Logitech G11 Gaming Keyboard

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
October 30, 2006
Views
60860
What do you get when you take a Logitech G15 keyboard and remove the LCD? A Logitech G11 keyboard that is only a bit cheaper. The G11 is a strange product that probably won't find too much market space.

Page All: Viewing All Pages

Page 1
Intro:

Many companies could not care less about what their customer base has to say about certain products. Thankfully, Logitech does not fit into this mold like Microsoft does. When I informed some people I know about the »G15 keyboard, the initial reaction was the uselessness of the LCD. Many of them wanted the extra programmable keys which would be a huge timesaver for many people. The LCD was the sticking point. It seems as though Logitech has heard some of the cries of users and released the G11. What is it? It is the G15 without the LCD. If you already read through my »G15 review, skip the LCD section and you have read this.

Box:

Box


Similar to the G15 in every way. A name and picture change was all that was done.

Parts:

Parts


I am not sure if my sample was a review sample or not, but it did not come with a setup CD. This is no big deal since you should always get the latest drivers (You know how I feel about TSRs, though); it is strange to say the least. The box did contain the keyboard and a wrist rest. If you value your wrists, buy another type of pad for protection. Make sure you are comfortable using your computer. If you are not, make it so that you are. Do not stress your body if you do not need to. The keyboard is USB only.

The Keyboard:

G11 Keyboard


The keyboard is huge. It is the exact same size as the G15. In fact, it is the same mold except for the LCD part. If you are storing this keyboard in a drawer, it probably will not fit. That is something to think about for everyone with a computer desk.

G Keys Qwerty Numpad


Remember that the added girth of the keyboard is because of the programmable "G" keys. There are a total of 18 G keys. Each individual G key can support three different modes by use of the "M" keys on the top of that section. Multiplying out, this gives a total of 54 programmable keys per program. The software will change modes per program you have set. Like the G15, these extra keys may throw you off for some time. It took about a day before I stopped hitting the lower G key instead of the control key, but you get used to it. Now it is second nature again. One feature that I do like is that the keyboard portion is in the center instead of offset to the left. You should be able to position the keyboard directly in front of the monitor and be in a neutral position while typing. You may not like it and, as with any keyboard, trying before you buy is important.

Media Keys


While the G keys to the left of the keyboard are the main feature, the unit also features some media keys built in at the top. You should also notice the lack of any useless media keys. I guess they are redundant since you can program a G key to do the same thing. Most people do not need "quick launch" buttons. It induces laziness, something which should not take place in computing. The other nice feature about the keyboard is to disable the special function keys such as the Windows key. This switch is hardwired and does not require any software to use. Located on the right side of the keyboard are the mute button and the backlight button. There are three backlight levels (Off, Low, and High).

The G11 does not suffer the same problem as the G15 since it does not contain a LCD. The volume and media controls are accessible at all times. The volume control does not need software to function, but the media controls do not work in any program I use such as Winamp or Media Player Classic. There are two USB ports at the top of the keyboard that are nice for connecting a mouse or other slow device to. They are still 1.1 ports, no high speed transfers there. There are cable management guides under the USB ports for guiding cables to the side of the keyboard.

Backlight:

Light


Since I am sure you already read my G15 review, the backlighting on this keyboard is identical to the G15. The keys shine very nice in the dark and are a blast to use over the older backlight models in the past. In lighted conditions, you really cannot use the keyboard without the backlight one especially if you are not a touch typist. If you are a hunt and pecker, plan to leave the backlight. This keyboard also suffers from the same problem as the G15; the brightness levels are no different.

Testing:

It works. Skip to the next section if you want. Like the G15, this keyboard has a great feel to it since it is the same keyboard. The keys have a nice springy feel to them and are not at all spongy. For people, it will be the G keys that are the main attraction of the keyboard and they do not disappoint. If you want to leave the software running in the background and the system tray all the time, you can have all the functionality of the keyboard at your disposal. The keys are programmable per program. That is 54 individual key combinations per program. All those crazy macros that Photoshop uses will be a snap with this.

G15 Software


Like the G15, this keyboard does not individually light up keys. There is no way to do this. I still think it would be a great feature. Windows XP may be the only operating system supported, but it works on Win2K as well. Without software, the keyboard functions perfectly fine like a normal keyboard.

Conclusion:

The same caveats occur as the G15. At the time of this writing, there is only a $10 difference between the G15 and the G11. If you were thinking about getting a G11 due to the keys and are not absolutely against the LCD, pick up the G15. Once again I will mention that it is important to test the input device before you buy it. Go into a retail store and try it out. The G11 is a strange fit in this market since the price difference between it and the G15 is so small. I do not expect this keyboard to be a great seller as long as the G15 remains competitively priced or most people hate LCDs that much. Thank you for reading and be sure to enter the »contest running now for an ATI X1900 AIW.

I would like to thank Pam from Logitech for the review sample.

Title

Medium Image View Large