MSI GK-601 Testing & Results
The MSI GK-601 was used over a period of 3 weeks in various activities including day-to-day typing, work, and of course, gaming. The games I primarily play are League of Legends, StarCraft II, and Diablo III.
The first point to talk about is general comfort. The MSI GK-601 is actually quite tall for a keyboard, over a full centimeter/half inch above the desk. This would usually call the need for a palm rest. Unfortunately it didn’t come with one. The initial adoption phase took a couple days as I wasn’t accustomed the the rise in height over my previous keyboard. You will find your palms frequently hovering in mid-air where you use your elbow and fingers to pivot the weight. I haven’t found any discomfort or tiring of the wrist even after 2-3 hours of continuous gaming. For long typing sessions however, that’s different story. When gaming, you can easily rest your thumb or pinky on the edges of the keyboard to offset weight. When typing, your fingers will constantly be moving. I’ve found myself occasionally feeling some wrist/arm fatigue. It’s not a very serious issue if you’re used to not having a palm rest.
The MSI GK-601 overall feels great. Each key cap is slightly arched to help direct an accurate key presses. The surface is smooth and untextured. I did not use the extra key caps included as they don’t offer much. The hardware is impressive in looks as well as performance. Typing on it was quite smooth. Unlike some of the competitors’ keyboards, I did not notice much accidental double-registering of keys, something that Cherry MS Red switches do often if not careful. They GK-601 also has N-key rollovers so that games requiring simultaneous key presses are guaranteed to work. Initial trials show 10 simultaneous key presses registering with little problem.
The Macro functionality, if you can get through the software issues, is flat out awesome. There are a total of 5 profiles that you can toggle between, and a switch for game/PC mode. In PC mode, macros and the windows button are disabled. In game mode, it’ll use the profiles settings. This is a simple and efficient way of toggling on and off macros. When activated, the macro functionality replaces the default keys. This solves a big issue of usability. Most keyboards have auxiliary buttons for macros which can be annoying to use in split second situations. Finally here we have a keyboard that ditches the norm.
There is one improvement change I would ask for if MSI is releasing a driver update. There’s a minimum delay right now per registered action when a macro is being recorded. This means there’s a limit to how fast it’ll crank out the key-presses recorded. If they can update the driver to handle real-time macro replays, and fix the software bugs, this keyboard would be left with very few flaws.
Overall the MSI GK-601 Mechanical Keyboard is a great product. It functions extremely well and I’m happy to retain it as my primary keyboard. There’s definitely some areas to improve, but if we focus on just the gaming scenarios, the GK-601 hits the spot.