AZiO L3VETRON GM2000 Gaming Mouse and AZiO L3VETRON Mech5 Mechanical Keyboard Review

BluePanda - 2012-12-12 21:04:31 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: February 19, 2013
Price: $29.99, $99.99

L3VETRON Introduction:

AZiO is a new name here at OCC; well at least from the review stand point. Some of you may have heard of AZiO before – but may not have realized the market of gaming peripherals offered. But don’t get me wrong, AZiO has a broad range of peripherals not only for gaming, but for home theaters and even the office environment. Today we're going to focus in on some of the gaming items AZiO has on the market right now as part of the L3VETRON series. Although, somewhat of a tacky name, adding a 3 like l33t – the follow up with the crosshairs for an O makes the name look quite right written out. Besides the point, we'll be looking at the AZiO L3VETRON Mech5 Gaming Keyboard and the AZiO L3VETRON GM-2000 Gaming Mouse; all a part of a little AZiO roundup (though I'll tell you a secret – there's more AZiO to come).

 

L3VETRON Closer Look:

First up in its box is the L3VETRON Mech5. The front of the box sports the features of mechanical keys, the modular design, the Windows on/off key, and quite a list of detailed "wants". The picture shows the keyboard with all the included accessories attached and glowing in its fierce red around the macro keys and volume knob. It doesn't look too bad – I just hope that's what's actually inside. The back of the box goes on with more detail on the features; it has Cherry MX Black switches under those keys and supports quite the arrange-able setup with a movable number pad and sliding macro D-Pad. This should be a lot of fun to play with.

The box itself is pretty neat and I like the play on number/lettering. L3VETRON with a three and crosshairs is shown around every side of the box – all the edges and front and back. It's an interesting name for a series and quite frankly I like the way AZiO went with it. Inside the box is a neat black box hiding all the goods. A ghosted L3VETRON logo faintly shows on the box with a bright "by AZiO" signature to follow. It looks well bundled and sports the cost – but the moment of truth shall tell us if the $110 price tag is worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening up the black box, the keyboard is tightly packed in form fitted cardboard with a plastic bag for extra safety (not sure it's safety but it keeps it clean and dry from whatever crazy weather the delivery guy leaves your box in). Unpacking the goods – there is quite a bit here: the keyboard itself, a detached number pad, a six button macro pad, and some starting guides/driver CD. There's plenty to play with here and lots to discuss ahead - read along!

 

 

The mouse box follows a similar theme. L3VETRON is shown on all sides of the box as well as some nice pictures of the mouse to go along. The mouse is featured with an ergonomic design with six buttons and three on-the-fly DPI settings. The back of the box goes on to share these features in eight different languages with a table summarizing the features (on the specs and features page) all in English. With a peak in window the box is ready for the shelf.

 

 

L3VETRON Mech5 Gaming Keyboard Closer Look:

Starting off with what I'll call the accessory features, we've got the six button macro pad. Hanging from it is the USB connector that neatly plugs into the back edge of the keyboard (look for the picture ahead). Being USB also means you can stick it anywhere you desire – as long as it can reach your USB hub or keyboard connection. It pivots on one axis to allow it to fold over the function keys at the top of the keyboard when attached. The back side shows the fold-out rubber edged foot that holds it up from pressing the function keys in even the most epic macro battle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The detached number pad is next. It looks a bit like a standalone pad that you might buy for your laptop or in place of you lacking a number pad. It has a little button below the zero and decimal key that looks a little like a mobile phone – you'd almost think it was a mute button, but it is of course a calculator button. Pressed in Windows you'll receive your Windows calculator to get number crunching immediately at your fingertips. It can be connected to the keyboard, shown ahead, or can be plugged in as a standalone option as well. It's completely up to you – this keyboard is starting to remind me a bit of LEGOs – just with only a few pieces; like a starter kit. The back has a dual foot that allows for two heights above the standard keyboard height. Both match up with the keyboard adjustments so it can have added support when attached. Nifty!

