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View Full Version : Review : The New Logitech G15 Keyboard



thebanik
01-03-2008, 10:34 PM
I have been a gaming freak from childhood and learning shortcuts and commands to do various task from Keyboard was a necessity for me since my father used to hide the mouse so that I stop gaming/using my computer. But as they say necessity is the father of all inventions, in my case it was not invention but I learned the shortcuts for various tasks and in most instances I had to remember a combination of various keys. Fortunately we have now the G15 Keyboard through which we need not press/remember a bunch of keys to initiate/open various tasks(will get to it in detail later) and ofcourse use shortcuts in Games to improve our efficiency immensely.

Cost me a bomb for a keyboard to buy so instead of a showoff(where i have never posted a new thread) i prefer writing a review so that others can refer to if they have to make a purchase decision.

So today we will look into its
Specification
Features
Orange LCD Display
Small Comparison with the Original G15 Gaming Keyboard
Conclusion with Pros and Cons

But first lets have a look at the packaging of the keyboard and then the keyboard itself in its full glory.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/7966/g15pe7yv3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/5262/g152bz4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


Specification

Now this is not a processor or a graphic card that a few MBs here and there will make or break the deal but still in a review having a specification is must, so here it goes from the Logitech website.

System Requirements

o Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
o 256 MB RAM
o 20 MB available hard disk space
o USB port
o CD-ROM drive


Package Contents

o Logitech® G15 Keyboard
o Palm rest
o Software CD
o Installation Guide
o 1-year limited hardware warranty

Oh wait, where is the specifications but???? Dont know it seems Logitech sees fit to place System Requirements and Package Contents in the Specifications page. As mentioned above in the System Requirements, G15 is only USB so if you try to use it with a PS2 convertor then the LCD on the top would not show what its capable off like Songs being played, CPU temperature and usage etc. Besides being a good keyboard, the G15 also features superbly designed highlighting of the keys, a multifunctional LCD screen, programmable buttons and 2 port non powered USB hub.


Features

There are many features of the keyboard that strikes you when you see the keyboard. First is the Orange LCD display at the top of the keyboard, then there is the backlighting of the keyboard and then there is the name G15 on right corner of the keyboard which you cannot miss.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/2571/g154jc9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


And of course there is a row of 6 extra keys on the left hand side from G1 to G6 which can be configured for various shortcuts or to run recorded macros. The M1-M3 keys and the Macro Record keys are above the G Keys and effectively makes 18 shorcuts to be used in any specific game/program. The currently active mode key will be lit up. The Macro Record key is for quickly recording a macro and then storing it into one of the G-keys. It's handy when you're in a game and quickly need to redefine one of the G-keys to perform a new function, though have not used it as of now but will do so in the near future.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/8224/g155jh0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Tactile Feel/Layout : The tactile feeling from the keyboard is nice. It is easy to type on, though I am still making a few mistakes like pressing the 'G6' key instead of 'ctrl' or the 'G1' Key instead of 'esc'. The keys do not rattle at all. There are no problems with pressing several buttons at a time, the keyboard processes such situations correctly but that is to be expected from such a costly keyboard.
Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock indicators are located in their traditional place and are designed as appropriate symbols. There is a silver sliding switch above the F3 and F4 keys which can be used to deactivate the Windows keys on the keyboard, this prevents you from accidentally bringing up the Start menu while in a full-screen game, this is a small but great feature for gamers like me since there have been numerous instances while in the heat of battle I press the windows start key to come to the desktop and then return back to see my character dead or in some games where the game simply hangs. Finally, there are two USB ports on the keyboard’s bottom. These are USB 1.1 ports intended for low-speed devices like mice, joysticks, low-resolution web-cameras, etc. there are grooves in the bottom of the keyboard that allow to route the cable to the USB port under it and put it out in front or at the right side of the keyboard.

