With gamers so content with current keyboards, companies such as Logitech are trying to introduce the most feature-robust and unique models to the market, and they’ve pulled it off with their G19. Featuring a bright top-mounted LCD and a slew of gamer-specific options, the only potential roadblock is the high price.
Installation was as simple as plugging in the USB cable and the required A/C adapter. You will get basic functionality right away with the advanced features available once you install the software. Once installed, you’ll have options available to control how things are displayed, as you’d expect. Here you can set the display to cycle through the various features and set the backlight intensity if you so desire.
I should note that you will get 10+ processes running in the background after everything is installed, but you can disable the features you will not use in the LCD Manager window.
Overall, I am impressed with the G19. The build quality is excellent and everything functioned perfectly out of the box. They keys are right where I expected them and their resistance is spot on. I spend far too many hours a day in front of my PC, whether working or playing, so comfort is a top priority, and the G19 delivers.
The self-powered USB ports are also a welcome addition. Having these convenient ports within arm’s reach is very important. Fast, easy access for not only my thumb drives but also my gamepads without having to reach down is just what the doctor ordered. Also, the inclusion of twelve fully-programmable macro keys with three possible settings each is yet another great feature. Adding the ability to customize the colors is tops in my book, since that was always my main beef with the G15.
Finally, the LCD screen is the final icing on the cake. It can be argued that it is over the top and simply not needed, but that was the same argument used against the G15. If we look back, it took some time before anyone coded applications to take advantage of the earlier models, so it is just a matter of time before the same will apply here. The awkward view angles are easily corrected and the lighting and colors are excellent.
The daunting and major drawback is the price. Any way you look at it, it is very hard to justify spending $200 US on a keyboard. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is worth the price of admission, but it’s sure to turn away some potential buyers. It’s a premium product, there’s no two-ways about it.
The lack of applications that currently support and use the LCD is quite small, and that also hurts the appeal to some degree. Logitech should really put the spurs to developers to put it to better use which will in turn help justify the high price tag. Thankfully, the SDK is completely open-sourced, so it really is just a matter of time before we begin to see some really cool things utilize it.
With all this taken into consideration, I’m awarding the G19 an 8 out of 10. As for a basic keyboard, functionality is as good as it gets. Excellent feel and comfort have long been Logitech trademarks, and the G19 isn’t an exception. Quality is right where it needs to be. I love the LCD and with a little help from the aftermarket, it will become a must-have feature.
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