The ongoing Computex 2019 computer trade fair in Taipei is a mix of everything related to computer hardware. Today, two major mechanical keyboard manufacturers have unveiled their latest products: AZIO Iris, SteelSeries Apex Pro, and SteelSeries Apex Pro TKL (tenkeyless).
The AZIO Iris is a gorgeous mechanical keyboard with a vintage ting to it. AZIO showed the prototype for the Iris keyboard on the show floor. On the contrary, the Apex and Apex Pro keyboards by SteelSeries follow the conventional design of RGB keyboards but with OmniPoint mechanical switches support that enables automatic variable-actuation sensitivity, which means you can set your preferred actuation point as per your liking. That’s great, isn’t it?
AZIO’s Iris Keyboard With Stunning Vintage Design
The AZIO Iris keyboard owes its design inspiration to the vintage Leica and Fujica/Fujifilm cameras. The Iris keyboard has analog dials and switches, making it look classic and absolutely stunning. One of the quirky design features is that there are two separate units: keyboard and numpad. We are not sure if all would appreciate this design, but it sure looks different. The polished steel on the keyboard frame is clubbed with leather-finish at the bottom.
Under the hood, the AZIO Iris keyboard has CherryMX switches and RGB lights beneath the deck. For connectivity, it does not support a wired USB connection. Instead, it lets users use either a wireless USB dongle or Bluetooth connectivity. The finished version of the Iris keyboard is expected to come with support for up to three Bluetooth devices with multi-switching. It is rechargeable via USB type-C cable.
The knob on the top left side of the keyboard looks like a wheel from vintage cameras with a Leica-like dot on top that indicates the option selected. The knob is used for selecting three modes – off, Bluetooth, and RF. On the right side, we get an analog wheel that is used for different functions. The outer wheel adjusts volume, the inner wheel adjusts light while the D-pad on the inside tweaks playback controls.
SteelSeries Apex Pro and Apex Pro TKL With Omnipoint Switches
SteelSeries has unveiled two new RGB mechanical keyboards—Apex Pro and Apex Pro KTL—with new its custom optomechanical switches that automatically adjust the pressure that is needed to register a press depending on the work being done by the user such as writing or playing games. The Apex Pro and Apex Pro TKL keyboards also feature a small OLED screen on the top screen for controlling actuation profiles, enabling users to make customizations. The screen also displays notifications from messaging apps.
Both the keyboards have OmniPoint switches. These switches use magnetic fields (aka Hall effect) to measure the distance that a key pressed during usage. After determining the range for every key, each key is attuned to the exact point at which the user would like it to be registered. Responsiveness for the keys can be adjusted anywhere between 0.4mm to 3.6mm.
Concerning pricing, the Apex Pro has been priced at $200 (approx. INR 13,872), and the Apex Pro TKL costs $180 (approx. INR 12,484). The Apex Pro goes on sale on June 11 while the Apex Pro will start shipping this fall. The difference between a non-tenkeyless and tenkeyless keyboard is that the former lacks the numpad.