Additional Features Testing and Conclusion
The inclusion of a key puller is unexpected but does allow you to take a look at other compatible key sets for even more customization. I have been eyeing some white ABS keys and it looks like the MGK1 is Cherry MX kit compatible or maybe just a WASD conversion. The MGK could be a great base for aftermarket keyboard modders.
Don’t let the MGK1 fool you it is still a full featured keyboard. The function keys do double duty as easy access keys featuring both multimedia keys and windows hot keys across the top. Both numbers and the functions are cut back lit for ease of use.
The top right corner houses the Num Lock, Caps Lock and Windows lock. One feature I really like is the large mute key along with the textured rubber volume roller. I am glad this is catching on as I find the ability to mute or adjust my volume on the fly quite useful at home and at a LAN. All of these extras are accented by beveled cuts in the aluminum and easy to find by touch.
Normally I pair the testing section with a walkthrough of the software suite but the MGK 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 tent to forget them in the heat of battle more often than I use them!
To put the Azio MGK1 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. The Kailh Browns are louder and have a much more defined actuation!
I used the MGK1 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! I also found the keys quickly reached a point where I felt confident and no longer needed to apply so much force to register. Reaction times felt tighter and predictable. No keys felt soft or off like some entry level mechanicals.
Full disclosure time. The Azio MGK1 Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is my first foray into Kailh switches and I worried that I would notice the cheaper switches. So worried I unpacked my GSkill KM780 to compare browns directly. I can’t say I really tried to measure the difference but other than a slight noise increase the keys felt the same; predictable and solid.
It is amazingly satisfying to buy a mechanical keyboard that just works. No futzing around and no awkward software to muddle through. It looks great and performs like a keyboard twice the price right out of the box. I really loved the smaller footprint too. It is immediately portable without sacrificing the 10 key or the directional arrows. In fact, I liked this keyboard more than I expected.
I will definitely be looking at AZIO as my go to budget friendly mechanical choice going forward and you should too.
Crisp and predictable actuation
Great price point
Brushed aluminum looks fantastic
No macro support
Minimal light options
Louder than my Cherry MX browns