Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum Keyboard Review
The G810, at $159, is facing some fierce competition from its rivals. The Corsair Strife RGB, which comes with a metal body, wrist rest, extra set of keycaps, and Cherry MX silent switches, is $10 less. Logitech knows it is asking a lot for the G810, so like some GPUs the keyboard comes with an included game. Customers get Tom Clancy’s The Division, provided they pick it up before April 1. Logitech says the keyboard’s lighting is integrated with the game, showing off the next level of game interaction that manufacturers have been pushing.
The G810 itself has a more barebones design than some keyboards, with no macro keys. Logitech has chosen to integrate macro functionality into the F1 through F12 keys, giving users the ability to access secondary commands without expanding the physical profile of the keyboard. It is full-sized layout, with media controls and a volume wheel on the right. In Logitech’s gaming keyboards, these controls have always fit with the rest of the keyboard design, but here the round design seems foreign to the rest of the board. The low-profile keys have per-key lighting.
The body of the G810 has some serious weight to it, with a solid-seeming plastic housing that doesn’t seem to attract finger markets. The feet are three-way adjustable, and the non-removable cable has a large protective rubber housing right out of the body that isn’t very attractive. The cable is braided and fairly thick, making it somewhat difficult to twist into place.
The G810 comes with Logitech’s proprietary Romer-G switches, which aren’t compatible with other kinds of keycaps but which do feature gorgeous lighting with a bright, centered RGB LED per key. Unlike some of its competitors the LEDs do not illuminate the underplate of the keyboard, and we’d like to see that become a standard feature.
The Romer-G has a shorter actuation distance, of 1.5mm, than Cherry MX or Topre switches. It requires 45g of force for the actuation, and the key is non linear—meaning you can feel the very faint tactile bump when the key is registered. It definitely takes some getting used to. If you get the keyboard and it feels very mushy and almost rubber-dome like, which was happening in my mind, train your fingers to avoid from bottoming out and the keys will feel much more responsive.
After a few days, our reviewer grew to love this speedy switch. Typing is fantastic because you don’t need to apply much force. The same goes for gaming, and the light nature of the switch means no finger fatigue. For the price, though we would expect to see a wrist rest to compliment the comfort level when both hands are on the keyboard.
The lighting on the G810 offers an incredible array of customizability. In Freestyle mode, every single illuminated portion on the keyboard can be changed, including the logo, the media keys and even the Num/Caps and Scroll Llock LEDs. You simply dial in one of the colors on screen with vibrancy and brightness adjustment and assign it to the selected keys. Every color on that wheel is very accurate with the exception of white, which gives off a pinkish hue.
There’s also Zone mode, which simplifies the selection process and offers multiple effects with smooth breathing, a simple color cycle with speed control, color wave with direction adjustment and finally key press, sees keys fade as you hammer away at the keyboard.
Our reviewer’s opinion of the Romer-G switches changed over time, to the point where he preferred the Romer-G switch over the Topre Hybrid-Capacitive because that shorter actuation distance means faster key presses in games where speed matters such as CS:GO. When you need to reload quicker by switching to a different weapon or after firing a sniper rifle, the ROMER-G switch feels very fast indeed.
The biggest question mark for the G810 is the price point. With the included game, it’s a reasonable deal. But that ends in April, making this a tough sell when some of its competition offer more features for the same price. The Romer-G switch is a great innovation, but it might not be enough when other companies are debuting their own custom switches. When The Division comes out we can test the custom lighting API that is supposed to set the G810 apart, but until then there is a big question about this keyboard.