Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum Review
Published: 4th June 2016 | Source: Logitech | Price: |
The Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum isn't just a change in approach for Logitech, but also comes with a set of features that set it apart from the pack.
It's impossible to think of it without saying what a big difference it makes for Logitech to shift away from their 'kitchen sink' approach and go for something which has an altogether classier feel. You could almost call it minimalist. There are no extra macro keys, no built in wrist rests, no docks for products nobody owns, no displays you never look at, just a full size keyset with a few dedicated media ones. We think it looks the business.
In keeping with the high praise the lighting is amongst the best we've seen on a keyboard. The Cooler Master Masterkeys utilised large fonts and central LEDs to achieve a similar effect with Cherry switches, but we think that the G810 might be even better than that. Colours are well reproduced, richly saturated, and the lighting is uniform across the keyboard. Okay the key lock lights don't change colour which is a minor annoyance, but otherwise it's 10s across the board.
The software has two features which really set it apart too. Firstly the lighting control is amongst the easiest we've ever used. There isn't a compromise in user control to achieve this either. Anyone who has used the Corsair CUE software knows that it's extremely powerful but some more complicated features can take a while to get your head around. The Logitech version is light years ahead in simplicity without losing any of that power. Even better than that is the included profile engine. So many companies promise that you can exchange your game profiles with other users, but that relies on users doing so which, in our experience, almost never happens. Logitech dispensed with reliance upon crowd-sourced profiles and produced enough profiles to cover almost any game you can think of, and many you've never heard of. It's a one-click solution to get you up and running in seconds. The macro customisation element of the software is definitely the weakness here. It's fine enough, but not hugely intuitive nor powerful. The antithesis of the lighting part.
The Romer-G switches have similar pros and cons. On the plus side they are extremely sensitive, with only 1.5mm of push needed to actuate them, and a very light actuation weight too. If you've come from Cherry MX keyboards it's quite a shock. We know that the Corsair K70 Rapidfire modified the Cherry MX switches to have a similarly short throw, but the heavier actuation weight meant that errors were less likely to occur. Having spent a week with the G810 we're still struggling to get to grips with it as a typing machine. This is exacerbated by the rebound spring feeling quite weak. The spring in Cherry switches is strong enough to help push your finger off the key and onto the next one. Something the G810 doesn't do. Admittedly we've had years of experience and, as writers, type way more than the average person so these subtle changes are brought into sharper relief than most people might experience. They are like the excellent lighting of the Cooler Master Masterkeys married to the sharp response of the Corsair K70 Rapidfire, but without being quite as good as either, and the proprietary key cap design means that it's going to be impossible to buy an alternate keycap set.
Lastly you can't avoid that whopping price tag. Yes the lighting and profile elements are fantastic, but the actual typing experience is very different to what we're used to. It isn't as squishy as a membrane option, nor as silent as a laptop style keyboard, but neither is it as crisp as a Cherry MX option. The build quality is fine, but not up to the standards we'd expect at this price tag either. Both the aforementioned Masterkeys and K70 are far sturdier. That's not to say the G810 is flimsy, far from it, just it doesn't feel as robust as models around this premium price point. The volume wheel is plastic, the dedicated media keys have a very unsatisfying click to them and the lack of USB pass-through is unforgivable at this end of the market.
However, there is no denying that this is a step in the right direction for Logitech and, if you don't type a lot nor need complicated macro capabilities, the lighting is spectacularly good and the pre-built profiles in the software is so brilliant we want every other manufacturer to adopt it this second, thus the G810 Orion Spectrum wins our OC3D Gamers Choice. The profile element of the software is so great it also wins our OC3D Innovation award.
You can discuss your thoughts about the Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum Review on the OC3D forums.