Logitech G15 (New Updated) Keyboard

Makaveli - 2007-09-18 19:44:19 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: December 14, 2007
Price: $81.59 USD

Introduction:

The original Logitech G15 was almost every gamer's dream keyboard. It had a flip-up LCD screen to advertise useful information while you were playing games, such as your kills and deaths, among other things. It also had blue glowing keys, making it easy to play far into the night. The keyboard sported eighteen “G” keys that could be customized to do just about anything. You could have many profiles utilizing all of the “G” keys, which were great because it allowed the gamers to set up their keyboard for every game that they play. The media controls were a huge plus for this keyboard as well.

Could it get any better? According to Logitech, yes. The company has just released its new, updated G15 keyboard. Could the new Logitech updated G15 rival its predecessor? Will it be the keyboard that all gamers dream about getting for the holidays? Let’s take a very thorough look at everything this keyboard has to offer!

 

Closer Look:

The new Logitech G15 came in a very nice box that showcased the keyboard and its main features. Judging by the images on the packaging, it’s pretty clear to see this keyboard is slightly smaller than the original G15. Also, instead of the keys having a blue backlight, the new Logitech G15’s keys have an orange backlight. I also noticed, on the box, that almost every line of text had multiple languages under the English for customers all over the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before we get to the keyboard, let’s take a look at what’s included. Inside the box you’ll find an instruction manual, installation CD, and booklet with some useful information.

Now let’s get the new Logitech G15 out of the box and take a closer look at it!

Closer Look:

The new Logitech G15 features black keys, a gunmetal border around the keys, and a black border around the rest of the keyboard. What I noticed right off the bat about this new G15 is that the LCD screen isn’t a flip-up – it’s always visible. I also noted how the media controls are on the side of the LCD display. This new G15, like the older G15, features a full number pad, something I find myself using frequently. You’ll also find USB connectors for other peripherals you may have, such as an iPod. There is a mute button and a brightness button that allows you to have your backlight and LCD screen brightness level at either dim, bright, or off. I also noticed that the backspace, enter, and shift keys do not have the letters for their name on them – only arrows depicting their actions.

 

 

 

 

 

The back of the keyboard is very interesting because it has pre-cut trails for the keyboard’s cable to snake through in order to help you minimize the clutter on your desk. Also, notice the rubber stops on the keyboard to keep it in place while you’re having an intense gaming session. The stands on the keyboard will raise the back end up approximately an inch from the surface. The keyboard comes with an armrest that can be easily installed by latching the connectors into place under the keyboard.

 

Now let’s get to the customizable keys! On the top left-hand corner of the keyboard, you’ll find “M” keys, which you can set profiles to. Once you have your profiles all set up, you can customize the six “G” keys to do whatever you desire.

 

It’s time to learn how to install the armrest and the keyboard so that we can finally test it!

Installation:

To get this keyboard completely set up and ready to use, there are a few things we need to do first. The first thing is to install the armrest. To do this, flip over the keyboard and insert the prongs on the armrest into the keyboard until you hear them click into place. When that’s done, flip the keyboard over and you’re ready to go. Next, plug the USB connector into a free USB port and insert the installation disc; follow the onscreen instructions to correctly install the software.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking good! I'm definitely digging this orange backlight over the blue backlight from the old G15.

 

Configuration:

Both the new and old G15 use the same software. So if you already own the old G15, you won’t have any issues setting up macros and keystrokes with the new G15. It’s clear that this software was for the old G15 because it shows that you can customize eighteen “G” keys. This new G15 only has six “G” keys, so only the first six can be customized. When you select the key, you’ll get a little menu to open asking you what you wish to do with that key - assign it a keystroke, macro, function, shortcut, or script, among other things. At the top of the menu, you’ll be able to use many useful functions. Such as, the “Scan for new games…” option, which allows you to find all the games on your system that are compatible with this keyboard. After my search, the only game that came up was World of Warcraft.

 

To set up a macro, simply select the option from the menu when you click a key, and click “Assign Macro”. Once the window pops up, name your macro and click “Start Recording”. While it’s recording, proceed with the actions that you wish to be the macro for that key. After you are done recording, just select “OK” and the key is set!

The other thing that I found useful was the “GamePanel Manager”, which is what you’ll need to use in order to see what games you have that will work with the LCD panel. If they do, you’ll need to enable the option within this program, in order to get everything to work together.

Now that we have a good idea about the software, let’s test this unit.

Specifications:

System Requirements:

Note: GamePanel™ LCD requires software that supports Logitech® GamePanel™ technology. Visit www.logitech.com/gamepanel for more information.

Package Contents:

 

Features:

Control:

Convenience:

-All information taken from Logitech's website.

Testing:

The best way to test a keyboard is to take it for a spin! I’m going to be critiquing this keyboard against the old G15 to see which prevails as the better keyboard. I’ll be testing this keyboard in multiple scenarios such as gaming, word processing, and everyday use. To test the backlight feature, I’ll be testing both keyboards in the dark to see which I like better for night use.

Test System:

 

The first thing that I noticed about this new G15 is how the keys felt. They felt the same as the old G15’s keys. That’s definitely something that I was pleased to see because I enjoyed the old G15's keys. When I’m gaming or writing an essay, I need to move as quickly as I can and these keys certainly help.

One thing I noticed about this keyboard is that the LCD screen is slighty smaller than the previous version’s screen. You can’t adjust it either, so that might be a con for some people. The media keys around the LCD screen are nice to have and I like their new place. I do miss the volume dial that was on the older G15 because that was easy to use and I just loved being able to spin it.

If you’re looking to customize the hell out of a keyboard, the older G15 has your name on it because this new G15 cut down the number of “G” keys by twelve. I personally like the cut down because a lot of the “G” keys on my old G15 were left unused. Even six customizable buttons are too much for my style of gaming. With twelve of the “G” keys off of the keyboard, the new G15 is smaller than the old G15 – definitely a plus because the old G15 took up tons of space.

Logitech still hasn’t gotten it right with the USB ports on either keyboard, because they never seem to be able to give enough power to the devices you plug into them. Maybe the next revision will have USB ports that can fully support USB 2.0?

During use in the dark, I definitely liked the new G15 better, because the orange color was much easier on my eyes than the obnoxious blue backlight on the old G15.

Conclusion:

The new Logitech G15 keyboard was a disappointment in my eyes for many reasons. First, the original G15 was popular for its big LCD screen that you could change the angle of and close, if need be. On the new G15, the screen is smaller and you can’t change the angle of it, so some people would need to prop the keyboard up higher or sit lower to the ground if they can’t see it from where they’re at. The keys on this new G15 felt the same as the old G15. The volume dial on the old G15 is so much easier to use than the buttons on this new G15. I did like the orange backlight better than the old G15’s blue backlight because it’s much easier on the eyes at night. For my style of gaming, reducing the seemingly over-abundant eighteen customizable “G” keys to six keys was great, because it makes the keyboard smaller. This new Logitech G15 isn’t too bad of a keyboard, but I almost had a heart attack when I saw the price. How can this keyboard be worth more than the old G15? After all, the old Logitech G15 has a bigger, adjustable LCD screen, and twelve more customizable keys. The price steers me away from recommending this new G15 keyboard over the old G15.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: