July 7, 2011

Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard Review

Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard Review

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 gaming keyboard scene. The only thing that was holding me back from purchasing it was the $400 AUD price tag. However since then you can now pick these up now for under $200 AUD so it’s definitely worth a good look.

Check out the unboxing video below to see my first impressions:

Design and Features

The keyboard measures in at 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.  They keyboard itself is full sized and the keys provide solid feedback for typing and gaming.

 

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The G19 requires a physical power source along with 1 USB port. This is expected as to power the LCD screen, backlighting and also 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. There is a dedicated gaming switch that disables the windows key so you don’t accidently tab out of the game your playing. Next to the LCD Screen is a key to disable the keyboard lights and the screen.

 

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However it does not allow you to disable just the screen, or just the keyboard lighting and left me wanting more.  On the right side is a all the required media playback keys and a volume scroll. For a keyboard worth as much as this I would have expected a more solid scroll 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.

 

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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 utilise the screen. Another annoying issue is you are unable to set a default app, so each time you turn your pc on you need to manually select what you want. This means 75% of the time I am using the screen as a pointless Logitech Menu (Not Happy).

Build Quality

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 from and wouldn’t replacement it under warranty. Now 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 out of it.

Final Thoughts

I give this keyboard a Silver Award from Product Feedback with 4 Stars. The Logitech G19 keyboard is definitely a good contender for those looking for something with adjustable backlighting and customizable hotkeys. The keyboard’s LCD Display has usable features but most of the games we played didn’t support it. If Logitech was able to find a lot more third party developers to create apps for it then 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 definitely a solid contender.

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