For testing, I have been using the Gram Spectrum for weeks as my main keyboard. This means I have been using it to write, even right now I’m typing on it. I have also gotten some gaming in on it and I have used it for general web browsing. All together I have had enough time to get my initial impressions then also adjust to the keyboard and see if any weird issues come up. Initially, when I first started typing on it I had a bit of a hard time with its thinner profile. The Gram Spectrum has a thinner base, a short and flat keycap profile, and shorter throw switches as well. All together it was a fairly big change from your standard every day Cherry switched keyboard with OEM profile keycaps. So right out of the hole I had to make sure to tilt the keyboard up, something I don’t normally do but the angled profile of the Gram Spectrum better matches the standard angle of most other keyboards. Beyond that, it just took a little time.
The new Tesoro Agile key switches ended up being a pleasure to type on. They have a smooth feeling like Gateron switches and while they seemed to imply that the red switches on our sample were linear, I had just a slight bump giving a big of a Cherry Brown feeling but with a little less resistance. They aren’t all that noisy though even now I still bottom out the keys a lot harder than I normally do given the shorter throw and with that I make a little more noise than they should. The Costar stabilizers have been great, there hasn’t been any rattling or issues with any of the stabilized keys. Add to all of that, without having a top bezel around the keys means you interact with the solid metal top plate and the bottom shell is very solid as well. A nice change, even when comparing to past Tesoro keyboards. The thin bezels also mean the keyboard is slightly smaller than a normal full sized keyboard and it doesn’t take up any room that it doesn’t have to on your desk. Speaking of the desk, the rubber feet on the bottom did a great job keeping the keyboard locked in place well.
What about the other features like the media controls? Well, frankly I only ever used them intentionally testing them out. It’s just a personal preference of mine, but I just don’t ever use function layer media controls. By the time I find them I could just use the on-screen controls or the controller on my desk. I did like the four profiles to flip through, I used them for lighting profiles mostly. I also like the on keyboard brightness control for the lighting, something that my everyday keyboard doesn’t have (MasterKey Pro L). My everyday keyboard does, however, have a lot more control over the RGB lighting without having to dig into the software and I would love to see Tesoro push this more.
Speaking of the lighting, I really like how the lighting looks on the all-white keyboard, especially without the bezel hiding some of the light. The lighting is bright and glows all around the keys. I spent most of my time just using the color spectrum mode because the other lighting modes weren’t as exciting. I would love to see more lighting modes in the future, or the ability for people to make their own like Razer and Corsair have done.
Beyond that, the double shot keycaps are most likely going to be the most underrated feature of the keyboard. I don’t even think I saw it listed as a feature on their website. They keep the backlighting from bleeding around the legends and I know they will hold up much better than the normally painted keycaps. They are also a little thicker than a standard keycap so they feel better when typing, a most solid click. It’s too bad that have that font for the legends, though. On top of me just not liking the way it looked, I actually ran into issues a few times when typing where things like the & and % keys didn’t look how you would expect and I had to stop and find them.