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MSI Debuts Its First Two Mechanical Keyboards

By - Source: TechPowerUp | B 13 comments

MSI has released its first two mechanical keyboards.

MSI has joined the mechanical keyboard market; it introduced not one, but two of them. At first sight, the keyboards look fairly straightforward, but they have some intriguing features hidden beyond view.

First of all, both of the keyboards are virtually identical. The only difference between the two GK-601 keyboards are the color patterns on the keyboard and the packaging.

The GK-601 keyboards feature Cherry MX Red switches. These switches are linear, offer little resistance and have their actuation point, like most Cherry MX switches, roughly halfway down the keystroke. The switches offer no form of feedback. The keyboards feature an N-key rollover. This means that all the keys can be pressed at once, and all key-presses will be registered. The switches are also built using an 18K gold plating.

The back-lighting on the keyboard is quite rare. Most keyboards feature colors like red, green, blue, white, or no back-lighting at all, but the GK-601 from MSI features yellow back-lighting. This back-lighting is said to keep working even after 50 million keystrokes per key.

The back of the keyboards features USB ports and headphone and microphone jacks. The keyboard sports 128 KB of onboard memory for storing up to 50 different macros that can be enabled with the FN key. The windows button can also be disabled during gameplay to ensure that even if it is accidentally pressed, you don't become AFK in the middle of your multi-player match and get killed, twice.

So far, there has been no word on pricing or availability.

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  • 2 Hide
    prince_david , May 2, 2013 4:28 PM
    MSI does a terrible job with keyboards on their laptops, but these mechanical keyboards might be good. Nice that they have headphone jacks.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnMD1022 , May 2, 2013 4:36 PM
    Too bad Unicomp has not seen fit to agressively enter enter the market with IBM Model M technology.
  • -1 Hide
    AzureFlash , May 2, 2013 4:56 PM
    N-Key rollover is kinda cool theoretically, but really anything beyond 6KRO (not counting dead keys) is useless. Gold plating is complete FUD. Yellow backlight sounds fucking annoying and ugly. Why would the backlight be affected by keystrokes??
    This release reeks of marketing FUD and those keyboards look like absolutely nothing new. I'll stick with my original raven black IBM Model M13, thank you very much.
  • 0 Hide
    dudewitbow , May 2, 2013 4:59 PM
    no mech keyboard company does backlighting better than ducky when it comes to choices
  • 2 Hide
    souleet , May 2, 2013 5:06 PM
    The red cherry switches are nice. This is MSI 1st mechanical keyboard so the simple design is a good start.
  • 0 Hide
    LordConrad , May 2, 2013 6:09 PM
    Unicomp (and original IBM) keyboards still rule with buckle-spring switches and a highly water-resistant design. They are also heavy and sturdy enough to be used as a weapon. :-)
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , May 2, 2013 7:00 PM
    Is it me, or does this seem similar to the Razer Black Widow slightly?
    I'm waiting for Corsairs K95 keyboard to come out still.
  • -4 Hide
    icepick314 , May 2, 2013 9:24 PM
    here's a tip for ALL keyboard makers for gamers...
    MOVE THE WINDOWS KEY AWAY FROM THE LEFT SIDE!!!
    I have yet to see anyone playing with right hand on keyboard which I'm sure there are for those who prefer using mouse with left hand...
    but as right handed mouse player, I've hit windows key with my left hand few times here and there while frantically trying to move in the game...
    there are some keyboards that have windows key on the right side like my current Steelseries G7 keyboard...
    for companies that cater to gamers, they sure don't think about little details that can enhance overall gaming experience...
  • 0 Hide
    dudewitbow , May 2, 2013 9:56 PM
    Quote:
    here's a tip for ALL keyboard makers for gamers...
    MOVE THE WINDOWS KEY AWAY FROM THE LEFT SIDE!!!
    I have yet to see anyone playing with right hand on keyboard which I'm sure there are for those who prefer using mouse with left hand...
    but as right handed mouse player, I've hit windows key with my left hand few times here and there while frantically trying to move in the game...
    there are some keyboards that have windows key on the right side like my current Steelseries G7 keyboard...
    for companies that cater to gamers, they sure don't think about little details that can enhance overall gaming experience...


    This is where Ducky Shine 2/Ducky Year of the Dragon, well shines. It has 4 built in functions you can use:

    Left Ctrl & CapsLock exchange position
    Left Alt and Left Windows Key exchange position
    Windows Key Lock
    USB N-Key Rollover or USB 6-Key Rollover

    option 3 is what you would probably want. Of course, like any ducky board, there's a price premium with it.
  • 0 Hide
    NeeKo , May 3, 2013 5:10 AM
    Ill stick to my storm trigger, you can tear a wall appart with it.
  • 0 Hide
    RobAC , May 3, 2013 6:44 AM
    Mechanical keyboards are great. Just make sure to try them out before you buy. The different Cherry MX switches aren't for everyone. I have a Cherry Red in my Corsair K90 and it is great for gaming- but can be too sensitive for typing if you like to pound on your keyboard.
  • 0 Hide
    lathe26 , May 3, 2013 11:39 AM
    Switches with no formal feedback some terrible to me.
    I'm sure the programmable FN will be popular among gamers. However back when I used to do on-site tech support, I had to deprogram a lot of Gateway keyboards because of their built-in macro key. Average users kept accidentally reprogramming their keyboard layout. We referred to it as the F'ing key.
  • 0 Hide
    ioconnor , May 4, 2013 12:08 PM
    So many technical mistakes. You guys really should hire a better copy editor.