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Post by Eorl @ 05:47pm 18/11/14 | 24 Comments
AusGamers' nachosjustice is back for another Tech Tuesday, this time with Logitech's G910 Orion Spark keyboard.

Keyboards are a difficult piece of hardware to review, and rightfully so. Like headsets, personalisation is definitely a priority when considering what keyboard is right for you, but you also need to take a look at what the keyboard offers in a technical aspect to ensure it ticks all your boxes. Nachos finds that the Logitech G910 has both of those in his review.
It helps that it’s aimed at gamers, too, with nine programmable macro G-keys conveniently placed in two sections along the left-hand side of the keyboard and above the first four F-keys. Illumination personalisation is also off the chain, with a reported 16.8 million colours on offer, with the option to apply different colours to different keys, as you see fit. Dedicated media controls make controlling media playback and volume a cinch, which is the standard for Logitech keyboards.
Follow on for the full review of Logitech's G910 Orion Spark to see his final thoughts.



tech tuesdaylogitechg910 orion sparkmechanical keyboard





Latest Comments
Whoop
Posted 08:12pm 18/11/14
The Logitech G910 Orion Spark is definitely an investment at $249.95RRP, but that’s money well spent when you immediately notice the performance increase across the board.

What kind of "performance increase" do you get from a $250 keyboard that you don't get from a regular mechanical keyboard?

Just to extend my e-penis up to your forehead and slap you round a bit, how many keys can you press at once on it? Mine? All of them. and it costs a fraction of that monstrosity.
EXTREME ANTI-GHOSTING
Allows as many simultaneous key presses as there are keys on the keyboard.


So, instead of focusing on the flashy lights, the gizmos that hardly anyone will use after the initial gimmick wears off, how about actually doing a TECH review, instead of a puff piece based on appearance?
Crakaveli
Posted 10:13pm 18/11/14
whoop doesnt like it
fpot
Posted 10:29pm 18/11/14
Read like advertising material.
infi
Posted 12:21am 19/11/14
$250 for a keyboard? just lol
fpot
Posted 02:10am 19/11/14
Labelling a $250 kb as essential kit is also lol.
Whoop
Posted 02:14am 19/11/14
whoop doesnt like it

After owning an expensive logitech keyboard (G19) and discovering how utterly terrible the build quality is, call me Pauline because "I don't like it".

This review did nothing to persuade me the build quality of this thing is any better. It doesn't mention how solid it is, what it's made of, how many thousand / million clicks the keys are rated for, whether they're cherry keys or some random chinese s*** that'll fail after 5000 clicks.

There's no mention of any kind of anti ghosting technology which IS aimed at gamers, but apparently gamers don't care about being able to strafe while running while doing other actions on the keyboard anymore. We've all apparently been reduced to "console syndrome" where you can only press one button at a time and apparently we like that now. All we gamers apparently care about are pretty lights, a few wanky macro keys that are too far away to press quickly in a fast paced firefight and some stupid dock for my phone that requires me to install an app on my phone. Not even a mention of which mobile OS's are supported.

Nary a whisper of base materials, is it steel, is it plastic, does it bend in the middle when you type on it like my G19 did?

Disclaimer: I know you can press more than one button on a console controller and have it register, but some game configurations are set up so you can't physically reach the other button because you're busy already holding two or three down already
zaraq
Posted 03:19am 19/11/14
But guy's.
you immediately notice the performance increase across the board.
image
Tepid
Posted 09:26am 19/11/14
ive noticed the reviews approaching marketing-material for quite a while now. i no longer pay attention.
Malthius
Posted 11:32am 20/11/14

The only truly interesting thing about this keyboard from a gamer's perspective is the new "Roamer-G" switches that Logitech have used in this keyboard. Everything else is designed to impress people at LANs... and I think the keyboard has come out about a decade too late for that.

I currently have two Filco Majestouch 2 Ninja keyboards, one with Cherry MX Brown switches, one with MX Black switches. Both have a build quality that would make them completely suitable for use in a nuclear power station control panel. I'd say they have enough reliability for a mission to Mars, but they are so heavy (good thing: super stable!) that you'd never be able to launch them into space.

I strongly encourage any person who uses a keyboard for more than the most trivial amount of time to upgrade to mechanical, but the choice of switch is critical. For example, I wouldn't recommend the MX Black switches in the keyboard I'm currently using to type this for 99% of people, due to the lack of tactile response and relatively heavy keypress. MX Browns, on the other hand, are the best thing ever.

From reading other reviews of the g910 it is clear that the Roamer-G switches are similar to Cherry MX Browns... in fact, they might be a slight improvement, though some reviews have been unfavourable, finding the shorter travel uncomfortable. Obviously these new Logitech switches lack the long proven reliability of the Cherry products.

All of this is something I'd want to know when deciding whether to pay $100 more than my industrial strength, much beloved Filco keyboards to get some flashing lights and an admittedly inconvenient mobile phone dock.

I simply can't accept that a $250 mechanical keyboard using switches that are unproven at best and worse than the industry standard Cherry MX Brown switches they are attempting to copy can possibly be "essential kit" for any gamer. Hell, you want illumination and media controls with Cherry MX Brown switches and middling build quality, buy two of these: http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/backlit-mechanical-gaming-keyboard-cherry-mx-brown/ for $99 with free shipping so you have one at work as well as one for home (because once you go mechanical you won't want to type on anything else) and you are still $50 ahead.

It seems like this should have been at best "purists only", though "posers only" would be more accurate. Maybe "gamblers only" for people who want to drop $250 on entirely unproven keyswitches that seem to have moved away from the industry standard just so Logitech could shine an RGB LED into the keycap?


nachosjustice
Posted 11:55am 20/11/14
Hey, y'all, a lot of hate in here, and I haven't been able to access the article/comments until now. I have tested a (singular) mechanical keyboard in the past, but don't have access to the specifics of that as I'm overseas at the moment. What I can tell you is that the G910 was faster, quieter and required less effort (softer on the touch) than the last one I tried (which, from memory, was a Razer.

I've yet to send back the keyboard, so I'm happy to continue my tests and update the review accordingly. I don't see $250 as a high peripheral price anymore. You'll see my review of the Astro A50s coming up, and that is the greatest headset to grace my ears (and I've used close to a dozen headsets over the past year, across platforms), but it also has a bloody high RRP. Logitech has a history of high RRPs, but with quality results. If you check out my headset review from last week, you'l see that my old headphones used to be G35s, which still have an RRP of $199.95. The main reason I retired them was because I'm not a fan of USB cables getting caught between my fingers or toes.

As for claims that it reads like an advertising piece (fpot), that's a redundant accusation for a positive review. I stand by my appraisal. It's a fantastic keyboard. Whoop, even though you love troll phrasing, I'll gladly test how many keys can be pressed, as that's the only thing you've mentioned that I haven't covered in my review. I'll even make the performance increase more explicit as it relates to my experience with mechanical keyboards and, in this instance, the context of the intro that was referring to traditional keyboards. For the record, there was one sentence dedicated to the lights, so that was hardly the focus of the review.

If anyone else would like to know anything specific about the keyboard, or any other review I do (hardware or games), I do monitor the comments, so just ask. I'd prefer if you weren't a d*** about it, but as you can see, I still reply to those comments, too.
Eorl
Posted 12:42pm 20/11/14
Cheers nachos for offering your time to comment, and hopefully it answers those who have commented so far. I actually do have one question, the G910 has this very strange key design with the sides flaired up to "centre" your fingers. Did it actually feel helpful?
infi
Posted 12:58pm 20/11/14
i did a comprehensive search for a good replacement keyboard to my current gigabyte one.

i do game - but no MMO, so fancy buttons don't really matter. needs to be backlit and needs 1 or 2 USB pass throughs. media controls are actually a negative (who even uses media controls, seriously). every model i looked at on the msy menu fails to meet one of these criteria.

suggestions please?
Malthius
Posted 01:03pm 20/11/14
I use "Sennheiser RS 170 Digital Wireless Headphones" at home. The sound quality and range I get from the digital wireless solution was a reasonable justification for the $300 price point (higher than other analog or wired headphones with otherwise similar sound quality). I don't mind spending money when it is justified.

