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Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Color Display
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- A color GamePanel LCD displays game stats, system information, VOIP communication data, video playback, image slideshows
- User-selectable character backlighting color lets you personalize the keyboard to better fit with the rest of your computer and gaming equipment
- Twelve programmable G-keys with three macros per key provide space to program 36 single keypresses or complex macros
- Two high-speed, powered USB 20 ports give you the ability to transfer data to and from peripherals like MP3 players and flash drives
- Multi-key input allows you to use up to five keys at once to perform multiple complex actions
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- Brand Name: Logitech
- Model Number: 920-000969
- Connectivity Technology: usb
- Keyboard Description: QWERTY
- Color: Black
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This item Logitech G19 Programmable Gaming Keyboard with Color Display
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|Sold By||IsaacTronics||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||SCORE MIGHTY|
|Are Batteries Included||No||No||No||No|
|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No|
|Hardware Connectivity||USB||—||USB 2.0||USB 1.0|
|Item Dimensions||11 x 20.6 x 2.75 in||19.8 x 9.5 x 1.39 in||7.52 x 9.33 x 15.08 in||22.06 x 10.24 x 2.36 in|
|Item Weight||3 lbs||4.6 lbs||7.28 lbs||4.7 lbs|
Give yourself the advantage you need to win. Giving you an arsenal of advanced gaming technology, the Logitech G19 gaming keyboard is the first Logitech keyboard to feature a color GamePanel LCD. The tilt able, 320-by-240-pixel display provides valuable in-game information for over sixty games, including World of Warcraft (requires installation of included Logitech GamePanel software)
From the Manufacturer
From the Manufacturer Give yourself the advantage you need to win. Giving you an arsenal of advanced gaming technology, the Logitech G19 gaming keyboard is the first Logitech keyboard to feature a color GamePanel LCD. The tiltable, 320-by-240-pixel display provides valuable in-game information for over sixty games, including World of Warcraft (requires installation of included Logitech GamePanel software).
In addition to in-game information, the screen can show VoIP communication data, clock, CPU load, or other non-gaming specific items such as pictures or videos. And you can easily switch among types of information – without ever leaving your game.
If you take your gameplay seriously, you want the Logitech G19 on your side. Play with the best.
Suggested games for the Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard:
- World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
- Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
- Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
- The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria
- Left 4 Dead
- Call of Duty: World at War
- Crysis Warhead
- Fallout 3
- Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Check out the G-SERIES from Logitech:
What's in the Box
|Package Contents ||System Requirements |
GamePanel LCD requires software that supports Logitech GamePanel technology. See front of box for a partial list, or visit www.logitech.com/gamepanel.
Top Customer Reviews
** Review Updated: 8/16/09 **
Short Review (if you don't want to read all that):
I give it a 4 1/2 stars. The keys feel nice and mushy. The LCD is no doubt really awesome to have for any multi-tasking person. I feel the features on the video player/YouTube player is missing some basic options and that is why I'm not giving it a 5-star (although this could all change with new apps or updates). Overall, the keyboard is for any gadget lovers/video enthusiasts/YouTube fans -- not just gamers. The macro G-keys, as usual in previous keyboards, is also a powerful tool for anyone wanting to work more efficiently, and again, not just for gaming.
[2005 model] G15 v1 (Blue LED) has 18 G-Keys x 3 modes = 54 programmable.
[2007 model] G15 v2 (Orange LED) has 6 G-Keys x 3 modes = 18 programmable.
[2009 model] G19 (White is the default LED) has 12 G-keys x 3 modes = 36 programmable.
THE KEYS ON THE KEYBOARD:
G15 v1: It's small and spread apart.
G15 v2: It's larger and close together.
G19: The size is in between those two keyboards; it's also close together like the v2. Overall, I like typing on this the best.
Some positives and negatives of each keyboard...
G15 v1 (2005 - Blue LED):
+ Has the most G-keys (most people didn't seem to need/use this much, including myself, hence why v2 had so little)
+ Volume/media control wheel is nice
+ LCD can be closed shut completely
+ Has handles on the top of the keyboard for carrying it easier.
+ Lots of custom apps to be found on the net.
