When I look for a gaming keyboard it is not just about gaming alone. I also spend a lot of time writing on my PC, so, the question of response, feel and durability is important to me. Also, I care about style and having a board that looks good on my desk and matches the rest of my setup also comes into play. When I got to try out the Logitech G19s gaming keyboard, I made sure to take my time playing games, working on writing and school work and trying out all the different features and then asked myself, does the Logitech G19s meet all my needs as well as price.
So let’s get right into it. One thing about any review be it video games or hardware is the question of, how can the reviewer give an honest review if their job is to continue to review products and maintain relationships with companies. I found after a lot of trial and error, that the key is to recognize the different aspects of people’s decisions in purchasing a specific product. For the Logitech G19s, a big issue is price and at $199.99 it is completely understandable. What you have to do is really look at all the features and then your own needs, wants and budgets and ask yourself is it all worth it.
Let’s start with the LCD panel. I loved my little screen on my older Logitech keyboard. I am the kind of person that will have my performance monitor up on the screen and looking at it. With the Logitech G19s, I found the game panel feature well done and am constantly surprised at how many games show up in the display. I admit I never think of using the video playback or image slideshows, but I know people that have. There are also applets you can get to work with it and as a guy who used lots of mods in games like World of Warcraft, I liked this feature a lot. So this is just one feature, but you have to understand that it is also a decent amount of the cost, so for me it is a plus and I will use most of the features. If you would not then right there you should consider a different keyboard be it from Logitech’s other offerings or somewhere else.
Some of the features most people will use are the programmable keys. This is mostly for gamers as this is a gamer keyboard, but you can set the keys to do anything and I know one or two people who use programmable keys for work or school including audio and video editing programs. You can also set the keys to work with your mouse or microphone, for functions in Team Speak and other voice programs. Backlighting is also a feature more and more people use so having up to 16 million colors is cool. You can create profiles, set a specific color to a specific key and have different settings per game or program. I personally like just setting different colors for say W,A,S,D even though on this keyboard they are already painted differently.
The Logitech G19s also has two USB ports. Now I read other reviews to see what other people view as a con because it may not seem like a con to me. In this case, many people look at the fact that the G19s requires a USB connection plus a power connection as a con. I guess I can understand just based on the fact that there are other keyboards that do not require this. I however, do not see it as a con. I use a ton of USB devices so having extra ports is nice and on other keyboards I found sometimes they were underpowered. Power for me is not an issue so I rather know I am getting the most out of the ports, the LCD screen and backlights than worrying about plugging in another device.
Let’s get back to the price point. Another con talked about was boards the construction. I will admit here that even considering the different features, I did kind of hope the board would feel different. Now typing, even for hours, felt find one this keyboard. I like the height and size of the board and the key placements are perfect for me. As was the response, no ghosting and the key presses felt good. However, I have felt this way with other keyboards as well with a lessor price point. I consider all the technology that went into the Logitech G19s to justify a higher cost, but I wish more was done with the materials used on the board itself. Some people said the plastic felt cheap, but I don’t see that. I have seen and felt cheap plastic on toys, controllers and other keyboards and the Logitech G19s is not cheap, but for the cost I think there could have been more accents to the keyboard to really make it stand out. It is like having a BMW, but the inside is like a Nissan Altima, still very nice, but you expected a little bit more from BMW. As said, I like the feel of the keys, the media buttons and even the volume control, but a little higher end on the materials would have made the cost more understandable.
So is it worth it? To answer this question you have to ask yourself will you take advantage of all the Logitech G19s has to offer and does the style fit yours. For someone who is constantly on the keyboard, be it work or play, you will get a lot out of this keyboard, but if you have no need for say, the display or the macro buttons, then a different model would be best for you. One important thing to consider is longevity. I used my previous Logitech keyboard for a long time and still use it at work today. It is still just as good today as it was 3 years ago and still looks good. Even something simple like UV coating so the keys don’t fade is something to think about if you don’t want to drop more cash on a keyboard anytime soon. This is definitely a board for the serious keyboard user who wants total control, visibility, features and style. There is no doubt the Logitech G19s has that in spades.