Typical gaming keyboards tend to be massive and have tall, long-travel keys. However, a low profile is much more convenient in everyday life, which is not so common in gaming models. Today is a pleasant exception – MSI Vigor GK50 with tactile switches Kailh Blue.
Appearance and convenience
MSI gaming keyboards stand out from the competition. And the Vigor GK50 was no exception: brushed aluminum curved on both sides, a contrasting black insert, an unusual indicator panel, and a chopped engraving font.
The chip of the indicator panel is in the color of LEDs, which correspond to the main backlight mode. The classic Scroll Lock light bulb has been abolished in favor of a game mode. It is activated by a combination of Windows + FN and blocks only this key without the ability to disable “dangerous” combinations, such as Alt + Tab or Alt + F4.
The low profile does not need an additional palm rest – the height is already low, the bend of the palms is comfortable.
One-stage fold-out legs regulate the angle of inclination. There are enough rubberized pads on them and the body as a whole so that the 700-gram keyboard does not fidget on the table.
Switches and performance
The 104-key layout is familiar with other MSI gaming keyboards. The caps have an unusual octagonal concave shape and have a matte finish with no added texture.
For Ctrl and Alt, there are removable convex keycaps. It is more convenient to press them when the left one is on WASD. Replacement is simple with a complete tool,
Many of the keys have secondary functions, including multimedia functions, called FN. It is not possible to notice this key right away since instead of the usual designation, it is engraved with its mascot.
The keyboard is based on Kailh Blue low-profile mechanical switches with tactile feedback. Compared to conventional ones, the full stroke is reduced from 4 to 3 millimeters, and the actuation occurs immediately after clicking in the middle of the path. In my opinion, these are some of the quietest clicking switches of all that I have met over the years of working on reviews. However, this slightly muffled sound annoys others. The characteristics are fully adapted for gaming due to transparent control and printing due to clear feedback. The guaranteed resource is at least 50 million operations.
The long-key stabilizers are inherited from Cherry MX: the metal rod is hidden behind the front panel and connected to the fake switches along the edges.
Individual illumination of each key
Another feature inherited from Cherry MX is the placement of a single backlight LED at the top of the switch. The engraving is complete and of the same quality for all symbols. Therefore the Cyrillic and secondary pictograms still glow, albeit not as brightly as the Latin. The contrast is especially noticeable on the FN key engraved with the MSI dragon.
The keycaps reflect some of the light onto the keyboard case, filling the space between the keys with a soft glow. This is an atypical mechanic feature that makes the look even more appealing.
Mode, brightness, speed of effects, and color are customizable by hot combinations with FN. There are 5 brightness levels and 8 modes in total.
Dragon Center Utility and Connectivity
You can view the list of lighting effects through MSI’s proprietary software in the Mystic Light window. The glow can be adjusted individually for all three profiles. In one of the modes, you can highlight the desired buttons in different colors. There is also synchronization of the backlight through the Ambient Link.
The second window contains the recording of macros: 90 in total, 30 in each of the 3 profiles. There is no other way to reassign the keys or customize the game mode – the functionality is relatively poor.
The utility itself and all related processes consume 150-250 MB of RAM and practically do not load the processor. The leak in “LEDKeeper2” has been fixed long ago, the constant load on the processor is excluded.
Before us is a model from the middle segment with a high-quality 1.8-meter wire in a fabric braid and with a gold-plated plug. The excess length can be removed with a reusable hose clamp.
Recall after two weeks of use.
I’ve always been more attracted to low-profile keyboards, and the gaming segment is no exception. It’s all about the convenience of everyday use: games are good, but most of the time, I type texts. Tested MSI Vigor GK50 with Kailh switches can be considered an exceptional offer. For 5000 rubles, the buyer gets a stylish keyboard with high-quality hardware from a well-known brand. Uneven backlighting is a trifle, and the poor functionality of the software is not a problem at all. Moreover, it is not necessary to install Dragon Center since hotkeys control the backlight.
- low profile;
- tactile Kailh switches with reduced travel;
- recognizable MSI appearance;
- beautiful dashboard;
- the glow fills the space between the keys;
- hot combination backlight control;
- cable in a fabric braid;
- affordable price.
- uneven key illumination.
May not like:
- poor software functionality.