Review: Logitech G19

Our score: 3/5
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September 15, 2010 4:26 PM
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Published: September 14, 2010 11:00 PM
By Vincent Alzieu
Translated by: Jack Sims
Very high-end, the G19 is a keyboard for gamers. It has a colour screen to display game performance, RSS flows and photos, among other things. It also has large, resistant, backlit keys. It's not cordless.

Up to six simultaneous commands

A gamer keyboard is a resistant keyboard that can handle many simultaneous commands. For example, if you're moving forward diagonally (Z + Q say) while jumping (spacebar) and recharging your weapon (R) and you don't want to run any risk of the commands not being registered, you'll need a keyboard that can handle all these commands at the same time. Most keyboards, however, aren't capable of such demands. They're often limited to two at any one time.

We tested the limits of the G19. We measured it and found that it can send up to 6 commands at any one time! We reached an average rate of 210 characters per second, while the Illuminated tops out at 70. This is an extraordinary score and alone justifies the G19's market positioning as a gamer keyboard.

Great: rapid macros during gaming

 

Its macro keys on the left underline this gamer aspect, with fully programmable macros. Hold down the macro record (MR) key, then choose one of the keys from G1 to G12 in one of the three available profiles and then key in your sequence. For example: MR + G12 + tap the necessary commands to advance diagonally while jumping and recharging your weapon. Hold down MR again: the macro is set up. Now every time you press the G12 key, you'll get the series of actions described. MR isn't limited to games. You can also record standard phrases to gain time. For example: G11 = "Hi, how's it going?", for your chats.

Another good idea: a cursor on the keyboard allows you to block Windows key activity during gaming.


Improved design


The screen is the best currently available from Logitech. Is it really of any use? Not as far as we're concerned, but it's up to you to decide whether being able to check CPU load and memory constantly is indispensable or not. Or of course, appreciating the option of browsing your audio or video libraries to keep yourself amused.


For us the revision made to the multimedia commands on the right will come in more useful, with, notably, a big volume scroll (we still like the scroll on the Sidewinder X6 a lot). The "*" button on the right of the image is to activate backlighting.

The down side: the look of the keys and the noise they make

Ok, it's a keyboard for competition, but is there really no way of giving us all these very practical advanced features (the macros and the simplified way of creating them, automating loading of gaming profiles) without having such big and noisy keys?


We don't doubt that some like this retro, robust look that does inspire confidence. It has a truncheon-like quality to it: if you hit someone with one, the keyboard won't be the thing to break. Nevertheless, as we often say when it comes to mice, we hate the fact that gamer is synonymous with big and ugly.

When will we be getting a keyboard with all these features but with a more neutral look? Because, at the moment, they're all much the same! The G19 is even one of the most understated, certainly compared to the G15, the Microsoft X6 or the Zebord.
3/5 Logitech G19 DigitalVersus 2010-09-15 00:00:00

Pros

  • Up to 6 simultaneous commands
  • Simplified system of macros
  • Keys that can stand up to a bit of battering
  • Backlit keys
  • Multifunction colour screen, double port USB 2.0 hub

Cons

  • Very (too?) gamer looking
  • Pricey!
  • Noisy keys

Conclusion

Logitech are giving us a gamer keyboard here, a little bit more understated than the Mircosoft or the Zeboard. Undeniably effective, shame about how it looks.

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