Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
It is no secret that we here at Chalgyr’s Game Room are fans of Tesoro products; they have been a mainstay in our homes as they develop keyboards, mice, headsets and more that are durable, affordable, and of the highest quality. By now we are all fairly familiar with the Excalibur line of mechanical gaming keyboards, after all, we have reviewed a number of them and today we are bringing a review of their latest offering, the Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum mechanical gaming keyboard. With the departure from traditional mechanical switches to faster optical switch technology, the Excalibur SE Spectrum is the stellar evolution of an already excellent line of mechanical keyboards.
While optical switch tech is not necessarily new, the Excalibur SE Spectrum is Tesoro’s first step into the more efficient optical switch world and it is wonderful. Key response is faster, meaning better performance while gaming on top of the fact that key actuation happens with less force so you can perform faster and more accurately than ever before. Games where the speed of your shortcuts (think StarCraft 2) or custom macros (think any MMORPG) rely on a keyboard that is fast, precise, and perhaps most importantly, more reliable than traditional keyboards will find the perfect marriage with this (albeit physically thick) keyboard. The biggest downside I have found so far is more an annoyance than any real problem, but the keyboard frame/housing is much larger than other mechanical keyboard manufacturers that we here have worked with.
Now this might sound silly, and likely a little juvenile, but I have always loved the use of lighting on Tesoro products. I am sure we can all agree that gaudy neons and strobing lights in our computers is something of a bygone thing. Many of us likely grind our teeth and grumble when we see overly flashy and incredibly loud lighting “features” and while Tesoro has a lighting mode or two that has been loud in the past, the Excalibur SE Spectrum’s 10 different lighting modes are actually really, really nice looking. There are standard backlight options, lighting wave options, and a really nice little feature that either turns the light off on the key you just depressed, or it will change the color along the RGB scale. It is a neat little feature that really accentuates the keys that you DON’T press. Sort of like a very simple heatmap; I like it.
Tesoro claims “extreme durability” and that the innards of the SE Spectrum are covered in spill-resistant coating to help funnel liquids to the drain holes located in the bottom of the set, but I will be fully honest in not wanting to spill liquids all over my keyboard but I actually spilled water on it (on complete accident, like a fool). I did not see any real issue and the water surely did drain through the bottom and even after a week or so of heavy us, I have found no issue with the keyboard. However that was water, something tackier, like Mountain Dew or Bawls might be a bit more problematic as they are sticky when they dry; I am unwilling to potentially ruin an amazing keyboard in testing soda, but with my experience with the water spill and the knowledge that Tesoro makes top-quality gear has me confident that if I am clumsy and spill, that I will not need to worry about rusted switches or faulty keystrokes.
You can find this keyboard here: http://tesorotec.com/project/excalibur-se-spectrum-mechanical-gaming-keyboard/