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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  • woggs - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Why did you feed the troll? Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Check the Twitter feed before posting next time.

    "We're working on something"
    https://twitter.com/IanCutress/status/948558178639...
    Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Yeah, working on damage control that is... Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Dude (ddriver), this is an article about an expensive keyboard.... Seriously, take the vitriol elsewhere unless it's related to this keyboard. Reply
  • Sweetbabyjays - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Looks like a cheaper white version of the Keian KFK51N Reply
  • sonofgodfrey - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    If they wanted a real retro look, they should have put a paper tape reader on the side:
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2553/3916969051_ecc0...
    Reply
  • sonofgodfrey - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    Or perhaps attach it to a keypunch:
    https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7443/16296856470_f51...
    Reply
  • wolfemane - Thursday, January 04, 2018 - link

    I think you're onto something. Another kickstarter for a retro steampunk USB typewriter is in order. Can charge $500 for initial investors. And outsource it China, all plastic, and have it print BW memes when certain words or gestures are detected. Oh and did I mention it would be made out of plastic. Reply
  • jrs77 - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    The idea isn't bad, but they managed to f up allmost all of it. For the switches to start with use some Cherry MX Blue or Topre 45G. Anything else is a cheap copout.
    Lights... a retro-keyboard shoudn't have lights. And most people I know turn off the lights in their keyboards to start with, if they have them.
    Plastic and painted keycaps.... use some quality doubleshot keycaps, as the paint won't last very long.
    Seriously. This is just cheap chinaware.
    Reply
  • Lau_Tech - Wednesday, January 03, 2018 - link

    wow another keyboard review.

    mind-blowing stuff, this... totally dissimilar in every way to the others...
    Reply

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