Feenix Autore Mechanical Keyboard Review
We previously reviewed the Nascita mouse and Dimora mousepad from Feenix, an indie gaming peripherals company that believes in quality over quantity. Feenix sent me the newest addition to its peripheral line, the Autore mechanical keyboard, to judge whether it’s a welcomed addition to the family or that creepy uncle that you avoid at parties.
The Autore makes a striking first impression by being so understated. Its design is angular and minimalistic, with no adornment other than a small Feenix logo emblazoned near the three pinpoint lock lights to the top right. The keyboard is as compact as it can be while retaining the standard key size and layout, and the sheen of its aluminum coating completes the sleek visual. I smirked when I read that Feenix claims the keyboard is modeled after the monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a just black rectangle. Sardonic comments aside, if I have one gripe with the Autore’s aesthetics, it would be that the fine letter font can be difficult to read against the grey background.
The Autore’s braided cable is a gold-plated mini USB to USB connection with optional PS/2 adapter. Some people express concerns about the durability of such connections versus traditional keyboard cables, but I prefer having the freedom to detach the cable entirely. In terms of durability, the keyboard has a double polyurethane layer to protect it against spills (though it doesn’t seem to protect it from grime), and the switches are not only gold plated, but they are also mounted on a gold-plated plate.
Typing on the Autore is effortless thanks to the lightweight keycaps. The mechanical Cherry MX Brown switches offer a nice tactile bump with every keystroke, without the audible click of, say, the Cherry MX Blue. After coming off a Cherry MX Black, which had no tactile response, I must say that I enjoy being able to feel when I’ve pushed far enough down to activate the key — in theory, this should reduce typing fatigue.
Despite its small form factor, the Autore has weight to it. That mass, combined with four of the strongest rubber feet I’ve ever come across, keeps the keyboard locked in place during intense gaming moments.
Now, as mentioned in our previous review, every Feenix peripheral comes with a “personally assigned” support manager. Included with the Autore was a sheet of paper with the address, phone number, and Skype contact information of my assigned support manager with a note encouraging me to contact him “for any support [I] may require.” The keyboard is plug-and-play, with no drivers to download and no features to speak of beyond, well, *typing*, so I can’t imagine why someone would need to contact support. However, I decided to try to contact my support manager nonetheless. One week ago, I added him on Skype. I have yet to hear back from him, but I didn’t try his email or phone number.
Priced at $163, the Autore is more expensive than comparable mechanical keyboards. It has no special lighting, no detachable wrist rest, no macro keys, no adjustable height, and no onboard USB support — features that may be found on mechanical gaming keyboards for the same price or cheaper.
That said, while the Autore doesn’t come with bells and whistles, it excels at the basics. The design is visually elegant, the keys offer a nice balance between being targeted for typing and gaming, it doesn’t take up much room on your desk, and its feet keep it more firmly rooted in place than larger keyboards. Price aside, there’s
Further, in order to meet high standards of quality, Feenix only produces 1,000 of each of its peripherals every month, which makes the Autore something of a collector’s item. If that’s important to you, it may justify the Autore’s higher cost.
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