Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard ReviewBluePanda - November 17, 2013
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Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Closer Look:
After a closer look, and moving the packaging out of the way, it isn't the light playing tricks with your eyes; the keyboard does indeed have a blue plate around the keys. It's glossy to the touch and has a dark metallic blue coloring. I'd say it's a little more subtle than the website makes it appear, but I suppose under the right lighting it may look just that blue - to my eyes it's subtle, but still clearly BLUE! This is a good start, at least for someone like me who likes blue a bit. The WASD and arrow keys are a silvery gray color and stand out from the rest of the keys. They are at least the same material, so they don't feel out of place beneath your fingers. The left side is the first indicator that this keyboard isn't of standard size. There are three sets of two by three keys totaling up to 18 magnificent macro options. They are labeled G1-G18 and are in nice, distinct sets for your fingers to find without looking. Some added embellishments in silver outline the right edges/corners of the macro sets; this pattern continues across over to the corners of the arrow key set. It's a nice, not overdone, accent. We're off to a good start; let's get a little closer up for further detail.
But before we do, let's take a look at the Logitech G510s' backside. The typical sticker in the center marks out what keyboard this is and the less common – "Warning! Some experts believe that use of any keyboard may cause serious injury to hands, wrists, arms, neck or back. If you feel pain, numbness, weakness in these areas see a qualified health professional." It goes on to provide precautions to avoid these symptoms – but really, if your keyboard is hurting you; STOP. Good laughs aside, at least it's here – a sort of liability, Logitech has its ass covered.
While we are still looking at the lovely backside of the 510s, let me point out a couple things. First of all there are rubber feet on the lower edge of the keyboard with additional rubber on the wrist rest supporting pegs – so rest or not, you've got "sticky" feet to keep your keyboard in place. HOWEVER, if you look up top along the upper edge you will find no rubber (sad face). It does get worse, unfortunately, well at least depending on your perspective. The keyboard on your desk without the feet up feels like it slopes down and away from you a bit – like you have to kick up your palms and type downhill. It was really weird to me. I'm usually one to not use flippy feet on a keyboard, but this one required me to. Though, when you do put them up, they only seem to bring the keyboard to a flat position (about where I feel it should start). I wouldn't say it's quite a fail – but it is very different. But what is an issue is the lack of rubber on the flipped up feet either. Perhaps because I have a glass desk, though I feel this would be an issue on any smooth desk, the top of the keyboard wants to slide left and right quite easily. I did find that after a little use the rear feet seemed to keep the whole keyboard planted and I no longer really missed the upper rubbers.
Now for a closer look at the front of the keyboard after I've talked all about the backside for so long. I will say this picture/angle really shows off the blue a bit more for what it is. My office lighting is a little darker and much less in your face than my photo shoot area and the blue appears much darker as I sit here typing this. Nonetheless there are 18 macro keys to set to your choosing for all your different profiles in the software. The software is quite the magic maker, and I'll leave the software section for you to find out more, but these macros are easy to setup and are quite easy for your fingers to find. The grouping of six seem to give a real alignment to finding what you want without having to look too much. I actually liked it.
The upper hard-press buttons "M1", "M2", "M3", and "MR" are your quick profile swaps – you can set three unique profiles to swap between without having to open the software to change. The "MR" button isn't a profile button, but is rather a "Quick Macro" button. It allows you to set any of the G keys to something new whenever you want – no software, which means you can create quick macros on the go, even in game! Simply press the "MR" key – the onboard screen will read "Quick Macro Press a G-key". Once you select one, say "G1", a message displays saying, "Enter your keys Press MR when done". You then type in what you want the macro to do, press "MR", and the macro is saved. Just like that – you never had to leave game to plug in a new command into the software. The only down side to this is you can't add mouse clicks in – just key functions; still, it's pretty sweet. If you happened to press "MR" on accident, or to see what it does, just press it again to cancel.
Well we've talked a lot about the right side of the keyboard. Notice the WASD in grey keys as previously mentioned and we'll come back to the rest of what is over here in a few. Move over to the arrow keys and déjà vu, you've got your matching WASD set. So whether you play with WASD, arrow keys, or perhaps both – you get to ride them in style. I like having the different color caps, but I will say that they don't quite light up the same as the black keys. Plugged in the letters/arrows appear blurry and very difficult to read unless you are directly above them. It's not really a problem, as most of you at least know where these keys are on a keyboard, however, I didn't like how I thought I was just out of focus.
