new cascade customizable mechanical keyboard goes big

You can get the Azio Cascade 98 mechanical keyboard in standard or slim profiles (slim shown). Photo: Azio

The Los Angeles-based company Azio successfully crowd-funded its Cascade 75 mechanical keyboard on Kickstarter last year. Now it’s back with the Cascade 98, a 98% layout keyboard with a full-sized number pad that comes in slim or regular profiles. It has surpassed its funding goal.

Keychron and others have led the way with low-profile mechanical keyboards that don’t stand as tall as the classics. Azio said their new version is the first one with a full-sized number pad.

Azio Cascade 98 mechanical keyboard

Like many new mechanical keyboards, the Azio Cascade 98 is highly customizable whether you select the slim or standard profile.

You can make your choice of mechanical key switches, keycaps and even the aluminum top plate, Azio said.

Choose the Cascade or Cascade Slim in two keycap themes with different color schemes. Azio calls them “Galaxy” and “Forest.” The keycaps feature a laser-etched font for a backlit effect from RGB lighting.

And four PBT-themed keycap sets can be purchased separately. Azio said more designs will come out later.

Hot-swappable switch options include four Gateron G-Pro models (Blue, Brown, Yellow or Red) and three different Low-Profile Gateron switches (Blue, Brown or Red). The keyboard works with any MX switches, so you can swap in whatever you like.

Other Azio Cascade 98 features:

Full-sized number pad with a full-sized zero key helps improve typing accuracy and productivity. Hot-swappable mechanical switches and key caps let you customize. Built-in foam dampers with enhanced acoustics reduce vibration and rattle. Pre-lubed switches enable smooth key actuation. Backlight settings let you pick RGB colors and animation patterns. Adjustable feet can be set to three positions. System and connectivity toggles let users shift between Mac and PC mode, or Bluetooth and USB mode. Connect/pair up to five devices at a time, with three Bluetooth Profiles and USB + RF modes.

The Cascade 98 is now available on Kickstarter. Backers can take advantage of the early-bird special while it lasts — $99 for any base model.

Price: $99 (early bird)

Where to pledge: Kickstarter

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