Model: G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Review Unit Provided By: Logitech
Release Date: October 9, 2012
In the 90’s a switch to the membrane style keyboards resulted in quieter, lighter, and cheaper keyboards. Manufacturers quickly replaced the mechanical keyboards and we all lost the great benefits that a good mechanical keyboard can provide. Inherently, mechanical keyboards are more accurate and offer a tactile feedback that is hard to find in any other type of keyboard. Accuracy and tactile feedback is something that gamers crave almost as much as typists. So it is fitting that Logitech’s first mechanical keyboard is a gaming keyboard. The G710+ features 6 programmable keys, macros, backlit keys, anti-ghosting, and USB passthrough among other features that get us tech nerds in a tizzie.
- Key Switches: Mechanical Cherry MX Brown
- Backlighting: Adjustable with 4 brightness levels plus Off (arrow and WSAD can be adjusted separately)
- Programmable Keys: 6 with 3 memory buttons to give 18 functions
- USB Passthrough: 1 USB 2.0 port on the front near cord
- Connection: Wired requiring 2 USB ports.
- Other: 26 Rollover Keys, 110 anti-ghosting keys, media keys, game/desktop mode (disables windows key)
The G710+’s appearance keeps the keyboard looking simple while putting angles in the right spots to give it that nontraditional form factor. The left and right edges slope down at 45 degrees rather than 90 creating a look that spreads the keyboard out. Instead of going the garish route of most gaming keyboards, Logitech keeps this one innocuous by keeping to a color scheme that has most of the board using electronics black while accentuating classic gaming keys w, s , a , d, and arrows with grey. Keys are backlit with traditional white LEDs and have 4 brightness levels not including off. The aforementioned w,s,a,d, and arrow keys can have their levels altered separately. The 6 programmable keys are surrounded by bright orange plastic to differentiate them from the traditional keys. The USB cord ends have the same shade of orange creating an overall look that is pleasing yet traditional.
At a little over 3 pounds, the G710+ feels surprisingly heavy enough to break a foot bone if dropped. It is made of a sturdy plastic that feels extremely durable. The mechanical nature of the keys is probably responsible for most of the heft. The key switches use Cherry MX Brown switches which are just one variety of mechanical key switches created by Cherry. Cherry differentiates their MX line of mechanical switches by color name that dictate its characteristics. The brown variety are known for being quieter than other switches but still allowing a small tactile bump as the key is pressed. Don’t confuse being quieter for being quiet because there is still a very loud click click click click during keystrokes that you might want to avoid if in a room with other people or Skyping. The mix between bump and sound help users speed up their keystrokes while being confident that a keypress wasn’t missed.
The programmable keys are nice feature that allows you to write macros in Logitech’s program and assign it to the keys via a profile system. With 3 memory buttons to switch between, that totals up to 18 macros per a profile. The program Logitech provides also downloads profiles for specific games and provides a nice range from older titles to newer if you are feeling a bit too lazy to do your own macros. The placement on the left hand side of the keyboard of the programmable keys takes a bit to get used to. I frequently found myself hitting the 6th key when I wanted to actually hit left ctrl.
The USB passthrough at the top of the keyboard is useful since the keyboard itself takes up two USB ports. Unfortunately it is only USB 2.0, which is a shame since 3.0 has been out for a bit of time. The media keys are nice touch especially the wide roller used for volume control but nothing special as they are features of most keyboards above the OEM quality level. The game mode key only turns off the windows key keeping an accidental press from bringing the start menu in the middle of a full screen game.
The G710+ is a joy to use. Typing leaves your fingers feeling as if they are gliding and are only limited by their mechanical nature rather than the keyboards. The minimalist design is pleasing to the eye especially when compared against other gaming keyboards and their bold garish designs. Upgrading from a membrane based keyboard to the G710+ is a no brainer. If you already own a mechanical keyboard, your mileage may vary but it should definitely be looked at as a viable alternative.