Logitech has been making keyboards for years, and gaming keyboards for nearly as long, but it’s been noticeably absent on the mechanical keyboard front, opting instead for the less expensive silicone dome switches. This all changes with the Logitech G710+ mechanical gaming keyboard, which utilizes Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches, and offers several functions that gamers will welcome with open arms, like dual-zone backlighting, programmable macro keys, and built-in media controls. It’s a solid gaming keyboard, but you might want to pick it up on sale—the price is just a little too high.
Design and Features
The Logitech G710+ borrows a few features from top performers, like the Corsair Vengeance K90 and Corsair Vengeance K60 keyboards, with a detachable wrist rest, programmable macro keys, and an integrated volume control roller knob. The G710+ features six programmable G-keys (macro keys), with three swappable sets, for a total of 18 functions that range from simple key presses to complex macros and even LUA scripts. Unlike the Corsair keyboards, however, the G710+ opts for glossy black plastic instead of milled aluminum, and accents the black with orange highlights to distinguish the programmable macro keys. While the color scheme is appealing, the shift from metal to plastic makes for a product that feels much cheaper despite the higher price.
On the underside of the keyboard are molded channels for easy cable management for mice or headphones, and a USB pass through lets you plug into the keyboard instead of running another cable behind a tower. The G710+ connects to the PC via USB Y-cable, allowing for both power and a USB pass-thru for connecting other peripherals, like mice or headsets, without having to snake another cable behind a PC tower. The heavy duty cable is plastic coated, making it more prone to tangling than that of the Vengeance K60, which has braided sheathing.
Logitech uses Cherry MX Brown switches for all of the keys, and adds an additional sound dampening ring to each key mechanism to reduce the noisy clickity-clack normally produced by the keys. With 4 millimeters of key travel and only 45 grams of pressure required for key actuation, the keyboard will be a good fit for even nimble typists. The keyboard offers 110-key antighosting, and 26-key rollover, which will handle all of your frantic rapid-fire commands and combos with ease. It’s also Windows-only (Windows 8/7/Vista); sorry, Mac gamers.
Dual-zone lighting illuminates the WASD and arrow keys separate from the rest of the keyboard, allowing you to set the regular key brightness at one level, and the gaming keys at another. The keys are also visually distinct in regular light, with silvery-grey colored keycaps instead of the black used on other keys. The backlight is limited, however, by the fact that secondary characters, like those of the number keys, are not backlit, making them difficult to read in normal light and nearly invisible in low-light situations.
The detachable wrist rest loses some of its appeal thanks to insecure attachments to the keyboard. Hinge-like plastic clips are used to connect and disconnect the wrist rest, but the clips frequently failed to stay connected. Even shifting the keyboard was sometimes enough to detach it, even when the attachment clips were supposedly securely clipped in.
The decision to use Cherry MX Brown switches, the same type found in the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013 Elite , makes for a quieter typing experience than you would get with keyboards that use Cherry MX Red keys, like the Corsair Vengeance K90. The tradeoff, however, is that the quieter typing experience lacks the bouncy quality and crisp feel offered by the noisier Cherry MX Reds. There’s no change in responsiveness, only in typing feel, and the difference is rather subjective, so I’d recommend trying before you buy to get an idea of which you prefer.
A Gaming Mode button disables both the Windows key and context menu keys so that you can play without accidentally triggering a command that might screw up your game. Programming macros is pretty painless thanks to the built-in Macro Record button and the downloadable Logitech Gaming Software. The software also lets you select from a list of 250 current games, ranging from Assasin’s Creed to World of Warcraft, which each have pre-programmed macro profiles. In actual gaming, the G710+ performed quite well. The dual-zone lighting meant I had no trouble keeping track of the WASD and Arrow keys, and the macros I set up functioned flawlessly.
As a mechanical gaming keyboard, the Logitech G710+ offers solid performance and a healthy selection of features, with dual-zone lighting and easy-to-use macro functions. But the price is a bit high, and it’s easy to see where Logitech cut corners—the plastic construction is cheap but passable, and the insecure removable wrist rest just seemed shoddy. Compared with the Editors’ Choice Corsair Vengeance K90, which offers a wider array of macros, sturdy metal construction, and a tangle-free braided cable—not to mention a lower price—the Logitech G710+ gets an honorable mention at best.
Compare the Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with several other keyboards side by side.
More keyboard reviews:
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc