Modern typewriter! Azio Retro Classic Keyboard review

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It took me years to admit, but I’m an extremely shallow person who loves to use hardware that’s aesthetic over all else. I recently saved some commission money to invest in a typewriter keyboard, because part of me is a 40’s soul that loves everything vintage, and this keyboard just bleeds creative inspiration.

I’m approaching this review a little differently. I won’t be comparing this keyboard to a typical consumer USB keyboard; I’m coming from using a Razer Black Widow, so I will be mainly taking a good look at its performance, as both an artist and a casual gamer.

Aesthetic

This keyboard is gorgeous. The white and gold-copper combination is elegant and feminine. It feels steampunky, nautical, and vintage typewriter all at the same time, and I supremely dig it. This particular color combo will work great with people who have an abundance of rose gold, beige, or pink items on their desk.

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Feeling

The Azio keyboard is a mechanical keyboard, but that doesn’t mean it feels like Razer’s gaming keyboards. Here’s the primary differences that I’ve noticed—note that they can be either pros or cons depending on what you’re going for:

  • The keys feel stiffer. These Azio keys are stiffer and offer more resistance. Perfect for a typewriter keyboard, but maybe not great if you’re playing a game that requires intensive button mashing. It’s still fast, but just a little stiff.

  • The keys take a fair amount of effort to “press.” With Razer keyboards, effort just above the slightest touch will register as a key press. The Azio keys take noticeably more effort to register the mechanical switches, so it takes more finger strength to press.

  • Less clicky, more ka-chunky. The noise offered by this keyboard is less “clicky” than a gaming keyboard and offers more of a “ka-chunk” feeling. The sound has a slight reverb-ish effect against the metal framing, which actually offers a really cool effect—it sounds more like a typewriter.

  • Round keys take some getting used to. If you are a fast typer, you may be thrown off at first by the round shape of the keys. They look and feel very nice, but just take some slight adjustment.

Performance

This Azio keyboard uses customized Blue switches. As a mechanical keyboard, it offers superior performance compared to a consumer USB keyboard.

I’m not attuned enough to notice a significant difference in performance between this keyboard and my previous Razer Black Widow. It seems highly accurate and quick to register keys. I played several games of League of Legends, and didn’t notice any particular difference. The largest difference actually comes when typing quickly for long stretches of time, like writing—the keys offering more resistance results in more typos since I’m not used to applying more finger strength.

Overall Impressions

This keyboard is very beautiful and functions extremely well as a mechanical keyboard. I definitely prefer the aesthetic to a black gaming keyboard. It takes some getting used to due to the different key shape and resistance, but if you like retro, this can’t be beat. For serious gamers, I would recommend sticking with more typical gaming keyboards.

You can get Azio keyboards from Amazon or their website.