- Takes up the most desk space
- USB 1.1 (okay for plugging USB headphones and gaming controllers)
G15 v2 (2007 - Orange LED):
+ For those that don't need that many G-keys and prefer larger keys.
- LCD cannot tilt (already fixed)
- Volume control is just a plain button
- USB 1.1
+ Color LCD (biggest selling point and biggest upgrade) - what keyboard has a color video display?! Any geek's dream come true. It's great for multi-tasking and time flies even more now that you don't waste a second even on game loading screen or spectating a game.
+ USB 2.0 (all previous G15's were USB 1.1, so now it is suitable for even connecting flash/hard drives and not just game controllers) -- this is why it also requires an AC adapter to the keyboard. The USB ports are both on the same side now, which makes it a little easier to locate than the previous keyboards having it one on each side; however, it can be a problem when connecting flash drives or SD card readers that really stick out to the side)
+ Custom backlight colors
+ Volume scroll (although I wish it turned smoother) / some custom apps for the G15 uses the volume up/down to select menus/songs, so the new up/down scroll volume control on the G19 works out perfectly for that.
+ The keys have a nice clean feel and layout (as mentioned before, the keys aren't too spread out and still large enough, so there's less strain on the fingers for me)
- Requires AC adapter (although it is understandable, some may not have a plug open)
- Lack of app support for now.
- Price is a killer! (considering there isn't really any other keyboard with a video display, it is slightly understandable... but the apps still needs work.)
====================================================== ISSUES FOR ME:
* I have to say the documentation is very poor for this keyboard. I had no idea what the "Clipboard Commands" (10.4 on the readme file) was all about for playing a YouTube video -- that I actually want to watch. The only option you get when you enter the YouTube Video Player is viewing "Top Rated, Top Favorites (not your own), Most Viewed, Most Popular, Discussed, etc." -- of all time, this month, this week, or today (default) -- Sure, sometimes some interesting videos may come up, but I honestly never really care for those "RANDOM" videos anyway; I prefer watching videos that I actually WANT to watch (not some "YouTube Celebrity" talking about their life all the time).
I mean, the dedicated YouTube viewer is definitely a nice idea, but I don't know why they couldn't just add a simple built-in search to toggle between typing on the LCD and out of it! (Hopefully some talented people can make some custom app to do this; for the G15, the custom app music players, such as the myLCD WVS, are far superior to Logitech's Music Media player)
It has the usual LCD Clock, Performance Monitor, Countdown Timer, but having an LCD screen, it would have been useful and nice if it at least had a built-in notepad to type out codes and other memos! (this would have also been a great workaround for using the "clipboard command")
Basically, you first have to enable "automatic playback of YouTube video URLs" in the advanced tab options, and whenever you copy (Ctrl + C) a YouTube URL, it will automatically end up on the LCD screen. So if you're in a game and you can't type and highlight/copy text, then you really can't search anything.
And to actually search for videos, you have to use their "clipboard command" (you'll want to macro this instead of having to remember and type this command every time):
lcdyoutube:search=<type whatever you want to search here>
So for example, if you want to search Logitech videos, you have to type
AND THEN you have to highlight all that and COPY (Ctrl + C) it to actually execute the search. I believe in games like WoW and Counter-Strike, this is OK for now and not completely useless, since it lets you type and highlight in-game for games such as those.
* You cannot navigate to different video folders through the LCD. You have to keep setting one video directory/all sub-directory and it will list all of them.
* Would be nice to change aspect ratio/stretch/zoom/fit when viewing videos, and especially for pictures. Since it has directional controls, they should allow you to zoom in on pictures. The picture viewer is pretty useless for me.
* It needs a quick jump to top/bottom or multiple files instead of scrolling through all the files one by one, especially if you have lots of videos. It would be nice if the volume control scroll could be temporarily toggled into acting as navigating up/down menus because it's so much easier than the buttons.
* I find it odd that it allows you to go quickly back to the top/bottom if you get to the end of the list for the main 'Switch to Program' menu screen; however, for the video/YouTube player list, once you get to the top or bottom, you're stuck and have to scroll all the way back up/down yourself! Personally, I find this inconvenient, especially since the navigation buttons aren't necessarily easy to keep pressing. For the YouTube search results, it does not allow you to HOLD-scroll either.
* For YouTube search results, it only displays the first 25 video results.
