|Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 22 October 2012|
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Testing & Results
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.
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.
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.