• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Keyboard Switches: Cherry MX Brown
  • NKRO: NKRO
  • Interface: USB2.0
  • Weight: 1,200g
  • Pros:
  • Performance
  • Build quality
  • Cons:
  • No macro keys

No-nonsense Gaming Keyboard

MSI has been pushing its gaming agenda for quite some time now, but as far as we’re concerned, the company has only launched components such as motherboards and GPUs, as well as gaming laptops which are decked with the latest and greatest components. The Taiwanese gaming giants are diversifying their portfolio by introducing the MS GK-701 mechanical keyboard.

The GK-701 keyboard looks mostly inconspicuous, with the exception of the MSI Gaming dragon logo on the top right-hand corner. The design of the keyboard itself looks relatively plain, as the chassis and the keycaps are all black with red accents, and red LEDs backlighting the keys.

For this keyboard, MSI has enlisted the help of Cherry, and used Cherry MX Brown switches, which on top of being highly tactile, also sports low actuation points and is much quieter than its Red and Blue counterparts. Using Cherry MX Browns also makes it easier to type with, thanks to its tactile, yet silent nature. Touch typists will especially love the low actuation point of the keyboard as it allows users to quickly glide their fingers across the keyboard.

As far as macros are concerned, unfortunately the GK-701 does not come with any, although it does have built-in multimedia shortcuts which allows users to control a variety of options such as play and pause, as well as volume controls directly from the keyboard.

Sometimes, accidentally pressing the Windows key while gaming can prove to be quite a nuisance. MSI has added the option for you to lock the key by pressing a combination of the Fn and the F12 key. As for backlighting, MSI has done a pretty good job at ensuring that the GK-701 is individually backlit, and providing options to adjust the intensity and modes of the lighting.

Performance-wise, the GK-701 is a very decent gaming and typing keyboard that doesn’t make too much noise. During our time with it, it’s very easy to get used to the keyboard as it doesn’t require that much force to actuate the keys, which in some cases is to our advantage as we can press more keys quickly, and in the long run, it really shows in terms of efficiency.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The MSI GK-701 mechanical keyboard is a pretty decent foray by MSI into the world of mechanical keyboards, although we do wish it comes with a bit more features built in.

(previously published in issue March 2016)

MSI GK-701 Mechanical Keyboard