Logitech G19 Mini Review
My last review seemed to be well recieved, so here I go again!
Today, I was the happy recipient of the new Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard.
I also have to again apologize for the quality of the pics, I'm really not much of a photographer, but I hope they give you the idea!
This is NOT going to be a long drawn out review of a keyboard. Let's face it, we know what they look like and we know what they're supposed to do. I'm going to give you my impressions of this new keyboard, and some of the super duper cool features it has...
First, let me start by saying that this keyboard is mis-titled. It should be called the G19 Gaming and Multimedia keyboard. It does soooo much more than just show how many bullets you have left in your current weapon of choice.
Look, no picture of a keyboard box....sorry. It came in a box, it said Logitech G19 gaming keyboard. It was in Logitech's usual teal and white. Nothing new here!!!
Upon opening the package, I was surprised to find not only the keyboard and install CD, but a power cord. Nothing I'd read about this keyboard had said anything about a 110v wall plug. I know the very first thing I thought was...damn, another plug!! Then, it dawned on me what the benefit of this is to me. I can use it to charge my phone and iPod while my computer is off!! It actually gets RID of two plugs!! Besides powering the USB 2.0 plugs on the keyboard, the plug also powers the LCD screen, as today's USB ports don't have enough power to run this display.
Speaking of the display. I've come from the G15 keyboard, which I've had for about two years now, and let me tell you, it's beautiful. There's nothing else to say about it. Well, ok there is, it's bright, has great contrast, fantastic colors, and displays EVERYTHING that my G15 did, without any software changes at all. I plugged it in and away it went!! Then there's all the little things that it does that the old one couldn't, like display videos, show pictures, and play movie files. I really have no idea what the point of this is, but, it does it. I guess it's like a screen saver...pointless (on an LCD) but cool. More on the display later.....
Let's take a look at the keyboard itself. As you can see, it's a very similar layout to the G15, but look closer. For one thing, this one is MUCH smaller, there's only two rows of "G" macro keys, and because of the new layout and screen, the keyboard is also not as deep as the old one. The keyboard feels very well made, just as well as the MX5500 (the best office keyboard IMO). This is one of those things you can't really describe, it just feels nice, solid, well built.
The keys are all backlit, and you can change the color of the backlighting. There's a number of different colors available, blue, red, orange, yellow, green, white, and strangely, my favorite, purple. For those of you who were hoping that the new keys would light up a room, I'm sorry to tell you, they don't, which is a good thing. They're just bright enough for late night frag sessions in a dark room. You'll always be able to find your keys in a dark or dimly lit room. For those of you who haven't played on a keyboard with backlit keys, let me tell you, this makes gaming much easier in a dark environment. No more looking for that one elusive key when you need it...You can put away your little flashlights now.
I guess the main purpose of the keyboard is supposed to be typing (although gamers would argue that), and here you won't be disappointed. The keys make a nice thunk thunk thunk sound as you type, they have just enough resistance, and everything is just where it's supposed to be. I know this is a short paragraph for the main purpose of a keyboard, but really, what else can I say? It's really nice to type on. A vast improvement from the G15, that's for sure.
There is one thing you won't need with this keyboard, thankfully, is the goofy wrist rest thing. I always found the one with the G15 way to flimsy. But I needed it for the G15, not so with the G19. It doesn't feel like there's anything missing without it.
Ok, let's move on to the macro keys.... There are two rows of them, with six in each row. So you get twelve macro keys. Above the macro keys are four buttons titled M1, M2, M3, and MR. You can map twelve functions to EACH of the M1, M2, and M3 keys...That's 36 macros in total. I have no idea how you could possibly remember that many, but, the option is there. There's also the MR key, this is for learning macros on the fly. Normally you'd program the macros via the control panel software. This key allows you to program while you're in a game. Very handy indeed for the WoW junkies out there!!
Beside the macro key is the Gaming Switch (as I call it). This turns off the Windows key. What's the benefit of that you ask? Fire up a game and hit the Windows key...good times!! So, with this switch you disable the windows key, and you no longer have to worry about hitting that button in the middle of a very crucial tournament. This has happened to me, and I never heard the end of it. A simple flick of the switch would have prevented that problem. Needless to say, I always check to make sure it's disabled before I go into a game.
