26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
I purchased this keyboard to replace my Logitech G15. Searching around I couldn't find any place nearby that had mechanical keyboards to test the feel of the different switches so I was left to blindly choose which one I thought would work the best for me. I went with the black instead of the reds to try to alleviate any accidental key presses. The blacks are very stiff. About as stiff as a normal membrane keyboard - which isn't really a bad thing. My first impressions of the keyboard were very positive. It looked nice, had a nice weight to it, the large rubber feet with multiple adjustments were great, you could customize the setup between the DPad and the num pad, overall it was an impressive keyboard.
Being able to adjust the location of the DPad for macro keys is a great idea. However, this removes the ability to use the function keys at the top of the keyboard. Most games don't use these, but things like Alt+F4 has it's use in certain situations. Being up so high I didn't find these to be in a great location. I stuck to using the macro keys to the left of the keyboard.
One thing I noticed quickly was the sharpness of the corners on the keys. When gaming I press the space bar with the side of my thumb. My old G15 had an oversized space bar so I simply just pressed down on the middle of the key. The Mech5 has a normal sized space bar. This resulted in me pressing down on the corner of the key. After a short while of gaming my thumb became sore and irritated. It was a simple adjustment to move my thumb a bit higher on the keyboard, but it was an unnatural adjustment.
Another thing I noticed was the markings on the keys were not consistent. The left shift in particular was very light - as if it had been used for a long time. How I place my finger on the shift key I don't press down on the lettering so it was definitely not from use.
I knew going into it that the Mech5 didn't have any backlighting and I was okay with that. Until I actually used it in dim lighting. I can type upwards of 80 words a minute and have no problems finding even the rarest of symbols, but it was natural just to glance down at the keyboard from time to time for whatever reason. The lack of backlighting isn't a huge deal but they included a bit of it on the macro keys with a really nice red - why not just use this throughout the rest of the keyboard? This also would have alleviated my above complaint about the cheap marking on the key caps themselves if they chose to have backlit keys.
After a few weeks of use I was still happy with the keyboard, but wasn't blown away like I was hoping to be. The sound and feel of the mechanical keys were great. Gaming on it felt more natural than a traditional keyboard as keystrokes could be performed faster. But again, with the Cherry MX Black switches being so stiff it didn't feel like a vast improvement. I ended up purchasing a Corsair K90 in order to see how big of a difference there was between the blacks and the Cherry MX reds. I have to say, I easily prefer the reds. The blacks are nice, but don't have too different of a feel of a traditional keyboard except that they are linear and travel downwards very smoothly instead of the uneven resistance of typical rubber membranes. The reds are very sensitive, but not to the point where you can't touch the other keys without them being activated.
I ended up returning the Azio Mech5 and keeping the Corsair K90. The K90 for the same price had a few added features like multimedia keys and a mute button. The large dial of the Azio was nice, but with the lack of a mute button it took several full rotations to quiet the noise. The K90 is an absolutely beautiful keyboard with the aluminum and tons of backlighting. The Azio is a striking keyboard as well with its massive frame and aggressive styling. The two are very different from every aspect and it ultimately comes down to a matter of taste. I was happy with the Azio Mech5 but for the same price the Corsair K90 is a slightly better product.
I would recommend the Azio Mech5 to anyone if they prefer black switches over reds. If the reds are too sensitive for you and you love blacks, the Azio is a great choice. Just know that it has a few shortcomings. If it would have had backlighting and better keycaps and a mute button I probably would have stuck with it. Many of the mechanical keyboards don't have any multimedia keys or volume dials and many don't have macro functionality so the Azio definitely has it's place. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. I really liked the keyboard, but I didn't $100 like it.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2012
This keyboard feel's very sturdy and strong. It really does remind me of the older, more indestructible keyboards.
Overall, I would rate this product a 4.5/5
Some of the really nice perks of this keyboard:
- The keys are very strong
- The volume knob appears to be more accurate than the Mech4 (it takes less turning to adjust the volume)
- You can detach the num pad and macro pad and use them individually
- There is a quick way to disable the windows keys
- It is nice and heavy, don't have to worry about it moving around
- You can customize every key on the keyboard using the software that comes with it
- The "\" and "|" key is above the enter key (and not beside the backspace key like the Mech4)
- The "Enter" key is in a normal position
Some of the shortcomings of this keyboard:
- Clackity-Clackity-Clack (It is very noisy)
- Nothing else that I can think of!
I would highly recommend this keyboard for both gamers and power users alike.
It is a GREAT keyboard!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
After doing a lot of research last year about buying my first mechanical keyboard, I finally decided to go with the Azio Mech5 due to the macro-keys and the adjustable volume. Having detachable parts was also very appealing.
