So recently, I was at a local computer expo (Comex or IT Show, can’t remember which) in 2014. Why did I wait so long to write this? Easy – I wanted to give this keyboard a REAL test first. I needed to see and feel it in action for everyday use as well as frantic gaming moments. So yeah, roughly 8 to 9 months later, I finally sat down to write this.
Anyway long story short, I came across this booth where they were selling lots of peripherals, like mice, gamepads, joysticks etc. What caught my eye were 2 products – The Logitech G710+ Keyboard, and the Razer Black Widow Keyboard. At that point in time, Razer was cheaper by about $20 or $30, I forget. The reason why I opted for the Logitech was simply because my mouse was already a Logitech one, which meant I already have the gaming software for the keyboard. May as well use the same software to manage the keyboard as well instead of having to run the one from Razer.
The primary reason why I bought it is because my Nighthawk KAI-3 keyboard keys have mostly rubbed off. Splotches of bright glaring light peeked through where the key letters were supposed to be 🙁 Yeah a lot can be said for “laser etched” vs “silk-screen” buttons. For $50, I guess I can’t complain.
Also, after having “rubbed out” a number of “gaming keyboards” recently, I thought I may as well get a better one with robust laser-etched keys instead.
My impressions of it, after having used it for 9 months or so, is that it pretty much rocks. Whatever I wrote for the G105 Keyboard pretty much applies here. The only minor difference is that the backlighting is a little bit more sophisticated on the G710+. The WASD and arrow keys are on a “different switch” from the rest of the keyboard. So you can dim or brighten them independently of the other keys. For example you might want to make WASD bright while the rest of the keyboard is darker. The choice is pretty much yours.
My favourite part of the keyboard is actually not really about the keys themselves. It’s more like the other stuff that make life easier, such as a ROLLER thing for volume control. Yeah just roll up or down to control the volume from your PC. There is no “end stops” and no “clicks” in the roller. This makes it feel “analogue” and more “real” like you’re controlling your hi-fi set.
Also the USB extension port under the keyboard is nice too (too bad only a USB 2.0 one). Sometimes when I feel lazy to bend down to stick a thumbdrive into the PC, I just stick it into the slot under the keyboard. Works well.
Mechanical vs “Normal” Keyboards
Ok so what’s the big deal? Why do gamers prefer mechanical keyboards?
Actually, nothing special really. If you have a keyboard from IBM or Acer or HP etc before 2000, chances are it’s a mechanical keyboard too. Yeah I have a few of those around at home. They just give you a more “clicky” feel compared to a soft touch like typing on a laptop. Some people prefer this, some don’t. It’s all personal preference. Unless you’re a professional gamer (ie play games to earn a living by being in competition and tournaments), the kind of keyboard you’re playing the game on makes no difference.
Plus, mechanical keyboards are heavier (naturally). After all they need to accommodate at least 104 switches. Normal soft-touch kind just needs 2 layers of plastic with conductive “lines” on them. You can imagine how light normal keyboards are nowadays.
Service and Support
Well Logitech has a pretty well-established service centre in Singapore. The keyboard I purchased actually had 2 defective keys at the time. After using the keyboard to type or play games, once in a while a couple of keys would “fall out”. At first I thought nothing of it, attributing it to me being overly excited during games. However, it became apparent that the keys started to fall out more and more often.
Finally when I examined the keys again when it had fallen out, I noticed that the stem of the keycap had broken off – hence the keys weren’t “gripping” the keyswitches at all. They were just “resting” on the switch and any sudden keypresses will “launch” them off the switch and hence, “fall out”.
So a quick call to Logitech and I got a case ID to bring to the service centre which is located at Paya Lebar. They gave me a 1 to 1 exchange, meaning I got a completely new keyboard. Personally I think this was excessive. Logitech could have just given me the keycaps to the keys that were spoilt. The keyboard itself was fine. Plus, giving keycaps is much cheaper than giving an entire keyboard (If any Logitech personnel are reading this, please take this as feedback).
After this incident, I actually decided to order extra keycaps for WASD (the most commonly used keys for gaming) keys from independent 3rd party keycap retailers. Just to tide me over until I can get Logitech to replace faulty keys again :p
If I were to rate this like a Steam product, I’d rate this as a “Recommend”. Yes, get it. 9 months on, my keys still look pristine – nothing got rubbed out yet. I’ve put this through frantic FPSes, leisurely MMOs, and the keyboard works like it should and have not failed yet. The only trouble you might have with it is the key positions – due to the G macro keys being on the left side of the board, you might unconsciously and instinctively be “offset by 1 key”… like you pressing CAPSLOCK instead of “A” for example. Would have been better if the G keys were across the top above the function keys though.