Maybe you’re sitting at a MacBook or other modern PC right now, typing away in near silence on a keyboard that provides no real satisfying response to your human fingers. Maybe, once in the distant past, you remember when keyboards offered something in return: A “click clack” that stood as an auditory proof of productivity.
If you miss that and want it back, the new Azio Luxury Retro Classic keyboard with Bluetooth is a fantastic option, and one that’s relatively affordable compared to some of the more extravagant typewriter-inspired keyboards out there – but with all of the same charm, and a mechanical typing action that you’ll love if you’re a fan of really pounding those keys.
The $219.99 ($189.99 if you don’t need wireless connectivity) accessory comes with a lot in the box you won’t get from comparably priced premium keyboards, including replaceable keycaps for both Mac and PC, as well as backlighting, and genuine metal, wood and leather finished surfaces. The wireless version works in both wired and Bluetooth configurations, and the 6,000 mAh battery on board can last for up to two months between charges.
The keyboard uses USB-C for charging, with a cable included (braided, no less) and it just works out of the box with both macOS and Windows thanks to the convenient mode switch at the back and the aforementioned interchangeable key caps (no tools required, either – just pull them off and push on the replacements.)[gallery ids="1596857,1596856,1596855,1596854,1596853,1596852,1596851,1596850,1596849,1596848"]
In addition to the lovely material accents, and the Azio mechanical switches, which are indeed clicky and offer just the right amount of resistance for me, the Retro Classic also has typing angle adjustability thanks to screw down feet that can add a fair amount of lift if you find that more comfortable as a typist.
The keyboards also feel like they’re built to withstand a lot of typing – or a nuclear apocalypse, whichever comes first. They’re heavy, and that plus the rubberized anti-slip pads will keep them firmly rooted on your desk. This isn’t the keyboard you’ll want to take with you when you travel, however.
If you want something that’s as much desk decoration as it is functional tool, and you’re a big fan of mechanical keyboards (as I am, savoring each clack of this review on the Azio), then this is a prime option. Retro keyboards are getting easier to find, but Azio’s model has the best balance of price, versatility and quality of the ones I’ve come across thus far.