In the realm of PC gaming, there are three tools that gamers use to get the jump on the online competition: their rig, the type of mouse they use, and the type of keyboard they use. Each one plays an important role to the PC gaming experience, especially if they plan to play as pros. Having the right tools can mean the difference between total victory and humiliating defeat. But to the budding young player who wants to go pro, finding the right tools may be hard, even overwhelming at times. How can they know which keyboard/mouse is the right one to start out with? Or maybe you’re an average gamer who is building up a gaming rig and doesn’t want to use the stock keyboard/mouse that your computer came with. We’ll be looking at the Tesoro Durandal Ultimate G1NL Gaming Keyboard.
MAKE MINE MECHANICAL
Backlit Keys - Most gamers (at least the ones I know) do most of their gaming at night. Why? It’s quiet, everyone in the house is asleep and other gamers, both local and international, are awake. There is one downside to night time gaming though, and that is not being able to see what keys you are pressing. Sure most pro level gamers won’t have a problem with this since their muscle memory will kick in, but the rest of us (at least me) tend to look down at the keyboard from time to time. But isn’t that what macros are for, you may be asking. Yes, and I’ll get to macros in a bit, but what good are they if you can’t see them? The Durandal lights up the back of its keys using red led lights that have three different brightness levels. The light from the LEDs are strong enough to light the keys so can see what you are pressing and weak enough that they doesn’t irritate the eyes.
Sturdy Build - When shopping for keyboards, one of the most important things to look for is how durable/sturdy the product is. If it can’t survive the onslaught of keystrokes that are required to build a base, gather raw materials, build a power resource, build barracks, raise an army, mobilize said army, manufacture attack vehicles, combine attack vehicles with the army, and stage various attack to overrun the enemy (whew that’s a mouthful) then it’s not worth getting. The Durandal is more than capable to handle that load and more. With the ability to withstand around 50 million keystrokes in its lifetime, the Durandal is one of the more hefty keyboards that I’ve ever used, it weighs in at 3 lbs. It’s braided USB cord and gold plated USB connector ensure that your keyboard will endure wear and tear during heavy gaming. The Durandal is also a mechanical keyboard, which will give gamers a faster response time when inputting various keystrokes, giving this keyboard an advantage.
5 Programmable Macro Profiles - Proper use of macro keys can save a player time when in a heated Starcraft skirmish. But say you want to play a FPS that has uses a different control layout, or you want to level grind on WoW. You can’t use the same macros that you used in SC with the other games. Remapping the macro keys for each different game will eat into your play time on a stock keyboard. So Tesoro added in 5 programmable macro profiles into the Durandal so that each game can have its own (up to 50) set of macro keys. This eliminates the need to remap each macro for different games constantly. The program that comes with the drives has a simple UI interface that makes programing macros easy.
Simple Design - Most gaming keyboards that I’ve seen have additional keys that do other functions. Some have dedicated macro keys; others have a second arrow pad to free up the AWSD movement keys; and others have functions that I still don’t know what they do. I can imagine that this is how entry level pros might feel when picking out their gaming keyboard. The Durandal is a good pick for its very simple and basic design. There are no extra keys, no second arrow pad. It’s just a solid mechanical keyboard that can get the job done.
AN ULTIMATE COST
Steep Price - No one said that going pro in anything would be easy, or in this case cheap. Retail price on the Tesoro Durandal Ultimate G1NL Gaming Keyboard is $169.99 on the official website. At other retail websites, such as Amazon.com, the keyboard can retail at $130 plus tax, saving consumers at least $30. But even with that $30 savings, for the gamer who is entering the pro circuit for the first time or for those who are building a gaming PC for the first time and are looking for a gaming keyboard, the price point might be a bit steep for them.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I do most of my gaming on consoles. But when I do play on the PC, I understand the need for quality tools that will help make the experience better. That said, the Tesoro Durandal Ultimate G1NL Gaming Keyboard is a quality tool. It has a really sturdy build that will last through many uses, easy to program macro key profiles and does not have an overly complicated design. The only real down point is that the Durandal is a bit pricey at $169.99. If you just casually game on the PC, give it a pass. But if you’re in the process of building your first gaming PC or are thinking about going pro and need a quality keyboard, invest in the Durandal.
*This review was based on a review sample provided by the manufacturer.*