Not only are mechanical keyboards comfortable to type on, but these handy devices are durable, too. They’ve been around for ages, and nowhere is that clearer than with vintage and retro mechanical keyboards. Look no further if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re using a typewriter and enjoy those classic click sounds.
The best retro mechanical keyboards have a strong nostalgic element and eye-catching design. Because these keyboards mimic older models, they can lack modern features, like LED backlighting or wireless connectivity. However, retro keyboards remain durable, reliable, and ergonomic.
Now that we know what to look for in a retro mechanical keyboard, we can discuss some of the best available models. Suppose you’re looking for an all-round excellent keyboard. In that case, we recommend Azio Retro Classic, while the Drop ENTR is a solid budget option, but read on to see our full review.
The Best Retro Mechanical Keyboards
While mechanical keyboards might’ve fallen out of favor in the past, they’ve returned with force now. Unlike membrane keyboards, these devices are hardy and accurate – ideal for gamers and typists alike. Let’s look at the best retro options.
1. Qwerkywriter S Typewriter
Sometimes, you don’t want the retro of the 1980s; sometimes, you’d prefer a typewriter. In that case, Qwerkywriter has got you covered. Their award-winning S model keyboard gives excellent, metallic tactile feedback in a typewriter’s shape.
Don’t be fooled by the vintage design, though. The S model is a modern device with a fully programmable keymap, including its unique typewriter features like scroll knobs and carriage return. It’s a joy.
Last, the Qwerkywriter S Typewriter has Bluetooth and USB connectivity, despite its all-metal body. And while the shape might feel strange, you can game with it too; the S model has an N-key rollover.
2. Azio Retro Classic
If you want a piece of art in addition to a functional and sturdy keyboard, then look no further than the Azio Retro Classic. This beautiful mechanical keyboard boasts rounded metal keycaps, bright LED backlights, and a comfortable wrist rest.
Not only that, but the Azio Retro Classic comes in several gorgeous styles. Our favorites are the 1920s-Esque steampunk Elwood finish and the 1950s-era black and aluminum Onyx finish.
All the Azio Retro Classic finishes are Windows-compatible and come packaged with a Mac conversion kit. They also have a choice between USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
3. Drop ENTR Mechanical Keyboard
The Drop ENTR Mechanical Keyboard is the ideal retro option for the avid gamer. With N-key rollover, and a choice between Gateron Yellow and Halo True switches, this keyboard makes gaming a pleasure.
Drop’s retro keyboard is also compact and portable thanks to its tenkeyless layout. However, its aluminum case and double-shot PBT keycaps do not compromise on durability.
This keyboard has USB connectivity and an elegant, classic design. The Drop company has successfully streamlined the stereotypical keyboard of the 80s and 90s into silver, green, and black case options.
4. Rymek Typewriter Retro Mechanical Keyboard
KnewKey’s Rymek Typewriter combines modern technology and vintage style. Boasting saddle-shaped keycaps for ease of typing and a compact 75% layout, the Rymek isn’t only a beautiful device. It’s practical, too.
It preserves some typewriter functionality, too, with its versatile scroll knob. Likewise, the Rymek also offers a handle and stent for your phone or tablet. Both have an eye-catching metallic finish that matches the Rymek’s ergonomic keys.
Finally, the Rymek also comes with a dynamic backlight and Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll have a choice between black, white, and gold cases.
To conclude, retro mechanical keyboards have a great future and an impressive selection. Whether you want the retro of the 90s or the nineteenth century, there will be a device for you.