 

 

Here's where the fun begins. You've got the keyboard; then you have the keyboard with the right flap up; then the keyboard with the left flap up; and then finally the keyboard is ready for flight. The two rotating arms pivot to reveal a hidden USB connection that allows you to physically add the number pad to the keyboard.

 

 

 

When united the keyboard looks as if the number pad was a part of it all along – well almost. As you imagined it can be mounted on the right side, the left side (which looks like the keyboard is upside down at first glance), and of course completely free to go where ever you decide. This last picture here shows off the dual USB plugs on the top of the keyboard supporting both the number pad and six button macro pad. So perhaps even on a small desk this may be feasible.

 

 

I think with the number pad attached to the right, the normal position, it looks alright for a keyboard. Close up you can see that's still its own piece, but it works out okay.

 

 

Looking at the six button addition in place it actually really looks the part – it fits the keyboard design well. Besides the extra cable mess to clutter your desk it is a bit interesting. I'm not sure how much I'll use it but the concept is kinda cool.

 

 

Now showing off some of the details you can see those two USB ports I've yammered on about again and again. You can also see where the craftsmanship of this keyboard might not be the finest. The braiding ends short and the non-glued rubber hat did not quite hide it well. The front edge of the keyboard shows a bit of the cheapness associated with it. Despite the $110 price tag the plastic appeal isn't much more than just that – plastic. The pretend bolts are embarrassingly fake and would probably be better off not there at all. They aren't quite as crappy looking as stickers but they don't appeal to me at all. It steps down the keyboard a couple notches and gives it a toy-like feel. I'm starting to wonder if it's a pretend keyboard or demo model for a furniture store – okay I exaggerate a bit, but this isn't impressing me.

 

 

Moving up top into the details you can see the AZiO logo volume knob. It rotates in both directions infinitely allowing you to easily control your volume level without being limited by the upper and lower bounds of the knob. You'll find that it increases/decreases the volume in small increments making it easy to find the perfect level. I like it! To the left are the indicators for both the CAPS lock and Scroll Lock.

Looking at the middle of the keyboard just below the spacebar you'll find the L3VETRON logo in a silvery gray and MECH sported in red. Two plastic bolt chunks sandwich it up with low class however, to match up with the Mech5 logo on the number pad (also sandwiched between the stupid faux bolts).

 

 

Up top next to the ESC key there is a toggle for the Windows key. A red indicator light will show whether or not it is enabled or disabled. Another simple hard click button presses to enable the A or B macro options. You are able to have up to ten set at a time with the two profiles and five macro settings. The Escape key comes off easy enough to reveal the black switch underneath. Though the switch type is there, the actual keys themselves feel rather cheap and still just not what I was expecting at this price range – nonetheless, it'll be up to how it actually types to judge the feel.

 

 

The number pad sports the same Cherry MX Black switches providing a uniform feel across the board. The six button macro pad, on the other hand, has rubber dome switches hidden beneath providing a very different feel up top. They are rather tight rubber dome keys and take a bit of effort to press compared to your standard keyboard keys. You definitely won't be pressing these by accident.

 

 

The back of the keyboard is actually where all the magic happens to hold the keyboard together when adding the number pad to the mix. There are actually two toggle style clamps that hold both the number pad to the keyboard and the arm to the number pad. To unlatch them, you simply press the toggles to release it. They surprisingly hold on rather tight, though if determined you can remove it without toggling the clamps – they do their job well.

 

The USB connector for the keyboard naturally has two USB plugs to plug in. One powers the actual keyboard itself, while the other provides power to the low-powered USB hub on the rear of the keyboard. It's just enough power to run the keyboard, number pad, and six button macro pad. The dongle is nice enough that if you don't want to use the added features it simply hangs out of the way unlike some others we've seen here before. An odd male/male connector cable is supplied to plug the number pad in wherever you desire. Just make sure that is all you use it for; though it really can serve no other purpose.