Moving over just a little more, there's the transport keys. These are for use with the Youtube applet that's installed with the software. Now I can't give you much feedback on this as there's a small software glitch with my unit, and the buttons were not functioning. As soon as the problem is resolved, I'll give you some feedback on them.
On the far right of the keyboard, above the number pad is where the pause/play, stop, next track, previous track buttons reside. And yup, they do exactly what you'd think they do. See, I just hit the next track button and skipped the crappy hair metal song that came up on iTunes (Poison for those that had to know!).
Just below those buttons is the volume wheel and mute button. Volume "WHEEL" you ask? Well, Logitech has put a really slick little wheel on the keyboard to control the volume. And why is it all the way over to the right? Well, I'll tell you (at least my opinion of why). They used a wheel because it takes up less space than the old dial did. They put it on the right side so that it's easier to adjust the volume when you're playing a game. It's closer to your (most people's anyways) mouse hand. Pretty clever if you ask me. And I am a person who adjusts my volume while in a game. Some maps I play on are really quiet, others are just all out boom fests. Turn up the volume on the quiet ones, down on the loud ones....
So, what are my first impressions of this keyboard? Well, I love the fact that it's smaller than the previous model. It MIGHT even fit in a keyboard drawer now. I also like the powered USB plugs. I know it's shallow, but I love the bling factor of the LCD display. Is this completely nessecary for the hard core game? In a word, no. But let me tell you, it's alot easier to read than the old monochrome model that's for sure. It also displays a lot more information. With a 320 x 240 resolution, there's a lot of Everest info that can be displayed there.
I only have one real negative to this keyboard. The cord. It's too stiff. This is nitpicking at it's best. But it really is quite stiff, it could have been made out of a softer rubber or something.
Oh, one more little thing. If you plan to take it to a lan party, get something to protect the screen. It's very high gloss and will scratch easily.
I've supplied a pic of the G19 lying on top of the G15 so you can see the difference in size. Smaller is better in this case!
Some time this week I'll take some time and configure Everest and get some pics up of that.
Keep in mind this is just a very preliminary view of the keyboard. I really need to play with the LCD functions a bit to see what else it has in store for me.
But so far, even at $250 Canadian, this thing is a keeper...I know a lot of people out there are saying $250 for a keyboard? Are you bonkers? Maybe so, but this is my primary input device for my PC, and it's important to me. If $100 mice aren't out of the question, neither are $250 keyboards. Keep in mind also that $250 is list price, I think that street price will be closer to the $200 mark, but that's yet to be seen.
Up until now the G15 has been my second favorite computer upgrade peripheral thingy (next to my 30" monitor), and now the new G19 takes its place. I don't actually think it's twice as good as the G15, but it is a definite improvement. And hey, if you don't want to shell out the money yourself, there's always birthdays, and many other holidays that require lists. This should be on it.
So far, I give it a 9.5/10!!
If you've got the money, and you're looking at a new keyboard, this is a MUST HAVE!!!
I'm reserving this spot for future comments I may have!:rofl:
Ok, wait.... it DOES NOT have a wrist pad thing? Or you just aren't using it?
NVM answered my own question
It looks great and all and I'm sure if it's any better than the G15 it kicks ass (which clearly it does) but realistically... $250 for a keyboard? I mean... that's insane... $150 is a lot, but $250 is just crazy, it's still a keyboard you know.. I'd pay 150 for it...
I am thinking of ones of these. Logitech makes the BEST keyboards.
How much was it?
the Canadian retail price is $249, but like I said in the review, it's probably going to have a street pice of about $200 or so.
Well it does look like it is definatly worth it.
I'm still having mixed feelings about the G19 keyboard. I personally LOVE my G15 and don't have many qualms with it (except for the size I guess), I especially love the way it feels when I type on it, I love the use of macros for not only games but all sorts of crazy stuff...awesome keyboard all around.
The other day it went titsup, so I called logitech to see if I could do SOMETHING but it's like a year or two out of warranty so no dice. I want to buy a new one, cos now instaed of being like $120 or $130 (well except at FS, BB, etc) they're like $60 or $70 on sale nowadays. Basically I can get the same keyboard for $70 or get this thing which I've been looking at seriously since before its release, so tough to decide.
I'd buy one just to play with the LCD. :biggrin:
So, after playing around a bit, I got Everest to look like this on the G19!!!
Talk about information overload!!!
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