When Logitech first released the G19 Gaming keyboard, I remember how excited I was. The ability to adjust the backlight colour of a keyboard and the tilt-able colour LCD screen was something new to the gaming keyboard scene. The only thing that was holding me back from purchasing it was the AUD 400 price tag. However, since then, you can pick these up now for under AUD 200, so it’s worth a good look.
Design and Features
The keyboard measures 50 cm in length (19.5 Inches for our American friends) and 23 cm wide (9 Inches), having the LCD screen flat, so this is not a small keyboard. Those using a slide-out keyboard tray should be wary if it will fit. The keyboard itself is full-sized, and the keys provide solid feedback for typing and gaming.
The G19 requires a physical power source along with 1 USB port. This is expected to power the LCD screen, backlighting, and two USB 2.0 ports at the back of the keyboard.
On the left-hand side of the keyboard, you have 12 adjustable G-Keys, but using the different modes, you can have up to 36. They are simple to configure, and the software required to run them does not take up much, If any, system resources. A dedicated gaming switch disables the Windows key so you don’t accidentally tab out of the game you’re playing. Next to the LCD Screen is a key to disable the keyboard lights and the screen.
However, it does not allow you to disable just the screen or the keyboard lighting and left me wanting more. On the right side are all the required media playback keys and a volume scroll. I would have expected a more solid scroll for a keyboard worth as much as this, but it does the job.
The LCD screen is one of the major features of this keyboard. There are pre-installed applications, such as clock, performance monitor and webcam viewer. Other cool Apps include Movie Viewer, Picture viewer and YouTube LCD.
To be honest, this is a fantastic thing to have on a keyboard, but there is a huge downfall. There does not seem to be much uptake on people making third party apps, if any. A quick Google search shows this; even games like Starcraft 2 and Counter-Strike Source have nothing properly developed to utilize the screen. Another annoying issue is that you cannot set a default app, so each time you turn your pc on, you need to select what you want manually. This means 75% of the time; I am using the screen as a pointless Logitech Menu (Not Happy).
Having used this as my primary keyboard for over 12 months, I can safely say that the build of the keyboard is solid. It feels just as responsive as the day I bought it, and there is no wearing to the keys. The attachable palm rest, however, is very poor quality; the clips used to attach it to the keyboard snapped and is no longer being used. I contacted Logitech to send me a replacement, but they do not have spare parts to purchase and wouldn’t replace it under warranty. Before any comments saying I wasn’t careful enough, this is not true. You can tell just by the size of the clips it’s an accident waiting to happen. Apart from this, the keyboard remains solid, and even those with a heavy hand should get a good life.
I give this keyboard a Silver Award from Product Feedback with 4 Stars. The Logitech G19 keyboard is a good contender for something with adjustable backlighting and customizable hotkeys. The keyboard’s LCD Display has usable features, but most of our games didn’t support it. If Logitech could find a lot more third-party developers to create apps for it, it might have scored slightly higher. If you are in the market for a high-end gaming keyboard and not looking for a mechanical style, then this is a solid contender.