Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
It is rare in the industry, but on occasion, we do find companies requesting that we have a look at a pre-production run of a product, but this is why we are here today. While AZIO and Nanoxia were battling things out in the arena of which is the better Mechanical Typewriter Keyboard out currently, it was only a matter of time before these companies took the chance to improve on the idea. Much like the days of competition for the tallest skyscraper when Chicago was fighting New York City, it seems fitting that we are dealing with a "Retro" keyboard, which was the main conveyance of typed words of the era.
With keyboards that already are fairly feature rich for what we would expect of a keyboard built more with the typist in mind, over avid gamers, where are you supposed to go to improve upon what is already a trendy design? From what we have gathered, AZIO is covering the top plate of the keyboard with high-end materials, and no it is not aluminum, steel, or plastic with a fancy finish. They could also add more functionality to the intensely bright LEDs on the previous models, and this they have done as well. There are also connectivity options as to how the keyboard will communicate with the PC, and this did not go over the heads of engineers either. Of course, they kept the multimedia support, but keep in mind, what you are about to see from us is not the final version, and we know of two minor changes already.
If, like us, the "Retro" keyboards are something you cannot live without, why not have the best of the best, when it comes to aesthetics and features? AZIO is stepping up, currently, in an Indiegogo campaign, which is bringing attention to their new product. What started as a ten-thousand-dollar request for early adopters, they have reached near ninety thousand currently, and are in the second stage. This will not affect production, but it does afford the opportunity to obtain one for a much lower price than what the MSRP is slated to be. That being said, it is now time to go over everything that is the new MK Retro Classic from AZIO, so that all of you can see what is right around the corner in keyboard options.
While there are images of the three versions of this soon to be released keyboard, all images direct you to Indiegogo, so we had to clip these specifications from an email. First off, let's cover the options which will be available. There will be an MK Retro Classic Artisan model which offers bronze trip and a black leather top panel. There is to be an MK Retro Classis Onyx, which features black chrome trim and black leather used on top, which is the model we have. Then, there is also the MK Retro Classis Posh with bronze trim and white leather. The original name was to be the MK Retro Pro, but that idea has already been scrapped. Our keyboard is connected via USB, but AZIO is also offering Bluetooth connectivity models as well.
The switches used are tactile and clicky, and are specially made Kailh Blue Switches with the LEDs incorporated into the center of each switch. The MK Retro Classis offers 6-key or NKRO modes, the cable is cloth braided and is six feet long, it delivers multimedia keys, and supports both MAC and Windows environments. Dimensionally, the MK Retro Classic is 147mm from front to back; it is 455mm side to side, it stands 40mm tall, and weighs in at 1588 grams.
Features are also shown in what we were sent ahead of time. Of course, the design is inspired from days gone by, where you have a modern mechanical keyboard with a nostalgic retro twist. There is the upgrade to premium materials, where AZIO uses Zinc alloys to color the trim, and use of leather, which can also be obtained with a marbled pattern as well, just not at this moment. The feel and noise from the MK Retro Classis will remind you of what a typewriter sounds like if you are old enough to have ever heard one, and the entire keyboard is LED backlit, in a new way as not to blind you as the previous options could. There are adjustable feet, but they are pillar style, just like we found on the originals, and as we addressed, the MKJ Retro Classis will work for both MAC and Windows users.
Pricing is a two-way street. If you want to wait until the campaign has concluded, and obtain the MK Retro Classis from a box store or an e-tailer, you will be expected to shell out $190 for the wired model, and $220 for the Bluetooth option. If you do not mind helping the campaign and want one as soon as humanly possible, you can buy in much cheaper. Currently, the wired models are offered at $120, and only twenty dollars more for the Bluetooth variant. While you have missed out on the best pricing for them, this is still a very affordable way to what is to be the best typewriter inspired mechanical keyboard on the market. If you are into fancy looking products that will be a joy to use as well as being the envy of all your friends, we highly suggest you continue with us as we look at the MK Retro Classis Onyx, as we have only just begun.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS X99-E WS - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 5930K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GTX - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: KLevv Cras DDR4 3000 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Video Card: ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Matrix Platinum - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Intel 730 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: SilverStone TJ11 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Corsair AX1200 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
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