Backlighting : The keys are black and it’s only the letters that shine with a amber light here. There is no bleeding from any side but it does not stand up to my expectation since backlighting is not uniform and some keys seems darker than the rest. But it doesn’t distract your eyes with its light, and the symbols on the keys are perfectly visible at any lighting, from daylight to full darkness. Though you can turn off the backlighting (there are 3 settings, off, bright and brighter), without the lighting, the keys become difficult to read. If you touch type like me, this isn't an issue but I am still getting used to the layout. However, the LCD is hard to read without the backlight, but i keep the lighting on all the time since I like my room dark.

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/7236/image138yy3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/8936/madhu1nd8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

LCD Display

Now the most stand apart feature of the keyboard is its LCD Display and hence the separate section for it, though its certainly not unique and the Orginal G15 Keyboard had it as well alongwith a few others like the Logitech’s diNovo and Cordless Desktop MX 5000 Laser. We will talk about what all information can it display and whether it is helpful for a gamer or not.

http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/4184/g153js7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


The keyboard features a LCD panel that displays stats from compatible games and applications as well as information about your computer like CPU and memory usage. One of the LCD screens is a clock with calendar, which is very handy. Games like WoW have out of box support for the LCD display. There are forums dedicated to customizing and adding more features but there are hardly any worthwile mention for any new games which certainly is disappointing. On the other hand, the possibilities of this screen are rather endless but have not been implemented yet.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/6564/g156og1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

On hindsight I think the LCD on G15 as of now is useless since there are just a handful of games that have support for the keyboard, and we can always look out for the CPU, RAM usage on the computer screen itself instead of the LCD screen on our keyboard.

Comparison with old G15 gaming Keyboard

Now one of the most confusing aspect of the old and new G15 keyboards is that both are called G15. But wait i searched and found out that the old one is called 'G15 Gaming Keyboard' and the new one is simply called 'G15 Keyboard' by Logitech. This doesnt sound reasonable since both are Gaming Keyboards and on the box of the New G15 it says something like 'Gaming Jeux' but what the heck.

The major difference between the original and the new G15 is the reduced number of extra macro keys. The original had 18 G-keys, and the New one has only six, a third of the original. There are also three mode buttons M1-M2-M3 above the G-keys that allow you to switch between sets of functions for the keys, effectively giving you 18 different macros. However, the original G15 also had these for effectively 54 different key assignments.

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/659/g15bothot3.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


The other major difference is the LCD. The new one has a noticeably smaller and fixed in position LCD, unlike the original LCD, which was mounted on a hinge and could be closed.

But the biggest difference between the new Logitech G15 on the old one is the size of the keyboard. By shaving off two of the sets of six G keys, Logitech was able to decrease the size significantly. The old one was 21.5 inches long and the new one is around 19.5 inches, which means that the new Logitech G15 is closed to the size of a standard keyboard and will fit most of the standard trays.

Additionally, the color of the keyboard backlighting has changed as well from the blue of the original G15 to an orange on the new G15. Personally i would have liked the option to choose between 3-4 different colors of backlighting.

Conclusion

The Logitech G15 is a very exciting device indeed with its nice LCD display, extra keys, customizability of the keys and the screen. The number of simultaneous key presses is between 6 and 8. I do like its orange backlighting than the blue one on the original that I checked in SMC. It certainly is a keyboard that I would have recommended to every gamer had it not have a redundant LCD display and its damn high price. The problem is that the applications are difficult to find and even more difficult to code. With two built-in, full-speed USB ports on the keyboard, gamers can simply plug in their mouse and headset for the ultimate gaming experience. The G15 keyboard includes a game mode switch, which disables the Windows key, eliminating the inconvenience of accidentally closing a game.

It certainly is a keyboard which cant be beaten by any other keyboard sans maybe the original G15 keyboard. And if you have the moolah then this certainly would add a few more kills in an online shooting game or would help you build a base faster in a strategical game.

Pros:

* Built in LCD
* Orange Backlighting
* Extra gaming keys
* Software easy to use and provides a high level of customization
* Macro recording is very useful
* Looks sweet at night
* Smaller than the original G15

Cons:

* Falls short when compared to the original
* Damn Expensive
* 6 G-keys vs. 18 on original G15
* No volume knob
* Cannot find much use of the LCD

Feedback and critics are anticipated and most welcome.

XS2K
01-04-2008, 01:57 AM
Good review congrats!
I had G15 first revision but it was too big for my desk and went for Saitek Eclipse II which I like more,unfortunately it doesen't have the G keys but I don't realy need them since I play mostly FPS.

Martijn
01-04-2008, 01:58 AM
This is a really nice review! I'm seriously considering buying the new G15. I need a new keyboard desperately. It sucks that they're so expensive right now :down:

Oh and you need to clean that old G15 :p:

Paxi
01-04-2008, 02:03 AM
Good review. I´ve also got the G15 Refresh and i´m really satisfied with it. Using SirReal´s LCD :)

thebanik
01-04-2008, 07:34 AM
This is a really nice review! I'm seriously considering buying the new G15. I need a new keyboard desperately. It sucks that they're so expensive right now :down:

Oh and you need to clean that old G15 :p:

See any gaming keyboard would be kinda similarly priced, anyways all i can say is that if you think you can utilize the G keys then close your eyes and go for it, i mostly play TF2 and other FPS games where i have not been able to use the G keys yet but hopefully i would do that for some good strategical games that will come this year.

thebanik
01-04-2008, 07:36 AM
Good review. I´ve also got the G15 Refresh and i´m really satisfied with it. Using SirReal´s LCD :)

thanks, :) , i am also using it but dont find any real use of it, we can always watch those information on the bigger LCD monitor, :)

thebanik
01-04-2008, 07:38 AM
Good review congrats!
I had G15 first revision but it was too big for my desk and went for Saitek Eclipse II which I like more,unfortunately it doesen't have the G keys but I don't realy need them since I play mostly FPS.

Thanks, This one is quite smaller than the older G15 but yeah all these keys and LCD are of not much use to me either, but again Saitek and Razor were costing the same here in India so i thought atleast this one has extra keys and LCD to ask for more price, :)

WrigleyVillain
01-04-2008, 08:28 AM
Good review and great timing for me as just an hour ago I was looking for more info on the old vs new G15 :up:

Does the LCD on the original have any kind of color? I believe I read on the new one you can switch between orange text on black background or vice versa.

thebanik
01-04-2008, 09:53 AM
Yup it was blue backlighting and black text and in the new one the only change is that its orange backlighting with black text. Blue used to look more dull and i like the orange more.

dnottis
01-04-2008, 09:57 AM
Cons:

* Falls short when compared to the original
* Damn Expensive
* 6 G-keys vs. 18 on original G15
* No volume knob
* Cannot find much use of the LCD[/B]


There are 6 G-Keys and above them the M1, M2, M3 buttons. Mode 1, 2 and 3. So there are still 18 G Keys just 6 x 3 Modes. So they saved space and kept all 16 G-Keys on the new G15.

thebanik
01-04-2008, 10:13 AM
There are 6 G-Keys and above them the M1, M2, M3 buttons. Mode 1, 2 and 3. So there are still 18 G Keys just 6 x 3 Modes. So they saved space and kept all 16 G-Keys on the new G15.

the original one had the M1, M2 and M3 keys as well, making it effectively 54 keys on it.

MuffinFlavored
01-05-2008, 02:30 AM
I broke my G15 when doing a disassembling mod (or I was just trying to clean it and see how it works).

Now I have a tarantula.
I just dont like how insert is with scroll lock, print screen, and pause break, but I got over it. LOL

Looks much nice IMHO.
I might buy it.

alexrud
01-27-2008, 05:51 PM
I just got a G15 v2 Refresh a couple hours ago and i've been looking for LCD apps. CPU/RAM/Temp monitoring, GPU monitoring, stuff like that. Anyone know where to get those?

day187
01-27-2008, 05:54 PM
Had mine for couple of months now and much better then rev 1 :up: logitech

Maxx103
02-08-2008, 07:56 AM
This is a nice review.