 

 

Plugged in and ready to go, the keyboard lights up with red behind the A/B Macro buttons. A hint of red runs the circle of the volume knob to let you know you've got power. It's overall not too shabby looking – but the overall quality is lacking a little. Let's hope the actual use makes up for this.

 

L3VETRON GM-2000 Gaming Mouse Closer Look:

Pulling the mouse out of the box, I'm a little skeptical about how it will peform. It feels nice and light weight – almost feels cheap, but hard to say without plugging it in. It does have a rubber coated body with hints of a natural glossy body to give it a nice look. The claim to ergonomic feel seems about true with a nice grove for the thumb and a fitting pinky/ring finger cut out on the right. This mouse seems quite nice for small hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top down gives you a little more perspective on the mouse. You can see the forward/back buttons on the left of the mouse, the red DPI changer centered in the middle, and a narrow scroll wheel to seal the deal. The small AZiO logo beneath the palm glows red when powered up. The bottom of the mouse shows you the opening to the red optical lighting for tracking. Four small feet are spread to give a smooth glide.

 

 

A few more profile shots of the mouse gives you a better feel for what the mouse really looks like. The decreasing arrows glow red (I'll show you later) and adds a nice touch to the seemingly quiet mouse.

 

 

The mouse appears to have a large butt – but in reality it is nice and palm fitting. You can see from this angle the mouse isn't perfectly symmetrical and consideration was given for the different size of human fingers (sorry monkeys, you'll find a mouse some day). The front of the mouse has the GM-2000 model number inked near the left click. I'm sure this will rub away with time; but only time will tell. The cable running from the front isn't braided but rather a star pattern of rubber. It doesn't seem to bind much, but does have an odd feel to it.

 

 

A few more fun shots of the mouse give you yet again a better feel for it. It is a pretty nice looking mouse for the price (~$40) and sports the ever popular red and black theme. At this point I'm just excited to start using the small sized mouse – it ought be perfect for my hand size.

 

 

The mouse is a standard USB mouse and thus has a standard USB plug. It's pretty simple – plug'n'play. With no big drivers from AZiO or silly software to set up, the mouse is ready to go right from the moment it exits the box.

 

Overall, I find it to be an interesting looking mouse. I'm looking forward to testing it out and giving you some feedback on the real feel. Dispite my first impressions of the appearance; it doesn't seem to be all that "cheap" in quality. Read on to find out how it tested.

 

Plugged in, it glows a nice red along the arrows mentioned earlier. The DPI light increases with brightness to indicate the three DPI levels. Looks pretty snazzy.

 

 

Together the two make a perfect matching set and look quite right together in this picture, don't you think?

AZiO L3VETRON Mech5 Gaming Keyboard

Specifications:

Interface:
USB
Cord Length:
6ft, braided with gold connectors
Keyboard Macro Keys:
5 x 2 Profiles = 10 total
Modular Macro Keys:
6 Keys
Switch Type:
Cherry Black MX Mechanical (50 million keystrokes)
OS Support:
Windows 200/XP/Vista/7 (All versions)
Keyboard Dimensions:
7.75" x 18.50" x 1.60" (L x W x H)
Modular Numeric Keypad Dimensions:
6.57" x 5.50" x 1.60" (L x W x H)
Material:
Plastic
Warranty:
Limited 3-Year

 

Features:

 

Information provided by: http://www.aziocorp.com/product/peripheral/mouse/gm2000.htm

 

AZiO L3VETRON GM-2000 USB Gaming Mouse

Specifications:

DPI:
800 / 1600 / 2000
Hand Orientation:
Right
Tracking Method:
Optical
Scrolling Capability:
1 x Wheel
Interface:
USB
Cable Length:
5 ft
OS Support:
Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/Mac OS X 10.2 or later

 

Features:

 

 

Information provided by: http://www.aziocorp.com/product/keyboards/wiredkbmain/kb577u.htm

Testing:

AZiO's L3VETRON MECH5 and GM-200 were defiantly put through over a week of use and testing. During this time it was used it in everyday use, surfing the internet, photoshopping and of course some gaming. Both a keyboard and mouse is personal to each and every individual so how it responds in these various tasks is important in different ways to everyone. This rather subjective review is best to provide you the feedback from use rather than assigning made up numbers trying to compare one mouse to another. It's pretty easy to distinguish the likes and dislikes of a mouse through words rather than leaving it to you to decide what a 7 or 8 really means. No guessing game – here's what I liked, and here's what I hated.

