The gaming keyboard is a worthy successor to the G11 for macro junkies who don't have a need for an LCD but want all the other frills have to offer. The only disappointment is that by the omission of a green backlighting channel.
It was back in 2003 that Auravision released their backlit EluminX keyboard, single-handedly defining the very concept of a gaming keyboard. Now, almost seven years later, the standard gaming keyboard armament has been expanded upon this to include macros and multimedia functionality. Logitech's latest entry in their G-Series keyboard lineup takes this formula and runs with it. Enter the Logitech G110, the successor to G11 from 2006. Equipped with user-configurable backlighting, USB audio and a complement of 12 macro keys, how does this new contender stand up against the competition? Feast your eyeballs on our in-depth review and find out!
If there was one glaring fault to the otherwise brilliant G11 and G15 keyboards released in 2005, it was their immense footprint. Measuring in at 21.5" wide and 10.25" tall with the wrist rests attached, the keyboards consumed more than their fare share of desk space and often had trouble fitting into LAN gamers' travel bags. Logitech tried to address this issue in 2007 with the smaller G15 revision 2, though this new model was widely criticized as being as inferior due to its unsightly amber backlighting, reduced screen legibility, and reduction to only a third of the original's macro keys.
Logitech thankfully spared the screen-less G11 the same "upgrade" treatment, but the fact remained that it was still too big for most gamers' desks and needed to be scaled down somehow without repeating the mistakes from the G15v2. In 2009, Logitech again tried to address the size issue with the release of their G19 and G110 keyboards, and this time they actually succeeded.
At 20" wide by 9.25" tall, the G110 is roughly 16% smaller than the original and is actually able to fit into most small duffel bags as well as Dust-Off's "Keyboard Quiver" LAN bag. Even better, the keyboard's image has undergone a dramatic redesign. The chilling black and gray motif combined with the keyboard's svelte profile present a much more refined look, giving the G110 the appearance of a professional's tool whilst retroactively making the G11 look like a Playskool toy. The G110 is, in a word, ninja.
As a ninja, the keyboard employs dome-switched keys that are relatively quiet and highly responsive. The space bar is well balanced and each key has a pleasantly crisp feel to it, well suited for touch typists and gamers alike. Though I personally would prefer to have Cherry mechanically switched keys à la the Deck Keyboard, this would undoubtedly serve to raise the G110's cost so I can see why Logitech has yet to make the jump.
Of course, ninjas were never skilled in the art of cable management, and the G110 isn't an exception to this fact I just made up. Like all the G-Series keyboards before it, the G110 has cable trenches on the backside meant for mice and headphone cables, but the frustration in keeping the cables in place is hardly worth any aesthetic benefit. Since Logitech didn't think to implement any sliding clips or other gizmos to keep these cables secured in place, you'll find that they'll quickly fall out as soon as the keyboard is flipped over or propped up on the two kickstands.
Extra USB Port Convenience
Unlike the rest of Logitech's G-series keyboards that each feature 2 USB ports, the G110 is limited to a single USB port, though to be honest I can't recall ever needing more than one USB port on my keyboard anyway. This single port has been upgraded to USB 2.0 spec, an improvement over the G11 and both of the G15s. It supplies ample power for most flash drives including Corsair's 128GB monstrosity, gamepads, headsets, and my Windows Mobile phone that managed to draw just over 900mAh. The G110 would not power my Logitech V20 speakers, however, and it's possible that some portable hard drives may also run into power issues.
One other feature of interest is the Gaming Mode switch used to disable the Windows key. Though similar toggles and switches are now available on competing boards from Microsoft, Saitek and Razer, you have to give credit where credit is due and recognize Logitech as the original innovator here. Well, almost. I know one gamer in the SoCal LAN party scene who realized a "gaming mode" long before Logitech did with this awesome beige alternative. ^_^
Last but not least, at the top right of the keyboard is an array of four media playback controls along with a decidedly large mute button and volume roller for the default audio device in Windows. I cannot emphasize enough just how much I like the volume controls here; it's impossible to miss the mute button when you need to mash it quickly, and the roller is the smoothest if not most precise volume control I've ever seen implemented on a keyboard.