Moving up to the top right of the keyboard we get a good look at the built-in media key setup. These are more hard-press buttons like the "M" keys on the upper left. They light up to match your profile color (so they match the set key color). With drivers installed, the stop, next, and back buttons seem to work standard with VLC; however, the play/pause doesn't. From a stop the play button acts like it clicks on a song but doesn't play it – so at least it shows it is trying to do something. However, I don't expect things to always work with VLC – as for one thing you usually have to have it selected to have it do "something" anyway. I opened the old Windows Media Player and the buttons work flawlessly. The mute works perfect too – easy to turn off music for a phone call without actually turning things down. The volume scroll wheel, which looks like a mockup of the one we've seen on Corsair keyboards, isn't as heavy as you might expect. It is rather lightweight and throws quite easily. I didn't really like it and tended not to use it, but it does work.
Over to the upper left corner you can see the profile buttons a little closer. But that's not all that is over here. There is a little slider button with an image of an old Atari style controller on it. Slide this to the right and your Windows key is disabled. Slide to the left, Windows key is enabled. It seems to be a physical switch that toggles it on or off. Although it feels a little cheap, it doesn't feel like it is going to fall off any time soon. Up here you also have your headset and mic mute buttons – why? Oh right, you haven't seen it yet, but there are audio inputs just on the other side near the headphone and mic symbols.
Isn't that nice how that leads into the next picture here? They are simple ports and you can plug into them just as the ones on your case or motherboard.
Before we're done with the front, and before I show you more about the screen and what you can see with it, let's take a quick look at it before plugging it in. There is a button to the left of the screen as well as four below it. The left button, as you may have guessed, allows you to toggle between what Logitech calls "Apps". The four buttons allow you to interact with some of the apps to scroll, press play, stop, or other actions. My only complaint is the buttons (especially the one left of the screen) seem to double click frequently, and even more frequently when you are trying not to. It's a little annoying, but you can get where you're going eventually. I'll make you wait to see more… just a few more pictures before we get to the screen.
I'm still holding back from showing you the little screen, as I know that is what you want to see, but I think I'll string you long a little longer (if you are even reading this). Both the wrist rest and the keyboard itself sport a big G in the center. It's a clear plastic piece fitted into a trapezoid cutout. I guess it adds a little flair and being in the center doesn’t get in the way of typing.
The USB cable to plug in is of the standard USB nature. Pretty simple and looks like the hundred other USB items you've owned over the recent years. It does have a shielding block near the end to reduce noise on the line, something you don’t find too much. Unfortunately the cable sadly isn't braided like most on the market these days but it does still feel durable for what it is. Doesn't really make me feel one way or another – just odd.
Okay, finally I'll show you what you've been dying to see. I've been talking about the different things that can or are displayed on the keyboard screen. I will point out that there is a little note included with the keyboard advising you to install drivers before ever plugging it in; so I did just that. Out of the box the default coloring is a blue-ish white for the screen. When first plugged in (or when your computer boots up) the screen reads G510s – unfortunately this is displayed quickly and I did not catch a picture for you. When Windows loads up you will see "Transferring profiles. Do not disconnect". This allows any profiles on your keyboard to load up. This being the first time it was plugged in it only shows "*Default Profile" with the asterisk indicating selection. After playing with it now, I have multiple profiles, including game specific options.
Pressing the button on the left, as long as you only get a single click, you get an RSS reader. By default it is configured with AP Top International news – you can add your feeds in the software and change how frequently it cycles through headlines. The next available app through the left button is a stopwatch and countdown clock to either time how long you've played or perhaps set a limit on how long you play. Unfortunately the timer doesn't make any kind of noise to indicate the time is up -- nor flash the screen, or play anything over the headset. It just hits zero and is done. Weird. It also reboots the keyboard when you plug or unplug your headset. Not really an inconvienice as it is quick to do so, just again weird.
A standard analog with digital clock is the next app in the queue. It also displays the day of the week along with the full date. Makes it nice to glance down at exactly how late it is when in-game without a clock. Brings back a little reality when you are in so deep with a game. One of my favorite screens, which I tend to leave up, is this next one. It shows both CPU and RAM percentage of use. It's a real simple screen that allows you to check the status of what your computer is actually doing. Once you plug into your full machine, other app options may appear depending on what you have installed. For example when plugged into my main machine, I actually gained an app from Core Temp that displays my core temps and percentages loaded along with my CPU multiplier and voltage. Perhaps there are more hidden apps out there as well. And, interestingly enough, Logitech includes the base code for developing your own apps using Visual Studio to make your wildest dreams come true – well as long as you have some basic coding skills (or perhaps a little Google-foo). Overall I liked having the screen around, even if the buttons tended to double tap a little.
So with it plugged in I'll end this page with the light up pictures of the keys themselves. In total darkness the letters are a little easier to read. Unfortunately the WASD and arrow keys, as I mentioned before, are a bit odd if not looked at from a more top down perspective. A really bright room (such as that for photo shoots) is not great for being able to see the coloring of the key lighting, but a slightly darker room or all dark makes exceptional color. If only I could control the brightness…