Testing Setup:

 

AZiO L3VETRON Mech5 Gaming Keyboard

Everyday Use:

I'll be honest upfront with this keyboard – I didn't really like typing on it; not for casual use, not for work, and not really for gaming either. With that upfront let's talk a little about why I found it dislikable; however, I have to strongly emphasize that it's a personal disliking – you may still love this so keep reading.

Everyday use is generally filled with a lot of email responses and surfing the net, so it doesn't require too much effort really but somehow this keyboard made simple tasks seem effortful for me. It wasn't the weight of the MX Blacks (as I've just been using Greens recently) but rather the linearity of the switch that seemed to catch me up. I found myself mistyping things, missing keystrokes, and the keys just felt awkward to me. Somehow I kept placing my hands too far right of home row to start – it's a standard layout (if you don't count the Macro column to the left) so I'm not sure what was wrong with me. Even after using it more than a week – I found the same issues. It's odd; not really sure what it is, but I'm a bit frustrated at this point.

But again, I must emphasize that my idiot self is by no means a representation of yourself. If you've used Blacks before and liked them, this may be for you. Personally I enjoy the clickier keys over the linearity of Red and Blacks. I'm a MX Green and Blue fan these days. However, the comment on the quality of the key caps themselves from earlier in the review still stands – and in turn the cheapness feel really adds to the typing feel issue for me and likely yourself.

Working:

Honestly working and everyday use becomes about the same for me from time to time. This is one of those times. Planning a wedding and having started a new job after graduating, my computer has seen a lot more work than just the casual writing of reviews and hours of Skyrim it was once use to. So everything I stated above in the everyday use applies here yet again. However, I will add that having the removable number pad was a HUGE benefit. The size of the keyboard with the number pad attached left me deciding between my "adult" beverage and having a number pad. If you've read any of my previous reviews, you know I don't do well without a number pad. However, AZiO planned for me; the ability to plug the number pad in as an external allowed me to place it on my desk such that I got the both of best worlds: an "adult" beverage AND a number pad. Thank you AZiO for letting me get my work done the way I like to.

Gaming:

Though I haven't seen as much gaming as I'd like to recently, I did get to squeeze in a few hours with some of my friends this past week. A few rounds of Borderlands 2 and some classic LAN games gave me some relief from work as well as a chance to give this keyboard a whooping. Most of you know that I'm a keyboard smasher when games get the best of me – and if a glass desk did not prevent me, I'm sure I'd have many broken keyboards and mice piled up. I do have a few with squeaky keys and broken keys, but the L3VETRON Mech5 really surprised me. Other than the spacebar being easily removable – I wasn't "able" to break any keys off of it. The spacebar went back on every time without actually breaking – so not too upset there.

As for the actual game play, not the destruction of things, it was okay. Again, I just didn't like the feel of the keyboard overall and found even walking around in-game to be a slight pain. My hands naturally didn't want to sit in the "right" place the MECH 5 decided. I was always shifted right – oddly. The sliding six Macro keys at the top proved to be fun. If nothing more I was simply entertained by moving them back and forth (left and right) and making it click. It was easy to adjust them to where my hand wanted to be and though they weren't mechanical switches they were "normal" feeling to use. There's lots of opportunity here – just could use a little more quality, less flashy-ness, and some getting used to.

