Picking out a keyboard used to be easy. Does it have the right keys? Check. Does it look sturdy? Double check. Does it come with some fancy features that make it stand out? Check again. You can still pretty much do that, but gaming keyboards in particular come with more features and buttons than the dashboard on the Starship Enterprise. Or at least Logitech’s new G910 does.
In amongst all the noise that Razer and Corsair have been making about their mechanical keyboards, Logitech is still around. They’re maybe not the undisputed go-to hardware manufacturers anymore, but it’s still tough to find a product of theirs that isn’t good. That’s true for the new gaming focused G910 mechanical keyboard, although what you use it for will ultimately make or break it
The first thing I had to do though was clear some desk space. The G910 is a large keyboard, similar to Razer’s Blackwidow Ultimate. The extra length comes from the inclusion of a numpad, as well as an extra row of macro keys down the left. A few others find their way to the top of the keyboard, which stretches it out even further. It’s all finished off by a comfortable palm rest, which can be swapped out for the included larger one if you really want.
The G910 definitely looks like a gaming keyboard, but I was confused to find my palm placing a little bit off the first time I used it. I could feel something was different, and it wasn’t long before a realized that the main part of the keyboard had actually been squished together a bit. My fingers no longer matched up with the keys I expected them to, making typing a bit difficult to get used to. That wasn’t aided by the key design, with each button featuring an indentation to keep one’s fingers comfortably in place
It turned out to be a problem for fast, accurate typing as my fingers couldn’t easily slide between keys. For gaming, however, it works wonders. My fingers were always comfortable and nestled in place, providing a decent amount of feedback and warning when I wanted to shift from key to key. The traditional WASD keys are also emblazoned with their own design, since you’ll probably be using them the most.
The G910 is a mechanical keyboard, but you wouldn’t be able to tell immediately. Normally mechanical keyboard make a hell of a lot of noise, but the G910’s unique switches keep it relatively quiet. The Romer-G switches are similar to standard Cherry MX ones, with a few modifications. They have a slightly faster actuation time and can survive a massive 70 million presses, both of which I struggled to really test. The quiet keys do sacrifice some of the feedback though, and I found myself craving the signature kickback that a mechanical keyboard usually provides.
The G910 has 9 macro keys in total, with five running down the left-hand side of the keyboard and the other four lying suspiciously out of reach at the top. The five down the left are perfectly place, but I can’t find a reason why the other four are so out of the way. There’s also a macro record key, some really useful media control buttons and keys to switch between profiles on-the-fly. You’re getting all of the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premier gaming keyboard, although that’s only half of what the G910 has to offer.
Sitting at the top is a little dock for your smartphone. If you download the free Logitech Arx Control app, your smartphone essentially becomes a second screen for you to use while gaming. You can monitor your PC’s status; things such as component temperatures, GPU and CPU usage and fan speeds, as well as launch and load profiles for specific games. If studios decide to work with the Arx SDK, then future games could relay important information to the app for display, but there’s nothing like that just yet. It is promising though, and a far better solution than other screens slapped on to keyboards I’ve seen.
The real star of the show is the software that sits inside your PC. Logitech have crammed so many features into their Gaming Software that it cracks the G910 wide open. Each key can be individually lit up in an array of millions of different colors. The software makes this easy to do as well, allowing you to set custom lighting profiles to each key. You could have it light up green and change to rad after being pressed, or simply make the entire thing look like something a unicorn would throw up after a heavy night.
Customizing the G910 is easy, but it’s even better when the profiles are ready and waiting. The Gaming Software scans your PC for games, and immediately downloads profiles that are available for them. These make assigning macros easier, as direct game commands pop up on the scrolling options menu. Unfortunately, setting custom lighting profiles to specific games isn’t here yet, although it should be in the near future.
Setting up custom macros is also a breeze using the Gaming Software and the nifty macro record button. Simply hit record, click the macro key you want to assign to, roll your face over the keys and and hit record to capture it. It’s incredibly simple to use and works like a charm, which is great for most hardcore MMO players. The Gaming Software also keeps track of which keys are being pressed the most, providing a nice heat map of the entire thing – for the analytical demon inside of you.
Logitech isn’t lying; this is a crammed-to-the-crust keyboard with all the gaming features you could possibly dream for. It comes with a hefty fee though, and if international pricing is anything to go by you could very well be looking at close to R3000 for the G910. There’s no local pricing that I could get my hands on yet, but overseas Logitech is shipping these out for no less than $180. That’s a tough pill to swallow on a keyboard that doesn’t necessarily excel in every way.
Last Updated: November 14, 2014