|AZiO KB577U Levetron MECH5 Gaming Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Akim Green|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2013|
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Closer Look: AZiO Levetron MECH5 Gaming Keyboard
The AZiO Levetron MECH5 comes with comes with the three attachable pieces: the keyboard itself (shown here), a numpad, and a D-pad. The keyboard utilizes the standard QWERTY layout in addition to 5 macro buttons, a window key on/off button, and a volume knob. The macros keys (on the left) have a dual function feature: they allow you to program keys A1-A5, and assign different functions to B1-B5. Pressing the A/B key will activate the backlight for only the macro keys indicating that the B macros are active. Pressing it again will revert to the A macros.
The numpad is also fully mechanical and can be attached to either side of the keyboard or used by itself.
The mechanism for attaching the macro D-pad is identical to a rifle rail system for attaching a scope; it slides onto the top of the keyboard via a grooved platform. It reinforces the notion that this keyboard is more of a weapon than an input device.
When in use, the D-pad will cover some of the function keys, making them unusable. However, when not gaming, it can simply be flipped up out of the way or taken off completely.
The Mech 5's height is adjustable to several levels, allowing users to find the optimal typing/gaming angle.
Azio has opted to use MX black switches on the MECH 5 keyboard. Like other mechanical keyboards, the keys can be replaced with differently colored/textured keys.
Unlike the Corsair K60 keyboard, the KB577U doesn't come with special keys for gaming; however, if you are inclined you may purchase the Levetron rubberized gaming keys available at newegg for $10. The image below shows the keyboard with the red keys from the corsair K60. NOTE: These keys weren't designed for the MECH5 and are therefore more easily installed than removed.
This keyboard will use up 2 usb ports: one to transmit keystroke data and the other to power the built-in USB ports. The gold-plated USB connectors and thin braided cables add to the premium look and feel of the keyboard.
Despite its appearance, the MECH5's wrist rest is not modular. This doesn't pose a problem as it is very comfortable and the ability to adjust to multiple heights remedies any issues. The finish of the keyboard prevents fingerprints and smudges, and is nice to the touch, not too smooth or coarse.
It is clear that the MECH is built to last. The body is as rigid as it looks and there is virtually no flex. To top it off, it's also water resistant, a feature I'm sure many gamers will appreciate. In the next section we take a look at the software accompanying this serious piece of hardware.