Customization and performance are the two major points that are front and center when we talk about gaming peripherals and with the new age of lighting and full RGB devices, aesthetics are starting to become as important as ever. With Tesoro’s self-proclaimed high end keyboard we look forward to seeing what the GRAM spectrum has to offer.PACKAGING, UNBOXING & PRICING
Packaged in a thinner box then we usually see a keyboard in, the GRAM spectrum is already giving us a a preview of the sleekness of this keyboard. A black box with a glossed photo of the keyboard running it’s “colour wave” RGB function gives a quick look at the aesthetics of the board. The predominant advertisement of this keyboard is the low-profile keys, self-proclaiming as cutting edge. Furthermore we have fairly standard features such as 1000 Hz polling rate, 512KB onboard memory, the 16.8 Million full RGB colour spectrum and Full N-key rollover
The backside gives you a matte look at the photo of the keyboard allowing you to take a better look without any shine. At the top they are once again outlining the features with individual photographs of such things as the 32bit ARM cortex processor and the ability to program every key individually.
Pop open the box and this is where we got our first surprise.
That’s right ours is white. First thing that came to mind for us when we saw the white keyboard was how long does it take before it becomes faded and starts to “beige” from extended use. The Gram is also available in black for those thrown astray by the white keyboard look. The box doesn’t really have much, but we don’t expect much more then a keyboard when we opened it. One notable mention is that the 1.8m white braided mini-USB cable is removable.
It’s not too often we see a detachable cable and we are on the fence about it. In one hand you have the ability to use and extended cable if needed allowing more versatility to your setup if need be, while on the other hand you may have to worry about connectivity. By that we mean over time it may become loose or could easily be popped out if the cable was dangling down by your feet, which no one wants to have to deal with mid-game. Though, routed properly it shouldn’t be a major issue.
Last you have a quick start guide which gives you some quick pointers on use and installation. The GRAM spectrum is available on amazon and at the time of this review was listed at $140 on Amazon.com and $230 on Amazon.ca. With nearly $100 difference between the CAD and US sites there is some issues with consistant pricing at this point. Even with the exchange rate there is a $30-$40 gap.
BUILD & FEEL
The Gram is a very slim keyboard and the low profile keys add to that sleek look. Constructed with 512kb onboard memory and a 32bit ARM cortex processor, the Gram is up to date on the standard for gaming keyboards.
The thin look gives you a quick peek at the mechanical red switches below. The board itself is fairly heavy for the slender look it has but that only adds to the sturdiness of the unit on your desk. Whether you extend the feet or not this board won’t budge easily.
The layout of the keyboard is fairly standard with no extra’s or anything making it confusing for use. Font is easily legible and the keys main function is clear allowing the LED to shine through, while the FN’s greyed out and easily noticeable to stand out.Tesoro Agile mechanical switches are another great part of the Gram. With a 3.5mm actuation trigger, this ensures you won’t miss a key-press while ensuring the key has to intentionally be pressed. We recently reviewed the K65 Rapid Fire by Corsair, which boasted a 1.2mm actuation which we found to be almost to short for the everyday user or amateur gamer.
Working with the Gram thus far has been a dream and on comparison to any of the other keyboards we have used lately, is our new favourite. The clicks are concise and noticeable yet, smooth and easy. There is no feel of exhaustion over extended use and the tactile feel is outstanding. However there is no wrist rest that comes with the Gram which is a little surprising but given the low profile of the keyboard it doesn’t leave you missing it too much and still allows for comfortable use.