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G15 Keyboard Oh No, What Does The G15 Button Do?

Reviewing: Logitech G15  |  Rating:
By Jason Tyzzer on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:

After using nothing but Dell keyboards for my life, I thought it was time for an upgrade. I had heard good things about the G15 and decided that if I was going to upgrade, I may as well get the gigantic, backlit, keyboard with a flip-up LCD screen. And believe me, it is gigantic, the 16 programmable G keys add an extra four inches and the LCD screen and media controls make the keyboard quite thick as well. Given proper motivation I'm sure this could easily break through all but the most tenacious wooden doors. There are two handles at the top, whether these were made to make the keyboard ligher by drilling out some of the structure, or if they actually act as handles in case the strain of carrying such a magnificent keyboard is too much for the normal man, is up for debate.

The LCD screen comes with a variety of fairly useless features, an ugly clock, a barely functioning media player, a countdown timer that doesn't beep when it gets to zero and is therefore quite easy to miss, and all at a signifigant hit to memory with all programs fully loaded. The buttons beneath the keyboard are also confusing, as they are the same nondescript black oval and you may find yourself frequently mashing them in hopes that you change the song instead of activiating the self destruct sequence. However, this keyboard shines when loaded with user made programs, and with enough work the keyboard can record IM transcripts, tell you how hot your processor is, even have the likeness of your favorite movie star stare at you while you type. Properly used, it's a wonderful tool that I break into a cold sweat imagining myself without.

The programmable keys are no pushover either. Three groups of six keys with three different modes gives you an impressive 54 keys (my keyboard has a calculator program). However, the keys are not seperate entities, the G1 key can't just act as a G1 key, it needs to be assigned a key from the usual QWERTY keyboard. But, with enough knowhow you can use these keys to do practacally anything, just so long as you keep a list handy that explains exactly what G13 does.

As for the keys, they are quite bright at the max level, acceptably dull at the mid, and given some time you can see what the different keys are without the light. They give a nice "click" when pressed, so it's not like typing into a sponge, which is a nice change from, well, most things Dell makes. The only thing that I really have a problem with about this keyboard is the USB ports in the back not being 2.0 and thus rendering them useless for practically all of my gadgets.

All in all, I'm really happy with this keyboard and find myself grouping with other people who own the G15 to mock those with lesser typing apperati and share the newest program that has the keys flash in tempo with music (yes, that program does exist, and yes it's totally sweet).