Are Premium Gaming Peripherals Worth Your Money?

Logitech's G19: When Gaming Keyboards Matter

More often than not, bundled keyboards turn out to be plain old USB devices that may sport a few media keys, if you're lucky. They’re fine for everyday work, but when you want to fire up your favorite FPS or MMO, you may find them lacking in features or ergonomic comfort with regard to where your hands rest.

I started my testing after using Dell’s standard 104-key keyboard. Priced at a hefty $199, the G19 impresses right out of the box versus its more-mundane competition. It has a separate USB cable and dedicated power adapter, which is required for the bright OLED display centered at the top of the board and the 2 USB ports just to the right of the display. The G19 comes complete with three blocks of four programmable "G-keys," each of which can be programmed with three sets of macros, allowing the 12 physical keys able to perform 36 different functions.

The G19's keys are backlit, and you can easily customize the color and brightness of the backlighting with the bundled Logitech G-Series Key Profiler software. Inside the Key Profiler, you can open up a color wheel for choosing the exact shade you want shining through key letters and gaps between keys. No other keyboard reviewed here offered this degree of customization.

The G19, like the G15 before it, comes with built-in support for a number of applications and games, including World of Warcraft. When you launch the game, the display comes to life and shows your character's stats, any recent whispers received from other players, or alerts of interest, such as auction house notices. The LCD will also display your queue position for a PvP battleground while you wait, and once you're in that battleground, it’ll show your score. You can configure the display, add modules for other games, or tweak display options from the LCD Manager, which installs along with the keyboard drivers.

The G19 performs exceptionally well with MMOs and RPGs. In games like World of Warcraft that allow you to bind keys to in-game macros, you can simply write your macro and then bind it to the macro key of your choice. Even more impressive, the G19 allows you to record your own macros and bind them to the G-keys, so you don't need to depend on the game's ability to create macros to give you a leg up on the competition. Simply press the Macro Record button on the keyboard, press the in-game keys for the things you want to do, and assign the key sequence to the G-key of your choice.

The display also has media functionality, and will let you control a song or video playing on your screen. If you prefer, you can use the built-in media browser to play videos pulled from local or Internet sources while you game.

The G19 was a wonder to use while gaming. The keys were well–spaced, and Logitech builds in just enough resistance so that you're absolutely sure when a key is depressed. The LCD display (especially when playing a supported game), quickly became indispensible, although it’s not at all required to enjoy your favorite titles. While the G19 as a whole is a fabulous device and, we'd argue, more than just a keyboard, it's also very expensive. It'd be difficult to recommend such a pricey piece at $200, but if you are already getting all of the platform performance you think you need, this would be a mighty-luxurious upgrade.

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  • plasmastorm
    Nice review on the Lachesis, Have one myself for arounf a year now. Can't say i've had any of the dust problems you described although I did once have to pull a hair out of the sensor.
    Trya good hard mouse mat rather than the fabric type that soak up dust.
    Im using a destructor pad from Razer and never been happier.
  • Anonymous
    just for the information, the 64bit problem can be solved by plugging the megalodon into a usb hub instead of directly to the pc. I havent had any issues since.
  • mi1ez
    Surely the XBox 360 should be in there as a gamepad...
  • mi1ez
    mi1ezSurely the XBox 360 should be in there as a gamepad...

    heh. You can tell who commented from the first page! *facepalm*
  • silicondoc
    The Saitek Cyborg keyboard is great. Lighting works especially well since you can choose regions for different coloring, which helps keeps your awareness of the keys at maximum in lighted conditions or at night.
    The keys feel good, plenty of feedback, and the wrist ledge is excellent as well as the slant angles allowed.
    It's heavy and well made compared to everything else nowadays.
    Keys do not wear off, and it is not a grease or debris magnet either.
    If you're not a tiny framed spindle handed geek, this is the one to get.
  • Anonymous
    Ah, Gaming Peripherals :bounce:

    I like Razer. Thanks to them I now have anger issues. I frequently smash my fist to my desk in a joyous manifestation of how much my hardware pleases me.
    I have actually cried once or twice.
    And because said hardware was so reasonably priced, I don't have money to replace it. Yay.
    That's probably because I bought this mouse for £42.99 and also the Razer Lycosa Keyboard for £52.99 and also the Razer Goliathus Gaming Surface for £12.99. That's a meagre amount of almost £110.
    I like the mouse's eyes.
    And the way it stutters and lags and freezes
    You want a gaming experience Razer?
    I was once playing Half-Life Deathmatch, I got killed.
    Lots. Because I couldn't move the crosshair due to a malfunction, the malfunction being that my mouse couldn't be bothered to do what I told it.