* It would be nice to be able to have a video playlist or be able to access your YouTube account's favorites. I would love it if it had a Winamp support so that it plays videos from the Winamp list too.
* Fast forward is already determined depending on the video duration. If it's a really short clip, like less than 10 seconds, then you can fast forward/rewind at 1sec intervals. However, if it's an hour long clip or so, it's already set to fast forward at 5 minutes. It doesn't matter how long you hold the button or release, the speed is not variable and is already set. This makes getting the precise spot of the clip impossible.
* It only looks for common video extentions. I have some .flv files that I saved directly from YouTube, but I have to rename them to .avi for the LCD to pick it up.
* If you searched several YouTube videos on the LCD, then you can press the Logitech-back arrow button key to see the previous results/videos, but once you go back, you can't go forward!
* Once a current YouTube-sent video ends playing, it ends up going back to the menu screen and there is no quick video repeat option. It really would be nice to have a history of viewed YouTube videos played on the G19 LCD!
====================================================== OTHER THOUGHTS:
* The install CD that came with mine was an older version 3.0.1 (but the website had a 3.02), so you should check that before installing.
* As long as if the video plays fine on the main system player, such as Windows Media Player, having the right codecs and everything on the system (not built-in codecs like VLC), then it should play on the G19 monitor.
* If the person uploading a video on YouTube doesn't allow external linking, it will not be playable on the LCD; you will get that error message instead and ask if you want to play directly on a browser.
* Sometimes the YouTube Player may not respond to your clipboard commands; you'll either have to restart the Logitech LCD Manager or just kill the "LCDYT.exe" process and open just that YouTube software (LCDYT.exe) again, which is located at "C:\Program Files\Logitech\GamePanel Software\Applets\ColorOnly\LCDYT.exe" (at least for XP, that's the default location.)
* It would be awesome if there was an option to view comments for YouTube videos also on the LCD; and again, if it had a toggle built-in key input for the LCD, it would be even more awesome if it were possible to comment on YouTube videos while still running a video game too. (how about it developers?!)
* Would be nice if there was a small LED above the USB ports to indicate when USBs have successfully connected (I like USB hubs that have this, which allows me to know that a USB is successfully powered and connected; I notice there's a small orange LED on the keyboard near the USB ports, which indicates that the AC is powering the keyboard, so I wish they added something similar for the USB ports)
- The video player is cool, but it's still missing some key features! (fast forwarding speeds, YouTube searching - and other suggestions in my rant)
- MSRP is asking too much for what it does for now. (I can understand Logitech's leather racing wheel costing this much, but $200 for a keyboard? Maybe Logitech tried to target the Alienware buyers, since the LCD shape design seems like it would match great with those systems, and you know people who buy Alienware already spend a lot of money...)
- Menu buttons/arrows need to be pressed hard
The original G15 has had a lot of enthusiastic custom app developers and it has made the G15 keyboard better than what it was out of the box. For now, I give this keyboard a 4 stars. I really wanted to give this keyboard a perfect 5-star; I mean, come on... a color LCD video player on a keyboard?! This keyboard definitely has potential to be a 5 star, but that all depends on the apps. The keyboard is nice, but the app features that comes with it is just a little too basic (the video function); it's missing some key standard features, so in that aspect, that needs more improvement. Hopefully, the cons can be addressed and the color LCD can be taken more advantage of. I hope future games (like StarCraft 2?) would really take advantage of this keyboard LCD feature. It would be cool if game characters displayed as a video on there talking directly to the player whenever you accomplish a mission or something; something that really makes use of the game exclusive to the keyboard.
It's a no brainer, the G19 is the best out of the three. If you have money to throw away, then obviously this is the best one to get. However, for the LCD to really benefit over using an actual -- larger -- dual monitor, the features (ie: built-in YouTube searching) on the 320x240 LCD need to be addressed to win over those alternatives.
I found a workaround for having a playlist in video; If you use VLC Media Player, there is a third-party G19 plugin to send the video directly to the LCD instead of the VLC player. (However, when it goes to the next video on the playlist, it doesn't work perfectly because there's a minor nuisance where you have to hit the 'switch to program' button on the keyboard to get the player in view again. Moreover, you can't control with the Logitech keys, so you'll need to set up global hotkeys if you want to control during a video game. See 'Comments' for the link, since I can't post links in this review. And if you know any other good plugins for the G19, be sure to comment too.
