AZIO is back on Indiegogo with its new FOKAL mechanical keyboard
AZIO is probably one of the best-known OEMs among retro keyboard enthusiasts. It now has a new product as a reward on its latest Indiegogo (IGG) campaign. This mechanical accessory does not have typewriter-like key-caps this time around, although the company asserts it still has a "vintage" appeal. This may be due to the FOKAL's construction, which incorporates iron plates within an aluminium chassis finished with leather.
This new keyboard also has Gateron mechanical switches, yet retains customizable RGB lighting. It also features the new control knob for which this keyboard is named. AZIO claims that this new addition, apparently designed out of inspiration by 1960s rangefinder cameras, can be used to control various panels of settings, including volume, RGB and various aspects of media.
This is done via the freely-spinning top moiety of this 3-part knob. The second has a button to switch between different control modes, whereas the 3rd and lowest is a 360-degree joystick (although an entire section of potential users may wish it were not affixed to the right upper corner of the keyboard).
Furthermore, the AZIO FOKAL has 1 RF and 3 Bluetooth connection profiles, so that it can be used with up to 4 devices simultaneously. This all sounds impressive; however, it is important to note that mechanical keyboards with control knobs or clickwheels are far from a novel concept at this stage.
In addition, some consumers may be wondering where the FOKAL's numberpad is: well, it's a separate device that also needs an additional purchase. It is priced at a minimum of US$59 via its IGG page. The rest of the keyboard goes for the early-bird price of $161 to the IGG Special price of $184 (correct at time of writing).
For this, the backer gets a choice of Gold or Space Grey colorways, Mac and Windows layouts, a 5000mAh inbuilt battery and fully-customizable keys. AZIO, which has well exceeded its $10000 goal at this stage for the FOKAL, currently estimates that it will start shipping these products in April 2020.