However, you can't just say "$250 isn't much for a peripheral"; this is pretty much the most expensive keyboard on the market, 2.5x more expensive that something that is functionally equivalent (if the function is "a mechanical keyboard for gamers" not "a keyboard with an annoying mobile phone dock and disco lighting".) If you want to say this is essential to have, you'd damn well better tell me why it is essential that I buy this one rather than all of the others.
I have tested a (singular) mechanical keyboard in the past
Maybe you should have mentioned this isn't something you are super familiar with?

The Logitech G910 Orion Spark is definitely an investment at $249.95RRP, but that’s money well spent when you immediately notice the performance increase across the board.
My issue, and perhaps that of other people if I'm reading it right, is that the same "performance increase" can be had for much less of an investment. The extra $100-$150 is for flashing lights... the investment isn't about performance. Review this as an amazing bit of desk bling and nobody is going to argue. It looks amazing. It just isn't an essential purchase for "performance".
nachosjustice
Posted 01:04pm 20/11/14
Hi Eorl, I wouldn't say the flaired keys were noticeably helpful, but I would say that, overall, it's the most pleasant keyboard experience I've had, to date. I've gone through a bunch of (mostly membrane-based) keyboards over the years, and the soft touch required to register keystrokes makes my job easier and more enjoyable, both for gaming and writing.

Infi, if you're after USB support on a keyboard, the G910 is not for you. I'm sure other people will be able to provide suggestions, but I actually use media controls and find them very helpful (I listen to a lot of music throughout my day).
Eorl
Posted 01:05pm 20/11/14
Infi I definitely suggest the Kogan one that Malth linked above. For $99 you aren't doing bad, it has an extremely responsive design and the brown switches are a god send. I have one at work and it just kills everything bar this G710+ at home.
infi
Posted 01:21pm 20/11/14
i just one of the kogans thank you for the advice!
deadlyf
Posted 02:47pm 20/11/14
After owning an expensive logitech keyboard (G19) and discovering how utterly terrible the build quality is, call me Pauline because "I don't like it".
I have a G19, build quality seems pretty fine to me.

Are you one of those people who smash their equipment when they lose and then call their equipment crap?
nachosjustice
Posted 02:52pm 20/11/14
Malthius, what I'll make clearer when I update the article with the requested commentary on specific features I've listed above, is that I'm comparing a membrane experience to a mechanical experience. It's in the review at the moment, but I acknowledge that it's not as explicit as it could be.
Khel
Posted 04:00pm 20/11/14
"performance increase accross the board" on a keyboard review, Iswydt
Whoop
Posted 06:37pm 20/11/14
I wouldn't recommend the MX Black switches in the keyboard I'm currently using to type this for 99% of people, due to the lack of tactile response and relatively heavy keypress.
I made the mistake of getting the cherry red version of my keyboard, they're way too soft. My big fat heavy hulk fingers often accidentally press keys just by being near them. I wish I'd gone black (doesn't everyone lol).

Whoop, even though you love troll phrasing, I'll gladly test how many keys can be pressed, as that's the only thing you've mentioned that I haven't covered in my review
Mate, if you need us forum users to tell you how to write a review, you shouldn't be writing them. Do you REALLY want me to spell out all the features you SHOULD be looking at, that "gamers" might look for?

Ok.

Weight:- is it heavy enough to stay put during a mad key smashing session? Will it weigh down your backpack if you still do the LAN thing? Or is it so light that it'll just slip across the desk the second you press a key?

Size:- Will I need to deforest the earth to build a desk big enough for it? My G19 sure as hell required a tonne of space.

