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Written by Olin Coles   
Monday, 12 November 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
Logitech G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look: G15 2007
Detailed Features
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

G15 2007 Final Thoughts

Many years ago I visited the North American International Auto Show with my father. This was the very early nineties, and aerodynamic designs were just beginning to be mainstream in the automotive industry. One of then-concept cars was the Chrysler Cirrus, which because of super low-profile tires and large wheels looked so far beyond its time that it drew large crowds. We took our pictures, and made assumptions on how fast this car would be if it was ever produced. Over fifteen years later, I have learned that sometime that ultra-sporty looking car can turn into a compact family sedan somewhere along the road.

Sometimes I see a really good-looking product, and because the right ingredients are all present I presume that it will work well. Whenever I catch myself doing this, I remember my early vision of the Cirrus, and I remember the letdown of when it arrived on showroom floors. So when I opened the box for the Logitech G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard, I tried my very best not to get caught up in the looks and avoid creating a first impression until I had concluded testing. I am thankful that I did, and you should be too.

After a month of constant testing as my primary keyboard, I am actually a little let down by this product. You see, because I am a writer of review articles and the owner of a small business, I find myself constantly typing... often times after business hours when the sun has gone down. It didn't take long for me to get used to the slightly different feel of this keyboard, although I did have to re-train myself to make the use of the programmable keys into a natural movement. Ultimately, it was the dim back-lighting on the keypad turned me away.

Logitech G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard 920-000379

Even though I have the QWERTY layout committed to memory, there are several times when I may need to actually look at the keyboard and find a particular key. The poorly lit keys would almost all appear dark black, as if they had no key markings at all, and the search would be a short frustration I didn't need distracting me. In the long run, if you use this keyboard for any level of serious use outside of gaming, you might want to rethink your needs. The Logitech G15 2007 excels in the field of programmable LCD gaming keyboards, and pure hardcore gamers will not have my complaints. But I can't play games all the time, and when playtime is over I find myself wanting the Logitech Cordless Desktop LX 710 Keyboard put back on my desk.

Logitech 920-000379 Conclusion

Logitech certainly knows how to package a product, and make it attractive to consumers. The retail package, website promotion, and related information was sufficient in getting me excited about their new G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard.

In terms of product appearance, the Logitech G15 2007 (model 920-000379) keyboard was probably to blame for my high expectations. The keyboard not only looks good, it makes you want to play games even if you have other obligations. It's like that show car I described at the Auto Show: you don't want to simply drive it, you want to race it.

When I approach the construction rating the overall build quality is a key factor, but I also look at the materials used and durability. Logitech built the G15 2007 with a sturdy ABS plastic, which will prove necessary in the rough gaming environments it's sure to see. However, the opaque plastic material used in the translucent keys doesn't do a great job of transmitting the back-lighting effect to the surface.

Then comes functionality. Few products survive my wrath when I find a flaw, and although I really like the look and feel of Logitech's new G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard I just cannot forgive some glaring issues. Why would anyone producing a premium-priced keyboard neglect the functionality of USB 2.0? Not to dog-pile the flaws, but the game support is so weak that the "unofficial" G15 sites poke fun at their feeble attempt to include popular games. Topping it all off is the limited visibility of the illuminated keys from the standard angle of operation. All of the other nice features combined just barely kept this rating on the positive side.

At the time of this writing (November 2007), the Logitech G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard 920-000379 has been on the market only a few months and has become available at many of the most popular online retailers. NewEgg currently offers the Logitech G15 2007 for $89.99, however there are a few others that sell it for a bit less. With such a high-price premium to pay for a keyboard, the value rating takes a hit.

In conclusion, I find myself a little bitter because of the final outcome. I really had high hopes for the new G15 2007 Programmable LCD Gaming Keyboard, but I am left with the impression that the Logitech 920-000379 model was rushed to market. Gaming keyboards are tough to get perfect, but in my opinion this product needed a lot more time at the drawing board before it made retail shelves. The new G15 2007 looks unbeatable; at least until you expect that much out of it. Looks are deceiving, and the G15 gaming keyboard is not recommended.

Pros:

+ Supplemental information is displayed on the GamePanel LCD
+ Six programmable G-keys record macro or key press
+ Multimedia control buttons
+ Game mode switch disables the Windows key
+ Illuminated keys
+ Wrist pad included
+ GamePanel software offers out-of-game functionality
+ Transverse position keyboard legs prevent collapse from movement

Cons:

- USB 1.1 ports are obsolete and do not support some hardware
- Illuminated keys have offset back-lighting which dims edges
- Uses rubber membrane key action instead of scissor type
- Expensive product with few additional features
- GamePanel video game compatibility is very limited

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 8.25
  • Functionality: 6.75
  • Value: 5.50

Final Score: 7.6 out of 10.

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