MSI Vigor GK80 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
Peter Donnell / 3 weeks ago
A Closer Look and Performance
Out of the box, the GK80 is one sexy looking keyboard. Obviously, it uses a full-size design. However, the slim bezel of the aluminium frame gives it a nice and compact footprint compared to some of its main rivals. As you can see, it comes hard-wired with a black braided cable. There are two USB headers on the cable, one for the keyboard, and an optional one for USB pass-through.
The colour choices on the keyboard are superb, with the metalwork using a brushed finish that gives it a more premium quality look and feel. Of course, a metal body also means its incredibly strong, but not too heavy thanks to the use of aluminium.
This is a gaming keyboard most of all, and you’ll find the WASD keys come with some scooped ergonomics. This shape will allow a more comfortable and steady control of the WASD keys; perfect for gaming.
The top row features plenty of on-keyboard controls. The lighting can be configured from the F1-F4 keys on the fly. You can do much more in the desktop software, but if you only want to make quick changes, this is more than enough.
Repeat rates are quickly configured from the F5-F8 keys.
A lovely full-size number pad, perfect for both work and gaming. Since the keyboard is fully programmable with macros, you could easily create gaming profiles over here with all your shortcuts too.
Tucked ever so slightly to the back of the keyboard, you’ll find dedicated volume controls. They are placed so you can see what they are when you lean forward, although it’s not like memorising four buttons will be hard. Here you can pause/play, mute, and toggle the volume. If you like to listen to music while you game, they’re going to come in handy.
The red trim runs right along the back of the keyboard. Since MSI’s colours are black and red, it makes sense, and it helps add some flair to the keyboard design. There’s also a USB port here, perfect for hooking up a peripheral on your desktops, such as a mouse or headset.
The keyboard is nicely weighted, and thanks to some thick and wide rubber grips, it’s unlikely to slide around your desktop. I tried RAGE TYPING and simulating a LoL champions actions, and it didn’t budge an inch, so they certainly work.
The durable kickstands are nice too, extra wide, and with their own rubber grips too.
Finally, the fantastic switches, linear, fast and light. If you’ve used Cherry MX Red before, it’s exactly what you would expect.
As we said before, this keyboard is packed to the brim with high-end features. Sure, when it comes right down to it, it’s got all the letters of the alphabet and all the numbers, it’s still “just a keyboard” at its core. However, as you can see, it doesn’t look like no standard keyboard. The RGB lighting is fantastic, providing some lovely underglow to each key, as well as through the lettering.
The frosted red sides of those gaming keys look amazing too, giving them a sort of radioactive glow when the keyboard is powered up. I’m not so sure about the chrome finish tops though. The extra keycaps in the box allow you to use stock WASD, or you can use those custom rubber grip ones, the choice is subjective though.
The Cherry MX keys deliver the kind of performance you would expect. However, they have the advantage of being mounted in an aluminium chassis on the keyboard, which reduces vibrations and movement in the keyboard. They just feel a little snappier and more responsive, at least to my fingertips.
This keyboard supports some other cool features, such as overclocking. No, seriously! If you have an MSI graphics card, motherboard, etc., you can enable their silent, gaming and OC modes right from the keyboard! Using FN-Shift and the Ins, Del, Home, End, Pg Up, and Pg Down Keys to quickly take control of your hardware. Doubt I would ever need this feature, but it’s still pretty neat.
The detachable wrist rest is easily one of the best I’ve seen to date. I can’t use a keyboard without one these days, and the rigid design and durable rubber grip is a joy to work with here. It’s not magnetic or anything, it just sits in front of the keyboard. However, it’s heavy and has rubber grips, so it’s not going to move around.
Call Work and Tell Them Your Too Busy Gaming
The gaming performance is key for this keyboard and put simply; it’s faultless. With full N-Key and anti-ghosting, you can mash those keys with confidence. Built-in macro recording and shortcuts mean you’ll be able to deal with anything you need to, such as spamming team chat or farming mobs more easily, it’s up to you.
Not to harp on too much about RGB lighting, but it does look fantastic on GK80. Little additions, such as the lightbars on the side provide some nice ambience also. Of course, you can tweak it all from the software, but all the main effects are selectable directly on the keyboard. Check out the next few pictures, showing the keyboard cycling through a few effects and all the colours of the rainbow.