It has taken long enough but finally we're seeing a healthy selection of gaming keyboards that use responsive and hard-wearing mechanical keys, rather than poorer quality rubber-membrane keys. But, despite their gaming leanings few have really gone all out with the bells and whistles.
Enter the Logitech G710+, one of the most fully featured mechanical gaming keyboards we've yet seen. It features six dedicated programmable keys, adjustable backlighting, a volume wheel and game mode that at the tap of a button turns off the windows keys. Although expensive, at £129, on the surface it certainly does plenty to justify the price. But, let's take a closer look.
Logitech G710+ Specs
Connection: Wired (2 x USB)
Cable: 2m rubber coated
Key switch: Mechanical – Cherry MX Brown
Backlighting: Yes, with individual zone controls for cursors and WASD
Gaming keys: 6 dedicated programmable keys
USB pass-through: Yes, 1 x USB socket
Key-rollover: 26 keys
Extra features: Anti-ghosting keys, Game/desktop mode that turns of Windows key
Removable palm rest, Noise dampened keys, Media keys, Under-keyboard cable routing
Logitech G710+ | Design
The Logitech G710+ wears its gaming heart on its sleeve when it comes to style with an angular two tone black-on-grey plastic design that's finished off with a bright splash of orange around the dedicated programmable keys ranged down the left side. It's bold, brash and, well, about as much the antithesis of the minimalist lines of, say, an Apple keyboard as you could get.
Minimalism aside, we're still not entirely convinced by the look, with the simpler but far bolder, bright-red livery of the Diatec Filco Majestouch 2 being more to our liking. Still, the keyboard is fairly easy to disassemble – with the orange, translucent black and grey plastic sections all coming apart - so a quick paint job is little more than an afternoon's work.
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What's more, looks mean only so much on something that – if you're anything like us – gets covered in crumbs and tea stains within a week of going into service. Far more important is the build and here we can have few complaints. The plastic chassis isn't quite so skull-crushingly solid as the Filco range, with a little bit of creak in evidence if you poke and prod some of the panelling, but in use there's no flex or noise, outside of that made by the keys themselves. Plus, it's plenty heavy enough and with large and sticky enough rubber feet that it won't move anywhere in a hurry, no matter how furious a typer you are.
The Logitech G710+ comes with an optional plastic wrist rest that, like most such efforts, does little in our opinion but add depth to the keyboard's already sizeable footprint. It's too low-profile to offer any real support (unless your typing/gaming posture is very poor) and it's not padded either. Still, the options there, which is always a plus point.
On a similar note, the keyboard only offers angle adjustment using two rear flip up feet, with no option to raise the front for a downwards sloping typing experience as on most 'ergonomic' keyboards. Instead the adjustable feet offer one angle-alternative that raises the rear by about a centimetre.
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A nice touch is the cable routing on the underside, which allows for headset cables to run under the keyboard. However, the cable-gripping design - rather than a wider, looser gap - means it won't accommodate thicker high-end headphone cables.
The two metre long USB cable is very thick and uses a rubber, rather than braided, finish. It's a little stiff so makes manoeuvring it rather awkward, but at least it seems reassuringly sturdy and doesn't tangle. It splits about 20cm from the end and terminates in two separate USB ports: one for the keyboard and one for the USB pass-through port which is positioned just next to where the cable enters the keyboard on its back edge. This isn't the most convenient position for such a port as it's quite deeply recessed so wider USB devices won't fit, plus it's difficult to see what you're doing when trying to plug something in. What's more, it isn't USB 3.0.
So that's the features, but how about actually using this keyboard...