Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Review

BluePanda - 2013-09-22 13:23:43 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: November 17, 2013
Price: $69.99

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Introduction:

It has been quite some time since OCC reviewed anything from Logitech – but it's not because Logitech doesn't have its own line of epic gaming gear. No, that is indeed not the fact. Perhaps it is more the fact that Logitech gear tends to last FOREVER. Who, right now, has an MX510 sitting in their closet or right beneath the palm of their hand? I do. I've got two or three of them here. Honestly the MX510 was my first love in the field of computer mice. Its oversized blob of a mouse could really take a serious beating. That was a mouse that really went places with me – and despite its drops, rage smashes, and general "love" that thing is still kicking it. It is for sure my go to mouse whenever I am setting up a new system, using my laptop, or just need a freaking mouse (not at my desk). Why do I tell you this long boring story? Well, I think it's important to share why I have high expectations for today's Logitech review – Logitech was built tuff, is it still?

With high expectations established, what are we looking at today? Glad you asked - today we'll dive into the Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard. The G510s has quite a bit to offer, though one first surprise – it is NOT a mechanical. This surprised me a bit; the market of gaming keyboards has moved away from the once popular Razer Lycosa and lit up membranes. The market has recently been "mech this, mech that, and if you don't have a mech, you're not a gamer." So I can't tell if I'm happy to see a non-mech on the market again or if I feel like the price isn't worth it. Oh the price, haven't looked yet – she comes in at a mech-expected price of $119.99 (however it can be found for 69.99 on Newegg); perhaps this is the main reason I feel so surprised I'm not writing about a mechanical keyboard.

Well, mechanical keys aren't all keyboards offer these days (at least not anymore). The Logitech G510s has a few features you don't commonly find: 1) A Gamepanel LCD – a little two tone display screen right at the top, and 2) FULL RGB custom backlighting. It also comes standard with what are becoming the "norm" of features in the gaming keyboard world: extra discrete programmable keys, integrated USB audio, a game mode toggle option to turn off the Windows key, and, of course, media keys. Now I know a lot of you are looking down at your keyboard in front of you saying "I don't have these quote, norm, unquote options," well maybe it's because you have an older keyboard – truly/sadly these things are indeed norm anymore. However, enough ramblings – let's get on to seeing what this Logitech 510s really looks like, how it holds up, and if it can meet up to the expected high standards. Read on to find out.

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Closer Look:

As part of the OCC review standard, let's take a good look at what the 510s comes packaged in. Sometimes packaging is what makes you buy something in a store – whether it's a good buy or not, that box is damn cool. The Logitech box is pretty simple, yet extremely neat as well. It's a solid black box with an actual image of the keyboard on the front. The right side of the keyboard has been tweaked to look like an X-Ray view of its innards. You can see a bit of the mechanics behind it and of course, it just looks sweet. To match the blue-ish theme, a G510s in bright blue brings your attention to the lower left corner of the box. Below that reads "Gaming Keyboard" and then "Clavier de jeu", or French for literally "Game Keypad". Why the mix of English and French on the front? I could only guess Logitech's Switzerland orign would explain this – and with experience longer than I've lived – I'll take it.

The back of the box kicks up to another color scheme – RED. Written segments point out key features, this time in three languages: Engligh, French, and Spanish. Everything I mentioned in the introduction is introduced here in short form; just enough to get you interested. Now you just want me to open the box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine. Opening up the box we get a glimpse of the keyboard inside. The keyboard itself is wrapped up in a plastic bag to protect it while in transit. The cable is neatly bundled behind it and a few surprises are hidden beneath: an arm rest and the typical instruction/warranty pamphlets are neatly tucked beneath the keyboard. Right out of the box, this is a pretty good looking keyboard.

 

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…

 

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Closer Look (The Software):

Keyboards that have macros or any kind of software customizable features require good software. There is nothing worse than crap software when you are trying to program in a full set of macros or even just getting the color changed on an RGB keyboard or mouse. Logitech actually shows up to the game for this one and doesn't disappoint.

