Logitech has been a long-prominent leader when it comes to office and gaming peripherals, and the Logitech G19s Keyboard aims to keep the company current in the gaming space with a slew of customizable features, a built-in media display and plenty of durability for PC gamers – but it doesn’t come without its own limitations.

The standout feature for the G19s is an LCD panel at the top of the keyboard which Logitech calls the GamePanel. Within the second screen users can see a fair selection of information, ranging from in-game statistics to computer usage and YouTube videos. The screen itself also comes mounted on a hinge, which allows easy access for people to tilt the screen to their preference. Community-built applications can also run on the screen, and Logitech provide links to popular third party support websites – a feature which gives it some great breathing room as fans develop handy utilities.

The gamer-focused G19s is also filled to the brim with additional time-saving features. A rolling pad is included for volume adjustment on the fly, with the standard volume playback buttons included above it. For those looking to assign custom keys, the G19s features 12 programmable keyboard buttons on the left-hand side, a must to compete with other gaming keyboards. It supports up to 6 key anti-ghosting, meaning even if other buttons are pressed down each new key press will still register.

The downloadable Logitech Gaming Software will allow users to quickly customize anything and everyone on their G19s Keyboard. Each of the keys are backlit, with an impressive 16 million colors to choose from in the software itself. Whilst the keyboard lacks the ability to assign certain areas of their keyboard different color settings like the GX Manticore can, it’s not a necessity – but it would have been nice for the price. These colors can be assigned to individual user profiles, so if the keyboard is shared between different users they can each keep their own settings. The software also scans the computer for installed games and automatically sets up profiles unique to each support title, allowing individuals to play with each game’s recommended settings should they choose to do so.

Logitech G19s Keyboard

There’s also a ‘Game Mode Switch’ located on the top of the keyboard. When switched on, it disables the Windows key so users can’t accidentally press it in the middle of a game and be taken right back to their desktop. It’s a situation most people have been in at some point in life, and the inclusion of a deterrent is a smart addition.

The Specs

  • Built-In LCD Panel
  • 16M Color Backlit Display
  • Two USB Ports
  • 12 Programmable Keys
  • 6 Key Anti-Ghosting
  • Game Mode Switch
  • Volume Control Roller
  • Quick Adjust Macro Buttons

The plastic interface of the keyboard along the wrist-resting area feels surprisingly comfortable, though the keys themselves aren’t mechanical – this makes the keyboard less apt at long bouts of typing or intense typing, but shouldn’t affect the average user. The WASD keys and arrow keys are painted gray, with the rest of the buttons black, so that it’s very easy to immediately zero in on those keys in gameplay. The keyboard looks great as a whole, and the keys – which are coated with anti-fading material for increased durability – feel easy and smooth to press.

The G19s does however, require standalone AC power to operate. Having the wire from the keyboard split between USB and AC cords looks a little messy, and not everyone will want to have to dedicate a power slot just for their keyboard. However, Logitech makes up for this fact by adding two separate USB ports to the keyboard, effectively making it a hub – the ports can charge USB-powered devices or simply connect a USB stick to the computer for data transfer. It’s another smart and handy design choice we’d like to see in other high-end keyboards.

The Logitech G19s is a good keyboard, sexy in its design, with plenty of extra features, even if it does need its own power source. With a hefty recommended retail price of $199.99, though, it not being mechanical makes it hard to recommend as a premium product for all gamers over more affordable competitor products.

Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.

tags: Logitech