** Update: The plugin called "LCD Miscellany" just made this keyboard x1000 times better! It's a must-have plugin if you want to get the most out of your G19 keyboard! This plugin had the perfect by-product tool of what I wanted this keyboard to do. 'LCD Miscellany' has a built-in Calculator tool, which allows copy and pasting text -- WITHIN THE LCD (you can toggle in and out of it) -- so it's a really great workaround to search specific YouTube videos -- while in games or in other applications that don't have any text input/highlighting! The plugin also has a Text Viewer, so if you just create a text file with URLs of your favorite YouTube videos, save it; and then access the text file within the LCD, you can then highlight (using the arrow keys while HOLDING the shift key), and then do the routine Copy (Ctrl + C) to execute the videos -- a pseudo-YouTube playlist!. This plugin also contains displaying your local weather and forecast, controlling your task manager, and more details about your CPU/memory/bandwidth usage/graph/volume/time/date all on one screen -- and much more! This plugin supports the G19, so the display is in color and the Logitech control keys work with it!
I owned it for two and a half weeks before returning it to my local Best Buy.
Where does the G19 fall short? Well, other than the screen, it's just designed poorly (materials) compared to the competition.
1. The quality of the mechanism. The keys on the G19 use a rubber dome system for its keys that became popular for being inexpensive - it made free keyboards with the sale of computers go from a major expense to a non-issue. The mechanism made it possible for $5 keyboards to exist. However, this mechanism makes compromises for the price, and thus it becomes an inappropriate choice when put in a board as expensive as the G19. Why?
-Rubber dome keys simply do not last as long as scissor switch, capacitive, or fully mechanical key switches. Logitech claims that the G series keyboards get 20M actuations (keypresses that register with the computer) per key, but this is many times what other industry competitors will list and is unrealistic - there are a LOT of complaints online about key failure just outside of a year on the G19. Interestingly, much cheaper keyboards that Logitech rates with much lower lifetimes (10 million or less) will have 2 or 3 year warranties, yet Logitech only warranties the G19 for a single year. Mechanical keyboards last 50 million or MORE.
-Rubber domes deteriorate before they fail completely. Why does this matter? Well, the domes degrade slightly each time they are used. This means that in order to get enough contact for the controller in the keyboard to recognize that a key is pressed, you must use slightly more force each time. This compounds, and in a few months the board can require 50% or more force than it initially did, worsening with time. This means keys that you use more often will require more force (WASD, anyone), and you'll have to use a significant amount of force on every key to ensure actuation. Mechanical keyswitches are not prone to this, and require the same amount of force until they fail. This amount of force is typically LOWER than rubber dome boards when new- this discrepancy only worsens with age. This means a mechanical keyboard will be much more comfortable to type on for long periods of time, especially as it gets older.
-Rubber dome keyboards introduce inherent limitations to the rollvover- how many keys can be pressed at a single time where every key will be recognized properly by the computer. When on USB, the maximum is limited to 6 (except for the Microsoft Sidewinder X4, which uses a patented approach). This is important to gamers, and the rollover on the G19 is respectable - you have 5 fingers on your left hand and five on the mouse in most cases, and most keys around WASD are well-ghosted (most combos of 6 will work). However, there are combos of 3 keys that do fail (and 4, and 5, and 6), and no combo of 7 or more keys will go through. In contrast, a mechanical keyboard can (and the overwhelming majority in the price range do) have N-Key rollover - ANY combo of keys, including every key on the keyboard, will be recognized over PS/2 (purple connector), and ANY combo of 6 keys will go through on the USB bus (limitation of the USB HID specification for keyboards).
-Rubber domes actuate at the bottom of travel - right before the keycap hits the bottom. Mechanicals actuate at halfway through full travel (2mm of 4mm)- making them MUCH more comfortable to type on for long periods of time, and making your critical moves occur earlier than they would on a rubber dome keyboard. Tactile feedback provides subtle and subconscious confirmation that keypresses went through, and helps to identify that point without looking.
