I needed a new keyboard and decided to go for an illuminated one since my main rig is in the basement, in a geeky dark corner (as it should be). Considering my usage on that machine (photo editing, media streaming and some FPS gaming), I decided to go for the Logitech G110, which seemed like a good fit: illuminated, and extra USB port and a built-in USB sound card into which I can plug my headset directly. All the reviews are extremely positive and I could get it for a good price. Plus, the dozen extra keys could be useful, for gaming and in apps like Lightroom. Eh, why not.
Installation was a brezze, Windows 7 detected and downloaded the drivers automatically and I downloaded the management software. For once, Logitech did something nice here and I appreciated it detected my games and already had presets for the function keys. I could also change the colours for each of the three colour preset keys, which basically means nuances of red, blue or purple. I opted for red, as it’s the sharpest to my eyes.
The overall build quality is very good, it certainly feels like it’s made to take a beating from frustrated gamers. The sound quality coming out of the built-in sound card was good enough and the wide volume roller is nice to operate. There’s also a set of media control keys, neatly located above the numeric keypad. There’s a USB 2 connector at the back, which is much better than the USB 1.1 commonly found on keyboards.
And then I started using it, both for typing and for gaming, that’s when things started going downhill. The keys have a mushy feeling to them – I prefer a more mechanical feedback and, more importantly to me, are rather small and close together. If I were a nimble, nerdy teenager this wouldn’t be a problem, but I happen to have rather large hands and I just couldn’t type without making tons of typos. The space bar seemed too narrow and too close to the row above it, which I found uncomfortable. Worst, the two rows of G-keys on the left hand side of the keyboard are inexplicably raised compared to the rest of the standard keys, which means that the side of my left hand continuously rests on the bottom G-keys, especially when playing with the WASD keys in FPSs.
Verdict: It’s a great keyboard, granted you don’t have big hands despite its generous size. Between my large hands, the cramped keys and the raised G-keys, this is a bad combination for me. I strongly suggest you try it before shelling approximately $65 on it. If if fits you, then I’m sure you’ll love it!
I’m going to try the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard next, which has a laptop feel and no G-keys. It’s also nearly $20 more expensive. Or maybe I’ll get a $15 keyboard and a desk lamp!
More info on the manufacturer’s page.