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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  • Flunk - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    I know appearance is subjective, but fake metal-look plastic and fake leather always make things look cheap to me. i was shocked when i saw the nearly $200 price tag of this thing. From a distance it looks like one of those cheap knockoff keyboards you can get for $20 on Amazon, perhaps it looks better in person, but they seem to have done everything wrong in my eyes.
  • SonicKrunch - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    "A closer inspection reveals many more interesting details. Most of the keyboard’s body is made of plastic but the frame that surrounds the keyboard is solid aluminum alloy. The same goes for the decorative tag between the control keys and the arrow keys. The surface of the keyboard is covered with real leather. The keycaps are completely plastic, including the copper-colored plastic surrounds, but the paint job is so good that can easily fool an untrained eye." Not fake leather. And while there is fake plastic metal, it's not everywhere. Not saying it's worth the $200, but still.
  • mrvco - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    It’s worth $200 to ‘that guy’. Don’t be that guy.
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    There are more expensive keyboards out there like The Seafarer by Datamancer that's presently listed at $1,650 and $20 in shipping on Amazon.
  • Diji1 - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    Good Lord ...
  • wolfemane - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    The comments for that keyboard are the real jewel of the Amazon listing.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    Yuppers, the comments are absolutely worth reading.
  • dennphill - Monday, January 8, 2018 - link

    Wow! Thanks! I needed a good laugh to begin the year - Amazon reviews are very clever...item actually looks pretty cool and interesting...but out of my price range (unless I win the next Powerball/MegaMillion)! For that price you WOULD think that they's throw in free shipping...
  • boeush - Thursday, January 4, 2018 - link

    While that listing in itself is impressive as all get out, it's really all about the "Customer reviews" beneath it... :D
  • notashill - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - link

    To be fair the white version reviewed seems to be the tackiest looking by far, beating out even the wood grain option. The black one looks pretty nice.

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