I have always loved Mechanical Keyboards. What is a Mechanical Keyboard you ask? The most common type of keyboard out there today is what I call “Chiclet” keyboards. The keys have very little travel and are very soft; almost a flat typing experience. A Mechanical Keyboard has “mechanical” keys requiring varying pressure depending on the type of mechanical key installed. They require much more force in typing because they have a lot of travel in the keystroke. My only problem is all of the Mechanical Keyboards I have used over the past few years lasted six months to a year. I guess I am kind of hard on keyboards. After a stint using a Chiclet Keyboard, I am trying an Azio Mechanical Keyboard. It gets great reviews on Amazon. I am typing this article on it. I will give you my impressions.
Azio Mechanical Keyboard
In the old days of computing almost all keyboards were the “mechanical” variety. No other keyboards existed at that time. Since then, of course, all kinds of keyboard configurations have been developed. I totally understand if you prefer the newer, Chiclet style keyboards, my wife does and so do my grandkids. The way I type I just prefer the mechanical feel.
You can get the Azio Mechanical Keyboards in a USB or Bluetooth connection. I prefer the USB because I have too much trouble with Bluetooth. The Azio Mechanical Keyboard is solidly constructed. It is pretty heavy and just has a solid, well built feel to it. It comes in white like the Apple keyboards, but I am sure they will come out with a black one some time soon:
The Azio is a Macintosh keyboard with all the Mac Special Keys in all the right places:
You can choose to use the F-Keys in the System Preferences in place of the Mac speciality keys. I say this, because one of the last keyboards I used would not allow me to do this switch.
The keyboard is totally “plug-n-play”. You just plug it in and the Mac immediately recognizes it. A lot of thought has gone into this keyboard to reach the Mac community.
The Azio keyboard has a special volume scroll wheel in the upper right corner:
It is pretty handy if you are a Music person. I use it on videos and system sound stuff.
I have not been using the Azio Mechanical Keyboard for too long, but I still have some distinct observations. It is very well made, very nicely constructed. The look is kind of like an Apple keyboard, but different. Many of the mechanical keyboards today do not have the keys sunken into a frame. The keys stick up and appear to be sitting on an aluminum base. It looks kind of weird, but it does not interfere with the keyboard functionality.
I really like the feel of the Azio keys and how they function. It feels like a mechanical keyboard. It is a little noisy compared to a Chiclet keyboard, but I have heard noisier mechanical keyboards so it is not too bad. I work at home so I am not in an office environment that the noise would bother anyone. The more I type on the keyboard the more I like it. You just have to like mechanical keyboards I guess, but it definitely works well. I can definitely type faster on this keyboard with less errors.
The Azio Mechanical Keyboard costs $99 at Amazon. That is a pretty good price compared to the $120-160 mechanical keyboards out there. I have tried a couple of the more expensive mechanical keyboards. They did not work or feel any better than the Azio.
The Azio comes with a wrist rest (not shown). I tried it for a while, but went back to using a foam wrist rest that I have used in the past. The Azio has a two year warranty, but with my bad experiences with mechanical keyboards I bought an extended warranty for two extra years. Finally, the Azio has backlit keys that can be adjusted for light intensity (F5 is down, F6 is up and F13 for off).
If you like mechanical keyboards, I think you should give the Azio Mechanical Keyboard strong consideration. It works well and has the look and feel of a mechanical keyboard. And, the price is definitely right.