Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
May 17, 2010
Manufacturer
Logitech
Product Page
G110
Views
52918
Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard
The Logitech G110 is a worthy upgrade to the original G11. The keyboard feels great and all the keys work in any operating system.

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Page 1
Introduction

While we have recently reviewed Logitech's high end gaming keyboard, »the G19, the company has also released an upgrade to the old G11 series that debuted over three years ago. »The G11 came out at nearly the same time as the original G15, sans the LCD screen that made »the G15 a prized keyboard. Fast forward, most people agree that the LCD is mostly a gimmick and relegated to niche uses. The G11 was a great keyboard since the G15 keyboard was excellent as well. After we reviewed the G19, we were a bit skeptical of the keyboard if Logitech went down the same path of using different feeling keys on the G110. Our skepticism was misplaced as Logitech didn't just rip the LCD off the G19 for this incarnation. The G110 is a totally different keyboard.

About Logitech

Quote

Focused on innovation and quality, Logitech designs personal peripherals to help people enjoy a better experience with the digital world. We started in 1981 with mice, which (new at the time) provided a more intuitive way of interacting with a personal computer. We became the worldwide leader in computer mice, and have reinvented the mouse in dozens of ways to match the evolving needs of PC and laptop users.

Since those early days, we have expanded our expertise in product design beyond the computer mouse, with a broad portfolio of interface devices that are the “last inch” between you and your computer or your console game, digital music or home-entertainment system.

With products sold in almost every country in the world, Logitech’s leadership in innovation now encompasses a wide variety of personal peripherals (both cordless and corded), with special emphasis on products for PC navigation, gaming, Internet communications, digital music and home-entertainment control.

For each of our product categories, we study how our customers use their digital devices, and then our designers and engineers set their sights on how we can create a better experience with those devices – richer, more comfortable, more fun, more productive, more convenient, more delightful.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/about/logitech_story/


Packaging

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Logitech's traditional green with white is replaced by green with black for the gaming model of products. One thing we're not to crazy about is the multilingual box that Logitech uses. We don't fault them specifically for using this type of packaging, but the industry as a whole. Products made for America should be in English (or American, as the Editor-in-Chief likes to call our dialect). The front of the box contains the basics of the product you are buying from the shelf on a store.

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The back of the box has some upsale information and shows the multicolor ability of the backlighting inside the keyboard. While the front of the box showed a blue backlight, the back shows a red tint. We'll have more on that later.

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The first thing you are presented with upon opening the box is the keyboard itself with plastic protection. It is removed very easily to unpack and go. No zip ties to remove or anything to get in the way.
Page 2
Specifications

  • Custom-color backlit keys: Personalize your keyboard and easily locate the right keys, even in the dark
  • Integrated USB audio: Headphone and mic jacks let you use your headset for clear communication with teammates
  • 12 programmable G-keys: 3 macros per key make it easy to pre-set up to 36 unique functions per game, including single keystrokes and complex macros
  • High-speed USB 2.0 hub port: Transfer data from flash drives or quickly plug in your gaming mouse
  • Game Mode Switch: Disable the Windows/Context Menu keys so if you accidentally press them you won't get dropped from the game
  • 12 programmable G-keys: Three macros per key make it easy to pre-set up to 36 unique functions per game
  • Game Mode Switch: Disable the Windows/Context Menu keys
  • Amazon Link, Newegg Link


Package Contents

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In addition to the G110 keyboard, Logitech includes the literature, an installation and driver CD, and a wrist rest that fits onto the keyboard. We recommend that you purchase an after market wrist rest that offers some additional padding. You might like to position the rest away from the keyboard instead of built in, as well.

G110

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While most people might think the G110 is the G19 without the LCD screen, this is not the case. It is true that the layout and such mimic the G19, but the keys are a slight different feel. We can tell you, right off the bat, that the keyboard has a good feel. The spacebar is not at all mushy and doesn't get stuck like the G19. We'll go into more of the feel in a later section. The keyboard is about 20 inches long. This is due to the G macro keys that are present on the left side of the keyboard. All Logitech gaming keyboards feature these G keys.

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The right side of the keyboard contains the numeric keypad. Most consumers may balk at the space that the number pad takes up. Remember, though, that this is a gaming keyboard and those extra keys can be the difference in a firefight. In addition, the number pad is a fast way to enter numeric data and we always dislike keyboards that attempt to remove it. Above the numeric keyboard is the multimedia keys. These include the volume rocker, mute button, and the player controls for a media player. These keys are OS agnostic and will work in any computing environment.

To the left of the number pad lies the arrow keys. These have a good feel with your fingers being able to feel the keys very easily. Most gamers have moved on from the arrow keys to the, more common, "WASD" type of movement. Some still prefer the arrow keys, though. Above these keys are the set of six additional keys that most don't use. Programmers like these keys, though. If you didn't know, the home key brings you to the front of a line of text and the end key brings you to the end. These keys serve an additional purpose in games. The more keys, the better! There are more command keys above these six.
Page 3
G110 Continued

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The left side of the keyboard contains the G keys. There are a total of 12 G keys. These are programmable macro keys that you can set to performance any action you want. If you have an operating system that supports the Logitech profiler application, you can even set really advanced key macros that include wait times between each keystroke. Normally, people will use the quick macro function. There are three sets of macros you can use by selecting the M keys at the top. The "MR" key is for setting a quick macro. This gives you the possibility of having 36 unique macro keys at one time. The profiler application allows you to set macros per program so you can have an unique set of keys for every application.

