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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  • jigglywiggly - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    who wants brownies
    give me cherry mx red
    Reply
  • Tasslehoff - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Another red switches keyboard? Are you kidding?
    Almost 80% of mechanical keyboards use linear switches, most of them use red ones...

    A new brown or blue switches keyboard is really really welcome!
    Reply
  • althaz - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Are you crazy? Browns are probably 1000x times nicer to use than Reds. Reds are popular, but only with manufacturers, not the people who actually have and use mechanical keyboards. You'll be seeing more and more browns I suspect as from what I've read on forums and seen from people who have tried them, almost everybody likes browns. Reds are better than blacks, but that's about it.

    Blues are a bit too clicky for me and don't feel as nice to game on (amazing for typing though), but I can see the appeal for some folks (non-gamers especially, I have thought of getting something with blue switches for work, but my workmates may not like it :))

    Still, all that said, I don't think I'd buy a Logitech keyboard almost regardless of reviews, there are just better quality units out there and I'm not a big fan of keyboards that look fancy :).
    Reply
  • sking.tech - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Actually Blacks are the most common, reds up until recently were extremely hard to find. Of course after I paid 150 bucks for my hard to find cherry red - they started popping up everywhere <grumble>.

    MX browns are actually one of the least desirable switch types.
    Reply
  • kepstin - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    As a Model M user who was looking for a quieter mechanical keyboard that still had a bit of feel to it, I ended up settling on the browns. The unfortunate thing is that they really do have low resistance; I end up bottoming out the keys with every press. I'm actually modding the keyboard with rubber o-rings to soften the landing a bit...

    What I'd actually love to find is a Cherry "Clear" switch keyboard - bigger tactile bump, more resistance. But there are so few keyboards with them...
    Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    The clears are definitely hard to find. Off hand, you can check Ebay for the Cherry G80-8113 or Cherry G80-8200, though you have to be careful since both models also come available with browns. A heavily used POS board of clears feels lighter then a board of new clears, but still far more tactile then the browns. Beyond the POS boards there was a limited run of Leopold FC200Rs with clears in them, but that was about a year ago and you'd have to pick one up used. The other option would be to get a board and swap clears into it. With PCB mounted switches, like those found on the Cherry G80-3000, it's pretty easy. Switch swapping on boards with plate mounted switches leaves you a lot of soldering to do. Reply
  • dcsquare - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    I actually have a clear switch Cherry G80-3000LQCEU-0, bought six months ago from Germany. While it's very nice to type with, it's not a very good choice for gaming. At least for me. On Diablo 3 it consistently did not register some key presses. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    You're making way too big a deal out of the difference between browns and reds... I have keyboards with both types (K90 & a Rosewill) and to me they feel almost identical. The tactile bump on browns is very very subtle, to the point that it's imperceptible while typing quickly if you're not used to it (a little more noticeable while gaming).

    Vast majority of people that can deal with brown could deal with red,and vice versa. A lot of it's very subjective tho, if you've been using browns a long time then you'll be more used to the slight bump... At the same time, if you've been using reds a while it's not hard to get used to the key travel and avoid bottoming out while typing, even without any tactile feedback.

    Blue's tactile click is world's apart IMO. A lot of people describe browns as an in-between reds and blues but to me browns feel much closer to reds. There isn't a best or better switch tho, there isn't even a better switch for typing or gaming, it's all subject to personal preference.

    There's also plenty of variety on the market at this point, it's kinda silly to argue whether X manufacturer's model should use Y switch or Z switch based on what else is on the market. You've got tons of choices between old standbys like Das, Filco, Ducky, and even Rosewill's rebrands and newer entrants like Coolermaster, Corsair, Monoprice, and now Logitech.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Many of those manufacturers also make models with multiple switch options too. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    This is pretty much the first time I've heard someone say that the difference between browns and reds is subtle to the point of irrelevant. I'm looking for something that's good for typing (light weight, not too prone to accidental keypresses, some feedback to keep you from bottoming out) and also for gaming (again, light weight and not prone to unintended presses, but also smooth and responsive).

    The browns seemed like the obvious choice as a compromise. Were I only looking for a typing board, and wanted something with real audio/tactile feedback, I'd probably go for a Unicomp over something made with blues, but I don't really feel like either would be ideal for gaming. Well, definitely not the Unicomp, which is 2KRO.

    Are you really arguing that browns just aren't that different from reds? I'm not challenging you, I'm genuinely curious. I don't need something with a transition as obvious as that of a spring buckling, but I would like some noticable tactile feedback.
    Reply

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