MSI Vigor GK70 TKL RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review
Published: 27th February 2018 | Source: MSI | Price: |
MSI haven't really been big players in the peripheral market until now. Sure they've dipped their toes in with various products but nothing that really looked at the market and played right into the zeitgeist.
It would have been easy for MSI to grab some mass-market model and put a MSI sticker on it to take advantage of brand loyalty or those who want all their hardware to blend perfectly. Instead they have gone all in with a model which is as good as any TKL design we've seen.
The aesthetics grab you first and foremost. We are used to seeing all black keyboards that only have their RGB lighting to provide any visual stimulus. The GK70 though has a gorgeous brushed aluminium finish with a large matte Dragon logo which, when coupled to the sneaky Dragon on the side panels, brings a keyboard which is a treat for the eyes even when it's off. It is built as well as it looks too with a very solid feel and no flex even under hard usage. This is assisted by large grip rubber on the underside and huge feet. Often feet are spindly little things which reduce the rigidity of the experience, but the GK70 remains resolutely in place and solid at all times.
By utilising the clear housing RGB CherryMX Red switches MSI have also brought us a product which is as much fun to use as it is to look at. Our love for the CherryMX Red switches is well known and nothing has diminished it in the interim. We love the quiet switches and we love the speedy ones too, but they both are much rarer and so more expensive. In terms of finding a switch which is endlessly delightful to type on then we would go for the Reds every time. Given how many of them Cherry must make in a year it's insane how consistent each and every one is. The use of the clear surround gives richly saturated hues as we hopefully demonstrated on the previous page. Coupling this to the lighter background really makes the GK70 'pop'.
Keycaps are, as anyone who has investigated alternate sets will know, pretty expensive. Usually with a keyboard if we're going to get an extra set we get a set of WASD keys in the manufacturers main colour and that's your lot. With the Vigor GK70 MSI have given us three different sets; a metal (actual metal) set, a regulation set, and 12 textured blank ones that cover everything from shift and control keys through the spacebar to movement ones. It's an excellent selection and really gives you some options, particularly useful if you've never played around with keycaps beyond the norm. On the subject of the keycaps we find the font a little smaller than we'd wish. Given how much information MSI have chosen to squeeze on - especially with the multifunction keys - then this is understandable, but a slightly heavier weight font would let the RGB lighting shine through even brighter. The multifunction keys allow you to control the full suite of features without needing to delve into the software too, which is always a nice touch. It's very nice to have the option of remembering lots of complicated key combinations or just using software to get the lighting job done.
If the Vigor GK70 Red is an indication of the quality, attention to detail and wide variety of options that will come with future MSI branded peripherals then we can't wait to see what they bring next. It's fantastic in every detail and worthy of our OC3D Enthusiast Award.