The Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

In terms of aesthetics, the G910 Orion Spectrum is based on a modern design, with futuristic curves and rounded cutouts. Considering its purpose and target market, we feel that it has an excellent balance between elegance and extravagance. However, the excessive use of plastic is not going to be very pleasing for those seeking a premium look, especially when most top-tier keyboards are metallic nowadays. Nevertheless, the plastics of the G910 Orion Spectrum are of excellent quality and thus metal would only offer an aesthetic advantage.

We received the US/International version of the keyboard, or at least that is what the box said. The layout of the actual keyboard however was different, looking like a mix of an ISO 105 key layout with ANSI keycaps. As ISO layout has one key more than ANSI; one keycap repeats itself next to the Enter and to the left Shift key. Though it should be noted that on Logitech's website, the default model shown is a full 104-key ANSI layout, so it appears that regardless of the product labeling, they are producing both ISO and ANSI versions.

One of the major upgrades in comparison to G910 Orion Spark are the new keycaps. On the Spark, the keycaps received numerous complaints for having peculiar keycaps with sharply rising edges. The keycaps of the G910 Orion Spectrum on the other hand are cylindrical, and they are made from ABS plastic and have bold characters printed right in the middle.  The extra G keys and eight of the main keys (WASD and the arrow keys) have a pattern printed on them but they still are cylindrical like every other key. Do note however that the company does not supply normal replacements for the WASD and arrow keys, so users will be stuck with them visually standing out regardless whether it is convenient for them or not.

The Logitech G910 Orion Spectrum has nine extra programmable keys for macros and advanced functions. Five are placed vertically to the left side of the keyboard and four are right above the F1 to F4 keys. Four smaller buttons for quick mode changing and macro recording can be found at the top left corner of the keyboard. A subtle illuminated logo can be seen at the top left corner of the keyboard, between the left macro keys and the mode buttons.

Moving on, low profile, rectangular buttons and a plastic wide wheel have been installed for basic multimedia control. The wheel naturally controls the volume and a rectangular flat button next to it mutes the volume. Four rounded rectangular buttons above the volume control wheel provide basic media functions, with the Play/Pause key having a flattened top for tactile feedback. There are two more rectangular buttons towards the center of the keyboard, one for turning on or off the lighting and one for entering the “game mode” that locks certain keys (by default, the Windows keys only). The lighting button has no brightness settings; it only turns the lighting entirely off. Brightness and effects are only programmable via the company’s software.

  

 

There are no USB pass-through ports on the G910 Orion Spectrum. Only a normal, unbraided cable exits from the right side of the keyboard. Logitech probably felt that the braided cable would not visually match the glossy plastics of the keyboard. The blue plastic tray at the back of the keyboard is one of its most advertised features - the ARX dock.

When pulled out, the ARX dock functions as a holder for virtually any smartphone or tablet. The word “dock” is probably a little misleading, as the touchscreen device will not actually connect with the keyboard directly but wirelessly, via Logitech’s software and Android/iOS application. The blue plastic is actually nothing more than a holder.

Smartphones with 5” to 5.5” screens are an excellent fit (the 5” Lenovo Vibe Shot Z90 is being used in our pictures as a reference). It would be nice if Logitech had considered the ability to at least charge the device - as its battery drain from having its screen constantly on will be humongous - though admittedly an effective universal charging solution would likely be more trouble than it's worth.

 

The palm rest is another part that Logitech decided to change on the G910 Orion Spectrum, as the uneven palm rest of the G910 Orion Spark had received much negative feedback for various reasons. Although the supports beneath the palm rest remain the same, the company designed a straight palm rest for it that ought to be comfortable for gamers and professionals alike. It still is not possible to remove the palm rest completely, as the plastic supports beneath it are part of the keyboard’s main frame.

Strangely, Logitech made a real effort to make the bottom of the keyboard aesthetically appealing. They placed large polygonal anti-skid pads at the lower edges of the keyboard, as well as a large tetrahedral pads at the middle-top. Smaller rectangular pads can be seen at the top edges of the keyboard, next to the wide feet. The embossed plastic bottom is forming futuristic geometric shapes that serve no practical function, only aesthetics.

The mechanical switches of the G910 Orion Spectrum are Logitech’s exclusive Romer-G switches. These are made by Omron and Logitech has designed them specifically with gaming in mind. They are tactile, quiet and have an actuation force of 45g. Some compare them with Cherry’s MX Brown switches, but that is highly inaccurate, as the Romer-G switch has a much softer tactile bump and much shorter travel and actuation distances, at 3 mm and 1.5 mm respectively. The LED are installed at the center of the switch, providing excellent lighting to the inside of the keycap and minimizing light leakage around it. Cherry MX cross-type supports have been installed beneath the larger keys. The Romer-G switches however are entirely incompatible with keycaps that have been designed for keyboards with Cherry MX or compatible switches. Practically, the only source for keycaps compatible with the Romer-G switch currently is Logitech.

