Pros: Design, software, dedicated media keys
Cons: Lack of accessories, price, key cap quality, bugs with the firmware, not fully programmable, no dedicated macro keys, no wrist rest
Build Quality & Accessories: 5/10
Design & Look: 7.5/10
My final Rating: 7/10
Review Date: March 2016
Review Price: £140 / $160
First of all I would like to thank Logitech for sending me the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum mechanical keyboard for review. I was very much intrigued about the new Logitech keyboards which were released, mainly due to their own Romer-G switch, which just like other manufacturers such as Razer and SteelSeries have moved away from the trusted Cherry MX switches, which I use on a daily basis on my Logitech G710+ (home) and Cooler Master Storm Quick Fire XT (work). Both of my daily keyboards use the Cherry MX Brown switches and have been also custom painted in a Lamborghini colour!
I digress, the G810 can be found for around £140 on AmazonUK and around $160 on AmazonUSA. In comparison to its competitors the keyboard is on-par with the SteelSeries Apex M800 which also houses an in-house switch and can be found for around £135.
Now one thing I don’t get is why the G810 is more expensive than its older and feature-rich brother the Logitech G910. The G910 can be found for £120, now I can understand resellers are going to have different prices than the MSRP, but even then the price difference on Logitech’s website is £20. If I’m going to be spending £140 on a keyboard, I don’t think I would mind spending an extra £20 to get a keyboard that has a wrist rest, many more macro keys and even a stand for your phone to sit on!
After asking Logitech’s PR, I was told that they have “different designs” and it “comes down to personal preference” – Now I haven’t tried the G910, but I can sure tell from pictures alone that it would be a more ergonomic keyboard to use and the fact it has added functionalities and is currently cheaper than the G810 – this just doesn’t make any sense in my head! Anyway, with that said, I’ll still be reviewing the keyboard as a standalone review.
Here’s my video review of the Logitech G810:
Now let’s get into this written review!
Full specification and a description of the keyboard can be found on Logitech’s website.
Before going into the build quality of the monitor I want to mention what’s included within the packaging. And we’re done – there’s nothing included for the hefty £140 price tag. A key puller would have been nice, maybe even some Mac key caps, as SteelSeries provides within their M800 packaging or maybe even some different WASD and coloured arrow keys! Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing included, and that’s disappointing. I should point out that the keyboard is terminated by a single non gold-plated USB through a braided cable.
The build quality of the keyboard itself is solid, there’s barely any keyboard flex and the solid matte-finish prevents fingerprints from ruining the keyboard’s look on your desk. Under the keyboard there’s a stripped plastic pattern which gives the keyboard a cool-look, if you are ever to actually look at your keyboard from underneath! More interestingly there are several rubber pads which prevent the keyboard from sliding and cleverly the keyboard risers also have a small rubber strip on them – good thinking Logitech! Furthermore, there are two levels of risers you can choose from, which is a nice touch as it is ergonomically designed for a larger audience.
Moving to the front of the keyboard, there’s a dedicated game-mode button, illumination, mute, play/pause, stop, previous and next buttons. To add the cherry on the top, there’s also a volume wheel, just as I have on my Logitech G710+, which is used to control the overall volume of your PC. I really like the dedicated media keys that Logitech have once again included. In my case, I use the media keys on a daily basis and they’re very useful to have.
Now let’s talk about the build quality of the key caps, which is often a very important factor for longevity. To give you a good idea of what I mean, the super-built key caps on my CM XT are flawless, as they have good quality ABS plastic key caps, which till today are still going strong without any breakage. On the other hand my Logitech G710+’s key caps which are made out of a cheaper plastic have started to fall apart. This comes from the plastic within the key caps’s stems to start becoming weak due to wear and tear – I’m not the only one.
