MSI GK-601 Mechanical Keyboard Final Thoughts
The MSI GK-601 Mechanical Keyboard has many attractive features and is a great keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are becoming increasingly popular among gaming fans, the real question is whether or not its worth the additional cash. There are plenty of good articles out there that summarize the pros and cons of using a mechanical keyboard. One of the biggest advantages is quality. Mechanical keyboards last a ton longer than rubber dome keyboards. This might sound unimportant but if you plan to use the same keyboard for 1-2 years for serious gaming, many hours a day, quality is going to matter.
The key press feedback is also better in a mechanical keyboards. Trying to spam key presses on rubber dome keyboards is guaranteed to be slower and less responsive. I’ve started going with mechanical keyboards a while back and have never switched back.
MSI GK-601 Mechanical Keyboard Conclusion
I’ve been with the MSI GK-601 for three weeks now and I would say it’s been a fun journey . The GK-601 performs very well. The Cherry MX Red switches live up to its name. I’ve had much less problems with keys registering multiple times compared to competing mechanical keyboards like the Corsair Vengeance. The Macro system is absolutely fantastic. There are some quirks with the keyboard, such as lights not turning off after hibernation, and lack of a palm rest, but the macro design makes it worthwhile. Having a keyboard where you can overwrite any key on the keyboard to perform another action is the best way to handle macros in a fast paced game. Additional multimedia keys are available by holding the Fn key down. This eliminates the need for more buttons. Unfortunately the media keys only work with the system settings and not integrated for example with Media Player Classic.
Appearance-wise, the MSI GK-601 is also fantastic. It has a matte yellow & black finish. The designers have stayed away from using distracting logos and decals. Even the lighting colors match the yellow paint perfectly.
The MSI GK-601 has a very solid construction. The Cherry MX Red switches perform great without any hiccups. The keyboard feet are rubberized to ensure slip-free usage. The key puller is an effective tool to remove key caps and that works great as well. The key caps are on tight but can be easily removed and re-installed.
While most of the keyboard is pretty impressive, there are definitely some functionality quirks. The functional capabilities are impressive, but the driver desperately needs an update in order to eliminate performance/hanging issues. I would also advocate for a UI revamp to enhance usability.
The MSI GK-601 Mechanical Keyboard can be purchased online for $119.99 (Newegg). Similar keyboards are priced anywhere between $70 to $300. Most are around $90-110. I would say the GK-601 is priced at the right place. It has many competitive advantages compared to rival keyboards.
My final recommendation is this: in the current state, the GK-601 is a great product for heavy macro users if you don’t mind the small software annoyances. The GK-601 will step up your game for sure. However if MSI can get things rolling and fix the software issues, improve on the macro recording capabilities, and release an updated configuration software, then the GK-601 mechanical keyboard would be an instant recommendation for everyone.
+ Solid construction and pleasant design
+ Best macro system out there, allowing macros to overwrite any key
+ Includes key-puller and extra textured keys for better customization
+ 10 Macro keys, 5 profiles, instant toggle between game mode profiles and default keyboard behavior
+ Multimedia keys and lighting adjustments built in and accessible using the Fn key.
+ Minimalistic, one of only macro keyboards without a bunch of extra buttons
- Driver software has quality and usability issues even though the functionality is there
- Macro recording has built-in delays that cannot be removed
- No palm rest
- Lighting does not auto turn off when computer hibernates
Final Score: 9.00 out of 10.
COMMENT QUESTION: What is your all-time favorite keyboard?