The keyboard is still in fantastic condition despite heavy every day use for gaming, article/review writing and general use. Due to size constrictions, I've had to remove the keypad a number of times dealing with space constraints, and having it to the side attached via a cable is very convenient but may not apply to everyone.
The macro keys don't get much use but that's only because my mouse has 12+ programmable buttons on it. The Azio mapping program is not CPU intensive and doesn't slow down your computer. Very much unlike some other PC peripheral programs that I've used.
One thing you might have to be weary of (and the reason I'm giving this keyboard a 4 instead of 5) is it sometimes double presses. It mainly happens with my main enter key and I don't believe it is a common issue, but when I'm typing often times it will repeat my last line of text twice. For example, typing "gg" in a game's chat, it will actually type out and enter "gg" twice on two separate lines. Like I said though, it's probably not a common issue and it doesn't happen enough to actually make it a significant issue. That being said, it is still a flaw that could throw you off.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2013
This particular keyboard functions as advertised in the box description, and I can appreciate how the manufacturer points out a few obscure, slightly unintuitive dos and don'ts in the manual, but more on that later.
I'll start with the (relatively) bad, and then move on to the good.
Firstly, the modular design necessitates that the 'main' keyboard component is rather cramped, and given the placement of the 'A/B' function keys on the left side, it's easy to accidentally hit a key adjacent to the one you meant to hit as your hands adjust to being closer together than they would be with a more spacious, non-modular keyboard. This problem works itself out in time, though, so it's not too big a deal if typing isn't your livelihood.
Next is the absence of any backlighting for the keys, which is something I kinda got used to with my previous keyboard (Saitek Cyborg, first revision). I can understand the impracticality of adding backlighting to mechanical keys, but it would have been nice if Azio had added a lamp or something to be used on the top 'rail' that holds the 'D-function' pad.
Lastly, I'm a little disappointed in the lack of any microphone and/or headphone jacks housed right next to the two USB ports by the volume knob (one of which is already going to be occupied by the D-function pad, should you choose to use it).
Two words: Limitless customisability. At least as far as tagging macros to keys is concerned. This makes up for the lack of any dedicated media player or web browser command keys, since you can use the profile software to set those functions to either the A/B function keys, the D-function pad, or any of the standard keys. It's great for gaming, whether it be an old DOSBox game (DOSBox has an internal keymapper that can be used to tag joystick macros to keys, but it's a little daunting for users not familiar with editing .ini files and the like), or even MMO's (you can type in your own TeamChat lines for instant entry with the press of a button). It's also good for productivity programs like word processors (Tired of pressing ALT+#### just to make an umlaut? Tag it to a macro!).
Next let's talk about construction. Classic, sturdy-feeling, matte-finished plastic. No cheap, hollow plastics with gaudy gloss finishes here. The moment you press down on the first key you type with, you know you're using something well-built that's going to last. Add cloth-covered USB cords with gold-plated connectors, and you've got a winner.
I mentioned at the beginning how the manual points out some stuff that not many people think about. One of these is how you should only connect 'low-powered' USB devices, such as mice, gamepads, etc., to the onboard USB ports. This will save you a call to tech support when you can't get your webcam or external hard disk to work. You can't use the ports to charge a phone or use a USB headset with super-mega-high-fidelity, 24-channel uber-surround sound.
Bottom line: The money you spend on this is spent more on function than form. It's not got all the latest stuff like built-in LCD screen or whatever, but it's built to last, so you won't be spending a lot to replace it anytime soon. Provided, of course, that 'anytime soon' doesn't herald the introduction of a new HID standard.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2013
This is a fantastic keyboard! a lot of good features, i like that the num pad is detachable(I don't have much space to work with so its nice that i can make the keyboard smaller). The keys don't click too loud which is nice. the only issue that i have had is that a key cap came off somewhere between my desk and a buddy's house, so i called Azio and they shipped me a new key cap free of charge within the next 3 days. I would highly recommend this keyboard for gaming, and recommend Azio for any other products for their fantastic customer service!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2013
I've had this keyboard for awhile and i absolutely love it.
-Quiet(for mechanical keyboard)
-Very easy setup
-Extra macro buttons can be raised to not block your function buttons(F1-12)
-Not backlit.(while this is still a minor thing i wish it was backlit to help with playing at night. Since this was made for gaming at night it would be nice if they would've made it backlit.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2014
I have owned this keyboard for about 2 years, and when I first got it, I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I felt that way for a while. I liked the way that one could easily set up profiles, and the software was easy to use and straight forward and being able to remap keys was a very hand plus. It looked good, and other gamers I played with were impressed. However, one of the downside issues was two-fold, one the keyboard is very big, and two, it wasn't possible to play it on your lap because of the plug in board coming unplugged, more on that below.