Build quality:- How tough is it? Does it bend and flex when you type on it (which I also mentioned, guess you missed that part)? My G19 sure as hell did. A LOT.
-Is it made of metal? Plastic? Combination of the two? Neither? Some sort of mad carbon fibre stuff?

Longevity:- How many key presses are their switches rated for? Have there been any actual tests? Or are they just theoretical numbers?

Key grouping:- How many keys can you press at once? Are you going to hear that dreadded *beep beep beep* as Windows chucks a fit because you've had the audacity to try and press a measly 3 keys at once?
You can't always have the ability to press every key on the keyboard at once (and how / why could you?) but you can get typist oriented keyboards like my old microsoft one that was hella comfy to type on, s*** to game on. And gaming oriented boards with the key groups arranged so that pressing WASD along with say, shift and another button to lob a grenade, or knife a b****, won't cause a lock up.
I had many MANY issues with that happening on all my older boards. With my Steelseries thing, I can hulk smash every key and not run into any issues. Good for when you accidentally hit more than the keys you intend to in a flurry of finger banging.

Then, once you've addressed the technical side of things in your tech review, THEN, you can go on to address the flashy lights that only teenagers care about. The silly dock that I'm sure will get bumped and snap the docking port on your phone, the multiple game profiles, the onboard memory for storing said profiles (if it even has any, no mention of that but my G19 did I think).

I have a G19, build quality seems pretty fine to me.

Are you one of those people who smash their equipment when they lose and then call their equipment crap?

If you really think the build quality of a G19 is par for the price then you're a fool. It's all plastic, half the keys don't light up properly because the LED's don't line up or the cutouts weren't done properly, the volume wheel doesn't scroll smoothly, there's no support in the middle so it flexes when you simply rest your hand on it. It's certainly not worth what they want for it. It's a poser keyboard for people who like to go hey look at me I'm an attention whore.

edit: Oh and PLEASE don't call a $250 light show essential. That's like saying owning a Lamborghini is essential. No, it's not. It's a nice toy, but not essential. Essential would be a barebones keyboard like a lot of the mechanical keyboards are, with a couple of media keys, and nothing but hulk-proof build quality.
deadlyf
Posted 07:59pm 20/11/14
If you really think the build quality of a G19 is par for the price then you're a fool. It's all plastic, half the keys don't light up properly because the LED's don't line up or the cutouts weren't done properly, the volume wheel doesn't scroll smoothly, there's no support in the middle so it flexes when you simply rest your hand on it. It's certainly not worth what they want for it. It's a poser keyboard for people who like to go hey look at me I'm an attention whore.
If you bought one when they first came out I'd agree about it being over priced but I paid under $100 for mine and I definitely don't have any issues with the build quality.

The volume wheel turns smoothly, it doesn't flex in the middle for me at all and the lights seem to line up fine. I honestly don't understand why all keyboards don't come with volume controls on them.
Whoop
Posted 11:33pm 20/11/14
well if it's under $100 then yeah, maybe it is worth it. I paid well over that, I dunno I've had it for a while. All I know is I was majorly disappointed with it vs price. Maybe they've got a v2 or something out. All I know is mine is s*** quality yum cha chinese crap.

It's like the little cutouts in the keys where the lights come through aren't lined up and only half the key letter will light up. Some of them are so dull you'd think the LED wasn't even on.

There are like these little rubber feet on the corners, but nothing in the middle so when you rest your hand on it, the entire keyboard bows in the middle. Also the spacebar fails to register half the time.

Hardly ever used it too so it's not "worn out" or "battle damaged". I used it for a bit, was so disappointed / angry with it I just stuck it away and that's where it's sat since. I used it on my laptop occasionally.

I opted for a $10 keyboard I got from CA ages ago, was 100X better build quality. Alas, too much dolphin diving saw my ctrl key get stuck and all my attempts to lube it were fail. RIP awesome $10 keyboard bro :(
Ozzy
Posted 08:43pm 22/11/14
Can't wait till the next Tech Tuesday this is exciting.
infi
Posted 11:47pm 22/11/14
Lmfao smartarse
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