MSI Vigor GK30 Combo + Clutch GM11– upgrade your setup now!
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So the MSI Vigor GK30 combo got released just a couple of months ago, and retails for roughly $65 usd, in jolly ol England about 68 pounds, 146 canadian rupees, and 1900 nt in Taiwan at time of publication. (Separately, 50 USD) The rubber-dome plunger type membrane switches have 6 key rollover and 20 key anti-ghosting, rated for over 12 million clicks. The keyboard has a 2 year warranty.
This mechanical-like membrane type keyboard has a floating type key design which is water repellent with easy to set up lighting effects, which we’ll talk about in a bit. Opening the box, you get the Vigor GK30 and Clutch GM11 in minimal plastic, with a thick multi-language brochure for both units.
The MSI Vigor GK30 Combo is 43.8 wide by 15.7 deep, and standing at 38 millimeters high, it weighs in at a hair over 1 kilogram, and build quality is pretty good with just a bit of flex and a little noise. The standout feature is the under key area lit by the LEDs. The ABS keys are laser-engraved with the LED backlight coming through a bit, as they’re not directly lit.
The bottom right area has 6 LEDs for each zone, which blink when setting the colors. This design ends up being a bit of a light hotspot for the board.The gunmetal gray of the slightly textured top feels metallic although it’s ABS plastic, it is super solid as gives a premium feeling at this price point.
The keyboard provides one notch of height adjustment to suit your typing feel. Popping them out… sound raises the rear of the keyboard 6 millimeters up, from 2.3cm to 2.9cm, measured from the top surface corner. Bottom front feet are here to keep it centered during frantic gaming sessions. Does it work? Yes, the feet keep the keyboard in place, and we end up jiggling our filming table instead.
With a screen printed MSI logo at the front bottom. Cables for both keyboard and mouse are 1.8 meters long, and are a normal, non-braided type. Overall really great looking, let’s check usability.
So we’re up to the typing test. Space bar could use a bit more stabilization, but it doesn’t affect usage. The keys feel decent to type with, similar to, but not the same as a mechanical, but certainly as loud as one.
The seven media keys on Function 9 to 12 and the Printscreen trio, are accessed by holding down the MSI button. If you hold this and press the windows key, this activates Game mode, which locks out the windows keys from accidental presses.
So good news, getting this keyboard has fixed an issue with my MSI RTX 2070 Super, it’s been stuck with the same color pattern for a half-year. The problem was the Dragon Center version I was using didn’t have support yet for the 2070 Super when I purchased it, and when I upgraded Dragon Center, I got stuck at the “Waiting for SDK Initialization” screen which hangs the app and doesn’t let you control anything. Loading multiple Mystic Light and Dragon Center app versions probably did not help either.
So this is how I fixed it. First, I went into Apps & Features and uninstalled BOTH Dragon Center, as well as One_DC_SDK. To be thorough, I also went to C drive slash ProgramData slash MSI and deleted everything in there. Rebooted, installed Dragon Center version 126.96.36.199 and it worked! Now in Apps and Programs, One_DC_SDK is now labelled MSI SDK, something I was going to recommend to be improved, but it’s taken care of already with this new version. I’ll throw the MSI forum thread that helped in the description, hopes that helps you too.
In Dragon Center, first click the little arrow at the top left to expand the colume, and then Mystic Light near the bottom. There’s two new icons for me, one being my 2070 Super, and also the MSI Vigor GK30 Combo. Plugging in the Clutch GM11 prompted a software update which completed quickly, also bringing it into Mystic Light, and adding the bottom option, Gaming gear.
Ok, so for the keyboard, there’s steady, breathing, rainbow, meteor, ripple, and dimming, with 7 colors to pick for most presets. The button for Ambient Link is the control for Nanoleaf panels or Philips Hue, not the keyboard. You can also adjust the settings right on the keyboard, hold MSI Key and hit Insert to cycle through the different color modes. The functions like speed, light color, brightness and direction.
The color wave mode and Customize mode aren’t available in the software so far. To edit the 6 zone colors in Customize mode, hold down the MSI key and hit 1 through 6 to select that zone, which will flash. While still holding the MSI key you can hit left and right arrow to change the color.
We tested both the keyboard and mouse retain their settings when used on another computer, so that’s good. On to the Clutch GM11 mouse. You save a few bucks by when buying the combo, as the bundled Clutch GM11 gaming mouse does sell separately for 30 bucks, sometimes on sale on Amazon US, 24 pounds and 67 dollars in the great white north.
Measuring 118 millimeters long by 62 wide and 37 mils high, a little low-profile with the hump further towards the back, it does work with larger hands. This 6 button mouse has main buttons with Omron switches, the sensor is a PixArt PMW3325 wutg 400 to 5000 CPI at 1000 hertz polling, and it weighs in at 90 grams. (Techpowerup reports these are Omron D2FC-F-N 10M)
This is lightweight mouse territory, our self-defined middleweight starts at 95 grams, with heavyweight at 110 grams or more. This gaming mouse comes with a two year warranty. The symmetrical Clutch GM11 has a gunmetal gray matte top finish matching the keyboard, matte untextured sides, and glossy back/forward buttons. The top and sides won’t collect any fingerprints due to the matte finish which is excellent.
This mouse is super solid with zero flex or creaks, noise and the mouse buttons have a great feeling response. The rubber scroll wheel is a bit airy, with soft notches and it sticks out just a little further. It’s got a tactile click, the extra height vs body may affect your precision just slightly if you’re doing a scroll and click.
Side and DPI buttons are held in well with the tiniest amount of wobble, no issues here. The DPI is low but still easy to press, the mouse flashes a different color with each DPI mode.
The Pixart 3325 is rated up to up to 20G, as in G-force, tracking up to 100 ips or inches per second, though it appeared to handle even better than that. During testing we found the lift-off distance is roughly 3 to 4 millimeters from the pad until it loses tracking, and it’s Perfect Control Speed is high enough that we couldn’t make it spin-out in game. The feet on the mouse glide nicely, with a great feel.
Finally in Dragon Center, if you click on Gaming gear, you can select your mouse. First tab is button re-assignment, second tab you can set polling rate lower if you want, DPI goes up/down in increments of 100 to 5 thousand.
We found the mouse LED just a little dim, but it depends on how bright you like your RGB I guess, in software these are the options for lighting you have, including ripple and reactive.
MSI’s got a good value combo on their hands with the MSI Vigor GK30 Combo keyboard and Clutch GM11 mouse. Good key and button feel on both units, we were impressed with the build quality of both, especially the rock solid mouse, and if you’re a fan of black and metal gray you can’t go wrong here. With a similar to mechanical feel, sturdy keys, water repellant design and key accessible lighting effects, this combo represents good value, coming in at about $65 bucks.
It’s easy to grab a solid performing, good looking set to improve your gaming, without breaking the bank. And if you’re wanting some color on your desk, this combo will certainly deliver. We really liked the extra bottom keyboard pads to grip the desk preventing travel, and the super-glide mouse feet that are really awesome.
There are a few things that could be better, for usage we touched on the spacebar, and needing a few dedicated media keys, and the mouse doesn’t have any ridges or texture on the sides. Also the mouse wheel and liftoff distance was a bit high for me. Pro gamers would be looking a tier up anyways, so this won’t affect most users.
Addressing RGB and functionality, depending on the light in your room, we feel the underkey RGB can be a little dim from some angles. We also noticed some funkyness with the keyboard’s speed control after connecting with Dragon Center. But you can still set the speed you want, you just need to hunt for it a little. Also for the brighter area bottom right, as a design accent it’s great, though we would have like to seen the underkey area brighter to match.
Dragon Center is getting updates with refinements and new features consistently. Being said, both keyboard and mouse can smoothly transition through all the colors, but in software you can only pick seven. There’s 3 speed and brightness levels, it would be intuitive to have a 0 position to stop the color pattern where you want, or turn off lighting.
On the GK30, brightness on keyboard keeps getting set to low, when going between devices. The direction toggle, color wave and custom zone effects aren’t available in software yet. Being able to set Custom zone lighting WITH software would make setting up this mode a breeze. You’re not able to choose a color on ripple.
For the mouse, wave mode at its slowest is still way too fast, the LEDs are a bit dim compared to the keyboard, the logo DPI mode colors aren’t assignable, and you can’t set the logo independently. For example, it would look cool to have a breathing mode logo and reactive side lights!
Testing on our z390 Tomahawk currently we’re using a few presets including rainbow wave, and it’d be intuitive to get the more of the same presets already offered on all components, so it’s an easy click to set everything on your favorite mode.
Currently, All-Sync mode has issues, you get much better results setting each component individually to a mode like breathing, something we’ll bring up with MSI. We’ve been working for MSI for over a year, and in that time they’ve integrated Mystic Light into Dragon Center and improved it a lot. Hopefully they’ll enable more color modes and selection, and better connectivity in future software updates.
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