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5 out of 5 eggs Better than expected -- with a few quirks 02/24/2016

This review is from: AZIO MGK1-RGB-BLU MGK1 RGB Gaming Keyboard

Pros: This is a rock solid keyboard. I use it for work, not gaming and I am quite impressed. I had purchased a Corsair K70 which is going to be returned. The Azio offers a multitude of lighting options, easily accessed without having to install any software or drivers. But more importantly, the "blue" switches for the keys produce the right amount of "click" when typing (I had used one of the the legendary Northgate OmniKey keyboards for over 25 years before it gave up the ghost -- so I have experience with how a quality keyboard works). The volume control and mute bottom are nicely placed on the keyboard -- making them very convenient. All in all, a well-built, solid keyboard.

And as an added bonus, Azio's tech support is located in the USA and you get a knowledgeable live person immediately.

Cons: This keyboard, however, does have a few quirks. First, the key caps reverse the usual placement of the numbers and symbols by placing the symbols under the numbers -- which just feels unnatural after decades of using keyboards where the symbols are placed above the numbers. Similarly, the punctuation marks in the row of the shift keys are reversed so that the ones that require the shift key are on the bottom of the key cap. That's simply backwards. In just a few days of using this otherwise excellent keyboard, I've frequently gotten it backwards and failed to hit the shift key when necessary thanks to the reversed labeling on the key caps.

The User Guide has a bad typo which can leave users trying to set a single color for all the keys scratching their heads. On page 5 it instructs users to hit the FN+DEL key combination to stop the motion of the color flow when in Spectrum Cycling Mode. It should tell us to hit the FN+INS key combination instead. And that's the reason I called tech support. They allegedly will fix the typo in the PDF of the User Guide on their website. It may take a while to get it corrected in the printed manuals.

Other Thoughts: I realize that people rarely need tech support for a keyboard. But any tech company that places its tech support in the USA deserves some kudos for doing that. The one troubling issue I'm facing is that Azio will release a more advanced keyboard in the second quarter that will be a bit larger than this one and include some macro keys. I admit to being tempted to return this one and wait for the newer keyboard. Tough choice. But if you need a well-built keyboard now, the Azio MGK 1 RGB with its blue keys is a really good choice -- unless you prefer to type in near silence.

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Pros: Runs well, quiet - but truthfully I haven't really had chance to use it much yet. But that's not why I wrote this review. The important points are under "Other" below.

Cons: Still in early stages of using the drive. But it has been a little kinky when playing music CDs on it.

Other Thoughts: The reason I'm writing this review now even though I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet is to alert people that it appears the SATA port it uses must be configured as AHCI, not IDE. When I first connected the drive to the SATA5 port on my recent vintage Asus AMD motherboard (configured as IDE because the BIOS instructions said ports 5-6 can be configured only as IDE), the motherboard would not recognize the LG Blue-ray drive. So I connected it to port 3, configured as AHCI and the drive was recognized and ran fine. :Since I needed something else connected to port 3 and all ports 1-4 were assigned, I reconfigured ports 5 &6 to AHCI despite the BOIS saying they can't be configured that way. Both the LG Blue-ray drive and a simple DVD-CD drive were recognized by the motherboard and are running okay so far (but I haven't tried to record anything on the LG Blue-ray drive yet).

I just wanted to alert potential purchasers to this issue in case you run into it too.

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PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 380 DirectX 12 AXR9 380 4GBD5-PPDHE 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ATX Video Card
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  • neweggOwned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Works like a charm: stable, fast, colorful (couldn't resist), easy installation. Replacing an AMD Radeon HD 7850 with 1 GB GDDR5, this PowerColor card quickly surpassed the 7850. Can't say enough about how happy I am with the card. It is really solidly built -- seems very high quality compared to many other video cards. Very quiet even with demanding loads. Gotta love how short the card is, making it easier to mount in a range of computer cases.

Cons: Two year warranty, two year warranty, two year warranty. Get the picture? Why does PowerColor lack confidence in the quality of its products that it offers just a two year warranty. The relatively brief warranty made me hesitate, but Newegg's $169.95 price after rebate was irresistible.

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Daniel L.'s Profile

Display Name: Daniel L.

Date Joined: 03/14/04

  • Reviews: 22
  • Helpfulness: 14
  • First Review: 03/27/11
  • Last Review: 02/24/16
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