and easiest thing to do is to find a key cap puller and remove some caps. We find LED backlit Kailh blue switches in our board. As for the larger caps that require stabilizers, they are hidden and not exposed.
As most illuminated mechanical boards do, the Excalibur uses the same idea for the key caps. They begin with a cast of the caps in white, which are then painted with a plastic feeling coating that should offer about two years of wear time if heavily used. The iconography is left unpainted so the LEDs can shine through.
Getting to this point did not require all that much effort; we just removed a few screws, and released latches around the edges. Once apart, the top section is pretty typical, but you can now see the tubes in the lower section that will keep the steel plate and PCB fully supported.
One thing that Tesoro doesn't appear to fuss about is the residue left on the PCB. While everything else seems to be pretty top-tier in design and feel, it would be nice if they spent the same level of attention on the inside, as other manufacturers are able to keep it clean in this price range.
The Freescale MC9S08JM23 MCU is in charge of all the traffic handling and functionality of the Excalibur. We have seen this MCU used many times before, and it is more than capable of the demands this keyboard can make of it.
With the keyboard now back together, let's have a look at the lighting modes. This mode illuminates the profile keys, numbers, WASD, and left and right side of the main section lights as well. To the right, we see the logo is lit, as are the arrows, the number two, four, six, and eight keys, and the enter key.
Taking that down a notch gives us this illuminated layout. This time just the profile keys, the WASD, space bar, arrows, and the number two, four, six, and eight are lit.
The next three modes offered are fully lit - well, sort of. There is a bright mode, a dimmer mode of full lighting, and a third mode that offers a breathing illumination. There is also the option to turn the lights off all together.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and Documentation]
- Page 3 [Tesoro Excalibur Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard]
- Page 4 [Tesoro Excalibur Continued]
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