The software opens up to a main page showing the full layout of the entire keyboard. It glows green (or the color of your current selected profile) for the main keys and lights up the unchangeable profile keys (M1-MR) in their respected orange/yellow color. The house icon at the bottom of the screen is underscored with a blue dash indicating selection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clicking the next tab over, the key cap with a capital G gets you to your profile settings, and your main macro key control panel. Here you can set your macro keys to whatever you desire. You will also notice several games listed at the top. The software will do a search of your computer and give you a profile for each game it recognizes. There are 273 games listed, all with pre-loaded commands. Although you'll have to assign the commands to the keys of your choice, the list of what you have available in game is quite nice. I always seem to forget an action key when setting up macros, leaving me to die in a game. You can always refresh the search list and add or save new profiles for different games not on the list.

You can, of course, create your own macro with: keystrokes, multikey press options, text blocks, mouse functions, media key buttons, hotkey options (i.e. Alt-F4, or ctrl + mouse scroll for zoom, etc.), shortcuts to open folder locations, function keys to open a calculator, mail, My Computer, and more, plus a whole category for Ventrilo commands. There's quite the variety, and I'd be a bit surprised if you couldn't get about exactly what you wanted with a couple macro keys. I had some fun spamming text blocks in chat – annoyed my friends, but works seamlessly.

 

 

The next picture icon for the next page of options looks a bit like an old school BIOS screen or just a simple text editor in blue. Here you can manage your applets (the little things that appear on the mini screen). If you are creative enough Logitech provides some basic examples of making your own applets with the included Software Development Kit (SDK) with the software download. Just visit the Logitech website for more information. I will warn you it isn't just simple type what you want, but if you know a little C/C++ you'll be just fine. It will take some playing with in Visual Studio, but at least Logitech gives you full rein on this keyboard.

 

The next page is easiest to guess: a colored light bulb equates to, you guessed it, your color options! You get a fun Photoshop-esque color wheel to really pick your colors. You can also choose based on a full 0 to 255 color scale for red, green, and blue. And for those of you who are a little lazy, there are a set of 22 color presets to pick from. Choose one and it instantly sets the color of your keyboard. Cycle through your profiles and set different ones for each mood. The only thing here that seems to be a little annoying is the fact that once you click on a color it is an instant change – so if you click without meaning to, you may have to find that perfect color again. Just keep this in mind; while it's super nice to have immediate response, it can be frustrating if you don't know the RGB numbers to get back to where you just were.

 

The last icon, showing a common chip, gets you to the "save" feature. This allows you to save up to five profiles for on the go. It allows you to transport your profiles from PC to PC by simply dragging your profiles from the top down to the empty slots below. A little circle fills in like a pie chart to show you how much memory is available on the keyboard still. If you try to copy a profile already on your keyboard (perhaps having the same name), it will prompt you to Copy and Replace, Don't Copy, or Copy and Keep both items – your typical Windows response. It keeps you from accidentally wiping out your favorite settings by accident.

 

Clicking on the little Gear icon brings up another window with four tabs of settings: General, Notification, G510s, and Profile. The General tab lets you set options to allow the program to run when Windows starts, quick marcros, illumination, graphics, and an automated scan for games. I'll let you play with the settings – we don't have all day to go into explicit detail on each of these, but I think you get the gist.

The Notifications tab allows notifications to display on the keyboard panel if you so choose. The G510s tab shows you your firmware version for trouble shooting if need be. Though it does say "This device does not support firmware update." – so I'm not sure if this means it never can update firmware or if this means there is no update available. Either which way, at least you can look to see/say what you have when/if you have problems and need to troubleshoot.

 

 

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Specifications:

Part Number:
920-004967
Warranty Information:
3-Year Limited Hardware Warranty
System Requirements:
Windows® 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista® Available Hi-Speed USB port Internet connection for optional software download*
Package Contents:
Keyboard Palm rest User documentation

 

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Features:

 

*GamePanel™ LCD requires software that supports Logitech® GamePanel technology. For a list, visit gaming.logitech.com/gamepanel

**G-key programming requires Logitech® Gaming Software, available at gaming.logitech.com/support.

 

 

Information provided by: http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/g510s-lcd-gaming-keyboard

 

 

 

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Testing:

The Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard was defiantly put through over a week of use and testing. During this time it was used it in everyday use, surfing the Internet, ranting on forums and of course some gaming. As a mouse is personal to each and every individual so how it responds in these various tasks is important in different ways to everyone. This rather subjective review is best to provide you the feedback from use rather than assigning made up numbers trying to compare one mouse to another. It's pretty easy to distinguish the likes and dislikes of a mouse through words rather than leaving it to you to decide what a 7 or 8 really means. No guessing game – here's what I liked, and here's what I hated.

