Today we are going to be looking at the Tesoro Durandal G1NL ESport Edition backlit gaming keyboard. Tesoro are a US company who produce gaming mice, keyboards, headphones and mouse mats to cater for a PC gamers every need. Durandal was the sword of Charlemagne’s paladin Roland, and was said to contain various religious artifacts, such as a tooth of Saint Peter, embedded within its golden hilt and was used by Roland to hold off a hundred-thousand strong army, long enough for Charlemagne’s forces to retreat into France. The name certainly sets high expectations and in a market dominated by companies such as Razer and Corsair it will be interesting to see how Tesoro’s flagship keyboard compares.
- USB Full N-Key Rollover.
- Cherry MX Key Switch.
- Gaming grade 50 million key actuations.
- Game Mode for Windows key disable.
- Instant 5 profiles shift keys.
- 128KB onboard memory.
- User friendly UI for macro setup.
- 5 profiles,50 programmable macro keys.
- 4 levels LED backlight & dimming control.
- F/W and application on-line update.
- Gold-plated USB connector.
- Embedded multimedia keys.
- 2 High speed USB 2.0 ports.
- Audio headphone and microphone jacks.
- Comfortable palm rest.
- Anti-slip design rubberized bottom stand.
- Compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
- Switch type: MX Red & MX Black
- Switch mount: 18k gold plated backed
- Actuation force: 45 – 60g
- Key shape: Cylindrical
- Responsiveness: 2mm (4mm to bottom)
- Cable length: 1.55m (braided & shielded)
- Laser engraved keycaps
- Audio & USB 2.0 Hub
- Media function buttons
- Detachable wrist rest
Windows® XP / Vista / 7 / 8
Available USB port
The keyboard comes packaged in a cardboard box which features a window shaped in the same way as the Tesoro logo. The colour scheme follows a purple and black theme which is the same across the board with Tesoro products. Personally the black and purple look is not to my taste but fortunately the design of the keyboards and mice follow a different colour scheme to the packaging; which in my opinion is much more aesthetically pleasing.
On the back of the box we are presented with some of the keyboards features like “2 high speed USB2.0 ports “ and “4 Levels LED backlight/ dimming control” as well as a list of features and specifications. Upon opening the box we are presented with the keyboard itself along with a clear plastic cover and the relevant driver CD. The box also features foam padding on the sides which reduces the chances of it getting damaged during transit.
Also included in the box is a small wrist rest which can be attached to the keyboard if required. Personally I think this is a great addition by Tesoro and allows the keyboard to suit to a larger range of users.
The keyboard comes with a black finish and features a two colour LED backlight system which looks great in both day and night time. There is the option of adjusting the brightness simply using built in keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard measures 455 x 206 x 43.4mm and weighs 1.4kg.
The right hand side of the keyboard features a standard number pad as well as the brightness controls for the LED backlight which I mentioned earlier. These can be adjusted easily using the FN key in conjunction with the number 8 and 2. The number 8 turns the brightness up and 2 turns it down. There is also a “Pulse” option which can be activated by turning it up to the maximum setting. The keyboards main section features a standard QWERTY setup with 10 functions keys along the top which include the 5 profile switch keys.
On the back we are presented with 2 USB2.0 ports as well as microphone and speaker jacks. I really like this feature as it means you have the option of connecting things like microphones to the keyboard without having to reach around the back of your PC which overall adds a lot to the user experience and was something I found to be very helpful.
The underside features 2 adjustable rubbers stands which worked very well on my glass desk. The keyboard also has 2 rubber grips at the front to further add stability and improve the keyboards reliability and stability during use.
The connections used for the keyboard are one USB connector and 2 audio jacks which is great as the keyboard itself has 2 USB ports meaning you are adding an extra port to your PC.
Like the Tesoro “Shrike” Gaming Mouse, the Durandal comes with it’s own software package which is easy to install and features a simple to use interface in which you can edit both your profiles and macros. Another great feature is the option to export and import configurations meaning you can share your setup with other gamers that use the keyboard.
Binding macros is also very easy and done by simply pressing on the desired macro/ key and then entering the commands required. The software comes with pre-recorded macros such as copy/paste and print but also allows you to record custom ones which further improve the keyboards customization options.
I have had the keyboard for around 2 weeks now and I have to say it’s one of the best, if not the best keyboard I have ever used. The keys are easy to type with and not too loud in comparison to some mechanical keyboards. The build quality is also fantastic and you can tell that a lot of time went into making sure every last detail was up to standard. The Durandal Ultimate E Sports edition features both Cherry MX Red and Black switches with a response of 2mm and a total of 4mm travel. This makes the keyboard very responsive and great for fast paced gaming moments.
I have tested the keyboard in Battlefield 3, Counter Strike Source and Shogun 2, and in each game it performed superbly well. In Battlefield 3 I found the keyboard to be great for pacing rooms quickly and the response time of 2mm meant the game was reacting almost as fast as I was thinking. In Counter strike I further found it to be very accurate and in a game where accuracy is key you can see you the Durandal fits in perfectly. Shogun 2 was also great and I made full use of the programmable macro keys allow me to perform actions faster and become a more efficient general on the battlefield. The only thing which I would have liked to see implemented is an adjustable LED colour for the backlight. As someone with a blue setup the keyboard didn’t fit in that well aesthetically and I think the option to at least switch between red and blue would be greatly beneficial to the keyboards appeal.
In conclusion we found the keyboard to be extremely well built and it provided us with great performance in both games and typing. One thing that i would say is the price of £125 is relatively high when you compare it with the other keyboards on the market, but as a new company this may just be an initial price that will hopefully go down in the coming months. With great backlighting, sturdy design and comfortable keys this keyboard is a must buy to anyone who takes their gaming seriously and is therefore why I have chosen to award it our “Editors Award”.