The Logitech G910 is a full RGB backlit gaming mechanical keyboard that is rather unique. Unlike the traditional mechanical keyboards that features Cherry MX switches or Cherry clones, the Logitech G910 (“Orion Spark”) features a new exclusive switch type – the Romer G. Let’s see how the Logitech G910 functions as both a gaming keyboard and from a typist perspective.
Disclaimer first. This is the first mechanical keyboard that I used extensively. I haven’t got around to buying a mechanical keyboard for myself but have been on the look out for one. So I do appreciate Logitech loaning me the G910 for the review and to see if I like mechanical keyboards in general. During the course of the review, I also received another mechanical keyboard for review with Cherry MX Blue keys, so I had a chance to look closer at the difference between them.
Back to the G910, this keyboard is quite well featured and has a whole lot of fancy bells and whistles. The RGB Lighting is the definite star of the show. Plug it to your computer and it comes to life as it cycles through the colour spectrum in a wave effect. This lasts for a few seconds before it defaults to blue backlighting. All can be customised.
- 104 key layout with 9 additional macro keys
These 9 keys can be customised across an additional 3 macro keys for different profiles for a total of 27 commands.
- Full Media Controls
There’s the usual Play, Pause, Mute, and also a rubber volume rocker wheel, which is a key I often used. Great for on the fly volume adjustments. Something I would definitely miss when I return this keyboard.
- 2 Included wrist rest
- ARX Dock for your phone
- Toggles for gaming mode (Disable windows key) and Backlighting
Perhaps the most polarizing feature on this keyboard would be the Romer-G switches. The switches were created in partnership with Omron. As per mechanical keys, durability is high – tested for up to 70 million keystrokes – these keyboards will last longer than you. They require 45g of actuation force, similar to the Cherry MX Reds. The actuation distance is very low, only 1.5mm, which is 25% less than the Cherry MX distance of 2mm. There is a tactile bump but it is minimal and there’s a sort of dampener towards the end, which makes it feel somewhat like a rubber dome keyboard. However, the action is more sophisticated – as the keys do not need to be bottomed out to be registered. To make a close approximation, they are most similar to the Brown, but less quiet.
The short travel of the switch makes it excellent for games where double tapping speed is crucial, such as the new UT 2014 Beta. The same short travel of the keys also help improve my typing experience. I did a comparison between the G910 and a Cherry MX Blue keyboard and surprise (or maybe not), the G910 was actually faster. I average around 100WPM vs 90WPM between the two. You can try the game at http://play.typeracer.com/ – it’s quite addictive – but can irritate the hell out of people in the same room – esp if you are using Blues.
The associated key caps are less stellar. The Orion Spark key caps have been designed to help prevent mistyping but they take some getting used to. There’s an angular groove to the top, which is not consistent among the keys, perhaps the consideration was made with the positioning of your hands in mind, but it still feels a little weird. The physical size of the keys also look wider than normal.
RGB Lighting in mind
Unlike Cherry MX keys which dates back a couple decades ago, these Romer-G switches are made with lighting in mind. The stem of the key goes around the metal spring, leaving room for light tube – such that the LED in the centre of the key is not blocked. The entire top of the key can be brightly lighted up and there’s also no leakage of light to surrounding keys. This becomes extremely evident when the G910 cycles through it’s various RGB colours.
There’s also many built in effects once you install the gaming keyboard app – which you should to fully maximise the capability of this keyboard. The backlighting on every key of the G910 can be individually customized. Keys can be marked by color to keep track of hotkeys or other important commands, or can be set to change colors according to which game you’re playing. One gripe perhaps, is that there’s no brightness control for the LEDs. It can be a little too bright at night.
ARX Dock is Useful
The ARX Dock is mostly useful – even if you don’t use the app, it’s a great place to dock my phone for a neater desktop. The associated app offers functions such as displaying your PC stats, a quick launch, in-game info for supported games, and also a media remote. The media remote can be useful when you are away from your keyboard although there are many other alternative software out there with similar capability too.
I thought two areas were missing, especially for such a high – end gaming keyboard. There’s no USB HUB or audio connection support. Those would be useful features, especially for a gaming keyboard so as to hook up gaming headsets, mice etc.
The RRP is $249 for the Logitech G910, but can be found for discount on Qoo10 at around $219 with local 2 year warranty. It is competitively priced to other RGB backlight keyboards.
So after spending some time with the G910, I grew to like the switches on the keyboard. They offered good response for gaming, and also excellent to type on. You don’t get the “clickety-clackety” racket associated with Cherry MX Blues, but these switches still offer decent tactile response. They are also more quiet, which is extremely important when you don’t live alone or have a large office to yourself.
Looks are subjective, but the overall design is meant to appeal more to gamers, with the macro keys, WASD and movement key etches, and futuristic spaceship styling. That brings me to the caps, I don’t fancy them not so much. Unlike the usual mechanical keyboard where you can switch out the key caps, you can’t do so on the G910 due to the proprietary switches. The RGB lighting is excellent on this keyboard and there’s a great level of customisation allowed. The switches are subjective, and with only one variant, would be hard to please the hardcore Cherry MX fans, but still I would recommend you give them a try if you are in the market for a gaming mechanical keyboard.