The G710+ is the latest addition to Logitech’s lineup of gaming keyboards and Logitech's first foray into mechanical keyboards. First introduced to the local market earlier this year, the G710+ employs Cherry MX Brown key switches with additional built-in dampening rings beneath each keycap, designed to reduce the 'clicky' noise made by conventional mechanical keyboards.
The G710+ is packed with features: from the five-level adjustable backlighting, to the six programmable G macro keys, 110 anti-ghosting keys, 26-key rollover, media control keys and, of course, the very essential Game/Desktop mode key (commonly known as the Windows lock key) that lets you disable the Windows/Context Menu when you play, preventing accidental tabbing out of your game. As a nice touch, volume can be easily and quickly adjusted via a wide volume scrollwheel that sits next to a dedicated mute button - it's a bit sensitive, so be careful not to blow out your eardrums by rolling too fast.
While the G710+ requires two USB ports to use, you gain one of them back thanks to a USB 2.0 port located at the back of the keyboard that lets you plug in other gaming equipment like your gaming mouse or headset. Thoughtful undercarriage routing allows your mouse and headset wires to neatly coil under the chassis without compromising keyboard stability.
Aesthetics-wise, Logitech has clearly put in quite the effort with the G710+ as this is one of the sleekest full-sized gaming keyboards we’ve come across, complete with angled edges and a bold, contrasty orange border encapsulating the G-keys. Together with the grey WASD and arrow keys, the entire outfit looks menacingly sturdy, like it was built specifically for the seasoned gamer who clocks in no less than 15 hours of weekly gameplay. Build-quality is top notch, and despite its seemingly rigid structure, gamers will be pleased to know that the keyboard does not compromise on comfort, thanks to an optional detachable palm rest.
A special mention should go to the G710+'s adjustable backlighting, which offers dual-lighting zones controlled by two separate keys. One key controls the WASD and arrow keys, while the other adjusts the rest of the keyboard (including the G-macro keys). Each set of backlights has no less than five levels of brightness, giving you the option to illuminate the WASD keys brighter for increased visibility, while still having backlighting available on the rest of the keys.
Cranked up to maximum brightness, the backlighting is also one of the brightest we've seen, even under normal room lighting conditions. If we have one complaint to make about the backlighting, it's that for keys with dual functions (e.g. the number keys) only the top half of the key is lit, so unless you know your keyboard shift functions really well (such as for dollar sign, brackets, ampersand, etc.), it might take some hunting around to find what you're looking for, especially in the dark. It also would have been nice to be able to customize the backlighting color.
Gamers accustomed to Logitech's other gaming keyboards (or other keyboards with a row of macro keys on the lefthand-side) should have no problems adapting to the G710+, however this reviewer found it slightly arduous to get accustomed to, due to the unfamiliar row of G macro keys on the left side of the keyboard. For example, I kept hitting "G1" instead of "Esc" or "G6" instead of "Ctrl" as my muscle memory kicked in, extending my little finger to reach out for the left corner for Esc or Ctrl keys which, of course, are now occupied with a column of G-keys. Even after a week with the keyboard, it was a mistake that was hard to avoid. Fortunately, the G-keys are slightly separated from the main keys and are surrounded by a bright orange border, so in a normally lit room, this visual aid might help some users.
Most of the keys on the G710+ utilize a Cherry MX Brown key switch (the exceptions being the media controls and macro keys found at the top of the keyboard). Cherry MX Brown switches are tactile and offer a slight, knowing bump midway through the key press that let you know when the switch has been triggered. The typist knows exactly when the key has been executed before bottoming-out, enabling him/her to double-tap faster than the average membrane-based keyboard. This, in turn, allows one to 'drift' his/her fingers across the keyboard lightly when typing, instead of using force to completely punch each key. This helps reduce fatigue as usage time increases, which is especially advantageous to hardcore gamers. Each key also features a dampening ring that makes the keyboard far quieter (except for the spacebar strangely enough) than other mechanical keyboards.
In usage, the keys are quite soft and light, with a reasonably short throw (to be precise, each key requires 45g of force with 2mm of travel to actuation and 4mm to bottom out), which puts it somewhere between the stiff Cherry MX Black switches and the softer MX Red and Blue switches. While manufacturers are still more inclined to build mechanical gaming keyboards incorporating Cherry MX Black, Red, or Blue switches, the Brown switches are fast gaining prominence as they can be used in scenarios where heavy typing is required, such as in the office. Still, the combination of a tactile bump, with a light actuation force, may not be for everyone, so we suggest trying the keyboard before buying, if possible.
Priced at S$219, the G710+ will set you back slightly more than other gaming keyboards currently available in the market like the Ducky DK9008 Shine mechanical keyboard or CM Storm QuickFire TK mechanical keyboard which employ black and red Cherry MX Switch keys and retail at S$169 and S$168 respectively. Having said that, the solid build quality, appealing aesthetic, wealth of features, macro keys and included wrist rest more than makes up the difference.