I have the chance to review the Feenix Autore Keyboard!
This will be my first Mechanical Keyboard, being a Membrane lover for a Long time so this will be quite fun to get into.
If you are looking for their products, they are only available at http://www.feenixcollection.com/
A few things I want to note is that Feenix makes 1000 of each product every month.
While limited, It brings the best support possible, and mass production low to prevent errors and flaws In my opinion.
Also, every Feenix product is partially hand assembled for unrivaled quality and reliability
Chad at Feenix Spoke with me so I could learn a few things about the company, He said "They are a Botique peripheral company based in LA. All of our designs, fullfillment and customer service is done in house."
As well as "We focus on each yearly rendition and we try to achieve perfection with each new model"
While listening to Chad I learned why they used Cherry MX Brown switches.
"We manufacture with Cherry MX Brown however we have our own unique keycap manufacturing technology that allows us to get Ultra-lite keycaps. Thus you get the tactile bump from the brown switch however it almost feels like the effortlessness of a red
Our designers here at Feenix prefered both brown and red so we settled in the middle"
Moving into the review,
The specifications are the following:
Cherry MX Brown Mechanical Switch
Dimensions: 440*137.5*29.8 mm
Weight: Around 1200 g
Contact Interface: USB or PS/2
Compatible OS: Windows, Mac, or Linux
Gold plated mechanical switches
Gold metal plate for chassis durability
Aluminum coating with silkscreened Feenix font
Resistant to water damage
Feenix braided cord with gold plating
I wanted to share some Design thoughts as well.
The Autore by Feenix design was inspired by the monolith in Kubrick's "2001: A Space odyssey"
I suggest you all go and google it if you do not know what it is, but I see some resemblence there.
Regardless, I love the overall look of the Autore.
Feenix uses a Polyurethane layer alongside their aluminum coating to provide the Autore with added durability and surface quality.
What that means is it helps resist spillag and corrosion, therefor the keyboard will last a long time from constant use.The aluminum coating will not fade away anytime soon because of the Polyurethane coating on top of the aluminum coating.
This is a great step to keeping the keyboard to last a long time.
Accenting the design nicely are the lock lights which are positioned vertically and lit with Feenix jewel white lighting.
I like this for a simple reason, You know how some Companies use Bright LED's in their keyboard and sometimes they are overkill and you can not adjust the brightness?
Well this positioning helps with that, because they positioned them the farthest away from your eyes and vertically instead of horizontally, it prevents the LED's being in your eyes.
Not to mention they use a fairly low brightness LED in my opinion so it's fine anyways.
Stepping into the Packaging, The Autore arrived in a Standard Cardboard box Blacked out with a Black Reflective Logo as well as Blacked out Name of the Keyboard which is Autore
In this picture, you can see how in low light it is barely visable of the word "Autore".
Of course the back of the packaging being simple showing assembled in Taiwan, and being made by Fenix ect.
Opening up the packaging, You can see the Keyboard (Came with foam cover did not include in pic, The USB to PS/2 Adapter, A Mini USB to USB cable that is Gold Plated, As well as a Feenix Support Sheet.
The Feenix Support Sheet on the other side is practically a User guide.
I won't show for Purposes to not leak info But what it Says is EXACTLY THE FOLLOWING...
Write Freely, Think Freely,
You can begin using your Feenix Autore right out of the box, no drivers or software is required.
Please refer to your personal support managers contact information on this card for any support you may require.
Lastly, be sure to register your keyboard to have its ownership permanently documented in the Feenix archives.
Your assigned support manager is:
Name and Position:
So you get a full way to contact them if you ever have a Problem with your product, which is pretty neat.
So This is possibly why they Limit their production to 1000 a month of each product, and ensure you have the best Support possible.
Focusing on the Keyboard now, I give you a shot of the keyboard by it self (excuse my poor lighting as thats the lowest light I could get it to), and you can see I removed a key to make the Cherry MX Brown Switch Visable as well as the Gold metal plate under it.
While also showing off the keyboard black silkscreen lettering and Aluminum finish(not aluminum keycaps it's a coating), plus the underside of the keycap.