Then I started having problems. Keys sticking, keys not responding, and the plug-in side board wouldn't stay connected to the USB port. That got so bad, I haven't used it in over a year. Worse yet, the keyboard seems to be a magnet for hair and small bits of dirt build up, and since the keys switches aren't sealed you can get dirt down in them as well. I can't count the number of times I have had to pull off a key or a set of keys and physically clean or blow them out, because dirt or hair had gotten in a key switch.
All in all, I have been very disappointed with the lasting quality of the keyboard. Granted I am hard on keyboards, and I can't count the number of keyboards that I have wore out over the years, because I am a gamer, and play many different games. I just haven't been pleased with the performance and endurance of this keyboard. The last straw was when one of the ALT keys went totally dead on me, so now I only have one ALT key, and worst yet, many of the games I use require the ALT key (left) so I am down to the last day on this keyboard. My new Logitech G910 should arrive later today.
As a side note, I must say that I have owned many keyboards, from various makers, including Logitech, RAZER, and this Levethron. The best keyboard I ever owned by far was the original Logitech G15, it's endurance and reliability was incomparable. I used it till half the keys had the lettering wore off of them. It is like the original Logitech G700 gaming mouse, it just don't quit. I got another G15 after they had changed the number of G keys and it just wasn't the same so I gave it to the wife, and she is still using it. I then got a RAZER, don't recall the model now, but it wasn't on par with the original Logitech G15 either. For all the claims about RAZER and their products, it didn't impress me, nor did the mouse I bought with it, which I canned for the Logitech G700, I still have. So I went to the Levethron because it had some good ratings. However, I have found that its performance and endurance are less than stellar, so I am going back to a Logitech. I have found that for day in and day out use, especially for a dedicated gamer one cannot beat the performance and reliability of a Logitech keyboard even though up until recently they used membrane keys instead of Cherry switches or anything comparable, they were still the cream of the crop.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I got this keyboard mainly for the D-Pad feature... I used to never use Macro keys because of all the awkward locations that keyboard manufacturers put them. I mean, by the time I reach over and hit the right macro key, I could have executed the command string manually, kind of defeats the purpose. With the D-Pad though, I'm basically reassigning all my hard to reach command keys onto the D-Pad as well as certain command chains. For example, on SC2, I've reassigned the number keys 8, 9, 0 unto D4, D5, and D6 and I'm assigning special tactic troops onto those keys for more strategic plays. The location of these D keys makes it very easy for me to access and use... It's definitely improved my game but it's kind of spoiled me and I feel naked playing on any other keyboard now LOL.
Anyhow - the rest of the keyboard is also of good quality build and the Cherry black mechanical switch is perfect for gaming. The detachable numpad makes the keyboard excessively big -thank god it's detachable... I leave it off and never use it. Overall - I strongly recommend this keyboard for gaming!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2013
One of the beat keyboards I have ever used for gaming. Wow, GW2, SWtoR all work great. I removed the 10 key from the keyboard so it sets closer to the top of my mouse, and placed the D-Pad over the escape key to make everything easer to reach. The 10 key I plugged directly to a open USB port on the back of my computer via a USB extendor and have the D-Pad and a small mic attached to the two on board USB ports.
I have used this for some hard core gaming in the past year, and it has held up better then every other keyboard by far.
As for regular keyboard typing this keyboard rocks as well. My wife wants to get one for her computer, just for typing in MS Word. Only reason I have not gotten her one is because I don't want to lower my cool factor for my rigs. I will be buying a backup and hiding it because with the quality, they might not sell these by the time mine wears out.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2013
This is a fine keyboard. I'm not using the little six button thing on the tactical rail thing and I've also got the numpad detached and thrown in a drawer.
They height of the keyboard is something to get used to. I'm coming from a Logitech G11 and Microsoft Natural Multimedia background for reference.
The keys are solid and, yes, rather loud. If you were alive and typing in the 1980s on a massive metal keyboard, this has that feel.
There's nothing I can say that other's haven't. But even if you aren't a gamer, I'd recommend this to those who do typing for a living. My wife who used to do medical transcription, though using a MS Natural (we've got three in the house) said that she'd definitely want to use something like this. (Also, users of non-standard keyboards like the Natural can't pass a typing test due to lack of muscle memory for the conventional keyboards, so even more incentive to get a quality keyboard for the professional typing crowd.)
If I didn't already have one, I'd buy one again. I won't be picking one up for work as it is too loud for an office environment.
That last sentence might have actually been the most significant addition to the reviews here. Wonderful, but loud.