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I thought I’d do a review of the Azio Retro Classic as I got it for my Dad a few years ago as a birthday present. It’s on sale at the time of writing.
Azio Retro Classic Bluetooth 5.0 (Artisan) – Wireless/USB Wired Vintage Backlit Leather Mechanical…
- A Classic Reborn: Design Originated By Vintage Typewriters And Crafted With Ultramodern Features, The Azio Retro Classic Is The Perfect Amalgam Of Past, Present, And Future
- Genuine & Luxurious: Genuine Leather Or Wood Top Plate. Leather Reflects Taste, Craftsmanship, And Exclusiveness While Emitting A Unique Charm That Inspires
- Tactile. Clicky. Backlit: The Backlit Mechanical Keys Are Tuned To Be Tactile And “Clicky”, Reminiscent Of Vintage Typewriters
I really wanted to get him this keyboard because the whole unit just seemed to have over the top quality with the leather top plate, and the ‘old gold’/coppery colored trim. It does have the weight to match this and it does anchor itself to the desk. He actually took it to his office so I don’t have any homemade pictures available. It does have a very nice clack- but I wouldn’t say the keycaps are thoccy- it’s more of just a smart tactileness that makes for a nice experience for the casual enthusiast.
My Dad does have a very unusual typing method where he tends to only use his index fingers to type, (which makes no sense since typing is like 75% of his job) but I figure that would make having a mechanical keyboard even more fun. He does like typing on his keyboard. There is probably no point consulting him for his opinion on ergonomics of typing on the board though since his technique is so suspicious.
These guys tested the board for 24 hours and were pretty happy with how the typing felt:
Although the artisan keycaps are inspired by the aesthetic and feel of a vintage typewriter, it utilizes a modified version of Kailh’s clicky blue switches and LED backlighting. It doesn’t have the inner workings of a typewriter by any means, so it wouldn’t reflect the full experience of a typewriter for those who want to hark back to days gone by. There’s a bit of a debate raging as to whether it really feels like a typewriter. I think it mimics the typewriter only in keycap profile and aesthetics. The keycaps on the Asio Retro Classic are very high quality in my opinion as the last time I saw the board a month or two ago the legends were still in very nice nick and there was no visible wearing on the board or the leather that I could see. So A+ to robustness and durability. I believe the style of keycaps used is just referred to as “typewriter keycaps”.
In terms of the color as much as much as I like the contrast of the copper trim and it looks beautiful in person- looking back at it now I actually really like the grey gunmetal version.
It could have been a tasteful selection for the work environment as it’s not quite as loud. I think that the main version with the copper trim is probably a bit more out there than his usual color palette of greys (though he had a phase of pink shirts at one point so maybe it’s not such a bad fit?)
I found a matching mouse for the gunmetal version! A leather mouse is just savage.
One problem is that at the time I paid extra for the Bluetooth compatibility but this turned out to be kind of redundant. I now realize there is not much point in going Bluetooth when the keyboard is going to be stationary for 99.99% of its life connected to a desktop. As it turns out, currently the price of the Bluetooth unit has been slashed to the same as the USB version anyway, so you might as well snap up the Bluetooth version even if you don’t need it. It’d be handy if you need to connect to a device without USB ports.
Last update on 2023-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API