Taking a Closeup of the Keyboard showing the Black Silkscreen lettering with their Feenix Font, that feigntly shows far away, but upclose in your general area, you will see it no problem.
Turning it over, we get a view of the back showing your serial numbers to register it, of course the keyboard name Autore, Also the STRONG rubber feet that keep the keyboard in place, which I must say again are STRONG, I liked how they locked the keyboard in place on my desk.
Plugging the Mini Usb cable into the keyboard, you can see it snuggly fits into place, but obviously it comes out and may be a downfall to people who may sometimes have something fall and end up breaking the connector.
Lastly is the Led's for your Lock Lights which below shown are subtle to the eyes, and position farthest away.
While getting all that out of the way, Lets talk business.
Since I have received the Autore, I have used it daily and around 18+ hours a day, and when I got this in, lets just say it was smoothe sailing.
The angle of the keyboard is good almost as if there was feet lifting up slightly, but I know that others prefer flat, this decision is up to you, as without feet, it is positioned in a angle that match most keyboards when the keyboard feets are used to adjust it.
With the favorites being a Thin housing, and driverless, the Autore was just probably one of my favorite keyboards in awhile.
Typically you get big bulky keyboards with extra macro keys, or some non removeable wrist wrest. Which is why this keyboard will lure people in, as it is just the basics which work, yet they add their own touches to make it one of their own.
Ive noticed the keyboard does not attract too much heat compared to a regular keyboard without any of Autore's coating, so your hands most likely will not sweat or sweat as much from extended use.(Of course ambient temp matters)
Coming from membrane keyboards, and how I type, I do gotta say I like the overall Cherry MX Browns,with their Ultra-lite keycaps.
Quoting "Thus you get the tactile bump from the brown switch however it almost feels like the effortlessness of a red"
The fact Feenix kept the keyboard as Minimalistic as possible, but adding durability for years to come, is the strong point of this keyboard, with the bonus of given your own Rep for support, and a limited 1000 production units a month, you will be guarenteed a working product as each unit as said before is tested.
A few of the the major drawbacks to me was at such a price, only a ONE year Warranty was given to this product, No warranty terms were available on the website, as I let them know this.
Would have liked to have seen 2 year warranty, because something such as the mini usb port can always break from accidents over time.
As well as no keycap puller, Why should you need one? Well it says it for it's self, to pull the keycaps off the keyboard for when you clean it, as it would be Very useful.
One more thing that shocks me is no USB Ports and Mic/Headphones port, Why? The Autore should have been Feenix products friendly, I say this because We know they have a Mouse, Mousepad, and now a Headset or Headphones coming up to add to the family.
Before I end things, I want to include this picture I took, the keyboard actually started to fade away on only the corners/angles of the keyboards housing.
This really is not a problem, it happens and I use this spot ALOT but none of the Keycaps are doing this, so its possible I must have some sort of weird hands to do this.
Hard to see as like I said its the angle and corner part of the keyboard, just looks like someone took a black sharpie very thinly across it.
Coming in at $163 this keyboard is not for the average person, but if you want to take a shot at it, I do not think you will be dissapointed, as I love it.
You get your own support manager, which is very nice and not randomly wait for someone to respond to a email, and get thrown around for a week.
Of course there are more budget friendly keyboards on the market like the Thermaltake Poseidon where the Autore from Feenix will have a hard time battling against.
I would rate it a flat 3.5/5
Do not get me wrong, This is a Fantastic keyboard, but with some things missing for the price, Many gamers or regular users do not want to shell that much money out,especially for features that are not included which alot of us have grown accustomed to as well as would be nice to get, it hurts the rating really bad.
If you love the look of this keyboard, and my review points you in it's direction, I HIGHLY suggest it, but if you can't pull through for the cost and some things missing, I would recommend looking else where.
Cool feel(temperature wise)
Simple yet Elegant
strong rubber feet
Good angle on keyboard (Personal opinion)
Gold Metal Plate (looks cool too)
No wristrest/non removable
no keycap puller
no feet for height adjustment
no function keys
no backlighting at cost.
no usb ports and mic/headphone(speakers) ports for mouse/headsets
mini usb not secured (as it's detachable)
1 year warranty