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Phantom+ Elite keyboard review

If you are looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard that offers great performance, durability, and customisation, you might want to check out the Phantom+ Elite keyboard from Tecware. This keyboard is the upgraded version of the Phantom keyboard, which was already a popular choice among gamers and enthusiasts. Is a keyboard that you’ll need in your life, though? Well, let’s get into that.

Phantom+ Elite Features

The Phantom+ Elite keyboard has a lot of features that make it stand out from other wireless mechanical keyboards.

You have (what should be standard, really) wireless connectivity. You can connect up to four devices via Bluetooth and easily switch between modes. Perfect for those of us with more that one device, although it’s a heavy keyboard so it doesn’t really leave the desk. So connecting it to more than one device becomes less of a need when it’s not that portable. I can move my other keyboards around freely. The Phantom+ Elite drags my mat around with it. It’s not a keyboard for your lap. It does give it a premium feel, though.

The Phantom+ Elite keyboard comes with Tecware’s own Wraith switches, which are pre-lubed and fine-tuned for a smooth and satisfying typing experience. The Wraith switches are available in four variants: orange (45g tactile), brown (50g tactile), pink (58g linear), and red (45g linear). The switches have a total travel distance of 3.8 mm and a lifespan of 50 million keystrokes. I got the red in mine expecting a loud clacky sound, but instead found a smooth switch in sound and feel.

phantom+elite assembely

It also comes with universal hotswap sockets that are compatible with most MX-style switches. This means you can swap out the switches anytime without soldering and customise your keyboard to your preference. The hotswap sockets are also covered by the plate foam, which reduces the noise and improves the sound profile of the keyboard. 

There’s RGB with 18 preset lighting effects, which remember your settings even when you switch devices. Nice.

Oh, and that smooth sounding key press? The keyboard has multiple layers of sound dampening foam (three layers of it), silicon fillers, and V3 stabilizers (clipped and lubed). All to give you a typing experience that is rather nice.

Customising

It would be remise to talk about a keyboard you can customise without talking about the actual customability of said keyboard.

You can choose from four different Wraith switches, or swap them out with other MX-style switches. You can also change the keycaps, or adjust the RGB lighting with the software. The keyboard lets you create your own unique and personalized keyboard. All sounds good, right?

The faceplate comes off, which is nice. It would be nice to have different options for it colour wise. It’s held on with magnets that are quite sturdy, and you can use the keyboard just fine without it on, giving it a completely different look.

Well, there are some problems. Nothing major, thankfully, but still problems.

phantom+elite switches

Sure, you can add your own keycaps easily and even change the switches easily. But it’s worth noting that the keyboard features north-facing LEDs. They are towards the top of the keycap. So you need to be mindful of this if you want new keycaps. Specifically, popular Cherry profile keycaps can still fit on the keyboard, but they may cause some interference or sound differences in the middle row. As a result, users may need to consider alternative keycaps that are compatible with north-facing LEDs.

Basically, if you want your keycap legends to illuminate at night, choose North-Facing switches/PCB/LED. For maximum switch compatibility and a smooth typing experience, you should choose South-Facing. So that limitation is a slight disappointment, but it’s far from a dealbreaker.

The Keycaps

The keycaps that come with it are quite nice. They feel, look and sound good. I was thinking I probably wouldn’t be interested in customising it. But then I noticed something. There’s an odd manufacturing fault on some.

You start by thinking that the letters have scratched, even though you’ve barely touched a particular key. Then I realised that’s stupid because these keycaps pass light through them instead of having letters painted on. You want to see the letters when it gets dark and can’t be bothered to turn the light on. So what is this? Well, remove the keycap, and you see there are little bits of plastic that are causing the lights not to shine through. Thankfully, it’s only on a few keys all in the same area. But it’s distracting once you notice. Yay for customisability, though! Because new keycaps might be needed if it bothers you. It’s a shame when the keycaps feel so good.

phantom+elite keycaps

Just remember that they need to be compatible with North-facing switches.

Conclusion

The Tecware Phantom+ Elite is a compelling choice for those seeking a high-quality mechanical keyboard at an affordable price.

It has excellent sound, is solidly built, and the hot-swappable nature makes it a standout option. Especially for those who value customisation and a satisfying typing experience. However, there are some small niggling problems, but nothing that would put me off wanting this. Nothing that stopped me using the keyboard almost exclusively for a few weeks. Sure, I wish it was a little bit lighter to make that wireless mode feel more free, and there’s that odd keycap issue on one side where the light can’t fully shine through. But if that’s the only slightly negative things I can find, then it’s quite impressive.

phantom+elite keyboard

You get some extra switches and a switch and keycap puller. No extra keycaps, though. In a few keyboards I’ve purchased recently you get a few extra so that you can choose whether you want a Mac layout or a Windows one. This isn’t a complaint, though. More an observation, and one I’m not mad about. I have a drawer full of spare keycaps that I won’t use as they’re for specific keyboards since I have ones for different things. I’m glad I didn’t have to add to that pile.

I rate the Phantom+ Elite an excellent 8/10. It was a borderline 9 if it wasn’t for that weird keycap issue. Again, not a dealbreaker, but once I noticed it I couldn’t unnotice it.

We Score This Game

rating score: 8

Very Good!

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