It's been a bit quiet in the world of RGB-lit mechanical keyboards, but today Tesoro is coming around to stir up some fun. The company announced the Excalibur Spectrum, which is, as you might have guessed, a mechanical keyboard with per-key adjustable RGB lighting.
The keyboard comes with a very plain design, which if anything should make it appeal to a larger audience; it looks almost professional, except for the RGB lighting, of course. The lighting comes with seven different modes, and four different brightness levels. Using these, you can set up to five pre-set profiles, which you can easily switch to depending on what you feel like. The lighting modes include triggered mode, ripple, fireworks, radiation, breathing, a wave marquee, and a spectrum/full-board mode, which shows the entire keyboard in any one of the 16.8 million colors. Naturally, you can also set the lighting per-key, manually, or turn it off entirely.
Beyond the lighting, the keyboard also has on-board memory for storing macros. Using the 512 KB of memory, users will be able to set almost any key to a macro, with the keyboard able to store up to 300 macros. It also has support for 6-Key Rollover over USB and N-KRO over PS/2, and will poll at 1000 Hz when plugged into a USB interface.
The switches on the keyboard aren't made by Cherry, but by Kailh. The options are Blue (tactile and clicky), Black (heavy linear), Brown (tactile), and Red (light linear). The switches are rated to last 60-million keystrokes, so chances are that the keyboard will outlive you, assuming you take good care of it.
Comparing the keyboard to the competition, what we're seeing is a slightly lower level of customizability for the LEDs, but a more defined all-round feature set. Some corners have obviously been cut in order to reduce the cost; Tesoro is clearly aiming to bring competitively priced peripherals to the market.
The Excalibur Spectrum is priced at $139.99. This isn't much lower than some of the competing boards, which makes us wonder how well this unit will sell. Let's hope that street pricing will be a little lower still. The keyboard should be hitting shelves later this month.
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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.