Date Joined: 05/02/05
Pros: * Uses "blue" type mechanical switches; these are the type that make a satisfying audible click on each press.
* Has a very clean, sleek look to it, which makes more of an impression in person.
* Provides blue LED back-lighting, with control over the brightness, speed, and direction for the various preset modes. By adjusting the speed and brightness parameters, you can make some of these look very nice (such as the heat map one).
* Solid back plane construction that doesn't give way even under heavy typing.
* Standard USB keyboard and no special proprietary software to install, so it will work with any operating system.
* Price is compelling, and all the more so when it's on sale. I paid less than $30 for the first one, and then came back and paid less than $40 for a second unit. It's extremely difficult to find a high quality mechanical keyboard for those prices; you'd expect to pay more like the regular list price ($70 to $80).
Cons: * Documentation is relatively poor. It's not a complicated device, so there's really not much to explain, but it would be nice if they had explicitly mentioned that each Function + lighting mode key combo has multiple presets which activate in rotation as you press them multiple times. This is how you reach 20 modes even though there are only seven keys used for this.
* The color used for the lighting on the two sides of the keyboard base is not an identical shade of blue to the LEDs used for the keys themselves. It's a more saturated (purer) blue, which I find an odd choice. It doesn't ruin the look, but it does stand out even under casual observation.
Overall Review: * The feeling of the key surfaces is good, but it's still some type of fairly ordinary plastic without any special coatings. I've used more expensive mechanical keyboards with a superior material-tactile impression.
* There's no numeric keypad. This is either an advantage (if you're trying to save desk space and weight) or disadvantage (if you frequently use those keys).
Pros: * The shape is a good ergonomic fit, making it very comfortable to use.
* Surface has a nice texture to it.
* Adjustable weights allow giving it any particular movement resistance you want.
* 8000 DPI laser is more than enough for anything.
* DPI and profile-changing buttons are placed in intelligent spots that are unlikely to be hit by accident.
Cons: * Many of the profile controls (such as colors and button mapping) are only modifiable from the Windows-only driver.
* None of the default profiles is "lights off". Combined with the previous point, that means there's no way to make it dark at night in Linux -- other than to unplug it from the machine.
* Some of the extra buttons have no apparent default mapping or other clear purpose.
Overall Review: If all you care about is the default functionality of a USB HID device, it's perfectly usable in Linux. However, if you're actually going to make use of the special functions, I'd advise against buying this unless you're on Windows.
Pros: * Very close to a standard PC 104/105 layout. The only change is the right "windows" key is a function key instead.
* Reasonably compact size for a full keyboard.
* Romer G switches are pretty fun to type on. They don't require much force at all (activation point is about halfway to the bottom). They have a very slight tactile bump and are semi-quiet depending on how hard you press.
* The aluminum base plate gives the whole keyboard a very solid structural feel. It also causes the keys to make a nice sound if you bottom them out.
* Red glowing letters on the black keys and silver base looks fantastic. Who needs RGB?
* The USB pass-through is nice if you use a wired mouse with a relatively short or otherwise annoying cable; you can simply run the mouse USB cord to the keyboard instead. It's not as impressive as a hub but it is simpler.
* Cables are braided and have a cool texture to them.
* It works as a standard USB HID device without any special drivers. Linux (Debian) recognized it without any issue.
* Comes with extra replacement keys and the cap-puller.
* Five brightness levels for the backlight (one of those is "off", of course).
* Labels for the special alternate functions of the F7-F12 keys are printed on the front side of the key and light-up when the backlight is on.
Cons: * No NumLock or Scroll Lock LEDs (only caps lock). This is a bit inexplicable because there would have been plenty of space for them.
* Only one windows/meta/super key (the left one), if you care about that.
Overall Review: * Not really sure what the one anonymous reviewer was even talking about with the "firmware" (probably the Logitech add-on software). I've never installed special software for a keyboard and never will.
* The other anonymous reviewer claims that Romer G switches are similar to a membrane keyboard. I've used dozens of cheap membrane keyboards in my life and can safely say that they're vastly inferior to this switch type. Maybe Cherry MX or some other type is even better (I'm sure I'll test them sometime), but this is a big step up if all you've ever worked on were membranes.
* Stephen D sounds like he might as well be describing a completely different product. Fast typing is not difficult, there is no "reset time" between key presses, the keys do not come off easily by hand, and backspace is its normal size in the normal place with the same activation force as any other key.
* I bought it for $80 + shipping and it was easily worth that. Highly recommended.