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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

Gaming Keyboard Final Thoughts

I found myself warming to the Cherry MX Brown key switches the more I used them, but they remain an acquired taste. Some people will prefer the linear action MX Red or MX Black switches for a gaming keyboard, but I think that the tactile but non-clicky MX Brown switches might represent a pretty decent compromise if you're going to use a keyboard for lots of typing and lots of gaming.

The Logitech Gaming Software works well, but doesn't break any new ground in capability or features. It automatically identifies the applicable Logitech mouse and keyboard you're using, but its help system remains generic and thus isn't as usable as it could be, especially given that the keyboard comes with no documentation, sometimes leaving you to guess whether your device has the capability you're trying to get help on or not.

The most interesting feature this keyboard has is its dual-zone lighting. I don't think it makes that much difference in actual use, but it does look cool. Some other vendors have started shipping keyboards with optional, differently-textured caps for the WASD cluster, letting you find them by feel. This is something Logitech should consider.

The mechanical keyboard renaissance means that this G710+ is up against some pretty heavy competition. It seems that a new mechanical gaming keyboard is announced every time you turn around, and price competition is starting to heat up. This means that people looking at this keyboard will be cross-shopping competitors' products like the Corsair Vengeance K90, which offers 18 definable keys based on Cherry MX Red switches but costs $30 less. At $149.99, it's not the most expensive keyboard Logitech makes, but the G710+ is still a very expensive keyboard.

logitech_g710+_dual_lighting.jpg

Logitech G710+ Conclusion

Keyboard and mice are some of the most "individualized" components in your computer system. As such, different people will prefer different keyboard layouts, functions, and "key feels". In any case, mechanical switch keyboards are significantly more expensive than keyboards that use rubber dome or membrane switches, so consumers looking at this type of keyboard will spend more time evaluating them than they would a $10 generic keyboard, since a keyboard at this price level is going to be a long-term purchase.

The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is sheathed in dark gray plastic with light gray accents, and a bright orange bezel around the six macro keys. The keys are black with gray lettering that lights up when the keyboard illumination is turned on, but the WASD and arrow keys are molded in silver plastic to visually distinguish them. The orange bezel around the macro keys struck me as a little garish but probably works well for the intended gamer demographic.

The top and bottom of the keyboard case are heavy duty plastic, and the keys themselves are snapped into a thick metal base plate, which gives the keyboard a significant dose of weight and stability. The quality of the Cherry MX Brown switches is excellent, of course. The USB cable, rather than being sheathed in mesh braiding as is the custom these days, has instead a very thick rubber coating that makes it about the size and weight of a standard AC power cord. It's a little odd but works well; in my experience, braiding tends to snag on things and start frazzling in short order.

The functionality of the keyboard is very good. I was surprised, but pleased, to see that all the media keys work without any software required on both Mac and Windows platforms. The Logitech Gaming Software adds a robust suite of macro functionality although it's nothing you won't see in other vendor's gaming keyboards. Six definable function keys, with 18 definitions available via the M1/M2/M3 keys, should be enough for almost any game, although having only six macros available at any one time might prove limiting in some of the more complex RPGs. The reversal of the regular and shifted legends on the keys is dictated by the location of the under-key LED, but can still prove potentially confusing.

The value proposition is the weakest point of the keyboard. For $149.99 (Newegg/Amazon), the G710+ is significantly more expensive than competing keyboards with similar or better functionality such as the Corsair Vengeance K90, Razer Black Widow Ultimate, or Thermaltake eSPORTS MEKA G.

The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard will please any serious typist or gamer, but its price makes it a tough sell when so many less expensive alternatives exist.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval

+ Cherry MX Brown key switches nicely balance regular typing with gaming
+ Dual illumination zones highlight WASD and arrow keys
+ USB pass through
+ Heavy keyboard won't slide around under intense gaming
+ On the fly recording of simple macros

Cons:

- More expensive than competing keyboards
- Only six macro keys available at any one time (without switching)
- Reversed standard/shifted legends
- No documentation included with the keyboard

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.0
  • Appearance: 8.5
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.0
  • Value: 7.25

Final Score: 8.65 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

Benchmark Reviews invites you to leave constructive feedback below, or ask questions in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com

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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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