|Item Height||1 inches|
|Item Width||6 inches|
|Hardware Platform||PC only|
|Are Batteries Included||No|
|Item model number||MK-RETRO-L-03-US|
|Product Dimensions||45.72 x 15.24 x 2.54 cm; 1.81 Kilograms|
Azio MK-RETRO-L-03-US Retro Classic Artisan - USB Luxury Vintage Back Lit Mechanical Keyboard (Blue Switch, Black Leather, Zinc Alloy Frame) - Black/Copper
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- Featuring premium grade brushed anodized aluminum.
- Inspired by vintage typewriters and crafted with ultramodern features.
- The Azio Retro Classic is the perfect amalgam of past, present and future.
- The keyboard frame is forged with zinc aluminum alloy.
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A back lit mechanical keyboard with round key caps that evoke nostalgia of yesteryear complemented with durable Zinc alloy frame and a sumptuous genuine leather surface. Plated into a beautiful chrome/Satin finish. Utilizing feedback from our customers. We present not only the evolution of our original MK Retro, but the most luxurious mechanical keyboard available today.
Genuine & Luxurious
The top plate is made with genuine leather to reflect taste, craftsman-ship and culture while emitting a unique charm that inspires.
Forged & Plated
The zinc alloy frame is casted, hand polished, then copper-plated to accompany the black leather top. Hex bolts are added for structural enhancements and industrial vintage aesthetics.
Tactile. Clicky. Backlit.
Vintage round key caps with backlit mechanical switches tuned to be tactile and clicky, reminiscent of the vintage typewriter.
Every Detail Counts
The indicator light marks are debossed into the leather top then printed with copper foil.
Twist. Adjust. Brilliant.
Achieve your optimal wrist position by adjusting the keyboard tilt angle. Simply rotate the rear pillar-style feet to set the desire height.
Exclusive & Exquisite
Each Retro Classic keyboard has an elegantly designed plaque with our logo embossed and filled with a glossy lacquer for a classy shine.
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The keyboards are nice and weighty, the simple white backlit keys make the keyboards look stylish, and slightly understated. A big pro compared to those ghastly pulsating RGB "Gamer" keyboards you find all over the place.
The height adjustment mechanism is a neat idea, sadly you can't raise the keyboard as high up as I'd like. Probably because that would mean making the back feet of the board bigger, and only giving people the choice between angled, and more angled; as opposed to flat and elevated.
The finish is great, and there are some nice touches like the warranty card for the Elwood model being made of wood, whereas the Artisan comes with a leather card.
Neutral (depending on what you like, either pro or con):
The keyboard is advertised as having blue switches. Keep in mind that these are Kailh blues, not cherry MX. On top of that, I think they're not the standard ones either. They sit flush with the board, and the backlight is positioned in the middle of the switch. They have a decent amount of travel, they feel tactile, but somehow less well defined compared to the Cherry MX blue's I'm using to write this review on.
Because the keys are round, and the function row is positioned a bit higher up than it is on some keyboards, the escape key is *just* out of reach for my pinky. I'm an ardent vim user, and I need my escape key.
I haven't had the keyboards for long, but maintenance might be a bit tricky. The Elwood model is finished in nice, unvarnished wood. Dust is a thing we have to contend with in the real world. Black leather can be cleaned with a wet tissue. Veneer gets damaged easily when exposed to water.
Round key caps aren't as big an issue as I originally thought they would be. However, I'll get back to this in the Con's section.
Missing one quite nice feature considering the cost: a USB passthrough/charge port on the keyboard would've been nice.
Looking at the keys from the side, some of them are imperfectly positioned. one or two keys seemed to stick out ever so slightly on the Elwood model I bought, and one other key stuck out on the Artisan. I ended up grinding the caps down with some sandpaper. A bit anal/extreme you might think, but it's remarkable how one or two millimetres can really decrease your accuracy. Fingers get snagged by the higher key cap, and because of their rounded edges, you tend to hit the key right next to the offset one.
The bluetooth version of this board, I haven't tried, and given the insane price difference, I'm not going to either.
No customisation for backlighting (choose which keys to light, which not to light, set different intensities for different keys - e.g. dim the function row and numpad).
Overall, these are solid mechanical keyboards. They are well built, and apart from the keycaps, this feels lika a quality item. They are also quite beautiful to behold. I love my keyboards, something that is almost impossible to explain to people when you tell them you love your model M. I had friends spontaneously ask me if they could try these out. The looks drew them in, but what they all said afterwards was how "it feels so nice to type on". Azio seems to have built the mechanical keyboard gateway drug here.
Should they ever make a mark II version of these keyboards, I would love to see what they can come up with, and I'd probably buy one (onyx looks nice). If they do, I would really like to see a USB-C passthrough port, maybe backlight customisation, and for the keycaps to be exactly the same height throughout. Nice to haves on top of that would be: ability to tilt the keyboard at a steeper angle, and perhaps a choice of switches (Cherry green switches, lovely switch, not easy to find unless you build your own); maybe something worth considering is a indiegogo campaign to see if there's sufficient demand for aftermarket metal key caps that fit these boards?
1) the keys are a little slow; they have a good definite click and feel, but take a little more pressure that the usual mechanical keyboard. Almost like a hydraulic feel. If you can imagine that.
2) Purely because of the style of the keyboard and full size the keys are a little further apart. So it does feel like your fingers stretch apart a bit more. However once you adapt you don’t miss a key or stroke.
Plus side it IS in UK layout so all the right keys are in the right place with the correct symbols! Big plus.
Overall its wonderful, super heavy and oozes will excessive elegance and quality.
Very happy with it on day 1.