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MSI Vigor GK40 Gaming Keyboard: Mechanical-like and Shining Bright

By Christopher Bowman on April 05, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

MSI Vigor GK40 Gaming Keyboard: Mechanical-like and Shining Bright

As a leader in gaming brands, MSI continues to raise the stakes when it comes to innovation and design in its GAMING Series. For the last week, I have gone through extensive testing of this RGB keyboard, its design is pretty straightforward to look at but, it is the mechanical feel of it that is really impressive. The GK40 is not mechanical but has a very similar feel. The word “memchanical” has been used for similar takes on membrane keyboards. Intrigued? If you answered yes then sit back and hold onto your pants, our review of the MSI Gaming Vigor GK40 is right ahead.

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Specifications

  • Model Name: Vigor GK40 GAMING KEYBOARD
  • MSRP: $54.99
  • Main Key Switches: Membrane switches (Mechanical-like)
  • Keyboard Interface: USB
  • Normal Keys: Standard 104 keys / 105 keys / 108 keys
  • Dimensions (mm): 472 x 207 x 39
  • Windows Support: Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7
  • System Requirement: System with USB port
  • Backlight: 6-region RGB illumination, supports MSI Mystic Light
  • Weight (g): 1056g

Features

  • Special Membrane Switches with Mechanical Feel
  • 6-region RGB illumination with 8 amazing light effects, supports MSI Mystic Light
  • Gaming Mode and Anti-ghosting Capability
  • Water Resistant (spill-proof)
  • Ergonomically Designed Wrist Rest

When I first opened the box for this keyboard, I noticed the functions on each key first. This is an RGB keyboard, and as I expected the media and LED controls were placed in convenient spots. The functionality of the LED controls is amazing. The Vigor GK40 has six regions underneath the keys, and in each region, you have the ability to set a color for viewing. Originally my keyboard was set up with an arrangement of rainbow colors for my wife (she loves rainbows). As my review continued, however, I wanted to experiment; the RGB lighting is the main feature of the keyboard after all.

After I downloaded the Mystic Light software from MSI’s homepage, I was able to play around with some of the presets. There were several effects that were interesting like explosions, waves, and ripples (to name a few), and I chose the latter for my keyboard. The ripple feature is very cool indeed. When you type on your keys the lights pulse outward from your press. You can set several primary colors for these effects as well, and when you do you have a nice rainbow that expands from each key. The Mystic Light app also allows you to sync the color settings with any other MSI device you may have installed on your computer.

True to its description, the Vigor GK40 feels amazingly like a mechanical keyboard.  It features a membrane layer like most standard keyboards but between the cap and the membrane is a switch-like clicker that simulates a Cherry MX Blue. On a traditional membrane keyboard the keys descend straight into the membrane layer with very little feedback. The keycaps are replaceable as well, so if you want a different look or feel you can change them up with standard MX caps.

Across the top of the keyboard, you’ll notice eight multimedia keys as secondary layers to the function row. Using F1 through F8 keys, you can control volume, skip tracks, and start or end playback. F9 through F12 offer access to common functions, like opening your browser’s homepage or email.

Speaking again of keys, twenty keys have anti-ghosting capabilities on them. For FPS and MMO type games you will use a lot of keys, and most of the time you will use more than one in concert. When you press multiple keys at once and some of those keystrokes don’t show up this is called ghosting. For these twenty keys, when you’re playing your favorite games, every key push will be registered.

The MSI Vigor GK40 keyboard is also water repellent, which means if you have a small spill your keyboard should be relatively unaffected.

The keyboard also includes an ergonomic wrist rest. It forms directly off of the main keyboard and provides enough of an angle that even someone with carpal tunnel syndrome like me doesn’t have to worry about sore wrists. I felt pretty relaxed, even after hours of playing games.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this keyboard knocked it out of the park for me. Between the RGB colors and the anti-ghosting of the keys for my MMOs, the Vigor GK40 is an awesome for entry to mid-level players who don’t want to shell out for a full-fledged mechanical keyboard. At first, the keys seemed a little too close together, but you get used to the spacing and are rewarded with greater speed moving from key to key. The addition of the multimedia keys and the Mystic Light software make this one of the better keyboards I have used in a long while. For the price, you can’t get much better for much less.

Pros

  • Full-Size Keyboard with Easy Setup
  • Mystic Light RGB System to control your lighting needs
  • Anti-Ghosting capabilities for FPS and MMO Gaming needs
  • Integration of other MSI products
  • Built-in wrist rest

Cons

  • No included software in the box but available for download

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.