MSI GK-601 Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review

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MSI GK-601 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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It would at first seem strange that a company like MSI would make mechanical keyboard. Computer enthusiasts and we at Legit Reviews are far more accustomed to seeing MSI motherboards and video cards, but when you stop for a moment and think, it’s not all that unusual for a computer manufacturer to design and sell mechanical keyboards unlike say rice cookers. Besides, GIGABYTE, another board maker, already has a mechanical keyboard, the Osmium, under its Aivia gaming peripheral brand.

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I can tell you right now that this keyboard is as stunning as it looks in the pictures. The GK-601’s appearance is modest, but subtly aggressive, and distinctively MSI. The GK-601 is one of MSI’s two new mechanical keyboards. The other is the CK Series which has a blue trim and fewer features than the GK-601. Both keyboards share the same 104 key layout, Cherry MX Red mechanical switches, key rollover, and multimedia keys via an Fn modifier key. What the GK-601 has that its little sibling doesn’t are individually backlit keys, programmable macros, five profiles supported by on-board memory, a braided cable, and USB and audio ports.

Cherry MX Red switches require the least force of the Cherry switches to press. The switch has a linear action and there are no bumps or clicks as the keys are pressed. This combination is the reason why Cherry MX Reds are considered to be “gaming” switches, though the relative ease to press these keys leaves Red switches the least forgiving Cherry switch for typing enthusiasts.

The MSI GK-601 can be found for $120 at Newegg and comes with a 1-year warranty.

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MSI GK-601 Features and Technical Specifications:

  • Yellow LED backlight with 4 levels (3 brightness and 1 pulsing)
  • Cherry MX Red switches
  • 50 million keystrokes
  • USB with braided wire
  • USB and audio ports
  • Multimedia keys
  • 5 profiles and 50 macro keys (up to 10 macros for each profile)
  • 129KB on board memory
  • Gold plated connectors
  • Dimensions: 460(L)x162(W)x30(H)mm  / 18.1(L)x6.4(W)x1.2(H)inch
  • Weight: 1300g (2.87lbs)

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Inside the box, the GK-601 keyboard is padded between foam blocks. Our keyboard arrived without a ding or scratch though I feel the protective packaging was a bit overdone especially compared to how other keyboards are boxed. For a moment I was looking around the empty spaces in the box in case I was missing something. Along with the keyboard, the package includes setup instructions, four yellow arrow keycaps, a keycap puller, and a software CD. Now let’s take a look at MSI GK-601 keyboard in all its glory…

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