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The real meat of the G110 is the keyboard, itself. The G110 could be great elsewhere, but if the keyboard section was horrible, it would be a failure. Thankfully, this isn't the case. While the layout mimics the G19, the keys have a different feel. It takes some getting used to, but once you make the transition, it is smooth sailing. To the top left, you can see the "game" switch which disabled the command keys of the keyboard. Most games do this, but it is still nice.

The G110 brings a new feature to keyboards. The top of the keyboard has additional buttons for a headset mute and microphone mute. This keyboard has a built-in USB sound card. You might ask yourself, "what is the purpose?" Think about the benefit of having a dedicated sound card for using a headset for voice chat in games. This paradigm should catch on since console gamers have had it this way for a long time. We applaud Logitech for including this feature. Also, if you're using a server that doesn't have a sound card, this keyboard gives you the sound that you may require. The backlight toggle is to the right of these buttons.

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The front of the keyboard contains the headset ports for speakers and a microphone as well as a single USB2 plug. Older G series keyboards had a USB1.1 plug, but the G110 uses the full speed version which is a plus. We would have liked to see at least two USB ports, but one is better than nothing.

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The bottom of the keyboard contains the rubber grips. There might not be enough rubber for some people. When using the game mode rocker, the force required to move the switch caused the keyboard to move, sometimes. This didn't happen all the time, though. That's the only problem and it could be fixed if Logitech made the game switch a bit easer to move. In addition to the grips, you can extend the keyboard feet. Don't do this. Raising the keyboard puts additional stress on your wrists that you really don't want.
Page 4
Use

Let's be clear, the focus of input device reviews on ASE Labs always focuses on the usability and overall feel of the device. We only pay attention to the extras as an afterthought and never as a deciding factor. Input devices are the most important thing you can buy for a computer. You want the best possible products for your needs. You only get one set of hands. Treat them well.

The G110 is a good keyboard. We didn't find any problems in daily use for a few weeks. The keys have a subdued feeling and don't make any click sound when depressed. The keys aren't hard to press and they spring back easily enough. We have no problem with the typing speed of this keyboard. In addition, the spacebar was clickable along the entire bar. The G19 had a problem that caused the spacebar to get stuck when clicking on the edge. This is not the case with the G110. Each key is concave to give your fingers a tactile response for the center of the key. Touch typing is great with this keyboard. The G15 was a favorite around these parts, but the G110 has replaced it. It is smaller, feels more tight, and performs well.

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Logitech includes profiler software for use with this keyboard. We tested it on Windows XP which worked fine. The profiler loaded up about 150 gaming profiles for using with specific games. You can also setup your own macros and backlighting colors on the board. One of the features touted by the keyboard was that you can take your profiles with you. We couldn't figure out how to keep the coloring without using the profiler, nor did the marcos function without a profiler running. Logitech should think about taking the logic out of the OS and putting it into the keyboard. You should be able to set the macros on the keyboard itself as well as the backlight coloring. The settings should stay with the keyboard and not have to rely on a program running. For more intense uses, such as per application profiles, the application can take over the brunt of the work.

This leads us to the use in Linux. We were able to get the G macro keys functioning in Linux using the libg15 (compiled with a patch), but we couldn't change the backlight color from the default. It is a subdued blue color. We wanted to have it default to red. Even after setting the keyboard on red on a Windows machine and moving it, it still didn't work. Logitech should provide some type of documentation to allow someone to write a simple driver to control the keyboard. We see no harm in giving this information out, but Logitech didn't want to comment on unsupported operating systems. Other than the backlight, the keyboard does work in Linux, including the macro keys. The USB sound card also works fine in Linux. It was picked up as a generic USB sound device.

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Unlike the G19, the G110 only has support for a red and blue color pallet. You are stuck with red, blue, or a shade of purple. It is still nicer than having to pick a single color, though.



The Editor-in-Chief strikes again in this video review. The review shows off the different coloring support for the keyboard. Please check it out.

Conclusion

The Logitech G110 retails for about $70 (Amazon Link, Newegg Link) at the time of posting. At ASE Labs, we always say that inputs devices are extremely important. While we love the G110, you need to try it for yourself. Everyone is different so go to a retail store and try it out before buying it. That being said, the G110 is an excellent product from Logitech. It more than replaces the G11 and is much more than the G19 without the LCD. If you already have a G15 or G11, you'll probably want to stick with that. The G110 does add some nice things.

The added USB sound card is a huge plus and we hope that other peripheral makers follow suit. Once games start to really use a dedicated sound card for voice chat, console voice chat will have nothing over the PC. We see a good trend here, Logitech. The keyboard feels good and it doesn't hinder daily performance. It has enough macro keys for most gamers and the layout is standard. We would like to see documentation on how to interact with the keyboard. This is up to you, Logitech. All put together, the G110 is an excellent product and a worthy addition to the G series product line from Logitech. We recommend it.



ASE Labs would like to thank Logitech for making this review possible.

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