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Azio's Retro Classic keyboard is luxurious, but imperfect

Azio's Retro Classic keyboard is luxurious, but imperfect
From Engadget - January 30, 2018

The first thing to say about the Retro Classic is that it looks like it was built in the 1920s by a coterie of cloth-hatted civil engineers. If you are looking for something quiet and lightweight, this is the opposite, weighing in at a divinely heavy four pounds, clad in zinc aluminum with either a gunmetal or copper top. It's sufficiently hefty that I'd be tempted to use it in self-defence against an armed burglar. There are four chunky rubber feet below the keyboard itself and the back two can be twisted to lift it up.

As the name implies, the Retro Classic is modeled after vintage typewriters with a mechanical hammer action. The switches in this case are produced by Kailh, aping the style and technology of the more well-known Cherry MX. Purists prefer the latter for serious, heavy-duty eSports, but Kailh's switches will do for pretty much everyone else. There's an excellent amount of travel and resistance, and a beautifully loud click when you reach the bottom of each key.

The custom-made semi-transparent keycaps are rounded and spaced a couple of millimeters from one another, tighter than comparable old-timey keyboards. The tradeoff between space and compactness is always the amount of errors you are likely to make. And certainly, the learning curve is steep if you are coming from another keyboard, but it's nothing too egregious. In the first week or so of testing, the worst thing I did was hit the keyxap next top the one I wantedf.

Speaking of the keycaps, the unit comes set up for a Windows PC, so if you are looking to run it with OS X, you will need to set aside 10 minutes. A bag of OS X-related keys are included in the packaging, along with a cleaning cloth, and you will be tasked with pulling off the existing caps. Fortunately, the keys can be pulled off pretty easily and pushed back on without the need of an additional tool or any sweat.

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