 

AZiO L3VETRON GM-2000 USB Gaming Mouse

Everyday Use:

This mouse I was a bit skeptical about at first – at ~$40 it seems a little high priced for what essentially felt like a cheepo Dell mouse. However, its light weight as a feature was surprisingly enjoyable. I swing from loving really light mice to really heavy mice and this as a light weight reminded me of the ultra-light weight shoe fad going around too. I thought it was honestly too light at first – though after some use I really started liking it. Surfing the net did arise a few issues. With three monitors I'm a bit picky about sensitivity if you can imagine. With three settings for DPI and no software, it took a little playing with Windows settings and the different DPI options to finally find that right movement. Once that was taken care of – the mouse was a new beast; a likeable one at that.

However, it was soon brought to another defeat with a cooperation issue. The back button on the side of the mouse seems to choose when it wants to work. Pressing it doesn't seem to register every time – though it does not seem to be any fault of the mechanical switch itself. It audibly clicks each time – but whether or not the computer receives the command is a guessing game. You could ultimately use it as a decision maker – "I'll quit surfing HumorTrain if the button works." For me, this resulted in a lot longer to goof off than intended. Besides this obvious problem, the mouse was pleasant to casually use.

Working:

Working wasn't bad at all – the only issue again being that back click. If the mouse seemed broken, I'd expect an RMA type situation, but it seems this is just the way it is. It needs pressed just the right way for 100% guarantee of a "press". Unfortunately my little hand never found the perfection and I resulted to just clicking more than the one intended "back". For working purposes I don't tend to have any macros set to that button so playing around in Photoshop or working through Excel files – the mouse provided me no troubles.

Gaming:

Gaming wise, my style is to run in shooting and melee the hell out of everything left. I'm not sure that it is really a "style" per say, but it is what I do. Precision for this isn't really a high priority for the last part obut killing more before getting in is often preferable. It was pretty easy to "point" where I wanted and I felt like I was actually controlling the mouse rather than having to play a feedback loop to correct for the mouse's habits. Clicking again and again, even though you can only melee so quick is what seems to happen in battle. This seemed to override the lack of response from the back button experienced prior. Though, I'd be a fool to rely on needing it to click for a sniper shot or some other time dependent function. As a game played by me –this mouse makes it out okay.

Conclusion:

AZiO L3VETRON Mech5 Gaming Keyboard

In the end the L3VETRON Mech5 and I truly had our quarrels. We never really did get to be friends; however, like co-workers forced to work together we got through this review both in one piece. I personally, again emphasizing the personal aspect, didn't fall in love with this keyboard. The cheap feel of the keycaps as well as the overall plastic build and fake bolts just brought this keyboard down a level for me. Priced at the upper side of the market at about $110, I expected quite a bit more from not only the appearance but the quality as well.

Mechanical switches are becoming the typical switch in most gaming or enthusiast builds – at this point just having the mechanical switch isn't enough to warrant such high dollar signs. That is where I feel the L3VETRON Mech5 was a major let down. It reminded me of the toy that looked super in the box until you saved up your money to buy it and find out what crap it actually was. The features of a movable number pad as well as the little Macro keypad do deserve some merit in the overall review. Although I'm not big on using macros the ability to choose to have them is nice while not massively increasing the standard layout of the keyboard. The removable ability and varied placement of the number pad was by far my favorite part of all of the AZiO products today. Just the ability to customize my layout in a LEGO sort of manner was like being a kid all over again – loved it.

 

 

AZiO L3VETRON GM-2000 USB Gaming Mouse

The GM-2000 mouse was quite impressive despite all my skepticism. The lightweight factor of the mouse was awesome. The four little feet that seemed like nothing on the mouse actually allowed it to glide beautifully across my mouse pad. It was quite the wonder of a mouse past what I had originally imagined.

The back button clicking failably is the one thing that really brought the mouse down. Not knowing when the mouse would click or when the mouse wouldn't just wasn't a game I wanted to play. The overall look of the mouse in popular red and black really matched up with the Mech5. The L3VETRON series as a set makes quite a match made to be.

 

 

L3VETRON Mech5 Pros:

 

 

L3VETRON Mech5 Cons:

 

OCC Bronze

 

L3VETRON GM-2000 Pros:

 

 

L3VETRON GM-2000 Cons: