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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 22 October 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Closer Look: Logitech G710 Keyboard
Gaming Keyboard Detailed Features
Logitech Gaming Software
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Testing & Results

Testing Methodology

Testing a keyboard isn't like testing a video card, processor, motherboard, or even a case. All you can do is use it day to day, and exercise the product's unique features. Sometimes a keyboard that looks great in the store and works well in gaming doesn't turn out to be so great for extended periods of text entry, or vice versa.

Test System

  • Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair V Formula
  • System Memory: 8GB DDR3-1600
  • Processor: AMD FX-8150
  • Audio: Onboard
  • Video: AMD Radeon HD7970 + Radeon HD7950 in CrossFireX
  • Disk Drive 1: Patriot Torqx 256GB SSD
  • Disk Drive 2: Western Digital 1GB
  • Optical Drive: Generic
  • Enclosure: Secret

Software Tested

  • Day-to-day use: mainly review writing!
  • Crysis 2
  • Serious Sam BFE
  • Portal 2

I'm a keyboard snob: my day to day keyboard is a 20-year-old IBM Model M, working through layers of adapters to be usable on a modern computer system. I have a collection of other mechanical keyboards, with most of the Cherry switch types represented, as well as a keyboard that uses the much less common ALPS mechanical switches. However, the Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is the first keyboard I've ever used with Cherry MX Brown switches. I used this keyboard over a week on both Mac and Windows systems, playing a variety of games on the latter. Logitech's software doesn't support Mac OS X, so the macro keys were useless, but all the media keys worked perfectly with no extra software required.

Results

The first test any keyboard must pass is use as a general purpose typing keyboard. Unless you keep a dedicated gaming rig, or actually switch out keyboards depending on what you're doing, you will probably spend more time typing than gaming on any keyboard you own, so even hard-core gaming keyboards must perform well as normal keyboards.

I've spent the past week typing on this keyboard, and I have to say there was somewhat of a learning curve. The feel of the MX Brown switches was new to me, but my main problem was with the vertical row of macro "G" keys. I have certain typing reflexes instilled over the decades, such as "the upper leftmost key on the keyboard is always the Escape key", except now it's the G1 key. This took me a couple of days to adapt to (and now I'll probably have problems when I move to another keyboard). The different feel of the MX Brown switches meant that it took a day or two for me to get back to full typing speed, but that's something that would be true moving to almost any new keyboard.

Although Logitech's O-ring trick quiets the typical clacking sound of a mechanical keyboard, it's still noticeably noisier than a good rubber dome keyboard.

Logitech's Gaming Software worked without a hitch in my experience, across a variety of games. Most of the games that I play are first person shooters, and since this is the first "gaming keyboard" I've tested, it was liberating to see how much more quickly I could switch weapons or perform other in-game functions with some judicious key assignments. And the Macro Recording (MR) key was very useful for performing in-game tests of specific commands or features...as long as they could be accomplished from the keyboard, since the macro recording feature doesn't work with mouse commands.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming KeyboardG710 owner 2012-10-26 15:57
After looking for a full size mechanical keyboard for months, I purchased a G710+ because it uses Cherry Brown MX keys and offers a combination of features not found in other mechanical gaming keyboards.

1) Dedicated/separate media controls. I use my keyboard volume controls daily. Having to adjust or mute volume a combination keystroke of FN + another key by comparison is cumbersome and annoying. Neither the Razor Black Widow Ultimate (2013), nor Ducky Shine II, nor Max Keyboard Nighthawk (my original choice), nor Thermaltake mechanical keyboards offer designated media controls. Only the Corsair K90 matches the G710 here.

2) 100% Mechanical Full Size Keys. If I buy a mechanical keyboard, I want all the full size keys mechanical. While the Ducky, Nighthawk and Razor have this feature, the K90 does not. In the K90, some full size keys use rubber domes. Not sure about Thermaltake.

3) Game ("G") keys. A primary reason to buy a gaming keyboard is having a separate, designated set of macro or gaming keys. While, the K90 (in spades) and Razor BW have them, the Ducky, Nighthawk and Thermaltake (2 listed on NewEgg at least) do not. Even more so than media, combination FN + another key is bothersome and certainly less advantageous in fast paced gaming. Personally, I'd rather have a set of 5 or 6 G-keys with banks than a block of 18 or more keys. I've never needed more than six at once and the banks make it easy to organize.

4) O-ring dampeners. Not for everyone, but something I planned to do anyway. Logitech saves me $20+ (seriously, like $15 for the o-rings + ship :
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# RE: Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming KeyboardG710 owner 2012-10-26 16:09
(4 cont.) Plus I don't have to spend time on installation.

The G710 is not perfect by any means. I hate the orange border. It should come with matching versions of the WASD/arrow keys along with a cheap key puller. The USB cable is too thick - only one USB connection should be required. The second one (a pass-thru for the hub) should be separate and removable not to mention USB 3.0.

$150 isn't cheap, but the other 100% full size key mechanical boards (Ducky, Nighthawk, Razor BW, etc.) all run about $140-$145 when not on sale. The K90 is cheaper, much cheaper, but it should be since it has less premium components. Rubber dome keys are very, very cheap to make. Still, I can understand why some claim it's a better value - just depends on whether you don't mind mechanical/rubber dome hybrid. On sale, I think the G710 is a pretty food value given all the features it offers. It's the first thing I've really liked from Logitech since the G9 mouse.
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# Great ReviewChris 2013-02-05 10:34
Great review, spot on. I'm waiting for my G710+ to come in the mail. I almost got the GK-Osmium, but the Cherry MX Brown switches did the trick for me. I wanted the light touch, but, if you're going to get mechanical anyway, why not have the tactile response? Brown has the best of both. The addition of O-rings to minimize noise was genius, too.

The K90 looks beautiful, but, I heard they had a lot of of driver/firmware issues.

This is definitely the most expensive in its class, and I could've went with the Razer BW-U Stealth, but I like Logitech stuff so far. I use the Optical Trackman, and I think it's hands down the best trackball and superior to mice in general. I wish it had more gaming features (like high polling rate), but nobody makes a gaming specific trackball, and I refuse to drive a brick across my desktop. I've been using trackballs for many years, and my wrists thank me for it.
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