All those features would mean absolutely nothing if the G510 gaming keyboard didn’t perform and live up to its name. Thankfully, albeit not surprising, Logitech have successfully delivered a first-class peripheral. Having spent all day typing out this review thus far, I can happily say that I can continue doing so comfortably. The keyboard is an absolute joy to type on. The key presses are soft and fairly quiet but the feedback gives you the impression that the keyboard is well built and durable. Hardly any travel is needed before the buttons are pressed and instead there is a bit of resistance so you know exactly when each key is pressed. The keyboard layout is also very good. At first, the sheer size of the keyboard due to the G-Keys may disorient your natural hand placement but give it an hour and it feels very natural. The G-Keys are separated just enough to the left to avoid accidentally pressing them but not far enough to make you stretch out. The media keys are also worked very well, doing what they are programmed to do without fuss and the scroll wheel is excellent. I would have preferred a slightly notchy feel like on the original G15 but it still feels very natural and I’m already getting used to it. The grip of the rubberised finish means you can make precise volume adjustments.
The G510 certainly lives up to its gaming pedigree. Key presses are responsive and at no time when playing Bad Company 2 did I feel that the keyboard was letting me down. Despite the fast paced movements, running around as a medic reviving team mates and shooting down the enemy force simultaneously, the G510 did not struggle and I ended up topping the leader board. As advertised, the Logitech has anti-ghosting technology meaning you can press several keys simultaneously.
The G510’s unique additions are the 3.5mm ports for a headset and microphone. It is set up so that when plugged in they are set as the ‘Default Communication Device’, meaning you can use the headset and microphone for voice communication via VOIP while the computer speakers still output the main audio play-back. This is a very good concept but some might not like the idea of relying on both the speakers and headset, especially if the headset blocks out external noise. However, it is ideal for those who just want a convenient way to plug a sole microphone. After trying it for myself, I found that the combination of speakers and a separate headset worked brilliantly. I could still experience games in all their glory via my Aego Ms and speak to teammates in private using the headset and microphone. The sound quality from the USB drivers was perfectly fine for in-game communications and even when setup to play music, the quality was more than acceptable. It might lack the acoustical refinement of a sound card (Xonar D2X) during music play-back, or the thunderous sound of artillery and sharp, punchy whizzing of sniper bullets zooming past your head, but it was still comparable to generic motherboard sounds quality. After all, the USB audio was designed for voice communication so we can’t complain too much. This brings me to my next point.
As already mentioned, some would ideally want both voice communication and audio playback through their headset. This can be achieved by setting the USB audio to ‘Default Device’ instead of ‘Default Communication Device’ in Windows Sound. It means that as soon as the headset is plugged in, all audio play-back will be through the keyboard as opposed to the speakers and sound card.
The headset and microphone mute buttons
The media keys
The keyboard USB audio was not without its flaws. The keyboard features two mute buttons, one specifically for the headset, and one for media play-back through the main speakers along with all the other media buttons. When the headset is plugged into the keyboard as the ‘Default Configuration Device’, it means that the headset mute button should control the headset while the media mute button should control audio through the speakers. However, this was not the case. When plugged in, all the media keys ended up controlling USB audio though the headset rather than control PC audio independently. As of yet, there are no solutions to this problem.