MSI Vigor GK50 Elite gaming keyboard: Review - Upcomer

MSI Vigor GK50 Elite Review • A solid brushed-metal gaming keyboard

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Looking to upgrade your mechanical keyboard? The MSI Vigor GK50 Elite mechanical keyboard is now available across the globe. This brand new keyboard with mystic lighting and hundreds of customisable lighting effects is here, to brighten up your gaming setup. We got our hands on a Vigor GK50 Elite keyboard to give it a try, and here’s our take on this new mechanical keyboard from MSI.

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Overall look and feel

When unboxing this keyboard, one big thing jumped out at me. It’s a totally different color and style to other keyboards on the market. I fell in love with the brushed metal finish and the big MSI dragon logo displayed behind the keys. It gives this piece of kit a real ‘techy’ feel. It feels like it’s really well engineered too, even if its not quite perfect. The overall size of the keyboard is great, and it’s slim and minimalist in its form factor. This means the GK50 Elite doesn’t take up a heap of room on your desk, which is nice.

Even though this is a full sized keyboard, it’s compact and slimline. The dragon logo sitting behind the arrow keys provides a subtle hint of branding and the brushed metal looks futuristic and neat.

When talking about a keyboard, you can’t forget the keys themselves. Each key is matte coated, which feels great when typing away. In those hotter months (yes it’s summer in Australia right now) you don’t find your fingers getting all sweaty and sticky, which is always a bonus. If you look closely, you’ll notice the keys aren’t a normal shape either. They have a unique octagon design, providing quite a different typing experience. While the shape of each key isn’t going to make you a better gamer, it will give your setup a bit of edge and hopefully, something a touch different for all those social media posts of your rig setup.

Keyboard Lighting

Peripherals these days don’t survive without good RGB lighting. Well, maybe that’s not strictly true, but they look a whole lot better with it. Everything these days seems to be back lit, from keyboards and mice to internal fans and motherboards. The MSI Vigor GK50 Elite keyboard is no different. With the MSI Dragon Centre software you can change the lighting to suit your needs, and synchronize with other MSI products like the Clutch GM50 mouse. Unlike some keyboards however, the Vigor doesn’t just allow you to choose between 16.8 million colors. Instead, every single key on the Vigor GK50 Elite is individually zoned. This means you can make every key a different color. Seriously, you can spend hours choosing different key colors for various games, programs, or even making pretty patterns.

This keyboard is a blank canvas when it comes to lighting and you can really let your imagination run wild. Or if you’re not feeling creative, you can always go with one of the pre-set profiles provided by MSI.

Hotkeys for quick adjustments

When you think of a mechanical gaming keyboard, you usually think programmable keys. The MSI Vigor GK50 Elite however, has no additional macro keys, instead opting for a multitude of hotkeys. The MSI Dragon on the bottom of the keyboard is a hotkey, as well as the Windows button. These keys allow you to quickly change lighting effects, use media controls, and even activate afterburn software. There are a total of 21 hotkeys on this mechanical keyboard. You might be thinking that’s a lot of key combinations you need to remember in order to use them, but don’t worry, the keyboard has little symbols on each of the keys. With this feature you can easily see the second function of each key. The image below shows the location of all these keys:

Each of the keys with a red outline is a hotkey available for mapping (Image: Supplied)

Speaking of keys, this keyboard is available in Kailh Blue and Box White key switches. The one we are trying out is the blue one, which is about on par with the classic Red Cherry switches. Only the blue has less distance to travel, meaning you get a slightly faster click from each keystroke. Unless you’re a highly skilled player, you probably won’t notice the difference. Instead what you’ll notice is good keystrokes that have a nice ‘clicky’ feel, without being ridiculously loud.

Grabbing the MSI Vigor GK50 Elite

Okay it sounds pretty good, so any catches? Well apart from the lack of macro keys for you to program, there’s not a whole lot this keyboard is missing. There’s no extra media controls aside from the hotkeys but if you’re looking for a sleek mechanical keyboard that’s not over-the-top expensive, then the MSI Vigor GK50 Elite is a solid option. You can get it for $119.00 AUD ($74.99 USD), and it’s available in Kailh Blue or Box White switches. If you want to up your keyboard game a touch, you can also grab the MSI Vigor wrist rest. This wrist rest has cooling gel inside and fits with all full sized keyboards. If you’re looking at getting the keyboard or the wrist rest, check the MSI website to find a seller in your region.

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Michelle Mannering
Michelle is a Content Producer in the realms of innovation and technology. Known as the “Hackathon Queen” 👑 you'll often find her on stage MC’ing or speaking on a range of topics from artificial intelligence, to business, community engagement, the future of work, and esports. With a background in both science and arts, Michelle writes extensively on a range of topics including innovation, startups, corporate culture, esports, business development, and more. She has a passion for gaming and combines this with her experience in a range of industries. Michelle brings a unique insight into esports innovation and draws many parallels between the physical world of sport, and the digital world of esports.