At first glance, the AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is eerily reminiscent of the Corsair Vengeance K70 RGB. And as someone who uses Corsair’s offering on a regular basis, I must admit that I was skeptical of AZIO’s $69.99 price tag. However, after tinkering with the MGK 1 RGB for a few weeks, I’m now wondering why I spent nearly double the AZIO’s price point.
The AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard has plenty of features to rival many of its competitors. Among them are a full RGB backlighting system with six lighting modes, Kailh Blue mechanical key switches, and - my personal favorite - a fast access volume wheel that allows you to make audio changes quickly during gameplay. These features may seem standard nowadays, but it’s not often you will find them at this price.
Despite being loaded with features, they are not without their downsides. For example: the six lighting modes are not customizable and the Kailh blue switches are extremely loud when typing. However, despite these minor setbacks, I was satisfied overall with their performance.
Other features of the MGK 1 RGB include easy access hot-keys, full-key rollover, and plug-and-play functionality (no software or drivers required). While it would be nice to have some sort of customization, I can’t really complain about a mechanical keyboard that performs well during gameplay - especially when you consider it costs less than $70.
As mentioned, the AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard reminds me of my daily driver: the Corsair Vengeance K70. And while Corsair’s offering does feel better during gameplay, AZIO doesn’t fall far behind when performing other tasks. In fact, I often found myself preferring typing with the MGK 1 RGB because the Kailh Blue switches felt smoother (although louder) than the Cherry Red keys found on the K70.
The MGK 1 RGB is constructed with an aluminum faceplate which makes the keyboard look a lot more expensive than it really is. And while the underside is made entirely of plastic, the keyboard has a hefty weight to it that makes it feel like a premium product. The raised anodized AZIO logo above the arrow keys is also a nice touch of class.
It’s clear AZIO spent a lot of time designing a keyboard that looks a lot more expensive than it really is. Even the scroll wheel and indicator lights look fancy. But as we all know, looks aren’t everything and the value of a keyboard will always boil down to comfort and performance.
I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for a hardware manufacturer to design a palm rest that’s comfortable. I often find myself removing them instead of using them and the AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is no exception. For some reason, palm rests seem to do more harm than good when it comes to playing video games.
I do think the detachable UV coated palm rest provided by AZIO is as good as it should be - I just don’t think it improves ergonomics or comfort like they claim. However, this holds true for every palm rest I’ve ever tried so I may be somewhat biased in this regard.
Despite not liking AZIO’s only feature solely designed for comfort, I did find the keyboard to be a pleasurable experience. Both gameplay and typing were a breeze and I never once felt uncomfortable using keyboard. It’s just a shame I can’t seem to find a valid use for a palm rest.
Performance-wise, the AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard was great. I’m not too familiar with Kailh Blue switches (ed: Kailh Blues are clones of Cherry Blue Switches) but I had no problem adjusting to them while playing video games. I did, however, have to get used to the click-clack while typing.
Personally, I feel like RGB lighting is more for show than for performance. However, I do think having the ability to assign custom color profiles to different keys is crucial for any gamer. Unfortunately, the MGK 1 RGB doesn’t allow for this but I still found the plain white lighting mode useful.
The performance of the hot keys were also fantastic although I wish they were dedicated keys instead of functions - the same holds true for the different lighting modes. I think more keyboard manufacturers should include these keys and I hope AZIO does so in future updates of the MGK 1 RGB.
Overall, I think the AZIO MGK 1 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard is a fantastic product for the price. Any gamer on a budget will appreciate the attention to detail AZIO put into the keyboard and will be proud to show off the MGK 1 RGB as a part of their setup. And while there is clearly room for improvement, it’s a great option for those seeking a quality mechanical keyboard at an affordable price.