The Logitech G710+ Mechanical Keyboard: Logitech's First, Best Effort

I've used Logitech gaming keyboards with varying degrees of success; one of the primary reasons I liked Corsair's K90 keyboard so much was the way it abstracted the gaming hotkeys away from the keyboard itself by lowering their height, allowing me to touch type the keyboard conventionally while being able to feel for the configurable keys if I needed them. Logitech's older G10, G11, and G15 keyboards were a bit more fraught; there were hotkeys on both sides of the keyboard, and they were very easy to accidentally hit.

With the G710+, Logitech has essentially learned from their previous efforts and produced something that's arguably very distinctive and well thought out. The G710+ feels like it has a lot more thought and pragmatism put into its design than their earlier, in some ways flashier designs. More than that, they seem to have heard many of the criticisms levelled at other keyboard manufacturers, particularly Corsair. If you kept up with the K90 review, it won't take you long to see where.

First and foremost, every key on the G710+ is mechanical except for the half-height controls/toggles at the very top of the keyboard. Logitech's rep was amusingly unforthcoming about which switches the G710+ employs, but that was easy enough to discern with two seconds and a keycap remover: Cherry MX Brown. It's an interesting choice, made more interesting by two wrinkles. First, the keyboard is entirely backlit with individual white LEDs under each key, and the LEDs can have their brightness adjusted in two separate zones (WASD/arrow clusters and the rest of the keyboard) using the toggle buttons at the top of the keyboard.

Second, while mechanical switches are more durable and generally more pleasurable to use than conventional membrane switches, they're also noisier. Logitech has actually dampened the surfaces beneath the keys in order to reduce the noise produced by the G710+. It's still fairly noisy, but I have another keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches in house (review forthcoming) and the difference is audible.

The G710+ features only six programmable hotkeys, but they're easy enough to reach without being confusing (as with the older G series keyboards and the Alienware M18x's). There are also three modes for an effective eighteen hotkeys as well as built-in macro recording. Finally, Logitech includes a removable wrist rest, conventional media controls (including a volume roller), and a toggle for the Windows keys. Amusingly the Windows keys also use the new Windows 8 logo.

Introducing the Logitech G600 MMO Mouse
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  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that's what I'm saying, the brown switches on my Rosewill RK-9000 just don't feel very different from my K90... If I sit there and poke the key slowly (or stab it repeatedly, i.e. gaming) then I'll be much more aware of the feedback... During fast typing I don't really notice it much though.

    I'm sure if I spent some time with it maybe I could get accustomed to feeling it out, but I'm not really alone in this, I've seen lots of people express the same sentiment over at the keyboard & mouse sub forum at Hardforums. Other people swear by their brown boards though, maybe they're more sensitive to the subtle feedback. It's a very subjective thing. Amazon has a good return policy if you don't have any local options and you wanna order different keyboards to try out.

    The Rosewill board I have should be fairly representative of other keyboards with browns too (perhaps unlike the Logitech in the review, the comments about dampening and pressure required make it sound weird), AFAIK they're actually Filco rebrands.
    Reply
  • ol1bit - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I like the rubber kind of key feedback. No clicky stuff for me. Never liked the old IBM keyboards. Modern/lite feel is for me. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Thanks for responding. I've been a little reluctant to commit to a purchase and your input certainly isn't making me feel more confident. :-P I tend to hit the keyboard pretty hard; something tells me I'd plow right past the "tactile bump" without even noticing. Maybe I should just get a Unicomp for day-to-day typing and see how I feel about it for gaming. I mean, I can circle-strafe just fine with this worn-out old Dell, so... Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Do note that reds (and any Cherry key switch) will exhibit the same bottom out feedback tho, so if you tend to bottom out you'll still get that sharp clack that's signature of mechanical boards (those with plate mounted switches anyway)...

    What's missing (and less accentuated on browns) is that mid travel click that lets you know the switch has been depressed.

    If you get used to not bottoming out you get nothing, and technically that mid way click is there to let you know when you've pressed far enough... Some people get used to it even without that feedback, others never do and always bottom out. That's part of what makes switch types a personal choice.

    When gaming oost
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Blah, pressed post too soon...

    When gaming you'll invariably bottom out. Either way a Cherry switch still feels very different from a rubber dome. Some people don't seem to get that, all Cherry switches provide mostly even pressure all thru their travel. Rubber domes never give you that. Rubber domes always end in a mushy bottom and always require bottoming out.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I do. In fact, I already have a "brownie" keyboard. Feels much better to me than blacks (couldn't lay my hands on reds yet, though). Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I like Browns and Blues a lot more actually for RTS games. I'm a fan. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    From everything I've read, I'm looking to get a brown keyboard, too...still rocking a crappy Dell I got free from my last job. At this price, though, I'd rather get a fully customized WASD with preinstalled O-rings. Maybe I can type on this a little in a Best Buy somewhere to get a better sense of the brown feel. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Me, definitely. I paid a lot of money for a fully custom WASD with browns. Reply
  • Cannyone - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    I prefer "Blacks" because they actually have some resistance... But everyone else seems to be such a bunch of wimps that complain about the actuation force. *deep sigh

    Still if I had to choose between reds and browns I'd pick the browns hands down. Hence this keyboard is the first Logitech that's interested me in a few years. But that mouse is not going to cut it! Sometimes simpler is simply superior.
    Reply

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