Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Just over two years ago, Tesoro sent across the Excalibur mechanical keyboard, which was based on a set of Kailh Blue switches under the keycaps. Another thing we recall is that it was highly prized for its feature set and affordability. In a market full of $200 options when it comes to mechanical keyboards, it is rare to find an affordable solution that is perfect for the masses, but Tesoro figured out a way to do it anyways. The reason why we are even mentioning this keyboard is that it is the older brother to the keyboard we are about to see, which also happens to share its name. Even so, many changes are afoot in this latest design, and is a product you may want to pay attention to.
While the mass of the market tends to depend on Cherry or Kailh to fill their switch needs, with a select few makers reaching out for something a bit more exotic, and this is where Tesoro falls today. They have paired up with Gateron to develop a switch which Tesoro has exclusivity to. Rather than opting to use a standard mechanical switch that can wear down over time, and can corrode, Tesoro has opted for an optical mechanical switch. This means that a beam of light is always passing across space inside of the switch. To activate them, the plunger, when the key is pressed, breaks that beam of light, and is how the key is activated. While that certainly is a huge change in the market, it has been done once in the past that we can think of by Bloody A4 Tech, but it has long been out of stock and not available for purchase. Even with the fact that Tesoro did not invent the technology, they are expanding the market, giving customers an out of the box solution.
Today we bring you the Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum. Not only is there a new way of thinking about switches involved in this design, but there are a few other changes to this version which the vanilla Excalibur did not have. All of the logos have been removed, a new larger font is used on the keycaps, and this keyboard is RGB versus the blue LEDs of the Excalibur. Another significant change we found with the Excalibur SE Spectrum is that there is no longer an option to use software, all of the features are built in and are adjustable via key combinations. Since we now have a good handle on what to expect with the Excalibur SE Spectrum, we may as well get to the business at hand and see what all of the hype has been about.
The Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum SE is also known as the G7SFL SE, and is shown to be built upon Tesoro Infra-red Switches. The color of the plastic frame is black, and it is textured, but the design is minimalistic. This keyboard offers a 1000Hz polling rate, and it has 512KB of onboard memory for Profiles, Macros, and LED customization. The F1 through F4 keys are programmable, there are three multimedia keys, and all of the switches have an astounding 100 million click lifecycle. The lighting is accomplished with RGB LEDs on per-key bases, and there are ten LED profiles to choose, one of which is fully customizable. We can also see that the Excalibur SE Spectrum offers anti-ghosting support, and comes with the option for 6-key rollover or NKRO support.
Other things the SE Spectrum brings to the table are instant Macro recording, instant light recording, the ability to disable the Windows and Function keys, and also offers a way to lock out the entire keyboard. The keys are covered double injection caps in a 104-key QWERTY layout. There are no extra audio jacks, and the same is said for a USB hub, a DC Jack, or a wrist rest. Connectivity is done via a rubberized USB cable that is 1.8 meters in length, but the USB 2.0 connection is not gold plated, and there is no UI support this time. The bottom of the chart shows us that the Excalibur SE Spectrum is 460mm wide, 150mm deep, and stands 35mm tall, all weighing in at 1.24 kg.
The last thing shown on the chart is the MSRP set for this device, and we can see it shows a $99 price point. This holds true when it comes to locating the Excalibur SE Spectrum in the wild as well. Looking at Newegg and Amazon for a price reference, we see that both locations are asking $99.99 for this keyboard. From the start, with what we know thus far, it does seem like the Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum Gaming Mechanical Keyboard is on course to be one of the better options out there today for your hard earned dollars. At this point, we need to get a good look at the keyboard and put it through its paces and see if everything we see is as good as it looks on paper.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: KLevv Cras DDR4 3000 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: SilverStone TJ11 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation]
- Page 3 [Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard]
- Page 4 [Excalibur SE Spectrum RGB Continued]
- Page 5 [Inside the Excalibur SE Spectrum RGB]
- Page 6 [Gaming and General Impressions]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]