    The keyboard was once glossy, I cleaned it with a glasses cleaner cloth the day I got it -Oops, I scratched it. I had fun enduring the next year, with a dust covered keyboard (at least I couldn't see the scratches anymore :D), the keys, being some strange, furry, matte black material, gather all the spunk from when I'm jerking off, which I then can't wipe away for risk of scratching the gloss. The blue backlighting of the keys and the black of the keyboard plays a kind of stereogram trick on my eyes at night, and renders them useless during daylight as the LED's aren't bright enough. The CAPS LOCK and num lock (and that other one) buttons LED indicators are so bright I can still see them winking at me from below as I look at the screen. The media section in the top right seemingly has no LED's and as a result I cannot see any of them, and generally just for sh*ts and laughs every now and then, I smush my hand over it to see what happens. I often accidentally press the LED Profile switch and have to cycle back. The hand rest slope bit at the nearest end to my body serves only to annoy and bruise the outside of my wrists. The on-board USB port never seems to work off the bat or at all and the headphone mini-jacks next to the USB port require my typing fingers to fight with the lead that trails over my keyboard to my ears. The USB connector that connects the keybard to my pc, has lots of wickle fwends. There's Mr and Mrs's USB, and the baby twins, Audio and Microphone Jack. They all have lovely days and nights clogging up all my ports like a bad case of the Flu.

    The Gaming surface, is a massive beer mat.

    Which is lovely.

    For £12.99.

    A cardboard alternative just wouldn't have soaked up my Budweiser drippage like this does.


    It's like they researched it or something.

    It gives me rashes.
    On my hands.

    Oh and if you love it when people dog ear books or your house mat curls at the edges, the gaming surface does it to stop gravity taking the said *beverage of your choice* drippage onto your desk. Obviously.

    Oh and the mouse has the same gloss black and furry matte black as the keyboard. There are two actually useful buttons under your thumb. The scroller is cool, lights up and clicks down. But then there are two button on the top, in line with the scroller, nearest your palm though, that I cannot physically reach with the middle finger (that I might use more wisely right now) that I use to scroll and right click. There are two buttons on the furthest side that exactly mirror the useful ones on the other side. These ones are useful too, and I click them with the extra finger I have to the right of my little pinky.
    Oh and just to throw it into the mix, the resource hogging config's are useless and assign the strangest things to the most useless keys. For example, the mouse has one of it's numerous buttons assigned to profile change. I love it when I accidentally hit that during a game, or when I'm using Photoshop and drawing a line or dragging something on my desktop and for around ten seconds the mouse is even more useless and I cannot move the cursor. And then my new profile (like its facbook or something) is enabled.

    Yeah. I needed this feature so badly, it's why I programmed the first one to do exactly what I need. And also why they gave us those extra buttons. So... wait, was I against or against this feature?

    £110 and 18 months later, I'm happily smashing my desk and throwing things around the room. Finding new drivers, new firmware, new tips, new tweaks, new hardware, new software, clean pants and socks, a t-shirt for the day and a shirt for the night, new config layouts/set-ups and new operating systems.

    I'm so happy you're happy Razer. Thank you.

    Type. Click.
  • Anonymous
    I have Razer Piranha, really good headset.
  • mickytek
    I am never ever going to buy anything made by Razor ever again these Megalodon are a pile of serious crap.
    Razor have still not come up with a fix for the 64bit operating system issue and its been a year that I have had this rubbish now. DO NOT BOTHER WITH THEM AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE TOM GOT HIS LOVELY RIGHT UP ABOUT THEM FROM, HE OBVIOUSLY DID NOT TEST THEM WITH GAMES OR 64BIT OPERATING SYSTEM.

    Its no good proclaiming reviews like this if they are not truthful in the first place.

    The headphones are crap, take them back to the shop where you broght them and demand your money back before you make the same mystake i did.
  • Anonymous
    The quality of Sennheiser products is undoubtedly excellent. But I'm a bit more concerned about the price.
  • hestonwfhdi
    Lighting works especially well since you can choose regions for different coloring, which helps keeps your awareness of the keys at maximum in lighted conditions or at night.