As one who uses Logitech keyboards, I never did review the G11 from Logitech but it was pretty much the G15 sans LCD screen. Well, the G11 was getting long in the tooth and it's time to put it to rest with a successor. In comes the G110 that takes many features from the G19 and puts it into a more affordable package.
The Logitech G110 is billed at the next gaming keyboard from the company and it's a full size variant with some gaming specific features. In fact, if you removed the LCD screen and the LCD specific buttons from the G19, you essentially get the G110. On the left side are twelve programmable G keys where you can assign keystrokes or macros. As with the G19, the G keys are grouped in series of four with three groupings. There are also three modifier buttons so that you can essentially get three functions per G key for a total of 36 possible combinations. They rather come in handy for games such as Team Fortress 2 where you need a series of keys to for the engineer to build a sentry or a dispenser. By programming the key press sequence into a G key, you can easily plop down one of your items at a quicker pace. As with the previous gaming keyboards, the programming of the keys are saved even when you turn off your machine so no worries about losing a macro when the computer shuts down intentionally or unintentionally.
One of the more useful features of the keyboard for those that game in a Windows environment is the ability to disable the Windows key and context menu keys on the fly with a flick of a switch. Before this feature, I would sometimes kick myself out of the game by accidentally pressing one of those keys and it was pretty frustrating. The G110 eliminates this hassle by letting you manually disable the keys thereby ensuring you have a smooth gaming session without any button interruption. As a Windows gamer, you really do appreciate this feature and I'm happy to see it on the G110 keyboard.
Color makes it's way to the backlighting of the G110 which was introduced with the G13 and was also featured in the G19. You can customize the backlighting color to something you like so you're stuck with just white like in some keyboards. It's not a feature that affects your performance at all of course but it's a nice way to personalize your setup should you choose to do so. It's pretty easy to setup the color you want and you're not limited to a basic number of colors to choose from. As mentioned by a reader, you can set it to all black if you want to have the backlighting completely off. All the keys except for the profile buttons and the macro record button will switch to the color of your choosing.
Now the one differentiator of this keyboard from the other Logitech offerings is the integrated headset support. Two 3.5mm jacks for audio in and audio out sit in the center top of the keyboard. Personally, I would have made the connections sit in the bottom from or the side to minimize running the wires but you can easily tuck your headset wires underneath the keyboard and out to you. What happens when you use this instead of your sound card to connect your headset is that the keyboard will trick the computer into thinking it's a USB audio device. What's the benefit of this? Well, for one thing you don't have to route your headset to the computer which can be a problem if the computer sits far away and/or you have a short cord for your headset. It also might be possible to route voice through your headset, which wouldn't be possible if you were plugging it into your sound card.
Plugging my headset into the G110, my Windows 7 64-bit OS detected a generic audio device and quickly setup the driver s necessary for use. Both audio and voice sounded well l and I noticed no difference between plugging my headset into the G110 or plugging it straight into the computer. I have normal speakers plugged in to the rear of my computer and they were bypassed when my headset was plugged into the G110. Unplugging the headset returned the setup to normal and sound came out of my regular speakers. The setup worked as advertised and for those like me who don’t have the headset jacks in a convenient location with my setup, having it on the keyboard was much nicer.
For controlling audio, there are multimedia keys on the upper right portion of the keyboard. You get the traditional play, fast forward, rewind, keys needed to control a movie or music file. The volume control is a dial which I prefer over buttons . I know it’s a small item but I just like being able to turn a dial to control the volume rather than pressing a button to do so. It’s a small preference of mine but if the keyboard had buttons for volume instead, I wouldn’t have docked it any points as I know some people prefer it that way.
One the front of the keyboard is a USB 2.0 plug allowing you to plug in any low-power device such as a flash drive or a mouse. Unlike the G19, there's no power plug so some USB devices won't work as there won't be enough juice through the USB port to support it. There's only one but it's convenient to have USB ports on the keyboard as I've found in the past.
Performance wise, the G110 continues the tradition set forth by their other gaming keyboards. I’ve always enjoyed typing on them on a normal day to day basis and the keys feel exactly the same as the G19. They offer a good resistance and have a nice tactile feel when pressed. There are some anti-ghosting features and you can press about 5 keys simultaneously around the WASD area. For those that bind a lot of items on that side, this should help out since I know I’ve ran into some keyboards where it wouldn’t respond after a few keys were pressed together.
At $80, the Logitech G110 gives you a solid gaming keyboard with programmable features, colored backlighting, headset support and a USB port. It’s a no nonsense keyboard and for those that really do like the Logitech style and don’t want the LCD or can’t afford the LCD then this is a good pickup. The G110 features some useful gaming specific features and feels good in use. Those looking to upgrade their simple keyboard should give the G110 a look.
This is a great gaming keyboard for those that don't need the LCD or want to spend the money for the G19. With the programmable keys, color backlighting, and USB headset emulation, you get a good solid keyboard for the money.