Tecware is known for producing quality cases at affordable prices. A few years back, they started venturing in gaming peripherals as well, Tecware Phantom was their first product. In addition to this, they have also immediately made 3 gaming mice, the Torque, vector, and impulse. Before the year 2019 ended, Tecware decided to launch 2 mechanical keyboards subsequently, the Spectre Pro which was presented during Computex and the Phantom L. Today, we have the Phantom L Outemu red variant in our desk, this is indeed one of the thinnest keyboards I owned. Let’s see in the review if this is a great contender on the 2k subpar price point.
The Tecware Phantom L comes with no protective seal/sticker. As you can see from the box, it shows the design of the Phantom L with written specs and features at the back of the box.
|Switches:||Low profile Dustproof Outemu Red|
|Polling Rate:||1000 Hz|
|Cable:||Removable Type C|
|Dimensions:||351.5 x 133 x 30.8mm|
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
- Tecware Phantom L
- 4 pcs extra Low profile Outemu red
- Keycap and Switch Puller
- 1.8m braided Type C cable
DESIGN, LAYOUT & BUILD QUALITY
The Phantom L has the best minimalistic look among all other Tecware Phantom series. It has a logo on the front with no branding on top. In addition to this, the frame has a thickness of only 1cm, making it sleeker than most of the keyboards out there with no flex thanks to its top alloy plate which encloses the bottom housing of the keyboard. The Phantom L has a standard ANSI TKL layout, making it easier to replace its keycaps technically but due to the low profile switches, some keycaps are not suggested for the phantom L like SA profile keycaps.
At the back, you can see 2 flip-out feet with 4 rubber pads to prevent the keyboard from slipping. You can also see here the Tecware branding with the serial number. In addition, the type C port can be seen here on the back. Moreover, it is sunken inside the case that prevents you from using some after-market type C cable.
This is quite unique, the Phantom L has the low profile Outemu switches which is new to the Outemu line. We have previously seen some brands like Cherry and Kailh exploring the low profile switches market with their Cherry Low profile and Kailh Choc switches. The Phantom L has 3 different switches to choose from; Outemu Red, Blue, and Brown in low profile. The switches are hot-swappable but limited to low profile Outemu only.
The Phantom L uses standard OEM stabilizers with cherry stabs. In addition to this, it has been lubed out of the box to lessen the rattle of it.
The material used here is ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which has the lowest durability and shines faster than other keycap material.
The process used in this keycap is Doubleshot. Doubleshot method is produced when two layers of plastic are molded into each other. The end result is the legend will not fade and chip off.
The Phantom L has a low OEM profile. It is not the usual OEM profile that we are used to. As you can see in the picture, the standard OEM profile keycap will touch the plate when bottoming out a key while the low OEM profile will not.
SOFTWARE, LIGHTING AND OTHER FEATURES
SOFTWARE & LIGHTING
The Tecware Phantom L software is pretty common. You get to have 4 main tabs specifically for customizing the key assignment, lighting mode, gaming mode wherein you can disable the win-key, and lastly setting up some macro.
First, you can customize certain keys to have different commands. Like for example, you can assign letter F for a macro button or a combo key that is usually being used in most MMO games. Secondly, customizing your keyboard into almost 20 different modes. You can opt to use the spectrum cycle if you are an RGB fan, or rather use a monochrome color if you’re the type of user to have a more minimalistic setup. Third, the game mode in which you can disable some commands like alt+tab that sometimes you are accidentally pressing during intense game fights. Lastly, the macro recording which some users still look into when choosing a mechanical keyboard.
The Tecware Phantom L is now one of my favorites. Costing only 1800 pesos locally, it is a well-built keyboard for its price. This tiny keyboard feels like a tank, the lower case is enclosed with a top alloy plate which prevents it from any flex and it’s quite sturdier than other full-size keyboards. The removable cable is also a big plus for me since all of the other Tecware mechanical keyboards don’t have that feature. Having the hot-swap feature is a must these days to easily replace malfunctioning keys.
One thing to keep in mind is the switch compatibility since the Phantom L sockets are only compatible with low profile Outemu switches and not the regular Outemu switches. The keycap compatibility is also a con to me. Tall keycaps profile like SA, OEM will not feel great when used on this board. Cherry, DSA profiles are much better and have the best feels overall.
As for the typing experience, it feels like you’re typing on a laptop keyboard. Since I’m a fan of linear switches, it is indeed faster typing in this keyboard and it would greatly help you especially if you’re into FPS games.
We are giving the Tecware Phantom L our Lason Worthy and Silver Medal Award. If only the switches and keycaps are standard, it could have gained our Gold Medal.
Tecware Phantom L Review
Small keyboard but built like a tank! A perfect mechanical keyboard for people who are usually on-the-go.