Keyboards

MSI Vigor GK80 Gaming Keyboard

MSI Gets Mechanical

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A Closer Look at the MSI Vigor GK70 Gaming Keyboard

MSI Vigor GK80 Gaming Keyboard Cherry MX Silent, Gaming, GK80, Keyboard, MSI, rgb 1When we say we’re taking a closer look at the GK80, we mean really close. To see just how sturdy the MSI Vigor GK80 is, we started coaxing screws from their holes and prying plastic apart. To disassemble this keyboard, you need to start by removing the dozen or screws that pepper the aluminum plate and to get to them, you’ll have to remove more than 30 of the keycaps. There are two more screws on the sides of the GK80, which secure the red plastic panel located at the keyboard’s top edge. When every visible screw was removed, we still had trouble prying the plastic housing from the aluminum plate. As a last-ditch effort, we pried off the tinted plastic panel from the indicator LEDs in the top-right corner. Sure enough, there was one last screw hiding under this adhesive panel.

With the keyboard effectively split in two, we immediately noticed a bit of a cheat on MSI’s part. The impressive heft of the Vigor GK80, which helps keep it in place and gives it that premium feel, is largely due to a pair of thick metal weights mounted to the inner side of the plastic housing.

MSI Vigor GK80 Gaming Keyboard Cherry MX Silent, Gaming, GK80, Keyboard, MSI, rgb 4The key switches are soldered to a single sheet of PCB, and a smaller PCB is set aside for the USB passthrough and multimedia buttons.

For those concerned about the modding potential of the GK80, we’re pleased to report that this keyboard disassembles and reassembles rather easily. On the other hand, if you plan to paint that brushed aluminum panel, know that you’re going to have to tape off each and every one of the key switches; there’s no easy way to remove all of the switches from the aluminum panel.

If you have a Cherry switch fail, however, there are just a pair of solder points (not counting the RGB LED component), which when de-soldered, should let you pop off the broken switch and pop in a replacement.

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From our perspective, the Vigor GK80 appears to be a well-built keyboard that should last you from now until Half-Life 3 comes out.

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