on August 27, 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.)
on December 12, 2014
I have actually owned this keyboard for a couple of years, and I did purchase it from Amazon back when it came out and there were only a few reviews. That being said, I will outline some of the experiences that I've had since owning it.
Cherry MX Black switches- I actually like these because I use this mainly on my desktop and it can really actually help with hitting the wrong key for a skill at times. There are times when I hit the wrong one, and since it does take a little more force than say a keyboard with Cherry MX Reds, it has helped prevented accidental typing. For me, it's also a great typing experience since I'm used to keyboards that provide this type of feedback. I actually really do like the fact that the USB is removable or switchable as I can use the number pad on the left side actually for skills, since I do have extremely tiny hands the whole keyboard length on any keyboard is a stretch. In the traditional WASD configuration. I can only reach to about the number 6 and the letters under this, as the right hand is normally on the mouse for movement in games. Having the keypad on the left side makes 1-9 and more easily accessible and does really help me personally. This is something that I wish more keyboards had.
The design- It's very well laid out and everything is exactly where you'd expect it to be for a full-sized keyboard. Typing on this is so much more comfortable than a membrane or laptop style keyboard. One downside is the lack of backlighting, but I can forgive this since the lighting was actually a newer feature that was just starting to pick up when this came out and did cost quite a bit on those that it was on. I did end up buying a secondary keyboard for work use, a Ducky Shine 3 with MX Reds, but I mainly use this to type at work as the softer feel and the layout on that keyboard is more ideal for me with continuous typing. I can type much faster overall with the Shine 3, but I make less mistakes overall with this keyboard and the MX Blacks since I have to think a little more (which isn't a bad thing).
I did end up actually spilling something very small (small amount of coffee) into one of the keys. The switch was a bit sticky even after careful cleanup. Over a couple of days, this actually went away and the keyboard is still functioning without any issues whatsoever. I can't even notice that there was a key that had issues. With my Shine 3, something inadvertently did spill on it from a food container due to being transported in a bag so one of the keys does react a little differently, but it has gotten better over time.
I personally don't use the macro pad as I don't have a setup currently that would fit it and allow me to use this (same with the numberpad due to a limited space). This keyboard is very big, this can be a downside due to the design and the large plastic outsides if you have a smaller desk or area to work in. Without the numberpad attached, it's about the same size as my full Ducky Shine 3 keyboard is, but it's very much lighter than that keyboard. This keyboard is actually surprisingly light, but extremely durable at the same time as I haven't broken anything on it within the last 2-3 years of owning it. The Ducky is also great, but significantly more expensive and much heavier ($130-160) since it does have a few options, has more metal built into it on the inside, but also has full backlighting.
One of my friends was so impressed by this that he went out and purchased the older Mech4, which has been working great for him for at least the last year now so that may be a good alternative if you're looking into that for a little cheaper price. He had the Corsair Vengeance K70, but it didn't have the drain holes actually drilled out where they were marked on the bottom so a spill destroyed that keyboard and he needed something new. The older Mech4 also has the numberpad ports on the left and right as well from what I remember.
Overall, for the 3 years and continuous MMO and game abuse that I've given to this keyboard, it's been fantastic. I do recommend it to anyone who is looking for a sturdy, light, mechanical keyboard that works well for the purpose and has an adjustable numberpad with MX Black switches that doesn't necessarily want or need backlighting.
on September 15, 2014
I just received this keyboard about a week ago. I will write this review now while I still have all of the initial impressions, and I'll add more in a few months when I've had more time with the keyboard.
-The attachable D-pad (the one that goes on the rail) doesn't use mechanical keys. It doesn't make much of a difference but I just found it odd that the other 100+ keys are mechanical but these are not
-The adjustable number-pad is actually a really awesome plus. I change positions in my chair a lot (often depending on my activities) and it's always nice to be able to easily move the numpad to the side most convenient for me.
-I just really love the overall quality, feel, and look of the keyboard.
-The kickstands for the keyboard have rubber on them! I know this may not be a huge deal for others, but it's a huge plus for me. The surface my keyboard lies on isn't the best, so every other keyboard I've had it was either a choice. Leave the keyboard down and have it stay in place, or stand it up but have it slide around like there's no tomorrow. Love that I can have this keyboard propped up and have it still stay in place. Plus it has 2 levels that you can adjust the height to, plus the default position (with the kickstands down)
-The software is extremely intuitive and simple to use. It has a really nice design and it's really easy to set up macros or change a key's function on the fly. Setting up new macros is also really easy and you can create unlimited macros.
-I feel like the keyboard has too many aesthetic differences. For example, the logo on the volume knob, the "LEVETRON" logo in the middle, and the two "mech5"'s on the sides don't quite match up besides the red/whit/black color scheme. The fonts and font sizes are different for the 3 groups of words and it does have a transformer-ish feel. You can look at all of this here and find out if it'll bother you before you buy it though. Again, this isn't a big deal, just want to give all of my first impressions.
-I have had the same issues as the others regarding the right-side connection for the number pad. When it works, it works fine. But when it starts messing up (and not detecting that the numberpad is connected) the only solutions that will definitely work are attaching it to the left side and restarting your computer. Sometimes just unplugging it and plugging it pack in works, both with just the numberpad as well as the usb ports that are connected to your PC. It's worth noti
ng that this definitely isn't a frequent issue though. It's only happened to me twice at this point.
I will update this review as time goes on.
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.
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.
on September 5, 2015
solid keyboard feels great to type on and game on(I write extensive scripts and game for long periods of time)
$124 is a little high since I got mine for sale over on newegg for around $70