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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
The G15's true successor
on December 2, 2010
After about 3 years of faithful, hardcore gaming service, my first-gen G15 was starting to show its age. Paint coming off, some keys sticking or unresponsive, backlight occasionally cutting out, etc. Despite this, I'd held off on getting a replacement for several reasons. Particularly, the 2nd generation G15 had only 6 macro keys, yet was still more expensive for reasons I can't fathom. The G110 seemed more like what I was looking for, but still only had 12 G-keys. Ditto the G19, which is probably also the most expensive keyboard on the market. I'm used to having 18 and probably can't live without that many now. Enter the G510, which I've found to be a worthy replacement that is the true successor to the original G15.
Aside from jumbling up the numeric designation, Logitech made several changes to the basic design. The LCD display is now backlit but also smaller and no longer collapsible. The key backlighting has customizable color that is bound to macro keysets. The USB plugs in the back are gone, replaced by a headphone/mic jack that works through the same USB link. A few things are also moved around, such as the ESC key and media controls (moved a bit left and to the right above the num pad, respectively). Also gone are the wire guides in the back panel, and the media controls have been souped up with a barrel volume adjust instead of a wheel. Additionally, the G510 is significantly more compact than the old G15, which is somewhat of a relief for those like me with cramped desk space. In general, the function keys (MR, M1-3, etc.) are larger and have a softer feel to them; it sometimes took a bit of mashing to get them to trigger on my old G15.
The 18 macro keys are effectively unchanged, as is the software. The feet are about the same (which is to say, pretty short) and the feel is very similar. The game mode slider is still there, as is the backlight on/off key. Generally speaking, unless you frequently hit ESC or use the media keys, you'll not notice anything different going from the 1st gen G15 to this keyboard.
Regarding the loss of the USB ports- I did use one of them to hook up my mouse, but I found in general that few things worked on them due to the power consumption of the keyboard itself. Even hooking up peripherals seemed to make them less responsive, and so I don't really miss having them. The audio jacks are a better idea; they work well and are much more easily accessible than the ones on the front/rear of my tower. The Logitech G-series profiler hasn't changed a great deal since version 1.0: it still has issues detecting when certain games are running, especially games that don't specifically support it. This isn't too big a problem for me, as I only usually play 2-3 games at a time anyway, so the default configuration is fine for covering them all. As before, there's quite a few apps you can run on the LCD if you care to; standard ones now include a profile selector that interfaces with the profiler if you'd rather use the LCD instead of your PC. You can also load profiles onto the keyboard itself if you expect to be using it on computers without the software installed.
About my only gripe with the G510 is that- as with the 2nd gen G15 keyboard- it's significantly more expensive than the old G15 was. It looks prettier and is supposedly USB 2.0 vs 1.0 which presumably increases response time (haven't really noticed a difference yet) but is otherwise effectively the same keyboard with some cosmetic tweaks. Still, I suppose it's comparable in cost to Logitech's other gaming boards, and it's not like you'll be buying one every year. As with the G15, the G510 caters towards the hardcore gaming crowd; it works fine for more mundane applications, but is massive overkill for something like run-of-the-mill word processing. There are some uses for the macro keys in office work, especially if you're a programmer, but it's a bit of a steep price for just that- and in such cases the LCD, game mode, and backlighting are pretty useless. Overall, for gaming purposes, the G510 is an awesome product that- once you've gotten in the habit of using the macro keys- will be very hard for you to live without.