Upon receiving the G810, the first thing I noticed was the same key cap build quality as my current G710+, whereby the key caps are very light and yet again made out of a cheaper plastic. Furthermore, the plastic stems within the key caps (which are different over the Cherry MX stems), are very thin and in all honesty feel that they could break within months of usage, let alone years. It should also be noted, as mentioned, that the mechanical switches on the G810 are different from the traditional Cherry MX – meaning you won’t be able to use any Cherry MX key cap, nor buy a replacement set, unless it’s Logitech’s and even then it’s a full kit for the G910 not the G810.
In terms of the switches themselves, I feel the Romer-G switch is a mix between a Cherry MX Brown and a Cherry MX Clear, which are both tactile feeling switches – where I would say the feel is closer to a MX Clear as the tactile feel is more apparent and yet the softer actuation point of the MX Brown is identical to the Romer-G’s 45g needed force. The Romer-G boasts to be a 25% faster switch (over the Cherry MX switch) as it has a 1.5mm distance till it actuates and in real-world tests I did find it a “faster” switch over the traditional Cherry MX switches.
Finally, the switches are supposedly rated for 70-million keystrokes, which is great if the key caps would also last that long! I should also mention that the key caps are RGB lit through the middle of the key switch. I’ll get into this a bit more in the design section of my review.
Overall the build quality of the keyboard is great, but the build quality of the key caps feels a let down. If this was a cheap keyboard, then I wouldn’t be complaining, but at £140 it’s not cheap and I would expect better built key caps and even more so more accessories to be included!
The design of the keyboard is really simple, and reminds me of my CM XT, whereby the keyboard looks and feels minimal in terms of what it offers. I do like a low-profile design, but again, given its price tag, I would have liked to have seen a wrist rest included and more so some dedicated macro keys. As said in my introduction, these things are found in the Logitech G910, but are not included in the design of the G810.
Other than that, I quite like the design of the keyboard as it’s simple and yet effective. You’ve got the dedicated media keys at the top-left hand corner of the keyboard, a set of key indicators for Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock (I’ll get unto these in the software section of this review), and finally on the left-hand side there’s a Logitech “G” logo.
All the keys on the keyboard, including the media keys and Logitech G logo can be individually customised to your heart’s content through Logitech’s Gaming Software, which is fantastic! I personally love using the Key Press mode, as it responds with each click of the keyboard.
Overall, the design of the keyboard is good, but I was disappointed not to get a wrist rest nor have any dedicated macro keys – you will be able to customise F1-12 with macros, but that does take away functionalities from certain games.
The Logitech Gaming Software is great, through the software you’ll be able to customise the F1-12 keys, setup multiple profiles, choose which keys to disable in gamer mode, check a heat map of your most pressed keys and most importantly customise the colour of your keyboard!
The colour customisations are pretty endless, where you can even customise the Logitech G logo and the Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock colours! However, I think I’m one of the first people int he world to notice a bug with the software and I’m not sure if it affects other RGB Logitech keyboards, but it does affect the G810. The bug is re-created when you select the “Effects” Lighting Mode and then pre-assign Key Press within the Effect Selection. The bug comes from the Num Lock, Caps Lock and Scroll Lock lights not properly activating with your activated buttons. In other words, when you click on the Num Lock button it should illuminate or switch off the Num Lock light at the top of the keyboard. When you’re in this mode, the light won’t properly react to your presses.
Aside this bug, the software is really perfect and I like the mass amounts of lighting customisation that can be done within the keyboard’s software!
In conclusion,the RGB lighting is fun and the keyboard is reasonably well built. However it’s key caps (which can’t be replaced by better after-market key caps) and lack of accessories make the G810 a hard keyboard to recommend.
Even if you’re looking for a Logitech keyboard with all the features that the G810 has, you could simply get the G910 or better still get a Cherry MX RGB keyboards where you can replace its key caps to your heart’s content. Don’t get me wrong I like the G810, but not for its price, locked-down key caps and lack of any macro keys or wrist rest.
Hope you enjoyed my review!