AZIO Unveils the Fokal Retro Keyboard
The AZIO Fokal Keyboard, wireless, mechanical and backlit, adds an interesting twist to the concept of retro keyboards for cutting-edge computers: a prominently located control knob that is usable to adjust keyboard lighting, multimedia and volumne functions as well as other customized commands.
The Fokal is a followup to the company’s original, typewriter-inspired AZIO Retro Classic Keyboard with what the company says are improvements in aesthetics and functionality.
Its design, according to the company, takes its inspiration in part from the iconic 1960s rangefinder camera, with its Fokal Control Knob.
Most other current conventional keyboards, points out the company, currently have a single wheel to control volume. Fokal’s Control Knob is multi-directional, giving users the freedom of use and customization. It is a seven-way control knob, enabling the top crown two ways of infinite spin control for volume, light brightness, or any other two-way commands. The middle section of the control knob contains a button for control mode change, and the third function of the control knob serves as a joystick with 360-degree control. Users have the freedom to fully reconfigure all the keys and the control knob within the accompanying software.
Fokal is available in in two units sold separately via an indiegogo campaign currently. The central unit is an 81-key-format keyboard, and the number pad is a 21-key mini keyboard. They can be used together or separately, but both units can connect to four different devices. The mode dial at the top left corner for the main keyboard and at the right top corner on the number keyboard can be used to select which devices to link to.
Benefits of the Fokal Keyboard include: customizable setup of up to seven assigned keyboard settings; high-grade construction of aluminum and top-grain leather accents; and wireless connectability through RF or Bluetooth 5.0. The control knob and keys can all be fully reconfigured within the software, and seven individual profiles can be saved all through the HID-IO cloud. The main keyboard and the number pad can also connect, either together or separately, to four different devices through one RF and three Bluetooth profiles. Its certified Li-ion polymer battery cranks out 5000 mAh, and there is a safety board to prevent hazardous situations, says the company. A single charge can last up to four months.