I have had quite a bit of time to try and get as used to the Levetron Mech5 from AZiO in both gaming as well as day to day usage. The Mech5 contains Cherry MX Black switches which makes sure controls in gaming with a higher level of pressure is needed to actuate the switch. This makes sure that you aren't rolling over to other keys as easily. As a writer though, I find this board to be very difficult to use over the long term. It was fine when I just needed to search the web or compose and e-mail or two, but when looking at composing something like this review, I really miss the comfort of my Matias. The Mech5 is really great in all other aspects. The numeric keypad is easy to install and use, so is the D-pad for that matter. I like the options added to the feet in the back. So even with a higher desktop like mine, you can angle the board for an easier reach while still taking advantage of the built in wrist rest. On the whole I really liked the Levetron Mech5; I just don't do enough gaming these days to outweigh the need for a "writers" keyboard on my desk.
Along with modular components, the D-pad that will slide back and forth across the top, as well as flipping up so you don't have to remove it to gain access to the F-keys and the multi-positional numeric keypad, it shows that while the design is a bit outside of the box, each detail is very well thought out, and we didn't even get to the software. Considering that the software will give you full customization of the keyboard along with unlimited profiles and Macros, I don't think I have yet to see a keyboard submitted that offers this sort of feature set. If you can get along with the industrial looking design of the Mech5, the features I found during the testing is just icing on the cake for a board that is so easy and comfortable to use.
During my testing I didn't run into any ghosting and I don't type fast enough to experience NKRO issues. That being said, I do try to create the environments to show these sorts of issues, and even then I couldn't find any fault with the way the keys are registering by themselves or multiples in rapid succession. If I were to have to really pick at the Mech5 for an issue, I would say the lack of backlighting will be an issue for some buyers, but with decals for the letters on the keycaps instead of laser etching them, the lighting won't work well. This does bring me to one other thing. Since they did choose to use decals on the keys, I could see them wearing away over time, but is not something I have experienced yet.
Even if you aren't attracted to the design, and it was something I had to let grow on me a bit before I was really accepting of the design, you are going to be hard pressed to find one close to this price to replace it. Keep in mind we have Cherry MX Black Switches, some of the simplest but most inclusive software available, and the modularity to use the Mech5 in any way you see fit. If you don't shop around, you are likely going to be spending near $110 to the more known e-tailers out there, and it's a good deal at that price. For those that are a bit more frugal, you can locate the AZiO Levetron Mech5 gaming keyboard at a terrific deal of $88.99 to your door from Mwave at the time of writing.
There are cheaper mechanical solutions, but the linear switch with this sort of activation pressure isn't widely available, and I can't think of any keyboard that will offer the software capable of what AZiO brings to the table. For a company that sort of showed up out of the blue, they really impressed me with how well they design keyboards, and just how much thought they put into these products.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [AZiO Levetron Mech5 Gaming Keyboard]
- Page 5 [AZiO Levetron Mech5 Gaming Keyboard Continued]
- Page 6 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 7 [Accessories and Documentation Continued]
- Page 8 [Software]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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