Testing Setup:

 

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Results:

Everyday Use:

In everyday use this keyboard excels. The keys, being membrane, are quiet and feel super smooth. Although it doesn't have the usual feedback that I am used to with mechanicals, the short keystroke seems to make typing quick and efficient. Besides my horrid spelling capabilities I found myself making few mistakes I didn't know I had mistyped. The standard layout makes things easy to find and comfortable to use. The full layout also makes it nice enough to not have special function keys to get to "END" or "DEL" as they are their own set of keys – just how I like it. Emails and day-to-day typing via chat or whatever it is you do daily (besides work or game), this keyboard really hits the spot. It's quiet, smooth, and easy to type with.

 

Working:

Working is a whole different world from everyday typing and often takes something special to make me happy. Whether it's writing this lovely review for you to read, writing up some code for work, or writing up some paper for school, I like having just the right key set. Changing the standard layout is something I can get used to; I just don't like to since I move between so many different machines. Major props to the G510s for keeping a standard layout. Besides the addition of the 18 macros (preferred for gaming, though I suppose could be used for work), the keyboard includes a full number pad for number crunching and anything where you will be typing too many numbers to care to do it from home row. I was overall pleased working with this keyboard. Honestly I tend to be picky and first to get stabbed at is having a number pad; I just like having one. Having volume control and the usual media keys makes me happy while I'm working too, so if a horrid song comes on the radio I don't have to move far from my work to fix it.

 

Gaming:

Gaming is a world of peace; getting away from work and the real world sometimes. So a keyboard that can keep me happy while gaming is a major plus. I don't like having to fight with poor software to set up key bindings or use SHIFT +  to get what I want. If I can press a button to do a complicated function my game play becomes more fun and less painful when I need it to be. The ability to setup various profiles for all the different games I own is also AWESOME. I can have separate setups for GTA4, Skyrim, DiRT 3, L4D2, Portal 2; really everything in my library if I so desire. No, for many games you don't need anything special, but being able to switch profiles from the keyboard makes things well worth my time to setup. I loved it. I'm not one to usually go for macro setup and changing bindings (because I don't want to set them back later), but if my keyboard can keep track and let me switch without tabbing out of game – this is just EPIC!

Logitech G510s Gaming Keyboard Conclusion:

Ultimately I ended up loving this keyboard. When I pulled it from the box I groaned a little thinking it was going to be another oversized gaming keyboard with hard to set macros and some stupid light up screen. After installing the software and not being bound by some clunky settings I was amazed. Full RGB color options are so rare on keyboards I couldn't help but set every profile with some off shade color I normally could not obtain from a standard red, blue, green, or non-color optioned LED keyboard. I had a lot of fun with this keyboard if it wasn't just messing with its settings alone.

Typing on membranes was a nice change from the usual clacky mechs I love so much, yet so much happier than the crap Dell membranes at work. The little screen was more than some "stupid display". It allowed me to see time when I was in game, look at CPU usage without opening a task manager, switch profiles mid-game, time a test I was running, and even check out my CPU temperature (thanks to the Core Temp App). If I had more time I would have written my own app just for fun – perhaps later I can update this with such. The price was a total shocker for being a membrane keyboard at first – at least the true MSRP value. Finding it on Newegg for much less was quite the relief and really provided that value for the dollar.

For now, I'm just completely satisfied with this keyboard. I think it may be awhile before I switch back to my "norm" of a keyboard. Perhaps I'll let this run the rig for a bit. The only things I can come up with to really complain about aren't world ending by any means. I don't like the volume control wheel being so lightweight and I don't like the cheapness in the Windows toggle switch. But, they do indeed work, and that is something that matters more. Nothing is worse than feeling crappy and not working. Over time these both were something I could get used to – just took a little more use than just using it day one. I think my biggest and only real complaint of the keyboard over all is the buttons for the screen – the double tapping indeed became frustrating as hell. I got annoyed passing up the apps I wanted to cycle to, but eventually found a somewhat reliable solution to this – use APE strength. Pressing the button hard and forceful seemed to cycle more cleanly. Annoying, but again not game ending.

Overall I'm quite impressed with this board, and as I said before, I think I'll let it rule the roost for a bit – if I switch back to my usual daily driver has yet to be determined.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: