Azio’s Retro Classic Keyboard Looks as Nice as It Is to Type On – CNET

The RC Prestige mechanical keyboard from Azio has a bit of a steampunk vibe. Its backlit half-height keycaps — rounded squares with brushed silver edges — float above the faceplate and look like old-fashioned typewriter keys. The ebony version I tested has a black-stained wood faceplate; an ivory version swaps wood for white leather. The aluminum frame matches the color of the keycap edges and is secured with visible screws around the top. 

Despite the somewhat anachronistic design, the keyboard has a lot of the features you’d find on current mechanical keyboards: hot-swappable Gateron G Pro 3.0 mechanical switches, double-shot keycaps, wired or Bluetooth modes (for up to three devices), MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android support, and high-quality materials inside and out. 

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The shape of the keys is nice, but the font choice is not great.&nbsp;

” image-credit=”Josh Goldman/CNET” image-alt-text=”The Azio Retro Classic Prestige full-size mechanical keyboard.” image-filename=”azio-rc-prestige-01.jpg” image-date-created=”2024/02/23″ image-width=”4802″ image-height=”2705″ image-do-not-crop=”false” image-do-not-resize=”false” image-watermark=”false” lightbox=”false” edition=”us” class=”c-shortcodeImage u-clearfix c-shortcodeImage-large c-shortcodeImage-hasCaption”>

A close-up look at the rear foot of the Azio RC Prestige mechanical keyboard. The round foot can be rotated to raise and lower the typing angle. A close-up look at the rear foot of the Azio RC Prestige mechanical keyboard. The round foot can be rotated to raise and lower the typing angle.

Rotating the ring on the rear feet raises and lowers the typing angle. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The keyboard connects by Bluetooth or USB cable (a nice USB-C-to-USB-A braided cable was included); there’s no 2.4GHz wireless option. With Bluetooth, up to three devices can wirelessly connect to the keyboard. The keyboard will go to sleep to conserve battery life when not in use, and it does take a second or two for it to wake and reconnect — not uncommon but still frustrating.

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Switches on the back let you turn on and off Bluetooth and change the keyboard layout for MacOS or Windows.&nbsp;

” image-credit=”Josh Goldman/CNET” image-alt-text=”The back of the Azio RC Prestige keyboard has a USB-C port for charging and a wired connection to a computer. There are also switches to change to using a Bluetooth connection and changing the OS support between Windows or MacOS.” image-filename=”azio-rc-prestige-03.jpg” image-date-created=”2024/02/28″ image-width=”3808″ image-height=”2145″ image-do-not-crop=”false” image-do-not-resize=”false” image-watermark=”false” lightbox=”false” edition=”us” class=”c-shortcodeImage u-clearfix c-shortcodeImage-large c-shortcodeImage-hasCaption”>

Close-up of the Gateron G Pro 3.0 switches in the Azio RC Prestige keyboard. Close-up of the Gateron G Pro 3.0 switches in the Azio RC Prestige keyboard.

Azio offers a choice of tactile, linear or clicky Gateron G Pro 3.0 switches. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

The Azio RC Prestige keyboard Kickstarter campaign is fully funded and the keyboard is currently in production. A fully assembled keyboard is a pledge of $169 plus shipping, which varies by country. The campaign ends on March 15 at 9 a.m. ET and keyboards are expected to ship in July. This is Azio’s fifth keyboard campaign, and the company has shipped every time. Its Tera 75 keyboard it crowdfunded last year, for example, is now available to purchase on its site. However, before you contribute to a campaign, read the policies of the crowdfunding site — in this case, Kickstarter — to find out your rights (and refund policies, or lack thereof) before and after a campaign ends.

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