I have to agree that the backlighting is not very even, there are some "dim spots" where some of the backlighting doesn't come all the way through on some of the keys, not distracting or annoying enough to cause problems, but noticeable.

I haven't had the opportunity to experament with the set up and use of the LCD screen yet, but I will soon.

My main reason for getting this keyboard was due to my other one crapping out on me and the Razor keyboard with the intergrated plug in for the battle light looked too gimicky.

One feature that I really, really, love and I think is underappreaciated is the Windows Key Lock-Out Switch......do you know how many times I have accidently hit that darn key and get thrown back to the desktop in the heat of COD 4 Battle.....a feature I love.....in fact I think it should be standard for EVERY keyboard now produced - whether or not that keyboard was designed for gaming.

dj.oxa
02-12-2008, 12:34 PM
nice rev
i think that this revision is much better then older,is smaller,has a orange lighting,theres no left sets of buttons & this "pop up" LCD,i almost broke my
great keyb & think that i will buy it

Fujimitsu
02-12-2008, 12:49 PM
hawt

Might get one, give my aging saitek eclipse to my GF.

The size turned me off from the original, but this one looks just right.

Good review, very detailed.

Gen
02-12-2008, 04:57 PM
I just recently purchased this KB as well and I have to say it's very nice. I have it setup with everest and can monitor all core loads and temps along with o/c settings for gpu/cpu. :up:



http://aycu02.webshots.com/image/43841/2000862601849739306_rs.jpg (http://allyoucanupload.webshots.com/v/2000862601849739306)

Bobsama
02-12-2008, 05:12 PM
Very interesting--nice review. I'll definitely think about buying one when I go off to college. I had a basic wireless keyboard & mouse from Logitech (pulled of a Gateway... circa 2003) that won't work with Vista64 anymore--so I'm back to a basic Microsoft internet keyboard and basic Logitech mouse.

emoners
02-12-2008, 05:26 PM
can the dancing lights from version 1 if you play WinAmp be also done with the version 2?

Gen
02-12-2008, 06:20 PM
seems to work with lcd and M1-3, MR and G15 strip

YouTube Clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SUfFQ4OD3Q)

can't test since i don't use winamp :(

Gen
02-12-2008, 06:49 PM
decided to give this a try after getting hyped about it from YouTube

took a bit of searching but found that the plugin is updated on sourceforge and indeed does work with the new G15 and is configurable. looks great to :)
no bugs found yet


Winamp Visual System courtesy SourceForge.net (https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=147984&package_id=232534)

My LCD Project Site (http://mylcd.sourceforge.net/)

Russian
02-21-2008, 11:20 PM
My personal preference has led me to stick with the original G15 and apparently there is still a lot of demand for them because i sold a spare one i had for 72 dollars. Thats alotta dough for an "outdated" keyboard.

g1raffe
02-22-2008, 05:36 PM
What does the Rivatuner plugin do? I cant seem to get it to do anything on my G15, it just says Rivatuner and doesn't do anything?

Gen
02-22-2008, 07:29 PM
Rivatuner shows hardware monitor info on your lcd screen.

To enable you need to open up monitor -> right click on item -> properties -> display on screen (checkbox).

You might have to hid the red dot in monitor window to enable background monitoring if you want to close monitor tab (still need rivatuner running but you can now set to tray icon).

I recommend everest as you don't have to fool with plugins but you have to somewhat manually position items on grid coordinates.

M4D_H4773R
02-25-2008, 12:45 AM
ya i like the original better

TheKarmakazi
02-25-2008, 04:11 AM
My biggest complaints are the loss of the left hand macro keys, and the smaller LCD size/inability to adjust the LCD angle (can anyone say glare?!).