As I sit here and type away at my keyboard like I have for my entire life I think back to how many keyboards I’ve bought and used. Saitek, Generic Microsoft, HP, Dell, and even Razer keyboards have all been used in my household and none of them have ever stood out. The keyboard is always the forgotten peripheral but not today, not on Logitech’s watch. The Logitech G510s has taken a little bit to get used to but I’m so glad I’ve moved on from my generic brand keyboards on to the best keyboard I’ve used period.
The Logitech G510s is a USB 2.0 gaming keyboard that features a ton of great features which until using the G510s I never knew I wanted. I’ll hit you with the ones I notice first and it’s the GamePanel LCD. This 160×43 LCD screen posted up at the top of your keyboard features a color display (Changeable of course) that lets you see important information at a glance. Five buttons allow you to traverse the menu system which lets you change what information is being displayed. Coming stock on the keyboard is the profile select menu, which allows you to set different profiles for different games, different users, or any other uses you could think of. The LCD Clock which displays the time via a digital clock and analogue clock down to the second, and the exact date including the day, and finally if you have any messages. Also featured is a countdown time, a usage monitor, and even an RSS feed.
But the functionality doesn’t stop there. The GamePanel can also display applets for various programs that include Ventrilo, Fraps, and X-fire. Oh, and did I mention game support? Depending on the game, you can view the server IP that you’re connected to, your score, ping, health and ammo levels and more. The GamePanel LCD currently supports over 75 games and the number is sure to be on the rise. For a full list of supported games, visit Logitech’s GamePanel site.
Logitech realized that people wanted programmable keys and oh boy did they deliver on that one. The G510s features Eighteen programmable “G-Keys” that can be programmed under 3 different profiles for a total of 54 macros or hotkeys. The macro’s are as simple as 1,2,3. First press the macro button, second select one of the G-Keys that you wish to change, perform your macro, and finally hit the macro button again. Personally I have a self proclaimed “Web Browsing” profile that has a bunch of shortcuts to open new tabs, close tabs, and navigate to specific websites. I have a profile that auto-buys the correct loadout in Counter-Strike, and even some macros to taunt people with emotes in League of Legends. The possibilities are endless and I guarantee you’ll be able to think of some cool things to set to your macro keys.
-Media + Other Buttons-
Media buttons aren’t new to keyboards in fact they have a category of media keyboards that contain your standard play, stop, previous, and next buttons and occasionally you’ll find a mute button or set of buttons to control the volume. Logitech has taken it a step further by 1, including all of the previously mentioned buttons and 2, replacing the volume up and volume down buttons to one scroll wheel. This is the first of three features that the G510s contained that I never knew I needed. No longer will you struggle with trying to find the perfect volume while playing your games jumping in and out of menus, bump the volumes up to 100 and let the scroll wheel do the rest. You can get from 0-100 volume in roughly 3-4 swipes and pinpointing your perfect volume has never been easier. Located right above the number pad you’ll be able to change your volume on the fly without any difficulties. Next up are the two buttons that allow you to mute the only two inputs on the keyboard, the two 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. Need to quickly mute your microphone? Well now it’s just a button press away, rather than digging through menus of your game and windows to mute it. Speaking of the headphone and microphone jacks, the G510s changes your analogue audio into USB audio which allows you to mute your microphone and still hear the in-game audio, or mute just your headphones.And finally the best idea on a gaming keyboard I’ve seen, the “Game/Desktop mode” toggle switch. This toggle allows you to switch between two modes, the game mode which disables the windows key so you don’t accidentally kick yourself out of the game and the desktop mode which returns function to your windows key. Be honest, how many times have you accidentally hit the windows button and died in a game? Hint: a lot.
The Logitech G510s also features the sometimes named “Anti-ghosting” or “Multi-key input” which means when you need to hit six buttons at once, all six buttons will register. Now I’m not telling you to be a button masher, but if it makes you feel better I won’t tell anyone. And finally, the response time. the G510s features a two millisecond report rate which happens to be four times faster than other gaming keyboards. This is extremely important because you don’t want your gear to be holding you back and with the G510s, it won’t. Remember the color backlit GamePanel LCD? Well the backlight color is not exclusive to the GamePanel LCD, the backlight shines through each and every key (minus the controls for the LCD) and allows you to pick from 16 Million colors to truly customize your keyboard. Dark rooms and PC gaming are synonymous and sometimes you lose track of where the keys are, but with the G510s you’re just a glance away from knowing exactly where the keys are. You can set a different backlight color for each profile just switch between them using the M1, M2, and M3 buttons. I’ve got my League of Legends/ Counter-Strike profile set to M1 which has a blue backlight, M2 to World of Warcraft/Left 4 Dead 2 which has a red backlight, and M3 is set to my web browsing profile which has a green backlight.
-Using the G510s-
During my time with the G510s I have been surprised how much a peripheral that get’s no attention could change so much. I find myself using the G-Keys, and volume scroll wheel quite a bit more than I thought I would. It’s one of those situations where once you have it, you won’t want to go without it. Because I had transitioned from using my Laptop’s built in keyboard to the G510s I had a little difficulty in the beginning placing my hands on the WASD keys because the keyboard is extended roughly two inches on the left side to accommodate the eighteen G-Keys. After a full week of usage I had no problems navigating the keys on the G510s. the build quality of the keyboard is excellent, I have not felt the keyboard “bow” when you press too hard on a key and the coating on the keys and structure of the keyboard are perfect. The pieces that you would expect to become a fingerprint magnet are not, the GamePanel LCD and surrounding area including the “G” badge at the bottom don’t collect any fingerprints. The palm rest is even has a hydrophobic coating that prevents your sweaty hands from sticking.
Coming from your generic keyboards the Logitech G510s is a huge step up. The keyboard feels “right” in your hands and there isn’t any frustration performing your everyday functions whether it be internet browsing or playing games. The build quality is incredible and the materials are top notch. One minor annoyance is when you plug in headphones or a microphone, the keyboard does a mini restart where the keyboard stops working for approximately 4 seconds. This is such a minor inconvenience because you aren’t going to be unplugging and plugging in headphones or microphone constantly. The GamePanel LCD with customizable colors and all the media buttons make this a serious contender for best gaming keyboard. A keyboard with this many awesome features at a $119.99 price point it’s an incredible value. If you’re looking to upgrade your keyboard I recommend Logitech all the way!