Just a couple of months ago, Tesoro announced its Gram Spectrum keyboard, which has low-profile “Agile” switches, but the company had a few more announcements in store at Computex 2016. There are new Durandal, Tizona and Excalibur keyboards, and each has different switches on board, giving users ample choices be they fans of Cherry, Kailh or even Gateron switches.
Durandal Spectrum: Cherry MX Red And Blue (And Maybe Brown And Black)
There were already three Durandal models in Tesoro’s lineup, but soon there will be five. The main update is that the new Durandal Spectrum has RGB lighting. It looks to be an upgrade to the existing Durandal Gaming.
The Durandal V2 looks like it will be the update to the Tesoro eSport Gaming. They share a similar design, including a large wrist rest, but whereas the eSport Gaming has red and white lighting and an eclectic mix of Cherry Red and Cherry Black switches, the new V2 will have just red lighting and will ship with either Cherry Red or Blue switches. It also has twice the onboard memory as its predecessor.
A Tesoro rep told me that depending on demand, the company may offer both new models with Cherry Brown or Black switches, too. The Durandal Spectrum and Durandal V2 should both hit the market in mid July.
Tizona Spectrum: Kailh Red Or Blue
The new-ish Tizona Spectrum appears to be replacing the Tizona Elite RGB in Tesoro's lineup. The TKL keyboard’s chief feature (aside from the RGB lighting) is that it’s designed to accommodate a detachable numpad. It features Kailh Red or Blue switches.
Specifically, you’ll want to pair it with the (also new) Tizona Spectrum Numpad, which also has RGB lighting and Kailh switches on board. You can place the numpad on either side of the Tizona Spectrum, and it snaps into place (not especially securely) with two small magnets and a hidden USB connection. It’s mostly idiot-proof, meaning that the magnets will snap it into the correct position, and it has a pair of flip-out feet so you can slightly prop up both the keyboard and the numpad.
The Tizona series of keyboards have three small “thumb buttons” below the spacebar that you can program as macro keys, but all of the keys on both the Tizona Spectrum and the Spectrum Numpad are programmable.
There are other detachable numpads in Tesoro’s lineup, but those are tied (branding-wise) to specific keyboards--that is, the Tizona Numpad goes with the existing Tizona keyboard and the Tizona Elite goes with the Tizona Elite RGB keyboard. However, a Tesoro rep told me that all of the numpads work with all of the Tizona keyboards.
Like the new Durandal keyboards, the Tizona Spectrum and Spectrum Numpad should be available in mid July.
Excalibur V2: An Experiment With Gateron IR Switches
The Spectrum should bump the existing Excalibur RGB Edition, but the purpose of the V2 seems less clear. To make things more confusing, when we popped a key cap off of the V2 at Tesoro’s suite at Computex, we found Gateron switches. Specifically, we were informed, these are actually infrared switches. We found this quite curious, because Gateron doesn’t make IR switches. (Apparently, it doesn’t make them yet.)
A Tesoro representative told us that this version of the Excalibur V2, and the Gateron IR switches it held, is more of a concept at this point than anything else. It’s designed for certain applications like internet cafes where there’s a great deal of wear and tear and potential food and fluid hazards.
Eventually, Tesoro plans to make a more consumer-facing keyboard with its own Tesoro IR switches, which will likely be a Gram Spectrum keyboard, not an Excalibur. This should arrive towards the end of August.
Specifications And Pricing
|Durandal Spectrum||Durandal V2||Tizona Spectrum||Tizona Spectrum Numpad||Excalibur Spectrum||Excalibur V2|
|Switches||Cherry MX Red, Blue||Kailh Red, Blue|
|Microcontroller||32-bit ARM Cortex||ARM Cortex||32-bit ARM Cortex Premium|
|Onboard Memory||512 KB|
|Polling Rate||Unknown||1,000 Hz|
|Key Rollover||NKRO||NKRO, 6KRO|
|Ports||Did not specify||USB hub, audio/mic port||USB hub (x2 ports)||No|
|Cable||Did not specify||Did not specify||1.8 m, braided, detachable||1.55m, braided||1.8m, braided|
|Misc.||--||-Keyboard lock, Reset Hotkey, Instant Macro Recording, Instant Profile Switch-6 multimedia keys||-Keyboard lock, Reset Hotkey, Instant Macro Recording, Instant Profile Switch-Double injection key caps||-Keyboard lock, Reset Hotkey, Instant Macro Recording, Instant Profile Switch-6 multimedia keys||-Keyboard lock, Reset Hotkey, Instant Macro Recording, Instant Profile Switch-6 multimedia keys|