by Rob Williams on October 17, 2012 in Peripherals
No – your eyes are not deceiving you. Logitech has finally released a mechanical keyboard, going by the name G710+. It uses CHERRY MX Brown switches backed with sound dampeners, has 100% backlight coverage, includes six G macro keys and also dedicated media keys. Is it worth the higher-than-normal $150 price tag? Let’s find out.
It goes without saying that the best possible peripheral review would come from using the product for a few weeks or even a month, as it’s the best possible way to discover any potential quirk. Generally, this is exactly how we go about things.
However, due to the time-sensitiveness that this particular model carries with it (it did just come out a week ago), I sucked it up and went ahead with a review based on the experience I do have with it up to this point (a couple of days).
As mentioned earlier, this keyboard will become my primary for the next while, so if any issues arise, you can be sure I’ll update the review to reflect them, while also drawing attention to them in our news section. To date, it’s been rare when we’ve had to do such a thing, but there is the odd occasion where an issue has crept up that didn’t during even a week or two of testing.
In the time I’ve spent with the G710+, however, I do have to say I am very impressed. In fact, that’s a bit of an understatement. Walking into this review, I sat and thought to myself… “how exactly is this worth $150, when the competition is less?” After a single night of use, I began to understand the answer to that question a lot better.
The G710+ is best comparable, to my knowledge, to Corsair’s K90 “MMO” keyboard. Though that model uses CHERRY MX Red switches, it also features multiple macro banks, a volume slider and also dedicated media keys. It even offers a full 18 macro keys, unlike the G710+’s six. Some might even prefer the aesthetics of Corsair’s offering better. So what, then, does Logitech do to set itself apart, and warrant the extra $35 it’d take to purchase its G710+ over Corsair’s K90?
As simple as it may seem, Logitech’s software is a great perk. While Corsair did many things right with its mechanical keyboards, Jamie was never able to out-right recommend them due to the very buggy software. Logitech’s software on the other hand has been flawless in my use so far, and a breeze to use after only spending a couple of minutes with it. Plus, flexibility-wise, Logitech’s software is hard to beat. The G keys can do basically anything you need them to.
Then there’s the dampening rings that Logitech implements under each key. This is something I am not quite sure any gamer mechanical offering at the moment includes – and I can easily say that Logitech has done well here with that decision. The G710+ is much quieter than the other CHERRY MX Brown keyboards I have here, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this feature spread to other vendors soon given how easy it is to implement.
Past that, we have to get into smaller differences. Corsair’s K90 isn’t 100% backlit (though it comes close) like the G710+, nor does its macro keys use CHERRY MX switches.
Whether all that’s worth the premium is going to be based on your personal taste, but for me, I believe the premium is in fact justified. When keyboards get this expensive, you want to be sure that you’ll be happy with your purchase for a while, so if you pay 80% for a lesser-performing option and are left unhappy about certain things, you’ll have to ponder whether that decision was worth it.
With my experience so far, I am confident that it’s built for the long-haul, and out of the gate it offers features I’m looking for. So far, there really hasn’t been anything that has stood out to me as being a significant problem. There have been minor issues that we’ve discussed, but many of those are easy to overlook when the rest of the keyboard is executed so well.
In perusing comment threads around the Web, the most common complaint I’ve seen regarding the G710+ has been its aesthetics. I admit this surprised me, as I found the keyboard to be fairly attractive. Admittedly, the orange border around the G keys seems a bit unusual, as does the glossy border surrounding the main keys, but neither of these things really stand out to me unless I’m doing what I’m doing right now – talking about them.
The second complaint to me is even more valid: the G710+ has no LCD. I have a ridiculous number of friends who love the LCD on their Logitech keyboards, so for Logitech to finally release a mechanical offering and not have one is without question, odd. That said, it seems very likely that the company will follow-up in the near-future with another model that does include an LCD – and likely altered aesthetics as well to better-suit that crowd. The one thing I can say to that is: bring it on.
- It’s light, but well-built; feels sturdy.
- Great to type on – as long as you like CHERRY MX Brown.
- Quietest mechanical keyboard I’ve ever used.
- 100% backlighting (4-level brightness).
- Ability to only backlight the WASD and arrow keys.
- Dedicated media keys.
- Very flexible G key uses; macro creation is simple.
- On-the-fly macro recording works exceptionally well.
- Extra dampeners on long keys (spacebar, numpad keys) would have been appreciated.
- Aesthetics are definitely not going to be for everyone.
- Wrist wrest feels a little flimsy.
Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
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