Everyone I know wants fancy keyboards. It’s infuriating. They ogle and drool over their sharply shaped Razer Keyboards and admire the ridiculous metal monstrosities from Corsair. Maybe it’s because I grew up with basic Dell keyboards, but I just want a functioning keyboard. Something which looks sleek and simple but feels awesome to type upon. I don’t need 50 different extra function keys and individually programmable RGB lighting for each key.
Well my prayer is answered.
With the Logitech G610 Orion Brown Keyboard Logitech seems to have taken the idea of the classic 104 key and roided it up with some more high-end features to hit that target market which includes me a probably few other people. There are no flashy technical lighting shows built deep within, there are no programmable keys (sort of) and it does not have some absurd rhomboid shape which aggravates me and ruins the sleek and simple style of my desk. One could almost call it a basic keyboard, just a much nicer one than those in the bargain bucket at PC World.
The first thing which struck me about the G610 was the weight. This is surprising from first glance, as the entire body is made from sleek black plastic with the top and keys being finished in satin black and the back left rough to provide supporting grip for the 4 foam pads situated in each corner. Keys are made of the same plastic, though feel quite thick to touch and have only a small amount of wobble. At first glance this just seems to be a sleek, satin finish 104 key keyboard.
But delving a little deeper shows us what modifications have been made. The stand out point, if it was not made clear in the name, is the full licensed Cherry MX Brown switches; these are the ‘ergo soft’ models, easy to press with a noticeable feedback bump when pressed to indicate the key press is registered meaning you don’t need to press they key the whole way down. This isn’t the full gaming switch, that is the red and the mechanism is lighter, but brown is the nice middle ground for people who use their PC for actual work. Media keys are also situated in the dead space above the number pad, with your standard play/pause, stop, rewind and forward. Above that is a very nice volume scroll wheel, a mute button, a lighting button and your ‘game mode’ button.
I keep falling back to this point, but what keeps striking me is just how damn sleek this keyboard looks. Satin black is not my first choice of finish as it tend to hold skin oils and over time the finish glosses thanks to constant friction, and from just a few hours I can already see the finished rubbed on the most used keys like the spacebar. But the satin finish was a smart choice here, with the bold and simple lettering on the keyboard and the bright white light creating quite the stunning contrast. Logitech even chose to limit their logo to a simple backlit G in the top left corner so without any prior knowledge people may not even know who made your stylish piece of kit.
And now we move to the ‘gamer’ features, if you can call them that. From the box, your lighting key simply controls the intensity of a flowing effect from left to right. Your game mode key controls nothing. If you want to assign the key you need to download Logitech’s software. From here you can assign lighting effects for your lighting key, and create game modes. The six game modes don’t do anything more than activate a customised lighting design which can be helpful to blank unrequired keys and stop your eye from moving towards them but can also be wholly ignored. Bear in mind that the G610 only has white LED lighting so your lighting modes are pretty limited to just specific keys and fancy effects.
There are only a handful of nuisances to contend with on the G10, and I really mean nuisances. The LED lights are placed at the top of the key mechanism meaning keys which have multiple functions only have the base function lit up, and this does not change with the shift key held. The satin finish, as said already, is very prone to hand marks and over time I can see it glossing over in the high traffic areas. The foam pads to prevent sliding also seem quite cheap, and while they are all secure on the bottom of the body I can see them being worn off quite quickly.
But I can’t help but love the G610. It does not attempt to be ground-breaking, or host a disco-worth of lighting. It takes a tried-and-true design and just makes it that much better. If it broke, I can easily see myself getting another one without hesitation despite its questionably steep price point. I can happily say this keyboard is a solid hit for me and the small demographic I live in.
Who needs fancy lighting anyway?