Azio is looking to target gamers who want solid core features at an affordable price here with the MGK1-K and MGK1-RGB. The Kailh switches on the boards are clear indicators of that, and are geared to those who don’t need top-end performance or the price tags that accompany them.
That’s also evident under the hood as well, as both Azio keyboards are rather straightforward designs, lacking any advanced options or programmable profiles or macros, but again that’s not unsurprising for the low price tags when compared to similarly-styled keyboards. If you want advanced software and arguably complicated features, then you’ll be looking elsewhere, and you’ll also be paying quite a bit more as well. If you want solid and straightforward, then these Azio keyboards might be just the ticket.
From an aesthetics standpoint, both keyboards are nearly identical, coming in a very sleek package and look wonderfully minimalist for the most part. The lighting effects are well done, even the RGB is tastefully executed, and the white lighting on the MGK1-K is a bit uncommon and a welcome sight. Some might call it plain, others may call is simple and uncomplicated. Regardless of your perspective, there’s nothing extraneous on these boards, no unnecessary add-ons or fancy frills. Whether you like that is entirely up to your personal preferences, but there’s something positive to be said about a design that’s uncluttered and uncomplicated.
In terms of features, Full key rollover is somewhat rare in most mainstream keyboards, and particularly on a budget board, and while some may call it overkill, clumsy users will surely love it. The font choice on these decks are clean and legible. The Kailh Brown switches are an excellent choice, offering the best compromise between solid gaming performance and fast touch typing speed. The Kailh Blue switches on the RGB model aren’t really the best choice for gaming, so we’re a bit surprised that Azio doesn’t offer the choice of switches for each model, as that would undoubtedly appeal to a larger audience, giving consumers the broader choice.
There are a few detractions that must be mentioned though. The wrist rest is a bit too rigid, there’s no Scroll Lock indicator, and there’s a minor difference in some of the keys’ tactile response (larger keys such as Backspace and Space Bar). There also aren’t any advanced features such as profile customization or macros, but you get what you pay for with more budget-oriented products. Some may scoff at the choice of Kailh switches rather than Cherry MX and complain about the potential shorter lifespan, but you’ll probably be looking to retire the board anyways by the time the switches may start to fail.
That said, the overall package is really very good. The MGK1-K is well priced at about $80, which is very respectable for a backlit mechanical keyboard. The MGK1-RGB costs only $10 more, which is rather impressive for the added colour effects, though keep in mind you are stuck with the Blue Switches as a result. Also remember both of these products are designed to be more basic and simple in nature, which is good news for gamers on a budget, but more demanding consumers will likely gravitate to more advanced (and expensive) products on the market.
There are many options for mechanical keyboards that either are very affordable, smartly designed, or offer sleek illumination, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find this combination of features in one package. However, Azio has done a fine job of doing just that with the MGK1-K and MGK1-RGB.
If you’re looking for a solid gaming mechanical illuminated keyboard that won’t break the bank and has all the essentials covered, then the Azio MGK1-K and MGK1-RGB are both impressive options.
Azio MGK1-K and RGB Keyboards