Gaming keyboard G19 tested

Logitech G19 reviewed: What is the high-end keyboard capable of?

Is Logitech‘s G19 able to match the gamers' expectations? PC Games Hardware puts the keyboard to the test.

 PCGH-Score: 1.4

Logitech G19 (1)
Logitech G19 (1) [Source: view picture gallery]
The Logitech G19 received a Top Product Award in issue 04/2009 of our German print magazine.
The Logitech G19 received a Top Product Award in issue 04/2009 of our German print magazine. [Source: view picture gallery]
It becomes obvious on first sight that Logitech took care in designing the G19 gaming keyboard. The layout of the predecessor has been - as far as the main keypad is concerned - copied. But the individual keys appear to be more matt and thus more worthy than on the G15. Furthermore you now can adjust the color of the key lighting.

Several ornaments in aluminum optics also enhance the visual appearance of the G19. The G keys on the left side blend into the overall appearance. But the primary eye catcher is the color LC display on the upper rim of the G19.

G19: Display test
The G19 display is likely to be one of the reasons for the high price of the gaming keyboard. While the predecessor had a monochrome monitor, the display of the G19 is up-to-date. A resolution of 320 x 240 pixels matches what most mobile phones deliver currently. On the screen you can monitor your hardware, read the latest news, display Teamspeak or watch Youtube videos - everything is absolutely sharp.

The Logitech software acts as an interface between the applications and the keyboard drivers. The Windows Vista technology Slideshow is supported, too. With this feature you can have information displayed on your second screen, which in this case is the display of the G19. If Logitech allows homemade applications like they did on the G15 there will be lots of such programs available as soon as the G19 hits the market. At the Cebit 2009 we were told that LCD support for several games will be available, but except World of Warcraft none of the games was specified.

G19: Features tested
As it is proper for a high-end keyboard, Logitech added several special features to the G19. First of all there is the new multimedia section, which can be used to control audio and video material, on the upper right side. Furthermore there are the G keys, which can be assigned with macros via hardware or software input. There are twelve such keys each of which can be assigned with a second or third command via the M key - so all in all you have up to 36 commands at hand.

Logitech G19: Conclusion
Without doubt the G19 is Logitech's forthcoming flagship and a worthy successor of the G15. As equipments, features and performance are concerned there are only minor downsides and the new display is a big plus. But time will have to tell if the priding is accepted by the customers. A recommended retail price of 180 Euros (in Germany for example) is above the threshold of pain. At the Cebit Logitech said that the keyboard will be shipped in April.

The positive aspects of the G19 are the display, the many features and the worthy design. On the negative side there is the poor price-performance ratio.

Opinion of Manuel Schulz
"The G19 would get a lot of fans if the price wouldn't be that high."

Logitech proves that in Switzerland they produce more than good chocolate, but also excellent hardware. In matters of usability, design and additional features the keyboard is convincing. Only Logitech’s pricing could prevent an outstanding success. 180 Euros for a keyboard – regardless of the quality – are just barefaced.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Manuel Schulz (Mar 13, 2009)

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