The removal of the top plastic cover reveals the metallic plate that is responsible for the keyboard’s high mechanical strength. The switches are permanently attached to the plate and soldered to the PCB below. Membrane electronic contacts are being used for the smaller buttons. Logitech’s assembly quality is excellent, with no flaws or weak spots that we could identify.

Most enthusiasts would be amazed to find out that the heart of the Logitech’s flagship is a low-cost ARM processor from ST Microelectronics. The STM32L100-R8T6 is a low power, low frequency 32MHz RISC CPU with 64Kb of flash memory. It might seem to be very weak compared to what the competition is using but it actually is more than enough for the G910 Orion Spectrum, as the keyboard actually is not fully programmable. As we will also see in the following pages, only the extra G keys of the keyboard are programmable.

 

Introduction, Packaging & Bundle Logitech Gaming Software & ARX Control Application
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  • klagermkii - Thursday, October 06, 2016 - link

    How much lateral wobble is there on the keys? One of the things I dislike with the Corsair K90 that I currently use is that the key caps feel very wobbly and seem to make it easier for my fingers to "slip" off the keys when I'm trying to press them. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, October 07, 2016 - link

    I don't have the Specturm, but I can tell you that the Spark is more stable than the K90 as far as lateral key wobble goes. I'd expect the Spectrum to be similar as they both use Romer-G switches that support the key closer to the edges rather than the middle. There is also no keyboard flex to speak of that might, in other keyboards, contribute to lateral instability. The Spark's key caps are not easy to slip off of either, but it seems many people don't like the ridges.

    I actually didn't mind the Spark's key caps after I got used to them. I found myself more accurately hitting the middle of the key and less often catching the edge. The palm rest looks to be a big improvement, though, and I'm wondering if I could acquire a spectrum palm rest for my spark. They look to have the same mount. Of course, I paid less than $100 for my Spark, and certainly don't think it is worth an extra $80 to change the keycaps and palm rest. That said, I wouldn't recommend skimping on it if the key caps bother you either. I always find it funny how much some people will spend on the internals of a computer while neglecting the three devices that make up %90+ of your interaction with the computer (Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse).

    Perhaps the keys are slightly different on the Spectrum than the Spark, but I very slightly disagree with the authors assessment (at least in regards to the Spark). While I agree that the tactile bump is certainly less pronounced than Cherry's MX Brown switches, I do not think they can be compared to Cherry MX Red switches. Perhaps I'm more sensitive to the bump, but I have no trouble feeling it. Where Reds give me a dissatisfying lack of feedback, Romer-G provide a subtle, but distinct response only a little less satisfying than the Browns for typing. A slightly longer throw might be better for typing as well, though I consider both the feedback and throw to be some of the best for gaming.
    Reply
  • xerandin - Thursday, October 06, 2016 - link

    It's not technically wrong to use myriad in noun form, but please...reconsider doing so.

    In the headline:
    "Logitech is perhaps the most reputable manufacturer of peripherals on the planet, with [myriad] products for PCs, mobile devices and consoles."

    I realize I'm being overscrupulous, but many Grammarians argue that the noun form doesn't make sense.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, October 06, 2016 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • mjrpes3 - Sunday, October 09, 2016 - link

    Also, the use of "sit on their laurels" (page 1) is reversed from the right context. Logitech would be "resting on their laurels" if they had created the best keyboard out there, only for it to languish over time to the competition. Reply
  • plsbugmenot - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    myriad is an adjective and a noun.

    Your reply contains a myriad of inconsistencies.

    I groan at the myraid inconsistencies within your reply.
    Reply
  • cmdrdredd - Thursday, October 06, 2016 - link

    Man $180. I thought $99 for my Leopold Mechanical keyboard about 5 years ago was a lot. Reply
  • Vayra - Friday, October 07, 2016 - link

    This is a lot for a mechanical keyboard with RGB. Sharkoon's MK80 can be had for far less and is 100% programmable as well, only lacking the macro and multimedia keys - which is more of a matter of preference than production cost. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, October 06, 2016 - link

    To think that, back in the day, mechanical keyboards were on everything and super cheap. It's amazing how companies rip people off. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, October 06, 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

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