The Tecware Phantom RGB is a value-oriented mechanical keyboard that includes longevity and attractiveness in a sleek and easy to own package. This product comes full-sized and tenkeyless so it can suit a wider range of users even further. The Tecware Phantom RGB is one of the best-sellers in various regions of the globe, so let’s take a closer look at what makes it successful.
Design and Features
The Tecware Phantom RGB mechanical keyboard sports a sleek, floating-key design that gives it a minimalist appeal. The lifted keycaps also allow more light to glow so the RGB feature can be better appreciated themed setups. The body is made up of plastic and a metal top plate that makes the keyboard feel durable and look clean at the same time.
Another minor detail we like about the Tecware Phantom RGB is it is well-packaged for an entry-level option. The keyboard is protected by a plastic cover that keeps it pristine when you unbox it and free from dust or scratches. You also get a keycap puller, and there are only 4 extra switches included.
Build quality for the Tecware Phantom RGB is decent due to the construction mentioned above so it feels robust and reliables. The edges and the surfaces on the plastic parts feel a bit rough and less refined, but that’s a minor complaint that’s easily negligible at this price. The keys feel a bit loose, but that’s natural for most mechanical keyboards so it isn’t a sign of defects or poor quality.
The bottom part of the keyboard has anti-skid patches and folding feet that can tilt the keyboard if you are more comfortable that way. The keyboard stays put and it doesn’t slide over most surfaces, more so if you have a fabric mat on your desk setup. You will also see a cutout channel that serves as the routing slot for the Tecware Phantom RGB’s cable.
The Tecware Phantom RGB’s USB cable is pretty standard, but we like that its braided for maximum durability. It’s not removable like those on other customizable keyboards, but that’s a minor complaint that most wouldn’t even notice. The USB head itself also has a protective cover to keep dust and moisture out, but it won’t get a lot of use unless you are using this device as a portable option.
One of the things that make the Tecware Phantom RGB particularly interesting is its modular switch design which allows you to hot-swap with any cherry compatible variant. This characteristic makes it easy to swap between key variants and brands if in case you want to change the feel of the keyboard or replace a broken switch. Another advantage is you can easily clean the device, but be wary of spills since the PCB is exposed.
The Tecware Phantom RGB also comes with double-shot keycaps which ensure that each one is durable and protected from fading. The LEDs are centered properly on each of the characters, so the keys will always look evenly lit no matter what RGB setting you use. Take note that you should always use the included keycap puller and wiggle gently to remove these parts to avoid damaging the switches and the PCB.
What’s impressive about the Tecware Phantom RGB is its functional control app which lets you control the RGB lighting and some of the keyboard’s settings. You can choose between 18 lighting presets and set colors per key, plus you can set macro recordings and adjust the polling rate of the keyboard. Other implementations like Razer’s Synapse are more advanced, but the driver for this gadget is a pleasant addition at this price point.
The Tecware Phantom RGB comes in blue, brown, and red switches which are clicky, tactile, and linear, respectively. Choosing between the three doesn’t affect the performance, but we normally recommend tactile and clicky keys for gaming while linear is best for typing jobs and the like. It is difficult to discern the difference between the Outemu switches and the original Cherry MX variants, but the former can feel a bit smoother and less “loosey-goosey” than some Cherry keyboards we’ve tested.
Gamers are secure with the Tecware Phantom RGB since it supports N-key rollover out of the box, so there is no chatter between each key if you press them simultaneously. We also did not feel any delays between keypresses and inputs, so the keyboard will work beautifully even in competitive gaming setups. You would be hard-pressed to notice the difference in speed with this model versus premium offerings from top-tier brands.
Another aspect of the Tecware Phantom RGB which many would be interested in is its RGB which has a few ups and downs. Plugging in the keyboard will start a smooth-flowing RGB rainbow wave effect with smooth transitions. Its also the first indication that the device is powering on and lighting up properly to indicate that the PC and the switches do not have issues.
You also get onboard lighting controls on the Tecware Phantom RGB which is usually sufficient for most users, but the app for the product is invaluable. It lets you accurately control the color of the LEDs, plus tweak a few of the other settings. You can also select between five global brightness steps for each effect so you can tweak the keyboard’s LEDs to your heart’s desire.
The LEDs on the Tecware Phantom RGB are bright and eye-catching thanks to the floating key design and the double-shot caps which let a generous amount of glow through the characters. Some will like the look of the lights bleeding out, but others will prefer a more even-looking device on their desks. There is also no noticeable issues on how even the lights are unless you receive a unit with a defect or quality control issue.
The biggest issue we had with the Tecware Phantom RGB is color uniformity which becomes noticeable with the lighter hues. Some keys will appear slightly pink if you set a white theme or slightly more orange with a yellow setting. This isn’t a profound issue, but it is a deal-breaker if you like lighter colors on your setup’s theme.
Thoughts on the Tecware Phantom RGB
The Tecware Phantom RGB offers incredible value if you want to get into mechanical keyboards without spending a wad of cash. The product’s modular design is something many premium options are missing, so an RMA is almost instantly necessary if there are issues. We always love gadgets that can be tweaked or tinkered to your liking, but its surprising to find one that’s this affordable and easy to use.
The Tecware Phantom RGB is a great buy, but unfortunately, it isn’t without any limitations or constraints as well. There are no immediately noticeable issues in responsiveness or gaming functionality, but the lighting uniformity could use massive improvements. Overall it’s a must-buy if you are looking for an entry-level option that improves one important aspect of computing.
- Modular Design
- Hardware with Four Spare Switches Included
- Comparable Switch Performance and Feel with Premium Variants
- Color Uniformity of LEDs Needs Improvements
- Rough Plastic Surfaces
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.