Tesoro Durandal Ultimate G1NL Mechanical LED-Backlit Gaming Keyboard Review



For testing, we first verified N-key rollover operation, and then we used it how we normally would for several weeks:  typing, gaming, browsing.  Our test unit came equipped with Cherry MX Blue switches, the "clicky" version with a tactile bump, so that's what we'll be providing our thoughts and opinions upon.  Certain aspects could feel and operate a fair amount differently with different switches.
The N-Key Rollover registered every keystroke simultaneously commanded by our fingers, elbows, and faces could muster.  Cherry MX Blue switches are often preferred for typing, as you have both an audible (click) and haptic (bump) feedback, which allows you more awareness of the key actuation.  I've grown very used to typing on the Durandal, and going back to older soft-dome actuated keyboards presented an unexpected readjustment.  The Cherry switches have low travel and relatively low pressure to actuate, whereas the typical dome switches made it feel like I had to mean it to actuate a key.

We found the same trend in games, and although we can't subjectively say the low response  times have translated into better play, NKRO (N-Key Rollover), low key travel, and low key actuation pressure had more of an impact.  The difference is more obvious when moving back to a standard keyboard, where I'd hit a button, but not hard enough to actually register... and I did so frequently.  This is why mechanical keyboards are preferred by many serious gamers, especially for MMO or strategy gamers, who rely on high numbers of quick key actuations.
Overall, using the Durandal is a pleasant experience.  It's sturdy, the LED backlighting looks good and is well-executed, and the mechanical switches offer a number of advantages over soft-dome switches, such as lower pressure, two feedback types, and low travel.  Our early test model did have one hiccup though, which is that it would not work in the BIOS or Windows boot menus.  We worked with Tesoro extensively trying to replicate it on any of their models, and they couldn't find the same issue, and it appears as though it's isolated to our test unit.




Tesoro's software utility includes a graphical representation of the keyboard, and 10 different programmable settings, and each programmable setting may be placed on any key on the keyboard.  The pre-configured options include cut, copy, paste, undo, all, find, new, print, save, launch, or, if you'd like, disable the key completely.  Each of the 10 programmable keys may also have a macro assigned to it, and Tesoro's software has an intuitive menu to configure your macros.  Additonally, 5 different profiles may be stored on the keybaord, each with 10 different configurable keys.


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