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.

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  • dishayu - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Likewise here. I adore the aural feedback of the blues and won't trade it for silence but I hate it when someone else is using my PC and i'm trying to do something else (although that is very VERY rare). B Reply
  • twtech - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    There seem to be a lot of mechanical keyboards popping up lately, but none with the split ergonomic design.

    I know there are more people who use the straight layout, but most programmers, etc. that I know use the ergonomic layout, and are the type of people who are willing to drop $150 on a keyboard if it will deliver a better typing experience.
    Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I know a lot of programmers and developers and none of them use ergonomic keyboards. You are right that many of us would drop $150 on a keyboard without a second thought, but nobody I've known in the industry the last ten years would use an ergonomic keyboard over a mechanical one. There will certainly be some (somebody likes everything), but I wouldn't think very many. Reply
  • jamyryals - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Same here. No developers I know use the split keyboard layout. The evidence has shown keyboard position relative to height has a much larger effect on wrist fatigue. Reply
  • Conficio - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Second this one. There are $350 models out there. But that is really asking a lot. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    As a transcriptionist I eventually had to use an ergonomic keyboard, and it did seem to help a bit (my wrists are still jacked from that job, but thankfully programming and emailing cause a lot less wear than 60+ pages in an eight-hour shift). The day I left that job is the last day I will ever use an ergonomic keyboard, because of the association with all the things I had to type on it. :-P

    I've already readjusted to normal keyboards (I never stopped using one at home, and laptops don't have them) and I can't imagine what a pain it would be to program on one (I have no intention of trying it). A mechanical keyboard is on my shopping list, and I suspect something like a brown with O-rings would ultimately be more helpful for my wrists than the split keyboard ever was.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I write a fair bit of code at school and I used a MS Natural 4000 ergo until last year, I've been much happier with my mechanical keyboards since I made the switch though. Reply
  • Holly - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Tbh everybody should choose keyboard by trying to type on them. Lots of keyboards pple can deny after pressing few keys simply because it obviously doesn't fit them. Some pple will prefer more rigid, some will prefer more soft touch. For me... I just can't find anything on these super gaming keyboards that would appeal to me. I use M$ Natural Ergonomic keyb 4000 and in the end and after trying many (and wasting lots of money) I finally have something that fits my hands well. Reply
  • AmdInside - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Can you comment on the brightness of the backlit keys please? I own a Logitech G110 which I had to retire early because the backlit keys were very dim which is a feedback I've read a lot on the internet about the model. I moved onto a mechnical keyboard with Cherry MX which I find perfect for my mixed gaming/office productivity needs but would be nice to get a Logitech keyboard as I could use the macro keys and backlit keys since I don't like to have the light on in the office at night. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    BRIGHT. But adjustable. :) Reply

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