The Tesoro Excalibur is one of the most affordable keyboards to offer backlighting in our roundup. That said for the most part the Excalibur is quite a basic keyboard which has no doubt helped Tesoro keep costs at a minimum.
Where Tesoro has likely saved the most money is on the switches, like Tt eSports they are using the Kailh switches rather than the genuine article. However, unlike Tt eSports, Tesoro is forthcoming about their choice in switches. They clearly state that Kailh switches are being used on their website, so a big thumbs up for that.
Interestingly, Tesoro claims a 60 million keystrokes lifespan for the switches and presumably the keycaps as well. Tt eSports only claims 50 million keystrokes for the same switches, so there is a discrepancy here, though it doesn't really matter given that Tesoro only provides a limited one-year warranty, while Tt eSports will look after you for five years.
As we mentioned, the Excalibur is a basic keyboard and could really be passed off as an office keyboard as well as a gaming keyboard. There aren't any dedicated macro keys, though that isn't a big deal as the keyboard is fully programmable and users can store up to five profiles.
There aren't any dedicated media keys either and like most of the cheaper keyboards in our roundup the media-keys are shared with the F-keys. The Excalibur comes with a rather short 1.5m cable and there isn't any connectivity on the keyboard itself, so no USB or audio passthrough.
Of course my biggest gripe with this keyboard is the lack of a wrist rest, I mean come on guys this is still a $100 keyboard. The only Tesoro keyboard to include a wrist rest is the Durandal and although it costs a lot more at $130, the added features and more interesting design make it the better keyboard in our opinion.
The highlight of the Excalibur is the blue backlighting, a nice feature to have at the $75 price point.
If blue lighting doesn't get you all excited then the RGB version called Excalibur Spectrum can be had for just $100.
Tesoro's Excalibur software is quite good despite the fact that there isn't any documentation provided, thankfully it's very intuitive. The software has to be downloaded from the support section at Tesoro website and it weighs in at just 35.4MB.
The Tesoro Excalibur is a solid keyboard that feels nice to use providing you bring a third party wrist rest. Without the wrist rest I found it difficult to type with the Excalibur and my hands fatigued much faster than they should have. Other than the RGB lighting and fully programmable keys, there isn't much going on here.
At the very least some dedicated macro keys would have helped the Excalibur feel a little more gaming-orientated. Although it is one of the most, if not the most affordable backlit mechanical keyboards at $75, the feature set is lackluster.