Tecware Phantom 87 Mechanical Keyboard

During the long holidays, bought myself this mechanical keyboard, Tecware Phantom 87. Finally, I can experience mechanical keyboard first hand and discover more about mechanical keyboard in details.

Why this mechanical keyboard? Based on the reviews by GoldfriesYuuki Haruto, and Mona Liza, this seems like a good solid beginner mechanical keyboards. Features like Tenkeyless (TKL), solid back plate, modular switches (you can change to other types of Cherry MX compatible switches), and lastly, affordable prices (I got it around MYR 129). I've picked the Outemu Brown switches because its sound softer but less "clicky" compare to the Outemu Blue switches.

When come to keyboard and typing (lots of typing), my daily driver is Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. I doubt any mechanical keyboard out there can satisfy my needs. For the case with Tecware Phantom 87, there are two issues that bother me somehow. First, the key cap is too small. The area covered by the key cap is not wide enough and you have to be very precise when typing. Second, unless you have a palm rest, the typing experience is somehow quite discomfort (wrist angle problem, either vertically or horizontally), especially if you have history of minor repetitive strain injury (RSI). Maybe getting a palm rest can improve the experience and reduce the discomfort. This is yet to be seen.

Yes, there exists MiSTEL Barocco MD600, which is a split ergonomic keyboard. But with a hefty price tag of MYR 600, I don't think is worth the price and effort. Top up a little more and you might as well get Kinesis Advantage2 instead. Also, a lot of ergonomic keyboard manufacturers fail to realize that just by splitting the keyboard into half doesn't means it's ergonomic. It only solve half of the problem, the wrist angle is also another issue needs to be addressed.

Even so, the Tecware Phantom 87 is a good mechanical keyboard for modding. I've watched the YouTube video on building a mechanical keyboard and it seems quite a fun and easy electronic project. By building your own mechanical keyboard, you will understand how the keyboard switches works mechanically. At the same time, you will learn some electronic skill as well like soldering and desoldering. However, based on the part list, it will cost around MYR 600 just to get all the required materials and equipments. Learning is never cheap in any possible ways. You're going to pay for the hard lessons anyway, someway or another. However, we can save some money by building on existing cheap mechanical keyboard. This is where Tecware Phantom 87 is a good choice. Since this keyboard is reasonable cheap (I know, subjective) and has a modular switches, you can mod the keyboard with different switches and key caps without worrying about messing up. Even so, you can also salvage the parts or get a new one instead.

Should you get a mechanical keyboard? No. Unless you're a gamer or into modding. Otherwise, I don't think using mechanical keyboard for casual typing or coding will server any good benefits, especially when comes to preventing computer-related injuries.

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