Given all of this, why did Logitech use rubber domes? Price. A rubber dome mechanism costs pennies to implement. A mechanical keyboard represents at least $50 of initial cost to the manufacturer (MINIMUM!) since it requires expensive individual key switches and a large PCB. Other keyboards much cheaper than the G19 implement every feature but the screen, and keyboards that are less money or comparable in price have better quality with mechanical keyswitches.
2) The body, the keycaps, and the backlighting.
a) The body
The Body of the G19 looks neat, but it's a relatively light keyboard with a non-negligible flex, especially around the edges. The keyboard does not feel solid and doesn't use the strongest plastics. Other keyboards in the price range have "heft" that keeps them from moving on the desk, makes them feel like quality products, and do not flex/creak, even around the edges. Designing a solid body requires denser and more expensive plastic and greater quality control...
b) The keycaps
Keycaps are the plastic that covers the mechanism (dome, mechanical switch, etc.) that you hit, and on the G19, they are clear plastic, painted over. This is a cheap approach, and Google images will show you PLENTY of images of G-series keys wearing to the point of illegibility. This process can happen in just a couple of weeks if your skin chemistry is not favorable- indeed, my F and J keys (which have the nubs- they're where you'd rest your fingers where not typing if you type from the home row) had already worn, and the F key had become indistinguishable. This process will be slower for the majority of people, but the point is that other cheaper and similarly priced keyboards with backlighting will use dye-sublimation or two shot molding on their keycaps. Both of these processes are permanent and will not wear after years of use and ABuse. IBM and Cherry Point of Sale keyboards use these methods for that reason, and many modern keyboards (by Razer, Deck, and other competitors) will use them as well. Paint is a non-durable, but cheap method...
The G19 has customizable backlighting. This is a neat feature but requires significant compromise compared to other back-lit keyboards. How is it done?
The G19 uses LEDs of numerous colors throughout the board- a few light up all 100+ keys. Why is this bad?
Well, when you have a few LEDs spread throughout the board, it leads to uneven and relatively dim backlighting. Other keyboards around this price use individual LEDs for every key- leading to vibrant and completely even backlighting throughout the entire keyboard (and most boards are adjustable so you can increase the effect for visibility during the day and decrease it to a level that won't blind you at night).
Having a single LED per key is relatively easy and inexpensive if you already have a large PCB for your entire board, but greatly increases complexity and cost on a board designed more cheaply.
3) The screen
The redeeming feature of the G19 and what makes it so unique! It's the feature that excited me the most, and it truly does set the G19 apart. Is it to a great degree? Unfortunately, no. Logitech leads the pack in game support, but many games have very little useful information- a number just spit information back at you (location, mana, health, etc.) that already appear on your much bigger monitor! Why would you look away from the screen to see the same information (but none of the game) on a much smaller screen?
Additionally, if your desk level and keyboard level are not close enough, you have to look completely away from the monitor to look at the screen. This is the case on many desks...
The feature is also not compatible with other OSes, requires software that can use 100MB or more of resources (that could seriously impact game performance)...not every game supports it...
It's neat, but has significant limitations.
SO WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION?
If you've read this all, and I haven't swayed you, you're probably very attracted to the screen. And if you truly are completely enamored with the screen, buy it - you'll probably enjoy it if a feature is so desirable to you.
But if my review has raised doubts, it has for a good reason. The screen is a unique feature, but it doesn't justify the rest of the keyboard. If it weren't for the screen, I would have returned this keyboard much sooner - I REALLY wanted to like it. Ultimately, I could not reconcile my issues with the board, and I returned it. The G19 is a $20 keyboard in every fashion except the screen, and, of course, price.
Other competitors with similar features - such as the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate - offer similar features without the expense. The BlackWidow Ultimate offers better antighosting (unfortunately, not NKRO), is much more durable and comfortable to type on due to its excellent Cherry MX switches, offers macros, has a much better built body with no flex, dye sublimated keycaps, and individual LEDs per key for backlighting, audio/usb passthroughs, etc. - it exceeds the G19 by far in every aspect but the screen. Others, such as Deck and Xarmor, offer much better built keyboards with similar features as well.
Give serious, serious thought to buying a G19. If you want a keyboard that has a color screen and not much else, the G19 is really the only game in town. If you want a keyboard that excels at its primary purpose, look elsewhere.