Logitech has a well-deserved reputation for making some of the best gaming peripherals around. All the way from its G5 Gaming Mouse to the recently-reviewed G13 Advanced Gameboard, its G-Series has consistently won TR recommended awards. Today we're looking at the brand-new G19 Gaming Keyboard, the sequel to Logitech's well-regarded G15 Keyboard, which received our highest accolade. Let's find out if the G19 can keep the pedigree intact.
So first of all, what has changed? Obviously the design has been updated to make this keyboard far more streamlined. Basic keyboard layout remains identical, but the multimedia and gaming keys have been moved about and the programmable G-keys have been doubled from six (on the 2007 revision of the G15, not the original which offered 18) to 12. Backlighting has also been reworked, but the single biggest upgrade is to a colour "GamePanel" LCD-screen with a resolution of 320 x 240.
In terms of looks, the G19 has it all. The keyboard comes in a combination of matte and glossy blacks, bluish silver and metallic insets that not only looks cool but also matches Logitech's other G-series peripherals perfectly. Logitech's versatile backlighting also helps to make this keyboard a stunner. The M-keys and LCD-control keys to the left of the GamePanel remain invariably orange, but the backlighting on every other key can be changed to any colour you wish, to match your mood, other peripherals, or you can just link a specific colour of backlight to a specific game or application.
There are no dimming controls, but if the lighting is too bright simply choose a darker shade. There's also a dedicated button to turn the backlighting off altogether, though this also turns off the LCD. Unlike with Razer's Lycosa Gaming Keyboard, the G19's keys are still perfectly visible in sunlight, whether the backlighting is turned on or not.
Funnily enough, compared to 'regular' keyboards like Logitech's Cordless Desktop Wave Pro, the layout of the G19 is more conservative, with the Delete/Home/End/Page keys in their traditional positions. As far as all the keys you'd find on a normal keyboard go then, things are pretty standard. Though I'd hoped for a movable number pad a la Microsoft's SideWinder X6, realistically the chances of this happening were slim.