Azeron is a company based out of Latvia that creates custom keypads with a twist. So, let’s find out everything you need to know about the Azeron gaming keypad!
Azeron kindly sent me a unit of their Azeron Classic for free to review, so this is the product I will be discussing.
What is the Azeron gaming keypad?
Well, there’s two different options to choose from, here: the Azeron Classic and the Azeron Compact. Both of these keypads serve the same purpose (replacing a traditional keyboard), but the Azeron Compact is meant more for console gaming and forfeits 2 buttons for a more compact design, while the Azeron Classic is designed with the intent for PC gaming.
The Azeron gaming keypad is a very unique form-factor keypad that is intended to work as a sort of blend between a traditional keyboard and an analog controller.
This works by having many various microswitches (Omron D2F-01) set up to be triggered via your fingers with omni-directional movements, as well as a traditional analog joystick that is mapped to WASD, by default.
The keypad was initially conceived all the way back in December 2017, when GeekHack forum user “Bucis” posted their first attempt at an input solution as an alternative to a traditional keyboard.
The first model started off as Bucis’ personal solution to play Guild Wars without a keyboard, but this was still not ideal.
Then, came the second prototype:
Finally, after several other iterations, we’ve come to the current product which has become known as the Azeron Gaming Keypad, and available for all who wish to purchase it for themselves.
In order to get the most out of your Azeron keypad, you’ll want to download the Azeron software, which will allow you to fully customize and rebind all of the switches that are part of the keypad.
The fact that this software has a built-in dark mode already makes it a 10/10 for me, but it also has a very straight-forward layout that makes it easy to rebind each individual switch, and highlights which button you are currently pressing.
How does it feel?
This is probably the most important aspect of the Azeron and will absolutely make or break your experience with it, but before we get into how it fits around your hand, let’s talk about how it feels as a product.
The build quality of the Azeron gaming keypad is really great, it’s made out of high-quality 3D-printed filament, and it’s completely hand-made, which makes it just that much better.
Azeron does mention that you may need to tighten a few screws here and there in order to prevent buttons from coming loose, but this is completely natural and not a defect, according to Azeron.
Now, let’s talk about how this keypad feels in your hand.
The Azeron gaming keypad feels amazing, it contours to my hand and feels incredibly comfortable to grip, which is exactly why it hurts to say that I can’t use it.
The Azeron feels great – it really does – but the learning curve required to understand exactly how to use it and the mental block created from using a keyboard for years, has made it impossible for me to adjust to using this keypad.
We’ve talked about what the product is, and we’ve talked about how it feels, but now it’s time to delve into how much the Azeron gaming keypad could set you back.
If you’d like to purchase a keypad, it’ll set you back a total of $178.51 (150€) for the base versions of both the Azeron Classic and the Azeron Compact.
While this certainly isn’t pocket change (except maybe for Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos), it’s definitely a lot cheaper than it could be, especially given the fact that it’s completely hand-made and produced out of 3D-printed materials.
Is it worth it?
Gaming keypads are a very niche product, and as much as I want to love the Azeron, it seems that I am just not a part of this niche market.
However, if you are looking for an alternative input solution, and are willing to take a chance on a well-designed product, then I would absolutely recommend giving the Azeron a go.