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Customer Review

31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent for gaming, but not worth the money., December 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110 (Personal Computers)
I first bought the Microsoft Sidewinder X4 from another retailer for my new gaming rig over the Black Friday weekend for $30. The G110 went on sale the next day for $40, and I jumped on the offer since so many of my friends swear by Logitech gaming keyboards and tell me Logitech is better than Microsoft (I myself own 2 Logitech entry level keyboards and the MX 518 mouse, all of which are great quality products for the money). I was expecting to return the X4 and keep the G110. Turns out, a week later, I sold the G110 to my roommate who missed out on the deal, and I'm happily using the X4 as my main keyboard. Most of this review will be comparing the G110 and the X4.

Looks: This really depends on your personal preference. The G110 appeals to people who don't care about flashy looks on their keyboards. The body is made from a matte grey plastic which safeguards against fingerprints and dust, but IMO it's hardly eye-catching and barely separates this keyboard aesthetically from any of the cheaper Logitech keyboards. The X4, on the other hand, is made mostly of reflective black plastic which looks sleek but easily attracts smudges. The backlighting on both keyboards aren't particularly strong, and you won't be able to really see how colorful they can be until you shut off all the lights in your room. The G110 offers more choices in colors however, letting you choose between 3 color presets (red, blue, and purple) and also allowing you to mix any shade between red and blue. The X4 only has red backlighting, but unlike the G110, it lets you choose the brightness through dimming presets. There were 2 major issues I had with the G110 that weren't in the X4, however. First of all, the backlight spacing underneath the G110 keys seem to be uneven, such that some keys are dimmer than others. More importantly, the G110 has one hell of a crappy paint job on its keys. There are noticeable white and grey specks on the letters, and I've seen better painted keys even on $10 keyboards. I personally liked the looks on the X4 better simply because it had an edgier, modern design, and it didn't have the paint job issue present on the G110.

Functionality: This is where the G110 really shines. It offers 12 dedicated macro keys(G keys) as opposed to only 6 macro keys on the X4. Both boards offer 3 different profiles for these macro keys, totaling 36 keys on the G110 and 18 keys on the X4. For people who need lots of macros during RTS or MMORPG gaming, the difference could spell life or death. The macro recording software on the G110 is significantly more robust than the X4, even allowing users to set time delays on their macros. The G110 also includes both an input and output for audio that mutes all other output devices if you plug in your headphones. This is a really cool feature if you're living with someone else and need to switch to headphones without unplugging your speakers first. The G110 has a USB port as well, but it lacks power, which essentially makes it useless. A volume control scroll wheel and media control keys round out the additional functions provided by the G110. None of these features are included on the X4. Unfortunately, I'm not really an RTS/RPG player, and I mostly just play FPS games nowadays. My need for macros (the major selling point of the G110) is limited, so I realized that the X4 was more practical in this regard.

Layout and Typing: This was deal breaker #1 for me. The G110 has smaller-than-standard keysize within a cramped design, and I have large, muscular hands with pudgy fingers. I was getting many more typos typing with the G110 than with the X4, which has large, spacious keys. The G110 keys are also full-height, while the X4 keys are half-height. While this means that hitting the wrong key on the G110 is supposedly harder (this is negated by the above statement), it also takes more time and effort to press keys on the G110 than on the X4. In FPS games, being able to easily press keys is especially important. If I can switch between the W and A keys easier, then it could mean I dodge behind cover in BF3 a split second faster. Also, the G keys on the G110 are the exact same shape as the other keys, making it harder to recognize if you're not looking at your keyboard. The macro keys on the X4 are sunken in at a lower height than the other keys, making them much, much easier to identify by feel. The only complaints I have about the X4 is that the Esc and F-keys are tiny and hard to find, and the keys on the X4 type much louder than the G110. All in all, if you have large hands and large fingers, then stay away from the G110. It's a typing nightmare for guys like me. If you have slender hands and fingers, you may not mind the layout as much.

On a side note, there is an additional issue I would like to clear up about "ghosting". The G110 features a true anti-ghosting feature around the WASD cluster of keys. This means that if you hold more than 4 keys at the same time, none of the keys register. This is to prevent the keyboard from registering a random extra key that has no relation to the keys you pressed. For example if I hold W,A,S,D and F at the same time, the keyboard might type the K key instead. The only problem with this, is that if you actually need to press 4 keys or more in a game at the same time, those keys won't register at all. The X4 claims it has "anti-ghosting", but what it really means is Key Rollover. Key Rollover refers to how many keys you can press simultaneously and still have the keyboard recognize the combination. For the X4, it allows up to 26 keys to be pressed at the same time, and the system will recognize all of those keys. This can be useful for FPS games, where you might be moving forward, strafing left, crouching, and tossing a grenade all at the same time. On the flip side, it doesn't prevent ghosting.

Build Quality: Deal breaker #2. The build quality of the G110 is crap. The keys have the exact same typing and flimsy feel as Logitech's $10-$20 entry level keyboards, the body is made of the same light plastic, and the keyboard is suspiciously light compared to the X4. The volume control wheel also feels like a baby toy. The impression it gives me every time I type with it is that they're trying to sell a keyboard that costs only $5 to make for $80. EIGHTY EFFING DOLLARS! Seriously, Logitech, if you're going to charge people 80 bucks for a keyboard, at least put in better materials than your bottom line budget models. The X4, which goes for $20 cheaper, feels more solid. The keys are tighter, the frame is heavier and feels more durable, and the handrest isn't a cheap, thin, flimsy piece of crap like on the G110. I personally would not pay ANY more than the 40 dollars I got the G110 for.

Bottom Line: If you play RTS/RPG games that demand a large number of macros, think that the additional inputs and functions I listed on the G110 are very useful, and don't mind small keys, the G110 fulfills all your needs at a price point lower than competing boards with the same feature set, albeit at the cost of a very cheap build quality. Otherwise, this is not the board for you. The most important lesson I learned from this purchase: ALWAYS TRY OUT GAMING KEYBOARDS IN THE STORE FIRST!!!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 8, 2011, 4:05:17 AM PST
Koehler says:
Thank you for your excellent review.

Posted on Dec 28, 2011, 11:18:53 AM PST
O-Dawg says:
These are the exact two keyboards I have been thinking about, your review was very in-depth. Thank you for taking the time to write it out.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012, 9:39:47 PM PST
JOEY says:
Thank you. Answered what I needed to see about multiple button presses

Posted on Aug 25, 2012, 2:37:40 PM PDT
Coroboree says:
I have a Logitech MK700, and a couple of the keys stick and don't depress fully with normal force. I was thinking of replacing it with the G110 as the illumination would be helpful, but the quality of the G110 seems to be no better than the MK700. I will look at other brands.

Posted on Sep 20, 2012, 11:56:40 AM PDT
Exactly the kind of review I was looking for. Thanks!
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