MSI is really upping their game when it comes to gaming accessories. While normally known just for their graphic cards, motherboards, and gaming laptops, MSI also makes a wide variety of accessories and peripherals. These aren’t just bottom-tier items either with their name slapped on them. These are actually good and could go toe-to-toe with some of the other big-name makers out there. Previously, MSI sent me the GK30 keyboard to try out. It is a budget-friendly keyboard for those looking to get into gaming without breaking the bank. This time around, MSI sent me a keyboard that occupies the other end of the spectrum: the MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic.
Upon opening the packaging for the MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic, I was greeted by what originally looked like a dark gray aluminum alloy-faced keyboard. Cool. But when I looked closer, I realized whoa, it was more of a blue/gray finish. Very unique in a sea of matte black gaming keyboards on the market. The cool factor extends to the USB cable which is braided and of high quality.
After plugging in the keyboard, it lights up brighter than most. The unique Clearcaps, which are 1/3 black with the bottom 2/3 being clear, really make the RGB backlit keyboard shine. This gives them an almost jewel-like quality that not only lights up the keys, but also the entire top surface. The entire presentation screams “look at me”. I dig it. I spent a lot of time customizing the RGB lighting effects just to admire it.
Other controls on top include media controls. The large knob allows you to increase or decrease volume, and a quick tap mutes it. One of the better features is that the same knob can also be controlled with a dial on the right side of the keyboard which allows you to spin it up and down for volume control. Nice if you have larger hands and if you don’t want to accidentally hit the “-“ key right below the knob. The dial is lit and has aluminum knurling. These are nice little details that weren’t missed.
Moving on to the back of the keyboard, it has X-shaped grooves that allow for some cable management options. I didn’t use it but I can see it being helpful if you are limited in the room or need the cables to travel in a certain direction.
The keyboard also includes a very comfortable memory foam wrist rest. Although I didn’t use it for gaming, it did provide some really good comfort while writing this review. It is nice that they included this as an option. The wrist rest also includes the same X-shaped grooves and is positioned to match that of the keyboard’s so cables can run all the way through both with no blockage. A very thoughtful feature.
In terms of performance, this keyboard is very fast. The pre-travel is extremely short and key presses are light, but there is just enough resistance for great feedback when it resets. I found the response to be extremely fast and it’s noticeable while playing shooters. There is no mush at all. This is thanks to the MSI Sonic Red 35g Lightweight Mechanical Switches that are designed for seamless and instantaneous response. Total travel is about 4.0mm. These are made in conjunction with Kailh.
One big thing that I noticed is that this keyboard is very quiet. I’d even say it’s quieter than the GK30, which isn’t mechanical. A lot of mechanical keyboards are louder and clicky, but the GK71 is extremely quiet. If you happen to be gaming with someone else in the room, they’ll barely hear the keypresses over you shouting at your teammates. It’s a trait I really appreciate, and if you work from home, your housemate will appreciate it too.
Like all MSI peripherals, customization is done through MSI Center which allows for a ton of customizations. The GK71 also features built-in memory where you can store up to 3 profiles which include settings, RGB effects, macro keys, etc. A handy feature so you can change things up on the fly when needed, either through the MSI Center or FN Keys.
The MSI Vigor GK71 Sonic really is a great keyboard that is a solid alternative to many of the other more well-known gaming peripheral brands. It is feature-rich, well priced, and did I mention how pretty it is? MSI hit it out of the park with this one and I can’t wait to see what else they come up with.
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This review is made possible with my affiliation with G Style Magazine. These items were sent to us by the company or their PR reps for review and evaluation. It is also featured on the G Style Magazine website which is a tech blog that focuses on the fashion aspect of tech. Please visit their site for more interesting reviews on all your favorite gadgets and gear.