Conclusion

I always try to use every keyboard that we review as my personal keyboard for at least a week. My typical weekly usage includes a lot of typing (about 100-150 pages), a few hours of gaming and some casual usage, such as internet browsing and messaging. I personally prefer Cherry MX Brown or similar (tactile) switches for such tasks, but I do not consider linear switches to be inconvenient either. The very subtly tactile Romer-G was almost perfect for such tasks, as it was very comfortable and relatively quiet, but I found it nearly impossible to get accustomed to its short travel distance and stop bottoming keys down. Still, even with the keys bottoming down, the G910 Orion Spectrum was very comfortable over long typing sessions. Note however that the tactile feeling of the Romer-G switch is nearly imperceptible and cannot provide effective feedback - you should consider the Romer-G to be much more like a linear rather than a tactile switch.

The intended market of the G910 Orion Spectrum is that of advanced and professional gamers. In terms of comfort, gamers will love the keyboard, as it is highly responsive and very convenient to use. The limited programmability however is disappointing considering the target group of the keyboard, with only the nine G keys being programmable on the entire keyboard. This limits the flexibility of the G910 Orion Spectrum, especially for hardcore gamers, but also for advanced professionals.

The Setpoint software is quite good, being visually appealing, simple, and effective. We feel that the macro recorder could include some more advanced options, especially the ability to record/insert mouse movements. Very few manufacturers implement such advanced macro capabilities but it is a feature that we do expect to see with keyboards this costly.

The ARX Control application however, in our opinion, does not really provide any useful information or features. It can only monitor the system’s hardware or provides options that are directly accessible via buttons found right on top of the keyboard itself. It could be useful if applets for popular games and applications were readily available, but there are only a few available applets. Most of the available applets were developed by individual programmers and offer very limited information or are buggy. Logitech’s support of the ARX Control software seems to be minimal at best, leaving the development of applets almost exclusively to volunteer enthusiasts. For the majority of users, the ARX Dock will be nothing more than a nice stand for their phones.

Aesthetics are a subjective matter but we feel that the designer achieved a perfect balance of elegance, modernity and extravagance. Some could insist on a metallic top body for a keyboard of this price range, but that would be nothing more than an aesthetic preference. Despite its plastic body, the Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum is a very high quality, solidly built keyboard. It is also very functional, with a healthy number of macro keys, mode switch buttons, multimedia controls and a good volume control wheel. What the keyboard lacks is the presence of USB pass-through ports. We consider that to be a significant issue for the G910 Orion Spectrum because of the ARX Dock, as the intended Android/iOS device requires a power source.

Overall, the G910 Orion Spectrum is a very good keyboard but we feel that it does not live up to Logitech’s expectations. Generally speaking, it is the same keyboard as the G910 Orion Spark, just with cylindrical keycaps and a straight palm rest. These corrections do make the G910 Orion Spectrum much more comfortable to use, but they are unlikely to prove enough to convince advanced users that the G910 Orion Spectrum can justify its price tag. With an MSRP of $180, the G910 Orion Spectrum is one of the more expensive keyboards on the market, and a user’s expectations at this price point are very high. Lacking full programmability and with very limited support for its unique feature, the ARX Dock, we feel that the G910 Orion Spectrum will be easy prey of its competition, at least until Logitech brings down the price.

Per-Key Quality Testing
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  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    I'd argue that no one is being ripped off. What you're seeing is a price the company believes the market is willing to endure. A lot of people believe they're reaping a benefit worth the cost when they pay $50-200 USD for a keyboard. What they get back is only emotional satisfaction as there's no evidence that a "gamer" keyboard makes your character run forward better when the W key is mashed over a membrane keyboard, but because the buyer believes they've reaped some sort of a reward, the purchase is made anyway. If you want to blame anyone for stupid keyboard prices, blame the ones who are buying these things. They created the market for them in the first place. Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    I would also add that the gaming specific market has driven prices up with products bearing a team name or the name of the guy who won the last tournament. Putting fancy colors on the product, standout packaging, and an endorsement from a "pro" gamer and you drive the price up. Like you said there are people buying these when the same functionality can be had elsewhere. Companies like Razer really take advantage of this consumer segment.

    It's really a combination of the two IMO. The companies marketing gear specific to gaming to "give you the winning edge", as well as the people buying it. All manner of parts and peripherals are like this. It's not just keyboards.
    Reply
  • Murloc - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    but it's not like the das keyboard which aims at being essential is cheap either. Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    Lets just hope these companies don't figure out that putting "tactical" will also increase sales and desirability. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, October 7, 2016 - link

    Shoot me now. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    Back in the day, those keyboards were cheap because they were mass produced, and they had no special features. These days, they are not mass produced in the quantities that they were back then. As production numbers go down, the price to produce goes up.

    But, I do think $180 is kind of steep. I paid $120 each for my Razer Black Widow Ultimates (both stealths), but I don't think I could justify $180.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - link

    ...except they weren't. At its cheapest the IBM Model M's list price only approached $100 from the high side after launching for more than double that. And remember than inflation means that prices from 30 years ago are something like twice as expensive as the raw number suggests.

    https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=9629.0
    Reply
  • hansmuff - Saturday, October 8, 2016 - link

    I think the cost got passed down to customers, but expensive PCs are just no longer a reality. Dell used to ship awesome keyboards until the early 2000's, they had ALPS switches (like the AT-101 series.) But it was all cost of the parcel, and once PCs were a commodity the price had to come down, so here are your $10 rubber domes.

    I very well remember buying a 'Cherry Gold' keyboard for good money back in the 90's. It was about $80 then.
    Reply
  • theduckofdeath - Sunday, October 9, 2016 - link

    Back in the days, a spare keyboard felt cheap because you'd just paid 5,000 bucks for a mid range PC. I can remember paying around $150 for a keyboard back in the days. Add inflation to that and you'll realise these keyboards today really aren't that expensive.
    Yes, there are a lot of $10 budget keyboards today but, you get what you pay for when buying those.
    Reply
  • Beaver M. - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - link

    I remember very well paying 50 German Marks for different HP and Cherry mechanical keyboards (that I still have here). That would be about 25 Euro. So dont talk crap about them being expensive. Generally a set of mouse and keyboard with good quality would have been around 100 German Marks. Now its 100 Euro. Of course back then there was overpriced stuff too, but you were able to get high quality mechanical keyboards for MUCH MUCH less than today.
    I paid 80 Euro for my keyboard, and its still worse than the old mechanical ones from the ergonomics standpoint. It only has lighting and useless macros, which the old ones didnt have.
    Reply

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