Review of the Month; Logitech G710+ Keyboard

There is a problem I have with this review. The problem is that whatever I describe has to be in-context with the keyboard. As most people won’t have the same frame of reference with other products I use, there really isn’t any proper base of comparison to make, and I will try to avoid comparing the keyboard to something else. No amount of video or audio will convey what it is like to use a keyboard, because in the end it is a tactile input device. As such, this review won’t say whether or not the G710+ is a good keyboard overall or not, because you may not fancy what it feels like. Feeling is subjective, and as such I’m more or less forced to resign myself from that most of the “feeling” I have with the keyboard and I’ll have to stick with the few months worth of even in the history I now have with this keyboard.

I should also add that due to the my camera’s recent breakdown, I’ll be adding images later on. On the meanwhile, you can give it a look on whatever site you fancy, like this one.

The Logitech G710+ I have is the Blue variant, meaning that it has Cherry MX Blue Switches. These are the most subjective piece of the whole piece, as some like really clicky, physically responsive and tactile keys instead of the smooth linear ones. You just need to read on them and try them out, there’s no way getting around of it. Despite some saying one type of switch works better for one purpose, that’s a load of horseshit. There is a general consensus, which seems to be different depending what group you ask, but the bottom line is that those only reflect these particular groups. It’s simply better to go out there and test these switches in nature in your closest electronics store, or order a tester pack.

I went with the Blue switches, because I don’t do much gaming on PC any more due to Steam having a near monopoly stature. While I type much more on computer than play games, Blue switches work with games just fine. It’s all matter of getting used to how the keys works, and with games like Doom Ultimate, Ghostbusters The Video Game, Command & Conquer and Earthworm Jim‘s PC version, I’ve had not problems with the keyboard itself. It works for both typing and gaming.

The sound of the keyboard clicking is rather muffled, and while many people warn mechanical keyboards’ loudness, the G710+ Blue isn’t that. The click sound is very pleasant, and with the tactile click, it gives out both physical and audio response. I recoded less than half minute audio of me typing this post with a Sound Blaster microphone I have about 120mm behind the keyboard. It should give an idea how the keyboard sounds like.

However, what detracts from the keys themselves is that there seems to be type problem with the G710+ in that the keycaps have a tendency to break, at least they used to have. I’ve yet to experience that myself, but the plastic used is not the best I’ve seen, which would explain a thing or two. The is nice and matte at first, but like with any other budget range keyboard, the caps simply wear their surface out and became shiny. I do  not personally like this, and in the future I will most likely change the keycaps for better ones. Outside WASD, all the caps are black with white plastic for lettering. The WASD keys are silver to emphasize gaming, I’m guessing. The white letters allow the LEDs underneath the caps to light them up, and this is probably the best form of lighting keys I’ve seen in. It’s not invasive, and with five different brightness settings, you can go from eye blinding to shut off. For whatever reason, WASD keys have their different brightness button.

From brightest...
From brightest… dimmest. This is the one I use constantly
…to dimmest. This is the one I use constantly. Both of these photos will be replaced in the future with better ones.

This being a full-sized keyboard, it offers the full numpad on the right and some extra macro buttons on the left. I could live without the macro buttons, but they have their worth as quick-access macros for software and folder controls. There are three different sets you can save, giving you sixteen possible macros bound to a button. You also have an extra button for disabling the Windows key. There are also some media control keys and a neat volume slider in a form of a roll, which would be neat to use if it had immediate response and would be much more sensitive.

The overall design is rather gaudy. Matte black framing with inner section that rims the keys is piano shiny black, whereas the function keys on the left are surrounded with either orange or blue, depending the version you bought. It attracts dust, fingerprints and each and every damn crumb and other dirt you can imagine having. If you smoke on your computer, you’ll see this keyboard getting dirty in a very short amount of time. The keys do come off easily enough, so cleaning under them is not a  problem at all. Overall, it doesn’t look particularly attractive or repulsive, but keyboards don’t need good looks, just function.

The case is plastic, and to many this is a big no-no when it comes to mechanical keyboards. However, not all plastics or composite materials are shit, and the plastic case barely gives in any when trying to bend it. The keyboard has some heft to it too as well, so it doesn’t feel like a cheap third grade Chinese knock-off. This sturdiness is surprising. The wrist support that’s given with the keyboard is the same matte plastic as the outer parts of the casing, but it’s far too shallow to support anything and ultimately is worth jack shit.

Which brings us to the last bit; ergonomics. The basic, straight keyboards are not really the peak of ergonomics, but we’re all more or less gotten used to them. I’d like to test one of those Kinesis keyboards one of these days. I used to run with an old, arching Logitech keyboard that set my hands and fingers pretty fine, which was more or less good for its twenty euro price point. The problem with cheap and lot of use is that it tends to break the object fast. The G710+ has the same ergonomics as any other standard keyboard, and that is generally lacking, but not many companies are willing to deviate from that too much. At least the USB cable is thick and sturdy, offering two-pronged solution. This is because next to the cord there is a cleverly hidden USB socket, but if you decide not to plug the other head in, it becomes useless.

It also deals well with your test with both Shift-keys pressed down. THE BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG.

The dimensions for the keyboard are about 510mm at its widest, about 220mm deep with the wrist support attached, and has top heigh of 39mm. 50mm if you count the highest point with a keycap.

The bottom line is, the Logitech G710+ Blue is a decent option, especially as an entry-level mechanical keyboard, even more so if you fancy the switches it comes with. Personally, I would prefer picking up switches that require more strength to press down and have even more powerful click, but perhaps these Blue switches are the best of both worlds. Nevertheless, this is a handy keyboard, albeit its 150€ price is a tad too much with these caps. However, this particular keyboard seems to hit sales constantly across the world, and I managed to pick mine for 60€. That’s a more reasonable price for a keyboard build and produced like this, and the caps would need to be replaced at some point in the future, especially if you’re like me who hates the shiny, friction polished key caps. I’m throwing a wild guess and say Logitech used lower end ABS plastic with the caps, especially with the breakage reports, but those are in the minority.

TL;DR version; G710+ is a snappy, nicely clicky keyboard that suffers from few low quality elements for its price. It’s a decent budget price range mechanical keyboard that you might find on sale in the wild.

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