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Azio MGK1 Mechanical Keyboard and EXO1 Mouse Review

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Posted July 13, 2015 by Jake in Peripherals

Overview

Hardware:
 
 
Price at time of Review: $80 (MGK1); $30 (EXO1)
 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Beautiful aesthetics; Solid construction; No-nonsense approach; Very affordable; Tasteful lighting effects; Full NKRO keys, Volume roller
 

WHAT WE DISLIKED:

Rigid wrist rest; Lack of macros or advanced customization; Thumb buttons a bit thin; Minor differing tactile response on some keys; Lack of other Kailh colour switches
 
BOTTOM LINE:
Sleek peripherals that have the essentials covered at very affordable prices.
by Jake
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Summary

Azio is looking to target gamers who want solid core features at an affordable price here with the MGK1 and EXO1. The Kailh switches on the board and the optical sensor on the mouse are clear indicators of that, for those who don’t need top-end performance or the price tags that accompany them.

From an aesthetics standpoint, both the mouse and keyboard are very sleek and look wonderful. The lighting effects are tastefully simple, and the white lighting is a bit uncommon and a welcome sight. Quite interestingly, for a board that’s targeted to gamers, the MGK1 is surprisingly minimalist in design. Some might call it plain, others may call is simple and uncomplicated. Regardless of your perspective, there’s nothing extraneous on this board, no unnecessary add-ons or fancy frills.

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 the MGK1 is clean and legible. The Kailh Blue switches ironically aren’t the best choice for gaming, so fingers crossed that Azio will seriously consider offering other switch options in the future, as this would really open up their target market.

There are a few detractions that must be mentioned though. While the EXO1 is very comfortable and well laid out, it is on the smaller side of mice on the market. That’s not necessarily bad, but if you have bear paws then you’ll probably want to pass on this rodent. The finger buttons aren’t specifically contoured to provide just a bit of extra support, and the thumb buttons are slightly thin. On the MGK1 side of things, 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). It’s also a bit surprising that Kailh Blue switches are used, as these typically aren’t known for gaming prowess; typically they are for typists. Hopefully, Azio will offer other switches going forward. 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 bemoan the longevity, but by the time their wear out you’ll probably be looking to retire the board anyways.

That said, the overall package is good. The MGK1 is priced at about $80, which is very respectable for a backlit mechanical keyboard. The EXO1 costs only $30, which is also rather impressive, though keep in mind both of these products are designed to be more basic and simple in nature. That’s good news for gamers on a budget, but more demanding consumers may gravitate to one of the other many products out there.

There are many options on the market for mechanical keyboards and gaming mice that either cost next to nothing, or else offer more advanced features, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find this combination of features and affordability found here on the MGK1 and EXO1. If you’re looking for a solid gaming mechanical illuminated keyboard and mouse that won’t break the bank and has all the essentials covered, then the Azio EXO1 and MGK1 are a really great value offering.

Azio EXO1 Mouse and MGK1 Keyboard

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