There was a time not too long ago when the typewriter-style keycaps and block keyboard design were the rage, with many companies trying to go the route. Datamancer arguably started the trend, and continues to sell expensive keyboards that blur the line between a USB peripheral and showcase piece, whereas others have mostly given up. AZIO, on the other hand, has run with it in the form of the MK Retro first up and the use of high-end materials, including genuine leather and even wood with the Retro Classic later. Indeed, they have carved out a niche to themselves with their Retro lineup, which has since expanded beyond keyboards to where they can bring out different form factors as well. Today, we take a look at their Retro Compact Keyboard, and thanks again to AZIO for sending a review sample to TechPowerUp!
The AZIO Retro Compact keyboard, or RCK as they refer to it themselves, is a ~75% form factor keyboard with a truncated arrow key cluster and no numpad. There is no standard layout to this form factor, but in general, we tend to see the arrow keys as well as some of the Ins-Pg Dn keys. These are all usually found in a single bank of keys, but AZIO has chosen to keep the Fn key row fairly separate as seen above. Also note that the RCK comes in four versions—Gunmetal, Posh, Artisan, and Elwood—which define the material and color scheme used for the top plate (leather or wood) and the frame. It otherwise retains the design philosophy of the rest of the AZIO Retro series of keyboards, and we will examine the RCK in detail, beginning with a look at the specifications below.
AZIO Retro Compact Keyboard (RCK)
75% form factor in UN ANSI layout
ABS plastic bottom and keycaps, genuine leather or wood top plate, chrome (or copper) plated zinc alloy frame, steel plate
1.07 kg / 2.36 lbs.
Available as a secondary function
143 (L) x 328 (W) x 42 (H) mm
6 ft / 1.8 m
AZIO/Kailh "Typelit" tactile and clicky mechanical switch