Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

Budget Slim Mechanical Keyboard – Outemu Snap Spring Switch

Been playing with boards worth multiple hundreds
of dollars for the last few vids, so let’s come back to the budget end with the Tecware
Phantom L RGB mechanical keyboard. Opening up the box we have our USB type C
cable. And I said I’d start calling this out, please
stop folding cables. And then we get 4 extra keyswitches, with
a keyswitch puller, which tells us something. And a plastic ring keycap puller. And here’s the keyboard itself. In the hands it a pretty light keyboard coming
in at just under 600 grams. So about the same weight as a typical 60%. But the top is made from aluminium, and there
isn’t much flex to it. And maybe you can tell that it’s a bit slimmer
than usual. And that’s because the L means low profile. At least, that’s what I’m hoping and assuming. So the case itself is quite slimmer than a
traditional mechanical keyboard. It’s about 11mm thick. But then this bit towards the back that houses
the flip up feet and the USB type C port adds a bit more thickness as it’s also on an
angle. And at its thickest point it’s about 16mm. Although it does have a low profile floating
key design, so that doesn’t particularly matter, meaning that the case doesn’t cover
the keyswitches. What really matters is the distance between
the base and the top of the keycaps. Which at its thickest point is around 30mm. This is about 10mm shorter than most of the
other mechs I have in my room. Again, at their thickest points. So obviously it has portability benefits. A bit easier to slip into a bag. But more importantly to me is the ergonomic
benefits. The one thing about mechanical keyboards that
I don’t particularly love is the height of them. I mean, with a proper typing technique and
posture, the height doesn’t matter as much. But as I am lazy, and many others are the
same, especially when gaming, we rest our wrists on the table. And simply put, this reduces the angle and
strain on your wrists. And to be honest, I really did enjoy this
aspect of the keyboard. It’s legitimately just more comfortable
to use for me personally. And what makes this possible are these switches. As alluded before, this is an Outemu hotswap
keyboard, so we can pull these out with the included keyswitch puller, and as always,
they are pretty tight fit. And the sockets and plate are actually only
compatible with these particular low profile switches. These are Outemu Snap Spring Blue switches,
which are slightly lower profile, which you can see comparing it to a standard keyswitch. It has a total travel of 3mm, and a pretravel
of 1.2mm. So not too far off a standard switch. Interestingly, you can use these on a standard
PCB. The pin footprint is the same, and it works
just fine. And even better, reduces the height of a keyboard
by a considerable amount. When you shorten a switch, you gotta change
from the traditional MX internals. So the stem does not have a click jacket or
tactile bump in the leg. Instead the click and bump are created by,
well they described well enough in the name, snap springs. Pretty cool to see something a little different. So let’s see how they type. They remind me a lot of click bar switches
from Kailh, in particular their low profile Choc series, although this isn’t as low
as those. The click isn’t as sharp as the click bar
switches, and therefore not as crisp in its sound. And the tactile bump is quite mild. But to be honest, you might like that as it
is that touch less harsh and bit easier to take. Relaxing even. They say that it has a 60g actuation force,
so a medium sort of weight. Although they did feel a bit lighter to me. So it’s a little bit of a different experience. It’s not as crisp as Kailh click bar switches,
but not as rattly and mushy as say a Cherry MX Blue. So kind of an inbetween switch, which I ended
up having a pleasant time with them. And since it is quite slim, it doesn’t have
a hollow feeling or anything. Since they are shorter, you may think it would
suit gamers, as most gaming keyswitches advertised do the same thing. Perhaps it does. I always thought it’s a personal thing. Personally I don’t like repetitive actions
on a clicky, but I do find it better with a shorter actuation distance. So a pretty solid typing experience overall,
and you know, it’s always good to see something different. Also, even though it is a clicky keyboard,
the stabilised keys had minimal rattle which is always great to see. Obviously this has a big impact on the design
of the keyboard. So the case aesthetic looks pretty good to
me, for a floating key design anyway. Nice and simple, with the aluminium on top
which looks and feels nicely finished. Rounded corners and minimal branding makes
for a clean look. It’s just the keycaps really that kind of
detract from that, but that’s a personal opinion on these gamery looking fonts. You may like them, and that’s cool. However you can replace these keycaps if you
want. You won’t get much shorter than these middle
caps. But DSA does sit pretty low, so you could
do that if you really wanted to. But then you’d cover up the RGB backlighting. You can download the software from their website,
and it looks surprisingly sleek. So we have 3 customisable profiles. And it’s super self explanatory, we can
select a key, and change it to whatever. And that includes macros. So in this section we can create macros with
delays and such, and then you can go back and assign them to a key. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to change
profiles on the board itself. You have to change via the software, so you
can’t really quickly access the other functions you assign to another profile. Especially since you won’t be changing too
many keys on your default, because you actually need to use them as intended. Then we have the lighting section, again self
explanatory. And finally the gaming mode section where
you can disable some keys that may put you in a spot of bother. Overall, just a nice simple piece of software
that works. I still would like to be able to switch profiles
on board to quickly access other functions, because they are profiles, instead of layers. Let’s take apart. There’s a couple of Phillips head screws
under some keycaps, and it comes apart super easy. This makes sense. There’s some foam that goes between the
PCB and the bottom of the case. As I mentioned before, it had a pretty dense
feel, and paired with the naturally slim construction, it provides a nice base for typing. The aluminium plate is 1.5mm thick, which
is the standard, but as it’s the whole top piece, it makes for a light keyboard. And on the PCB it looks pretty normal, but
of course where the switch pins would be, there are the Outemu sockets which the keyswitches
go into. And has the usual SMD RGB LEDs on there. The bottom piece is made from plastic, pretty
basic, no ribbing on the bottom for reinforcement, but it’s low profile anyway. Looks like there’s room for a switch here,
so perhaps there’s a Bluetooth version hovering around under another brand. And that’s the Tecware Phantom L. Always
love coming back to the budget end of mechanical keyboards. This is 50 bucks, could probably get it for
less. And I say it over and over again,budget mechs
are the most accessible, and these Tecware boards are particularly popular in South East
Asia. The main feature of the board is its low profile
form factor. It’s gonna be light, it’s not going to
feel super premium or anything. But I actually enjoyed using something that’s
a bit slimmer than what I’m used to. And that’s brought about by these Low profile
snap spring Outemu switches. An interesting one. Bit of an inbetweener. Not the clickiest, not the most tactile. I would say my experience with these have
been a bit laid back, and less in your face sort of thing, which I ended up liking. And maybe that short distance will be comfortable
for gaming. I don’t know, that’s up to you. And that’s the thing. It’s a unique little board that will suit
someone out there.

