Tecware Phantom Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
An ultra affordable keyboard stocked with OUTEMU switches. Ideal for gamers who are trying out mechanical keyboards or on a strict budget.
The Tecware Phantom is an ultra-affordable mechanical gaming keyboard with a variety of perks like backlighting and brown OUTEMU switches. I’ve had the privilege of getting to play with it and seeing what it’s capable of over the past week and a half. I’ll be going in-depth with a look at its strengths, weaknesses, and overall value!
What’s in the Box?
- Phantom mechanical keyboard
- Quick start guide
- Spare switches
- Installation tool
Upon arrival, I was immediately intrigued. The Tecware Phantom ships in a ghost-like box with a sharp pop of contrast on the left and right corners. Very impressive.
Flipping the box over reveals another look at the keyboard with a more comprehensive overview of what’s in store. You’ll find the features list, product specifications, and a full color image of the keyboard. The packaging is on point!
I grab my box cutter, slit open the tape, and open the box. Beautiful presentation! I remove the keyboard from the box and unwrap the foam mesh. Very attractive design. The floating keys are positioned well, and it’s all quite flush. I also notice that the Tecware Phantom is pretty heavy. Much heavier than my other keyboards. I often equate weight with durability because that’s generally been my experience, but we shall see.
Also in the box is a bag of spare OUTEMU brown switches and a quick start guide for easy setup and installation. I unwind the cable and plug the gold-plated USB into the port. Nothing happens.
I wait a second, then click a button. Woosh! The Tecware Phantom comes to life! A wave of beautiful rainbow colors begins gently pulsating from left to right. I’m captivated as the SMD LED tech steals my attention for a full several minutes. We are off to a great start.
I open up my word processor to get a genuine feel for the keys. I begin jotting down some notes for this review, and I’m amazed. My hands are gliding, fingers clicking down with ease. No pain. No discomfort. My fingers actually feel as though they’re getting a rest, even as I peck away at the Phantom. It’s truly just me and my thoughts.
The clicking of the keyboard is a nice touch. While the model I tested doesn’t feature the typewriter-esque sound that many mechanical keyboards boast, it still sounds nice. I’m drooling over this keyboard as I continue poking down at the keys, enjoying the touch, feel, and quality of the Phantom. But I can’t help but wonder – how does it fare in battle?
The keys continue to pulsate as a I launch into battle. Yes- Fortnite again. I just can’t get enough. The Tecware needs to perform in the midst of action, after all. And so it does. The DoubleShot ABS Keycaps register my strokes at a rapid fire pace. Switching between weapons and building mode is a breeze as the intuitive keyboard works its magic.
Full n-key rollover provides performance that does not disappoint. My strokes are all on time, and on point. I enter a flurry and build a fort 10 stories high. No big deal. As the storm circles in, I sit atop my tower and snipe off the straggling survivors. Bullet by bullet the game draws nearer its end.
When the storm has cleared, there is only one player standing.
In the Trenches: A Breakdown of the Tecware Phantom
I’ve broken down the the Phantom into 5 main areas of consideration: switches, backlight, look, build, and value. All told, I think these areas properly sum up the the keyboard and get to the heart of what is has to offer.
We’ll start with the all important switches.
The Phantom comes with 3 different options for switches: red, blue, and brown. Tecware went with OUTEMU switches for all the options, a solid choice for performance. Depending on what you want, the switches offer slightly varying features:
- Red: 50g linear
- Blue: 60g tactile clicky
- Brown: 55g tactile bump
The keyboard I tested featured brown switches. While it performs beautifully, I do really enjoy the clicking that many switches offer. The brown switches have a decent click sound, but I’d be eager to test the blue for a more typewriter feel. Nice to have options.
The bottom line? Tecware offers different styles for different people. But they are all of great quality with a guaranteed 50 million lifetime strokes. And, if something should go wrong, they are modular and easily replaceable. There are even a handful of extras that come in the box, as well as an adapter tool for quick installation. Nice job, Tecware.
