Mechanical keyboards are one of the most popular items for advanced PC users nowadays. Their reintroduction into the main consumers market was nearly a decade ago but their market growth was slow because of the initially high cost and low availability. Slowly but steadily, ever more manufacturers introduced new products, bringing new features and/or lower prices to the consumers.

Nowadays there are dozens upon dozens of mechanical keyboards available, for every user and budget. Even if the user is not a heavy gamer or typist, having a quality mechanical keyboard is often considered to be a sign of prestige, leading to a market overgrowth that everybody wants a piece of. New companies are being founded on a monthly basis and old names who never even marketed peripherals before introduced mechanical keyboards into their product catalogues.

In this review we will be having a look at a product from Azio Corp, a fresh face here in AnandTech. Azio is an American company, based in California, US. The company was founded back in 2005 and ever since then specializes on the design and manufacturing of PC keyboards, mice, and audio products. Recently, after a very successful crowdfunding campaign, the company released a new series of mechanical keyboards dubbed the “Retro Classic”.  The Retro Classic is one of the few mechanical keyboards that is entrusting its success almost entirely on its unusual aesthetic design. On the technical side of things, it also comes with new mechanical switches from Kailh that we have never seen before.

Packaging and Bundle

Azio supplies the Retro Classic in very thick and sturdy cardboard boxes. The design on the boxes is minimalistic, with just a picture of the keyboard itself on it. After all, it would be quite the paradox if the artwork on a box were to be more attractive than a keyboard basing its success on aesthetics.

The Azio Retro Classic doesn't have any advanced technical features so, as you might expect, there are not any special items bundled alongside the keyboard. We found only a basic manual and a warranty card inside the box. Meanwhile the keycaps of this keyboard are not meant to be removed, so Azio does not provide a keycap puller. Typical keycap pullers will not work with the round shape of the keycaps anyway, only some wire pullers might but these might also scratch the paint off the keycaps.

The Azio Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard
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  • Glock24 - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Yeah, at least in the photos it looks like a $5 cheap no-name Chinese product.
    Even if the form parts were actual gold, I would not pay $200 for that, as it'll still be ugly and tacky.
  • mooninite - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    $200? LOL! They are trying to hard to justify the high markup with low-cost items like a stupid badge and fancy paper materials that you would just throw away after opening the package.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    "The flat layout of the keyboard makes it very difficult to press the bottom row keys with your palm, creating a major issue for all FPS and action RPG gamers."

    How do you hold your hand to do this? Admittedly I have rather large hands, but to touch the space row with the top of my palm while having my fingertips on the home row requires bending my last 2 joints of each finger to the point that I'd be typing with my fingernails. Trying to do the same with the bottom of my palm doesn't require as tight a bend but all positions I tried felt unnatural enough I'd expect them to become painful if kept for any length of time.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Hah! I totally suspected you of having big hands! It's great to get confirmation and justification to have a victory Diet Coke.
  • ddriver - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Is AT going to be the last to report on intel's new huge bug?

    Taking all bets!
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Do you want your data now or do you want your data correct?
  • ddriver - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    It is not like pouring concrete, updates can be made as the story develops.

    Alas, the reason why AT is not reporting is not because it is "building up correctness" but because they are infusing pro-intel bias, various was to downplay the severity of the issue and whatnot.

    Intel shill dollars are already at play all over the internet. They even tried to sneak in a linux patch that unnecessarily hampers amd performance, even though amd chips are unaffected.

    Good old intel, as corrupt as ever. And when it pays, AT dances.
  • linuxgeex - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    AT hasn't had a habit of posting deep dives on zero-day exploits, because it takes time to write a meaningful article. We come here for meaningful articles, not rumours.
  • ddriver - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Oh wow, so now it is a rumor, is it? LOL

    AT has been posting pipeline stories about trivial nonsense with zero relevance nobody cares about, just because someone paid them for the promo.

    A bug that compromises kernel space memory and therefore security, that affects 2/3 of all x86 cpus sold the last several years, and whose fix comes with a hefty performance penalty - that's not worth mentioning. Lets hold off and give AT time to write a damage control article, that will involve a bunch of stuff the author copy-pasted with zero actual knowledge or even remote competence on the matter, just to buy some credibility to the conclusion, which will somehow twist it into a "it's no big deal".

    I will tell you why you come here - to play pretend you are smarter than you are :) You come to cheer at mediocrity, rampaging consumerism and bias toward rich corporations, believe that makes you intelligent and progressive.
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    You're only further proving the point: big stories require adequate preparation and research while trivial fluff stories do not. If this is truly a massive problem, then the wait will be worthwhile. Do us all a favor, keep yourself safe and turn off your computer until the problem goes away. Someone will mail you a letter when it's safe to come back online.

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