Look at this keyboard. Ooooooohh.. Aaaaahhh. What is this all about, huh? What’s its story? What makes it special? This is the Tesoro Gram Spectrum Mechanical Low Profile Gaming Keyboard. And it teaches us that you can have a well-performing mechanical keyboard for gaming, RGB lighting and all, that also looks great with a minimalist and compact design. An important lesson, and one that all of us learn at some point or another. (awkward smile)… Let’s just roll the intro.
Now I’ll be honest, I was drawn to this keyboard as soon as I saw it – while I do prefer mechanical keyboards, there are so few out there that look like they might belong in a minimalist work space. The vast majority of them are various shades of gray, with big blocky keycaps and gaudy designs etched into the body. And, to be honest, Tesoro has served that particular market segment for a while, but now, with the Gram Spectrum, they’re going against this trend, with a smooth, nondescript body and low profile keycaps.
Those key caps are part of what makes the keyboard so interesting to look at – they’re about half the height of regular keycaps, so they make the whole board seem less blocky. The metal baseplate, which is apparently iron, is also exposed, so you can see the switches themselves – and that lends an additional sense of slimness to this peripheral. And let’s not forget, fanciness as well.
Speaking of the switches, the Gram Spectrum features Tesoro’s own Kailh AGILE mechanical switches. They’re the Red variant, which means it’s not as clicky, and has a more linear feel, but it’s still got a distinct actuation point, where Cherry MX reds are pretty smooth the whole way. Unlike Cherry MXs, these have got a travel distance of 3.5mm instead of 4mm, and an actuation distance of 1.5mm instead of 2mm, so they do activate pretty high up. In fact, Tesoro says it’s the “fastest tactile feel key switch in the world” – I’m not sure about that, but I can tell you that it does activate pretty much right at the top of the travel distance. And the total travel distance being slightly smaller than regular mechanical keyboards contributes to the overall thinness of the design.
Now as long as we’re talking about numbers, we might as well take a look at the full list of specs. The Gram Spectrum is 445 by 136 by 24.55 millimeters and weighs 1.05 kilograms, or about 2.3 pounds. It’s rated for 60 million keystrokes per key, has a polling rate of 1000 Hz, 6-key and full n-key rollover options, 512KB of onboard memory, a 32-bit ARM Cortex Premium processor, 16.8 million possible colors as part of the RGB lighting, and a 6 foot detachable braided cable for easy portability. Or if your building’s on fire and you only have time to take one, very important thing. I gotta say though, in that situation you should probably grab your wallet. Or phone. Or another person. … Anyways.
For those who want it, the Gram Spectrum has full customization for every key through their software – that includes recording and assigning macros to any key. But, you can also do that, along with setting your preferred lighting mode and pretty much everything else, simply through the keyboard itself, by using the function key, although, for choosing a custom backlight color, you will have to use the software. There are 4 brightness levels for backlight, as well as off, and 8 different lighting effects to choose from. Default…Trigger…Ripple…Firework…Radiation…Breathing…Wave… and Spectrum. Along the f keys up top, you’ve got 5 custom profile buttons, as well as multimedia buttons – and of course, the gaming mode toggle that you can use to disable the windows key while gaming.
Now in terms of the actual typing experience of using this keyboard, I found it to be pretty satisfying. The shorter travel distance and hard bottom mean hitting each key is appropriately punchy, while not requiring much force to actuate, so your fingers won’t get tired. For comparison’s sake, I’ve been using a Topre Hype Heaven keyboard at work, and its switches activate pretty much at the top of the keypress, but they require more force, and have a mushy bottom, so this was a nice change.
To balance this out, I gotta say a couple things that weren’t my favorite about the Gram Spectrum: Typing is a bit louder than I’m used to, although not nearly as loud as a keyboard with blue switches, and I don’t think it would anything to really complain about. Second, the exposed baseplate and switches look really cool, but I also wish the switches weren’t visibly red. I know, they’re red switches, of course, but it meant that setting the backlight to white actually gave a sort of red tinge, so I had to set it to kind of a light blue to get white. From certain angles, you can’t see the red switches, and that’s… when this keyboard is perfect.
So, there you have it. A nice, minimalist design, with a very thin body thanks to those low profile keycaps, solid metal baseplate, beautiful RGB LED capabilities, and excellent individual key customization. Plus a 1 year warranty to boot. There’s not much to complain about here. If you, like me, appreciate gaming peripherals that also embrace minimalist design, and you’re interested in the Tesoro Gram Spectrum or want more info, you can click HERE or the link in the description. Thanks for watching guys, click HERE to watch more videos, follow us on social media over HERE, and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more videos like this from NCIX.