AZIO has been on a winning run lately with their affordable MGK line of mechanical keyboards. Based around Kailh Switches, these keyboards offer an amazing value for those looking to make the jump to a mechanical. Today we will be looking at two more of the MGK L80 keyboards. The MGK L80 Blue and the MGK L80 Red Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboards expand your choices even more while offering unique color accents to match.
First let’s take a look at the AZIO MGK L80 Blue Backlit Mechanical Keyboard. The Blue is built around the same black professional grade brushed aluminum face plate that we have raved about in the past. The L80 Blue uses a black keycap design you see here with the Kailh Blue switches that help give it the name. The back frame, around the volume knob and feet are also a matching blue. In keeping with the theme the LED backlighting is also blue making for a striking black and blue theme.
Our L80 Red Backlit Mechanical Keyboard continues the theme with red on black with Kailh Red switches. This L80 uses the black keycap with the Kailh Red switches that help give it the name. Just like the L80 Blue, the back frame, around the volume knob and feet are also a matching red. The LED backlighting: Red of course!
As with all the MGK keyboards we have seen, there is no software for the L80 series. All of the functionality is controlled through the keyboard function keys. Lighting, macros and hot keys can be setup and carried with you in the keyboard.
Most of what is under the hood remains the same between both versions. Strangely the website states the L80 Blue has red LED lights, I can assure you they are a nice matching blue.
- MODEL: MGK-L80-02 (Red) or MGK-L80-03 (Blue)
- INTERFACE: USB
- SWITCH TYPE: KAILH Red or KAILH Blue
- BACKLIGHT: RED LED or BLUE LED
- N-KEY ROLLOVER: FULL NKRO (WIN)
- CABLE: 6 FT. BRAIDED
- OS SUPPORT: WINDOWS XP, VISTA, 7, 8, 10
- DIMENSIONS: KEYBOARD / 5.8 x 17.5 x 1.4 IN /PALM REST / 2.5 x 17.5 x 0.5 IN
- WEIGHT: 2.3 lbs / 1060 g
- BOX CONTENT: L80 KEYBOARD / KEY PULLER / THANK YOU CARD / USER GUIDE
Azio bucks the current trend by using Kailh Switches instead of the Cherry MX switches we have grown to expect. Kailhua Electronics Co, LTD (originally LongHua) was formed in 1990 and manufactures a variety of Kailh switch types widely used in brands like Logitech, Razor, ThermalTake and Lenovo. Although Kailh switches are widely viewed as a low cost Chinese clone of the Cherry MX switches they have a reputation for being slightly heavier in their actuation. According to the Kailh website there are currently several major types of keyboard switches available: Kailh Red switches have a smooth 50g linear actuation. The Kailh Blacks have stiffer linear actuation with a 60g rating. Kailh Browns have a pressure point ergonomic actuation at 60g. And the Blues have a pressure point clicky actuation design at 50g. All four can be pretty closely compared to their color coded Cherry MX counterparts. With reports of Cherry MX shortages creating production delays up to a year I expect to see a lot more competition in the mechanical switch arena.
The name may be new to most but Azio is an industry leader in large font specialty keyboards. Founded in 2005, Azio is an acronym for "A to Z, Input-Output". Azio’s Elegantly Fierce vision is to provide cutting edge products that are intuitively easy to use, provide maximum comfort and leave a minimal environmental footprint.