The RGB Lighting Testing and Conclusion
If you are bumping up to the AZIO MGK1 RGB Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, you are doing it for the lights. The MGK1 keyboards are 100% hardware based. This means no drivers to install just plug in and you are set. Pictures just don’t due the lighting any justice! Check out the video below.
Combining the function key with the block of keys above the arrows provides access five preset backlight modes and one custom mode. Brightness is controlled by the arrow keys:
- Spectrum Cycling Mode: All keys uniformly and subtly cycle through the full spectrum of colors.
- Splash Mode: The keys reveal a variety of colors through a ripple effect.
- Wave Mode: RGB backlight moves across the keyboard in a subtle gradient format.
- Color Marque Mode: The backlight shifts across the keyboard in a spectrum of colors.
- Reactive Mode: Keys light up upon actuation and stay lit momentarily for a trailing effect.
- Custom Mode: Effortlessly set the desired backlit color for each individual key.
I have to admit I love playing with the lights and can’t choose between the Wave Mode and a custom setup with red WASD keys against an orange to match my system. Both look great! I can see how you might settle with one design over time but the customization would definitely get me to pay the small premium to move up to the RGB version of the MGK1 every time.
Normally I pair the testing section with a walkthrough of the software suite but the MGK1 is 100% hardware based. That means no drivers at all and simple USB plug and play. I have to admit I did not miss it at all as I typically set up only a simple macro or two and tend to forget them in the heat of battle more often than I use them!
To put the Azio MGK1 RGB Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard to the test I replaced my ROCCAT Ryos on my gaming PC. The Ryos I have uses Cherry MX blacks or the more linear smooth actuation. The difference was immediately noticeable in the level of noise. I also compared the two MGK1 motherboards back to back. As with the previous MGK1, the Kailh Blues are louder and have a much more defined actuation!
I used the MGK1 RGB for about two weeks to get used to the feel and the noise while playing my usual BF4 sessions and writing for the site. I can honestly say I came away impressed. The size feels about perfect for my keyboard tray leaving ample room for my mouse without feeling cramped. In comparison my Ryos is a monster! With the blues I found the actuation point much more defined making it easier to adjust my pressure register. Reaction times felt tighter and predictable. No keys felt soft or off like some entry level mechanicals.
The Azio MGK1 RGB Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard just looks great! I still find myself walking by the room and stopping to admire the wave effect when the lights are down. I have become a fan of the form factor as well. The smaller footprint fits my keyboard tray like it was made for it without sacrificing functionality or keys like smaller keyboards. . It is immediately portable without sacrificing the 10 key or the directional arrows.
It seems like everyone is releasing products with RGB added and charging a premium for them but the MGK1 RGB Keyboard still comes in with a price and performance that embarrasses most of the competition. I should note that both AZIO MGK1 keyboards have a virtual line forming for where they will end up in the house. I will definitely be looking at AZIO as my go to budget friendly mechanical choice going forward and you should too.
Gorgeous RGB light show
Crisp and predictable actuation
Great price point
Brushed aluminum looks fantastic
No macro support
No onboard memory for custom settings
Louder than my Cherry MX browns