Reader Comments

  1. First! Very clean looking mech, would be good with DSA but G20 profile caps would be the perfect match since it's got the same kind of rounded curves and flat low profile look.

  2. that snap spring design is actually super interesting.

    would be cool to see more of these Outemu switches in future videos!

  3. Outemu’s really been stepping up. Bless up to /u/hbheroinbob. Would like to see if you’ll ever do a build with the Silent Tactiles, Tae.

  4. i used outemu blue before and this outemu sound different then its original,but dang the slip version sound so nice

  5. My wife uses the full size Phantom with Outemu Browns and loves it. This would be something I believe my daugther would like. Hope it comes to the US as Tecware's Spectre and Phantom Pro have yet to release here.

  6. I think this might be a good replacement for my current work keyboard that's a Cherry G84-4100/ML 4100, as I have limited desk space, so I will keep it on my radar after payday. Also I use a wrist rest to get around my lazy typing style when on my desktops, and have done so for decades, so I find it hard to not have one when sitting at a desk.

  7. Low-profile, but it's not really that low when compared with traditional Mechanical keyboards.

    I think if you're going to go low profile, then you're best off going with Kalih Choc switches. They are what I would class as low profile.

  8. I have a budget keyboard in my collection that uses Outemu blues, and they sound awful. These specific snap spring switches actually sounds.. SURPRISINGLY good? Is it just me? They sound.. Kind of smooth in a way?

  9. I'd like to get the switches only and see if they can be plugged into other keyboards with removable Outemu switches…

  10. Holy shit, I forgot how loud a keyboard can be, I have clicky Kailh PG1350 switches and these are pleasently silent to the ear because the click is just a little metal bit that's your bumb getting pushed away.

  11. if anyone has this keyboard for a few mobths, please tell me if it developed issues over the months, a few amazon reviews on the product say that a few keys stopped registering and developed issues, main reason i didnt buy it till now.

  12. First thing I did after watching this review was scroll down to find out what music video was playing in the background at the beginning, Come on folks – don't dissapoint me

  13. If only there was some way to design a foam pad to rest your wrists on to encourage proper typing angle, you could call it a wrist rest or something.

    Idk I don't get low pro mechs that aren't wireless. If I have a desk setup, the height of the keycaps relative to the desk can be combated by good chair position and a wrist rest. If I'm taking a keyboard to like a coffee shop or something, I'd rather not have to deal with hooking up a bunch of stuff to my laptop, just pull out my wireless keyboard/mouse and go.

    Those snap springs are cool though, would like to see what happens with different weights of snaps and more aggressive angles on the "diamond" though I'd imagine at some point they'd bind and wouldn't return

  14. What would you say is the best keyboard around the budget end (50$ or lower)? Or maybe the slightly more mid tier end (70-80$)?

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