Logitech Gaming Keyboard Buyer Guide
So you’re looking for a Logitech gaming keyboard, right?You’ve heard that Logitech make great gaming gear and you know you want one of their keyboards, but don’t know much else about them. Then why not let Gaming Weapons help you decide?
First things first, and to try and remain impartial, have you considered the other manufacturers of gaming keyboards out there? There are loads of other great keyboards out there but two names that spring to mind are Razer and Saitek, both companies who make good gear.
But if you really have your heart set on a Logitech gaming keyboard then read on.
Who Are Logitech?
First of all, a bit of background into Logitech. They’ve been making computer peripherals since 1981, when they started manufacturing a new device called a computer mouse.
Since then they steadily increased their range of products before starting up their ‘G’ range of hardware aimed specifically at gamers … mice, steering wheels, keypads, joysticks, headphones and keyboards.
The great thing about Logitech is that they don’t just churn out trash. Their gaming gear is of a high quality, packed with the latest technology and built to last. The downside of that build quality is that the retail price on a Logitech gaming keyboard can be quite high, but if you know where to look you can find a bargain.
Logitech G11 Keyboard
The G11 is the cheapest Logitech gaming keyboard available. However, just because it’s the cheapest doesn’t mean it’s not worth buying. In some ways the G11 is the best of the bunch!
The best feature of the G11 is it’s set of programmable keys. There are eighteen keys on the left of the keyboard, each of which can have up to three macros programmed into it that can trigger a single action or sequence of actions. That’s a total of 54 macros – and using the driver software you can make that up to 54 macros per game!
Another clever feature of the G11 is the gaming mode. By pressing a button on the keyboard you can disable the Windows keys. Why? Well, if you’ve ever been in the middle of a game and accidentally hit the Windows key then you’ll have found yourself switching back to the desktop, which could be potentially disastrous in a close-fought online game. The gaming mode stops that from happening.
Other cool fatures on the G11 include subtle blue backlighting to help you pick out the keys in low-light or late night gaming sessions. Media keys are available, meaning you can control your videos and MP3s withuot having to switch applications.
Anything wrong with the G11? Well, those eighteen macro keys add a fair bit of extra width to the keyboard, so make sure yo uhave enough space on your desk to fit it (21.5 inches wide by 10.5inches deep with wrist rest). It’s also going to become increasingly difficult to get hold of as it has been superceded by the new G110.
Logitech G110 Keyboard
In 2009 Logitech had a revamp of their ‘G’ series of gaming peripherals which brought us two new Logitech gaming keyboards – the awesome new G19 (see below) and this new entry level keyboard, the G110.
The G110 is smaller than the G11 so will fit gamers’ desks more easily. It is also lighter yet retains the same feeling of sturdiness.
The feature list of the G110 reads much like the G11. There are programmable keys, twelve of them down the left side of the keyboard, with three functions available to each for a total of 36 macros.
The backlighting has been improved on the G110, offering you the chance to mix the red and blue LEDs to give you (almost) any shade of red, purple or blue.
There is still the gaming mode and multimedia keys. On top of that there are 3.5mm audio plugs for a headset and an additional USB 2.0 socket for additional connectivity.
All in all the G110 makes a great gaming keyboard and if you don’t have the money to splash out on the more expensive G15 or G19 then don’t worry, this keyboard will do just fine.
Logitech G15 Keyboard
At one point the G15 was the best Logitech gaming keyboard available, and one of the most expensive you could buy. It was the keyboard that gamers aspired to own but now, with the arrival of the G19, it now falls into the middle of the Logitech range.
Building on the features of the G11, the G15 includes a novel feature that (for a long time) was unique – an LCD screen capable of displaying loads of in-game info, messages and hardware stats. The contents of the screen are definable and can be controlled through the G15’s driver software.
Even though the G15 carries obvious similarites to the G11 it has had a subtle redesign since it was first released. The G15 Version 2 now features orange backlighting, and in a surprise move it has fewer programmable keys. Logitech decided that the extra width taken up by eighteen keys was too much and cut them down to just six, allowing them to reduce the width of the keyboard from 21.5 inches to 20. That still allows for eighteen macros, but if you need more then you’ll have to go for the G11 or G19.
The gaming mode is carried over from the G11, as are the media keys. There are also two USB1.1 ports, allowing you to cut down on the amount of wires trailing across your computer desk to the back of your PC.
So what’s wrong with the G15? It’s biggest problem is the cheaper G110 – unless you really want that LCD screen you’d probably be better off picking the G110.
Logitech G19 Keyboard
The Logitech G19 is the Daddy of Logitech’s gaming keyboard range. Introduced in 2009, it’s an all-new design and is packed full of great features that should keep any gamer happy.
The most obvious is the amazing new 320x240pixel colour LCD screen, a huge improvement on that used on the G15. The idea may be the same (it can display game stats, system information, VOIP communication data, video playback and image slideshows) but the new screen is so much nicer to look at and easier to read.
The backlighting is much more sophisticated on the G19, and you can now choose the colour of the keys. Combined with the colour LCD screen and the new black chassis, the G19 has a much more modern appearance than the ageing G11 and G15 keyboards.
There are twelve programmable keys, each with up to three macros per key for a total of 36 commands of your choice. It might not be as much as the G11, but it should be enough.
Other features are carried over from the G15, including the media keys and gaming mode. Other less exciting features include two hi-speed USB ports and cable tidies on the underside of the keyboard.
There are downsides to the G19. That colour screen means the G19 requires its own power source, so make sure you’ve got a free plug. And the retail price is very high at $199, but you’re not the sort of person to pay full retail price, are you?
Where Can I Get A Cheap Logitech Gaming Keyboard?
More often than not Logitech release their hardware with a high retail price. This might put off the casual shopper, but in this age of internet retailers it’s always possible to buy with significant reductions, even at launch time.
Your first place to try is Amazon (or Amazon.co.uk). Probably the most popular place to buy online, Amazon are often one of the cheapest places to pick up gaming hardware. Have a look and you should find Logitech keyboards available for less than their retail price. If you can wait a few days for delivery you should also choose the free ‘Super Saver’ delivery option.
If you’re really looking for a bargain you could try eBay. You should be able to buy new or used here, but check the seller’s feedback and look for returns policies if buying new. If buying a used keyboard you could save yourself a lot of money, but look for auctions where the seller has included a detailed description of the condition of the keyboard, as well as some good photos. As long as you’re careful you should be able to pick up a keyboard for a fraction of the retail price.