Logitech is well known for its PC gaming peripherals, and with reason: the ones that have passed through TR, like the G9 Laser Mouse, have consistently won awards. Over the years, the company has provided an extensive range including joypads and joysticks, steering wheels, gaming keyboards and mice. The one surprising omission from its lineup has always been gaming keypads along the lines of the Saitek's Cyborg Command Unit or Belkin/Razer's N52te, but now Logitech is looking to rectify this omission with its new G13 Advanced Gameboard.
For those of you new to the idea of a gaming keypad, or Gameboard as Logitech prefers to call it, it's essentially a small custom keypad (akin to a keyboard's number pad) with programmable keys and usually with an analogue joystick thrown in, all within easy reach without requiring you to move your hand from the built-in wrist rest.
Logitech has stuck to this basic formula, but added much that makes the G13 stand out. Touches like backlighting that can be any colour of the rainbow and a fully programmable LCD display as found on the company's gaming keyboards appear to give the G13 a definite edge over its well-established rivals. However, like with so many technology products that don't have a defined set of properties, it's surprising how often manufacturers get it wrong. So let's see if the G13 is the one to beat them all.
The first things that you might notice about the G13 are its size and weight. At 650g, this is no lightweight, and combined with its broad rubber feet means it sits very solidly on your desk. It also takes up more room than most, measuring 24cm top to bottom. Build quality is excellent throughout: the G13 feels like it could take any abuse a heated gaming session might inspire you to lavish on it.
The design is very attractive with elegant and sharp lines, with its mostly black, matte finish avoiding the garishness that occasionally afflicts gaming peripherals. Overall, it gives a sense of luxury few peripherals can match. The comfortably-sloped wrist rest is padded with a soft rubbery material which provides excellent grip, though if we're being incredibly picky for those with bigger hands the 'slippery' silver Logitech inset is not placed ideally.