While there have been many changes to gaming keyboards in recent years, the Logitech G19 has upped the ante by including a full-color tilting LCD display. Following the popularity and success of the G15v1 and G15v2 releases, the Logitech G19 has some big shoes to fill as it intended to be the premiere gaming keyboard in the Logitech G line up.
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Logitech G19 Full Color LCD
By adding a full color LCD to the keyboard, the Logitech G19 claims you can view a variety of information and even watch videos without having to minimize your game window. They also claim superior responsiveness when pressing multiple keys and the 12 included macro keys will allow quicker response times and better gaming performance. I decided to put this keyboard through its paces and see how it compared to its predecessors and its competition.
One of the first things that I noticed about the Logitech G19 was that it required an AC adapter to power the LCD Display and dual USB 2.0 ports. After a quick installation of drivers, it was time to test out the LCD display. There is a variety of plug-ins available for the Logitech G19 offering features such as a clock, system performance stats and YouTube or local video playback. While I suppose these things could be useful to kill time or check RAM and processor usage, I was not entirely sure they justified the price of the keyboard.
I decided to fire up World of Warcraft and see what the keyboard had to offer. Having the ability to plug my USB headset into the keyboard gave me more room to move around and the built-in hub on the Logitech G19 seemed to have no problem keeping up with both the headset and any keyboard inputs. Anytime anyone talked on Ventrilo, his or her name appeared in the LCD screen. When no one was talking, a simple stat display showed up for my character. While these details were nice, I found myself using the media player integration on the Logitech G19 most often.
While the keys on the Logitech G19 felt a little soft, they were very responsive. The adjustable backlighting on the keyboard was bright and, after a little tweaking, I found a color I preferred. I have seen brighter backlights, they are by no means dim. The standard parts of the Logitech G19 are of average size. I had no troubles with hitting the wrong keys due to spacing or key arrangement. The media controls were responsive and the macro keys were easy to set and page through for using common spells and commands. I did find myself wishing I could switch the macro keys to the right side of the keyboard however. It would have been easier to release the mouse and hit the macro keys than remove my hands from my movement keys.
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Conclusion on Logitech G19 Keyboard
The Logitech G19 certainly offers extended functions for MMO and FPS games, however most of that utility lies in the macro keys. While the LCD display is certainly flashy and cool, the people who will get the most benefit from it are people that like to play movies or music while gaming. While the Logitech G19 comes with an increased price tag, it offers increased functionality that no other keyboards currently can touch.