Reviewed & Recommended: MSI’s VIGOR GK71 SONIC mechanical keyboard with MSI Sonic Blue switches


  • Full sized keyboard
  • Includes an extremely comfortable wrist wrest
  • Lighting can be controlled without installing software
  • Comprehensive Software Support


  • Not hot-swappable (a version with Red Switches is available)
  • Wired-only (no wireless option)


  • Blue Switches are louder than other styles

Micro-Star International, aka MSI, is a company well known by enthusiasts for their high quality motherboards, laptops, and graphics cards. MSI also produces a variety of other peripherals including CPU coolers, PSUs, routers, and even keyboards like the product we’re looking at today.

Lately it seems like the craze is for smaller, more compact mechanical keyboards – TKL 65% and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong, I love these keyboards for gaming. However, when it comes to doing office work and such – there’s no substitute for a quality, “old fashioned”, full sized keyboard.

Today’s review is of MSI’s newly launched Vigor GK71 Sonic, a full size mechanical keyboard with Sonic Blue switches. This is an updated version of the Vigor GK71 Sonic that I reviewed last year, the main difference being the use of Blue switches instead of Red switches.

MSI’s VIGOR GK71 Sonic breaks the trend of small keyboards – it offers a full size 104+ key keyboard. With a price tag of $129.99 USD, it’s certainly not cheap. However, it’s still easier on the wallet than many “fully custom” mechanical keyboards. How does it hold up? Read on for more information.

Unit Specifications – MSI VIGOR GK71 SONIC

  • Full Size 104/105/109 key keyboard (different by languages)
  • MSI SONIC Blue switches
  • Hybrid 6+N Key rollover
  • 1.8m braided USB-A cable
  • “Aircraft Grade” Aluminum Alloy Top
  • Plastic Body
  • Available in Grey or White color schemes

What’s in the box

  • VIGOR GK71 SONIC Mechanical Keyboard with Sonic Blue switches
  • User Manual
  • 1x Keycap removal tool
  • 1x Premium Memory Foam Wrist Rest

Build Quality

MSI’s keyboard is fairly light, weighing at 854g. This places it a little heavier than keyboards like DeepCool’s KG722, but lighter than most full size keyboards on the market. The housing frame is made of plastic, but it is sturdy and exhibits only minor bending when forcibly flexed. The top frame is made of “Aircraft Grade” Aluminum Alloy, pictured below.

Image Source: MSI

What’s different from other keyboards

Vertical Legs

The GK71 has adjustable legs, however unlike many other keyboards which open towards the back of the keyboard, the legs on the GK71 are oriented vertically.

Premium Memory Foam Wrist Rest

While most keyboards don’t include a wrist rest, MSI has included one with the GK71 Sonic. It’s extremely comfortable, made of premium memory foam. The wrist rests are of high quality – I’ve been using one from another MSI keyboard for over a year now, and it barely shows any signs of wear.


An “X” shaped indention forms across the underneath of the wrist rest and keyboard, allowing cables to pass under the keyboard without stretching or tangling. This can be useful for things like headphones.

Image Source: MSI


The keycaps included with MSI’s GK71 Sonic are a bit different from most other keycaps I’ve seen. The bottom part of the keycaps are fully transparent, allowing lighting to shine through. The tops of the keycaps are solid black with translucent etchings. I don’t know what material the tops are made of, but they are extremely smooth.

Software Control via MSI Center

MSI offers comprehensive software support with the MSI Center application. This isn’t a requirement for customization – one can use keyboard controls to change the types of lighting effects, colors, and speeds of the lighting styles.

One completely unexpected feature which has been added to MSI Center recently is voice control. If enabled, this allows you to change the keyboard settings via audio!

Here’s a quick demo of this feature in action

The “Game Sync” feature will synchronize the keyboard’s lighting with in-game actions, and is supported by games such as Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. For example, while driving in Watch Dogs: Legion – it will automatically highlight the control keys. This feature works with non-keyboard devices too – for example, it’s compatible with a variety of monitors and nanoleaf lighting.

Check out the video below from Tech Jamo, showing how the feature works on the keys on MSI’s GE66 laptop. The part you want to watch starts about 3 minutes into the video.

Media Keys

Above the numpad are media control keys which allow you to quickly change the volume, mute sounds, play/pause, and next track/previous track controls.


This model uses Blue switches, which are louder than the Red switches in the previously released GK71 Sonic – giving a slightly hollowed “clack” sound with each keystroke. Below are recording showing the loudness of both models MSI’s SONIC GK71. The top video shows this review’s model with Sonic Blues, the bottom shows the model with Sonic Red switches.

Sonic BLUES typing test
Sonic REDS typing test

Usage Testing & Comparison to other keyboards

I don’t claim to be an expert on mechanical keyboards, I can only talk about my experience with the keyboard as I use it. For these keyboard reviews, I use the products at my day job which involves a lot of typing, and use the boards exclusively for 1-2 weeks to get a proper feel of how the unit performs. While testing I used all of these keyboards with a wrist rest.

The following is my subjective view on how MSI’s GK71 with Sonic Blues compares to the previous GK71 model with Sonic Reds, Keychron’s K8 & ROCCAT’s 121 AIMO.

The keys on the Keychron’s K8 with Gateron Reds tended to land hard and fast, with the slightest of resistance as they fall. I had to adjust my typing to be lighter with the K8 or my fingers would hurt a little bit, as when I typed heavily the tips of my fingers were impacted somewhat.

The keys on MSI’s GK71 with Sonic Reds also land fast, but not quite as hard. I did have to adjust my typing to be slightly lighter than normal to avoid mashing my fingers, but not by much.

The typing experience on ROCCAT’S 121 AIMO is the most comfortable of any keyboard I have tested thus far, as I found it virtually impossible to mash my fingertips on it – but the GK71 with Sonic Reds is nearly as comfortable to type on, and offer slightly faster typing speeds.

Typing speeds were similar between the Keychron K8 and MSI’s VIGOR GK71 SONIC with Sonic Reds. The GK71 with Sonic Red switches was louder than ROCCAT’s 121 AIMO, but quieter than any other mechanical keyboards I have tested.

Typing on the GK71 Sonic with Sonic Blues is pleasant. I didn’t have to adjust my natural typing habits to avoid mashing my fingers (in contrast to the model with Sonic Reds), likely a result of the higher actuation force. I was also able to type slightly faster on the model with Sonic Blues, registering an increase of ~4 WPM vs the model with Sonic Reds. As mentioned earlier, it is a bit louder than the GK71 with Sonic Red switches.



  • Full sized keyboard
  • Includes an extremely comfortable wrist wrest
  • Lighting can be controlled without installing software
  • Comprehensive Software Support


  • Not hot-swappable (a version with Red Switches is available)
  • Wired-only (no wireless option)


  • Blue Switches are louder than other switches
LG 45GR95QE in the back, MSI GK71 Sonic keyboard in the front

Just like last year’s model with Sonic Reds, MSI’s GK71 with Sonic Blues is a high quality keyboard that is a perfect match for both gaming and office work – so long as your co-workers don’t mind the louder sound of the Sonic Blue switches. The switches included with this year’s model are comfortable to type with and allow for slightly faster typing speeds (vs Sonic Reds), in my opinion.

MSI’s VIGOR GK71 Sonic with Sonic Blues switches provides a great value at a lower price than many competitors of similar build quality. I’m awarding this our Gold Award because this is honestly one of the best mechanical keyboards I have used.


For more information about MSI’s VIGOR GK71 SONIC, check out the promotional video below featuring last year’s model.

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