Azio has started to sell wireless versions of its old-fashioned typewriter-like Retro Classic mechanical keyboard. The devices look the same as their wired brethren and are available in four variants. The new units cost $30 more than their wired counterparts and, in addition to Bluetooth, they also offer “official” Mac compatibility with appropriate interchangeable keycaps.

The Azio Retro Classic mechanical keyboard we recently reviewed is a mixed bag. The keyboard looks extremely eye-catching and its exotic design after vintage typewriters (or after a steampunk keyboard from the Warehouse 13 if you are younger and have never seen classic mechanical typewriters) educes nostalgia. Based on the Kailh Typelit switches, the keyboard uses real leather or wood as well as a Zinc alloy frame in its construction and is particularly well built. However, a combination of its round keycaps, flat profile and very short key travel distances made it uncomfortable for extensive use. Now, Azio is offering Bluetooth versions of the keyboard that offer the same pros and cons, but add a certain degree of freedom due to lack of any wires.

Just like the wired Azio Retro Classic, the Retro Classic Bluetooth are available in four styles: Onyx, Posh, Artisan and Elwood. The keyboard comes with a 6000-mAh rechargeable battery that can last for up to two months depending on the backlight intensity and usage. The battery can be charged using a special USB-C cable.

Azio Retro Classic Bluetooth General Specifcations
  Onyx Posh Artisan Elwood
Official Design Description Black leather with black chromed frame White leather with copper matte frame Black leather with copper matte frame Walnut wood with gunmetal matte frame
Number of Keys 104
Switch Azio/Kailh Typelit
N-key Rollover Support 6
Interface Bluetooth or USB 1.1
Removable Keys Yes
Compatibility Apple MacOS, Microsoft Windows
Battery 6,000 mAh
Dimensions 455 × 147 × 40 mm | 17.9" × 1.6" × 5.8"
Weight 1587 grams | 3.5 lbs
MSRP $219.99

The new keyboards officially support both Microsoft Windows as well as Apple macOS and come with interchangeable Mac key caps. Pairing a retro keyboard with an ultramodern Mac looks like a questionable idea, but there are outlets that build custom computers, so building a retro Mac is theoretically possible.

Azio’s Retro Classic BT keyboards are available directly from the company as well as from retailers like Amazon for $219.99, that is $30 extra for Mac compatibility and lack of wires.

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Source: Azio

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  • kaidenshi - Saturday, February 03, 2018 - link

    Only 6 key rollover in a $200 keyboard? It's pretty but it's not $200 pretty without full N-key support. If my $40 Velocifire can do it, I don't see why this one can't. Reply
  • WinterCharm - Sunday, February 04, 2018 - link

    I agree. This is a shit value.

    Rather get the $120 DasKeyboard professional for Mac.
    Reply
  • edgineer - Sunday, February 04, 2018 - link

    What is your particular use case where you require better than 6 key rollover? Genuinely curious.

    For me, I think I'd have to be in an FPS sprinting diagonally while peeking, then jumping and simultaneously running a buy script that uses a modifier key. Then I'd hit 7 keys. But I've never hit that point.
    Reply
  • valinor89 - Tuesday, February 06, 2018 - link

    Digital audio workstation, when I have tried to use a generic keyboard I have had problems where I could not do some chords. Sometimes you don't have a full piano keyboard and the PC one has to be used. Reply
  • kaidenshi - Friday, February 09, 2018 - link

    What valinor89 said. I only have one music keyboard and when I've tried to use a qwerty board as a second music board in the past, I quickly hit a wall with rollover until I got the Velocifire. Reply
  • zogus - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    There are uses for expensive keyboards other than gaming. I bought a $200 silent mechanical keyboard because the crappy laptop keyboard was affecting my productivity at work; I am very pleased by how much faster and longer I can type without mistakes on the new keyboard; I neither know nor care whether N-key rollover is supported on it.

    That said, this keyboard seems to be coming up short on providing a good touch-typing experience, which means it isn't a good non-gaming keyboard either....
    Reply
  • trab - Monday, February 05, 2018 - link

    If I wanted a Warehouse 13 keyboard, I would get an actual one? https://datamancer.com/product/the-sojourner-keybo... (yeah yeah I know 1000 USD and all...) Reply
  • David Luiz - Friday, June 08, 2018 - link

    Pretty convenient to use a Bluetooth keyboard. Great work from Apple. Reply

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