Tecware Phantom Review: One of The Best Budget Hot-Swaps


With hot-swappability and RGB backlighting, the Tecware Phantom gives you immense customizability at a budget price point.

This keyboard is truly all encompassing with its solid build and abundance of awesome features.

Let’s get into why the Tecware Phantom is one of my current favorite budget keyboards!

The Verdict

  • Hot-swappable
  • Excellent stabilizers
  • RGB backlight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Non-detachable power cable
  • Outemu switches

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Tecware Phantom truly performs above its price point, shattering the competition. We ranked it as our best budget hot-swap keyboard pick.

What makes the Tecware Phantom so unique is that you can change the entire look or feel of the keyboard to fit any purpose. Whether you want loud and clicky keyboard that flashes red lights 24/7 or a smooth, simple white back-lit gaming keyboard, you can do anything with the Tecware Phantom.

The smooth stabilizers and sturdy build of the Tecware Phantom provide an excellent typing experience right out of the box, but where the Tecware Phantom shines is in its hot-swappability, RGB backlighting, and software.

This keyboard is definitely worth checking out if you want an entry-point into hot-swap keyboards or if you want to be able to test out different switches to find what works best for you.

If you think the Tecware Phantom might be a good fit, you can check it out here.


In The Box

In the box with the Tecware Phantom you will find a few additional pieces that are helpful for making adjustments to the keyboard. In addition to an instruction manual, the Tecware Phantom comes with:

Keycap puller: An essential tool for changing out keycaps, the Tecware Phantom comes with a keycap puller that is situated on the bottom of the keyboard.

Switch puller: Since the Tecware Phantom is hot-swappable, it is nice that a switch puller is included to make changes easily.

Extra switches: There is a little bag of extra switches included with this keyboard. The switch add-ins match the type of switch you got on your keyboard (since I have the Tecware Phantom with Outemu Reds, the extras are Outemu Reds)

Braided cable (attached to the keyboard): Attached to the Tecware Phantom is a braided USB-C cable. I prefer keyboards with detachable cords, but the one included with the Tecware Phantom is of great quality.


Build Quality

With an aluminum backplate, the Tecware Phantom is weighty and robust. I often find budget keyboards to bend with weight, but the Tecware Phantom has no flex to it.

The Tecware Phantom only comes in one all-black colorway. There is a small logo on the bottom left side of the ABS plastic casing, but the keyboard maintains a clean aesthetic.

The keycaps are floating, which means you are able to see the bases of the switches and the RGB lighting exudes out. The floating keycap design isn’t for everyone- personally it isn’t my favorite because I think it makes keyboards appear bulkier.

The Tecware Phantom naturally sits at a great typing angle. There are also kickstands that can be flipped up if you prefer a steeper angle.

On the bottom of the keyboard, you will find the built-in switch puller, the USB cable, and complimentary cable management system.

Unfortunately, the USB power on the Tecware Phantom is non-detachable, but the cord is made of nice braided material. This affects its portability, but ultimately the affordable price of this keyboard reflects its lack of certain features.

The cable protrudes out from the middle of the keyboard, but the cable routing allows you to change what side the cord comes out. This feature lets you adjust the cable how you want to fit the keyboard to your desk layout.

The Keycaps

As with most budget keyboards, the keycaps on the Tecware Phantom are made of ABS plastic. ABS keycaps aren’t bad, but they will eventually develop a sheen from oils.

The keycaps are doubleshot, which means they were made by molding two plastics together. With doubleshot keycaps you won’t notice any fading of the legends (which can happen when legends are printed on).

I always prefer keycaps to be made from PBT plastic, but their lesser expensive ABS counterpart works perfectly fine. If you end up not liking the keycaps, you can easily remove and replace it with a preferred set.

The Stabilizers

The cherry style stabilizers on the Tecware phantom are surprisingly good! They are factory lubed so they will be all ready to go when you receive the keyboard.

If you want to improve the stabilizers, the hot-swappable feature of the Tecware Phantom makes for easy mods. Hot-swappable keyboards allow you to access the stabilizers quickly to make desired changes. Check out our article: How to Mod Stabilizers: Band-Aid, Clip, and Lube to learn more about stabilizer mods.

The Switches

The Tecware Phantom comes with Outemu switches, and you can choose between blue, brown, and red switch colors. See the characteristics of the switch colors below:

Blue: Clicky, loud, and having a high activation force, Outemu blue switches would be good for heavy-handed typers or someone who likes the loud clicks of typing.

Brown: Being tactile switches, Outemu browns are steadfast option for all typing purposes. They aren’t as loud or hard to press as Outemu blues, so it would fare well for office use, programming, or even gaming.

Red: Outemu reds are linear switches with a low actuation force, so you can type quickly and quietly. These are the preferred Outemu switches for gaming because of the speed and smoothness at which you can hit keys.

Outemu switches aren’t my favorite kind of switch, but they are a decent budget alternative to Cherry MX switches. If you want to learn more about Outemu switches, check out our full write-up on the quality.


The Awesome Features

The Tecware Phantom has a lot of features that you wouldn’t expect at its price point, which makes it such a great TKL budget option.

Customizable RGB Lighting

One of the most desired features on the Tecware Phantom is the RGB backlighting. The ability to change the backlight color, modes, or create a full-on rainbow aesthetic lets you add your personal flair to the keyboard.

The RGB backlighting is bright and vivid on the Tecware Phantom, so it will really light up your desk and create a fun atmosphere.

Comprehensive Software

Another great aspect of the Tecware Phantom is the free software you can download. While you can easily change the lighting onboard, you can also program each key to have a different lighting color or function with the Phantom software.

Hot-Swappable PCB

The most functional feature of the Tecware Phantom is its hot-swappability. Hot-swappable keyboards are so coveted because you can change the entire feel of your keyboard through easy switch changes and stabilizer mods.

Instead of having to buy a new keyboard if you don’t like the current feel, you can simply order a set of new switches as a much cheaper alternative.

The ability to try out different switches on the same base keyboard is the best way to figure out what works best for you without having to shell out loads of money.

The fact that you can get this feature at this low price point is really what makes the Tecware Phantom stand out amongst other budget keyboards.

Conclusion

  • Hot-swappable
  • Excellent stabilizers
  • RGB backlight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Non-detachable power cable
  • Outemu switches

Rating: 5 out of 5.


The Tecware Phantom is a keyboard that brings you top-notch capabilities and a superb build. You are unlikely to find anything similar at its price point, which makes this keyboard so unique.

It is hard to complain about the cons of this keyboard- the ABS keycaps and non-detachable cable- because the keyboard already fares above the competition with its advanced features.

Most hot-swappable keyboards are significantly pricier than the Tecware Phantom, nevertheless keyboards with RGB backlighting. If you are looking to experiment with switch types or like the versatility offered from the RGB lighting, the Tecware Phantom is a must to check out.

You will not be disappointed with the exceptional capabilities of the Tecware Phantom at this price point.

Remember to check it out here if you are interested in learning more or purchasing this awesome keyboard!

Jake Harrington

Jake has been an avid mechanical keyboard user for the past six years. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering and wants to apply his expertise to break down how mechanical keyboards and other tech work to show the world all of the cool aspects of the hobby.

Recent Content