I was recently quite fortunate to receive this keyboard as a gift from my girlfriend because my old Logitech G11 that I had been using for 3 or 4 years now decided to stop deleting characters. We were lucky to find this keyboard for a steal at 69.99 at Fry’s Electronics. In its price range, it matched the capabilities of many of the higher end keyboards that featured programmable keys, an LCD display, and backlighting.
As usual, I opened the G15 as soon as I arrived home like an excited kid on Christmas morning. I immediately shoved my old, lint-filled keyboard aside to be replaced with this shiny new one that was backlit with orange instead of blue. (Orange is the new Blue?) The first thing I noticed about the G15 after installing the drivers and such was that the LCD came with some pre-set programs on it such as a clock with the date. This feature, as simple as it may seem, is very handy as a student who plays games who also can’t afford to lose track of time when indulging in the hobby.
The drivers for the G15 also support a handful of games and supply a small listing of stats, rankings, map names, progress, and so on right on your display. Granted, this is all information that can be obtained within the game, but having it right there for you to glance down at (and perhaps show off a bit to any onlookers) is a nice novelty feature. The ‘hub’ at the top also features media keys to be able to control your winamp, iTunes, or other audio program while in a full screen application, another personal favorite feature. On top of that are two USB ports that are very handy for quick access when plugging in external HDDs, flash drives, and printers.
The G15 is surprisingly easy to use right out of the box. The now commonly featured programmable G-keys are easy ways for gamers to save their favorite macros without creating them in-game or getting arthritis trying to mash frequently used combinations. The designers were thoughtful to include different ‘modes’ that the user can toggle through at the top (modes 1 through 3) so that this number of G-keys is not just 6, but 18. As someone who doesn’t play MMOGs these days, the G-keys aren’t often used unless I’m trying to spam voice-commands in a game for fun or other random actions, but it’s a very nice addition to modern keyboards for gamers.
Overall, the G15 keyboard is the best bang for the buck when you compare it to keyboards of its class. It has all of the functionality of other gaming keyboards on the market right now and if you find it at a sale price (which isn’t too difficult), it’s the best deal you can find on a gaming keyboard without burning a hole in your wallet. I’m looking forward to gaming with this keyboard for a long time… we’ll see if it holds up!