There is a lot to be said about the benefits of a good gaming mouse for your PC. But one aspect that seems to be overlooked in these discussions, is the pairing of the right keyboard with that gaming mouse. It doesn't matter how awesome your gaming mouse may be if your $15 keyboard can't keep up. That's why today we will be taking a closer look at a keyboard from AZiO called the Levetron Mech 5. While you struggle to say that name ten times fast, let's see if it's a good fit for that performance gaming mouse you're considering or already own.
Specifications and Features
The AZiO Levetron Mech 5 clearly places its focus into being built for your gaming needs first. The mechanical keyboard uses Cherry MX Black switches for every single key to provide smooth linear keystroke, fast return, and to minimize accidental key presses. The Mech 5 also has N-key rollover for anti-ghosting, dedicated volume knob, 11 dedicated macro-keys, Win key On/Off switch, and a braided cable with two gold-plated connectors. The primary connector is for the keyboard I/O and the second one is for additional power for its more unique features.
The Mech 5 is a modular design with a detachable macro D-Pad and number pad. The D-pad slides on a rail to allow you to put the six dedicated macro keys exactly where you want them. The D-Pad can also be flipped out-of-the-way if you really need those function keys. The number pad can be removed or attach to either side of the keyboard depending on if you need a number pad or additional macros for your left hand.
Another unique feature is the water-resistant design. If you accidentally spill liquid on the Mech 5, you simply do nothing as the keyboard will drain the liquid away on its on. In fact, flipping or shaking the keyboard is discouraged by AZiO. However, tilting it slightly towards you so that liquid can access one of the drain holes works best. Perfect for those less coordinated gamers in the audience, or ones that have animals or small children around.
The keyboard itself is only part of the total package here as the AZiO Levetron Mech 5 comes with robust software as well. The software allows you to customize every single key on the keyboard and stores the profiles on your computer giving you unlimited keyboard profiles.
Pricing for the AZiO Levetron Mech 5 puts it into a very competitive price point of around $89.99 US and you do get quite a bit of keyboard. It also carries a 3 year warranty which also sets it apart from the rest.
Lets move on to what comes with the AZiO Mech 5 and how it is packed for shipping.
What's in the Box?
The AZiO Mech 5 comes with the standard fare in the box plus the unique items just for this keyboard. You will find the driver installation CD and user's manual that you would with any product. Also included with the keyboard itself are the D-pad, detachable number pad, USB 2.0 extension cord, and a set of replacement keys. The replacement keys are for the WASD and arrow keys which come with a tool to remove keys from the keyboard.
The entire package is held within a molded cardboard frame within the box. There are currently no alternate versions of this keyboard with different Cherry MX switch choices like other brands. This helps to minimize cost with the Mech 5, and is reflected in the fairly competitive price of around $89.99 US.
Now let's pair the AZiO Levetron Mech 5 with a PC and see what it can do when put to a real test.
Test System Setup
I decide the best way to go about this review was to live with the keyboard as my personal keyboard for daily use over the course of a few months to really get a feel for it. Although the gaming rig itself has no real bearing on performance of the keyboard itself, the parts load out is as follows for reference...
- CPU: AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-core
- CPU Cooler: Gelid GX-7 with Dual Fans
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 AM3+
- RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw X 8 GB 2133 MHz (9-11-10-27)
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 770 2GB
- PSU: Antec HCP 850 Watt 80+ Gold
- SSD: OCZ Agility 4 (512 GB)
- HDD: Western Digital 2 TB Black (WD2002FAEX)
- Case: NZXT H630
- Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
- Battlefield 3
- Metro 2033: Last Light
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Deluxe Edition
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyim
- Photoshop CS3
- Opera 12.15
Now that you have an idea of how we were using the AZiO Levetron Mech 5 lets move on to see if its performance is just what the doctor ordered. Or if we need another prescription.