The backlight on the Tecware Phantom truly shines! I’ve used a number of mechanical keyboards with backlights, but this outperforms them all. Seriously. The colors, vibrance, and smoothness of transitions are second to none. When you consider this alongside the price of the Phantom, it’s pretty mind-boggling.
In the instructional booklet there is a page dedicated to the LED modes and options. Most of the options are similar to comparable keyboards with a few exceptions. My personal favorite is the swirl options. The lights gently pulse through each key, but they’re all individually colored. Reminds me of Christmas lights! Needless to say, the LED lighting is a lot of fun.
In addition to all the options available stylistically, there are also speed, direction, brightness, and color toggles! The customizations are endless and really quite beautiful. And… the optional software download includes even more customization options. I am so impressed by the thought Tecware put into the lighting options of this keyboard. Bravo!
Stylistically, my feelings about the Tecware Phantom are mixed. A quick scan over the keyboard presents a neatly laid out, though fairly standard, appearance. It is well-structured and intuitive, as should be expected. The font is a bit strange, though. I’m honestly not very fond of it, and I find it awkward to read.
The corners are not pointed, nor rounded. They have a bezeled cut to them, and I’m not sure I love that. I do really enjoy the toggle display above the numerical keypad on the 104 key model. It’s clean and minimal.
The bottom of the keyboard sports a well designed layout that’s somewhat typical. There are a few feet for adjusting the height of the keyboard and an easy-open slot for the cord to wind out. Speaking of which, the braided cord complements the durable feel of the keyboard quite nicely. A good looking keyboard with a few strange design choices.
This is another area where the Phantom rocks it. This keyboard is like a tank. I’m not kidding. It is one of the heaviest keyboards I’ve ever used, and I dig that. It even features a fiberglass printed circuit board for intense gaming sessions. Tecware isn’t messing around.
The double-shot keycaps are made of ABS, a durable thermoplastic commonly used when long-lasting performance is desired. They are also resistant to surface wear, so the keys should remain legible over the course of its lifespan- which comes out to about 50 million keystrokes! Talk about great switches.
The braided cord is thick. I can’t imagine it ever tearing or wearing down. In addition, the gold plated USB connector offers extra protection in addition to some extra flash. Overall, the Phantom scores high marks when considering its durability and overall build.
At the time of this article’s publication, the price of the keyboard ranges from $30-50 depending on the model and features chosen. That’s pretty incredible considering all the Tecware Phantom has to offer.
The Phantom uses quality materials, and its performance is strong. In my gaming sessions, there were never any hiccups or frustrations. The keys click smooth and crisp, with no fatigue or exhaustion. I’ve been using the Phantom for all my daily tasks, from gaming to this very review. And I don’t plan to replace it after I’m done. It’s my new daily driver. Yeah, I’m that impressed.
The Tecware also comes with a free software download. To get a comprehensive overview of all the Phantom offers, I had to check it out. And… it’s a nice bonus! It offers LED editing, macro customization, a variety of profiles, and more! Plus, it’s super intuitive and the software design is quite attractive. Tecware scores again.
Overall, it’s one of best mechanical keyboards at such an incredible price point.
Zoom In: Technical Specifications
Here’s how the Phantom stacks up:
- Dimensions: 444.5 x 133.5 x 22.3mm; 1140g
- Switch Lifespan: 50 million keystrokes
- Interface: 1.8m USB 2.0
- Rated Voltage: 5.0V / 250mA
- Layout: 87 or 104 key; blue, brown, or red switches
- Backplate: Metal alloy
- LED Lighting: 20 modes, 5 levels, 5 speeds
- PCB: FR-4 Fiberglass
- System Requirement: USB port, Windows 7/8/10, Mac (software not available for Mac)
- Warranty: 1 year
- Software: Available here
Zoom Out: Summary
A great keyboard at a spectacular price. Perfect for hardcore gamers looking for an affordable keyboard to last years. With great backlight options and a sleek layout, the Tecware Phantom Mechanical Keyboard is highly recommended for gamers seeking that edge on a budget.
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