Tesoro tries to bring opposites together with the “Gram XS”. The manufacturer wants to combine flat keys and mechanical switches – a combination hardly seen before. Tesoro has already attracted attention with special keyboards in the past. The devices of the manufacturer usually differ clearly from the competition in at least one characteristic. The “Gram SE Spectrum” attracted attention with its optical switches, while the “Tizona Spectrum” has a Num pad that can be docked on both sides. Now Tesoro wants to convince with the next special feature.
Whether the exceptionally flat keyboard, equipped with mechanical switches, can actually score points, is to be clarified by our test.
Design and Workmanship: Absolutely unusual
After unpacking the keyboard you will notice that it is much thinner and flatter than the previously presented “Gram Spectrum“. The height of this keyboard had already been significantly reduced. Tesoro is now continuing its “Gram Spectrum” strategy even more consistently. Any ballast seems to have been thrown off. With dimensions of 450 x 126.5 x 24 millimetres and chiclet-style key caps, the “Gram XS” is reminiscent of a notebook keyboard. It is extremely flat and has little in common with other mechanical keyboards.
Tesoro apparently attaches great importance to the appearance of the keyboard. It should meet high design standards. The flat keys and the flat case make them look more elegant than other keyboards. If you place an average mechanical keyboard next to the “Tesoro Gram XS”, the former looks almost clumsy.
With regard to the design, the manufacturer must be complimented. He succeeded in creating a really noble keyboard that clearly stands out from the competition. Those who want to create individual nuances can do so thanks to the RGB lighting. Unlike other keyboards, however, the “Gram XS” is also exciting and special when the lighting is switched off. The keyboard is available in both white and black versions.
The device is also well processed. The metal plate on the upper side is robust enough for everyday use. The keys are also firm and appear stable. The keyboard is easy to use and has a high-quality feel. With the enclosed 1.8 meter long cable it weighs 800 grams. The only point of criticism: The keys are not evenly illuminated, which reduces the fun of RGB lighting a little.
There are six rubber buffers on the underside of the housing to ensure a secure stand. The angle of attack cannot be changed, which is a pity.
The keyboard is connected via USB, just like any modern keyboard. However, the removable cable that is plugged into a micro-USB port on the keyboard is rare. We like that very much!
Buttons: Flat and Practical
Tesoro’s ultra-low-profile switches, available in Red or Blue versions, are used as keys. These two variants differ only in the amount of force required to trigger a command. The red version requires 45 grams, the blue version only 40. As already mentioned, the keys are particularly flat. They have little in common with other mechanical keys, which is why they fit perfectly into the design of the keyboard. In the Chicklet style, the keys protrude only a few millimetres beyond the also enormously flat case.
All keys are embedded in the top plate and have a small distance to the adjacent keys – so it’s an island keyboard. They are easy to operate both while writing and while playing. However, the space bar is an inglorious exception. The probability of incorrect entries is low, but if you don’t hit the key correctly, the switch won’t be triggered. For gamers, this little mistake can be unforgivable, which is why it is a real point of criticism.
In addition, the keys are loud. However, this cannot be taken as a real criticism, as the noise level is comparable to that of other mechanical keyboards. However, the appearance of the “Gram XS” suggests quiet keys, which may surprise one or the other user. So friends of noiseless keyboards won’t be happy with this Tesoro device.
Software: Clearly Arranged and Easy to Use
The software used to configure the keyboard is brand new. Tesoro uses it for the first time in the “Gram XS”. The manufacturer himself promotes the software as intuitive to use. In fact, we find our way around the menu very quickly. The software called “Tesoro 360” offers assistance and is clearly designed. Once opened, we can choose between the Quick Start Setup and the Advanced Menu. If we opt for the latter option, we have numerous possibilities to influence our keyboard. For example, we can make the lighting settings in the extended menu.
All in all, the software offers all the required functions and is easy to understand. Unfortunately, the German translation does not yet seem to be really adapted to the surface. So many inscriptions are cut off. Also, some buttons are unfortunately without function. So it was unfortunately not possible for us to create a custom lighting effect.
Conclusion on the Tesoro Gram XS Review
The Tesoro Gram XS is an outstandingly designed keyboard that knows how to surprise. The unusually flat mechanical keys are also convincing. Only minor points of criticism are noticeable – the missing possibility to change the angle of attack, the uneven illumination of the keys, the trigger sensitivity at the edge of the space bar as well as negligible weaknesses of the otherwise convincing software. All in all it is a good keyboard, which convinces above all by its special design.