Although it still doesn’t have an official name (or all that many confirmed specs), Tesoro has a final version of its super-slim mechanical keyboard that we first saw at CES in January. Further, we found what we believe to be the reference design for the Tesoro keyboard at the iOne booth at Computex, and therefore we can extrapolate some key features and specs. (iOne is a factory, and every year it shows off new keyboard designs on the Computex show floor.)
We also believe that there will be a wireless version of this mechanical keyboard. (More on that below.)
The Reference Design
There are several reasons why we’re reasonably certain that the reference design we dug up at Computex--which bears the ungainly name “Scorpius-M15N-M155FL”--is what Tesoro is using for its yet-to-be-named device. First of all, you can look at the two side by side; there are zero discernible differences outside of the Tesoro branding in place of the iOne branding. Even the shape of the sides of the chassis are the same.
Second, Tesoro mentioned in our meeting that it’s added a bit of height to this final version of its super slim mechanical keyboard. At CES, we learned that it was 12mm thick; the specs on the Scorpius indicate that it’s 15.6mm thick.
Third, and most exciting for some users, is the fact that Tesoro told us that it might release a wireless version of the slim mechanical keyboard, and although no such thing was on display at iOne’s booth, the other side of the Scorpius specs card revealed details on a Bluetooth variant called the Scorpius-M15BT. Presumably, then, when Tesoro said that it’s considering a wireless version, it’s more or less just deciding whether or not it wants to use this wireless version.
The keyboard will use Bluetooth 3.0, and it can connect to up to four Bluetooth-enabled devices at a time, including Macs, PCs, and Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. It promises a range of 10 meters. To preserve battery life, the keyboard will use Smart Intelligent Power Management, and it will rely on a rechargeable Li-Ion battery (or the detachable 1.8m micro-USB cable).
The most notable change from the prototype Tesoro showed us in January to the one it had at Computex has to do with the switches. Gone are the Gaterons, and in their stead, Tesoro went with ultra low-profile TTC switches. The switches on the keyboard were TTC Blue, and we found the same on the iOne Scorpius model. (The spec card lists the Blue switch for the wireless version, too.) iOne calls this switch “tactic,” which appears to be an accidental sort of portmanteau/onomatopoeia of “clicky” and “tactile.”
However, Tesoro is planning a Red switch option, so linear lovers (or clicky haters, perhaps), rejoice. Also note that these TTC switches have clear housings to show off the keyboard’s per-key RGB lights.
Tesoro did not provide specifications on the switches, but we obtained a few from iOne. We don’t know anything about the force, but we know that these clicky, tactile, low-profile Blue switches have a total travel of 3mm (+/-0.3mm) with a pretravel of 1.1mm (+/-0.4mm). Of note, the expected lifetime of the switch is rated for 20 million presses; that’s significantly less than the 50 million+ you see from other mechanical switches, although it will take you quite a while to hit 20 million presses, so we wouldn’t be concerned about that.
Another major player in the slim-profile mechanical switch market is Kaihua. It seem we have a competition brewing.
For some of the detailed specs on the keyboard, we’ll have to look at the iOne version and extrapolate, but we assume that most if not all of these other features will be present on the final Tesoro plank:
-Five profile keys-Embedded media keys-Macro instant recording (no software)-Five brightness levels-Six preset lighting modes (Wave, Lighting, Breathing, Trigger, Explosion, Spectrum) -Built-in “4M bit” flash memory-NKRO with 6KRO toggle-PC/Game Mode toggle
Tesoro did mention that its keyboard will be accompanied by software., which is getting completely redesigned and will include a full suite of capabilities--macros, key bindings, granular lighting controls, and so on.
The Tesoro version will be available in black or white when it become available in Q4 2017. The cost, for now, will be about $170.