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Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum review - Wonderful, but only if you like the switches

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Posted · Original PosterOP

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Mechanical keyboards seem to be all the rage these days, with many different switches from the tried-and-true Cherry MX to many different others such as Razer switches, Logitech's Romer-G along with a bunch of Cherry knockoffs commonly found on budget mechanical keyboards.

 

This review is for the Logitech G810, a notch down from the flagship G910, with many of its DNA but a slightly cheaper price point and a more understated design. Should YOU consider one? Let's find out.

 

DESIGN

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When the G810 arrived by mail, the packaging was pretty solid. The outer shell of the box is typical Logitech G, and opening it reveals another box which has the keyboard wrapped in protective plastic sealed with adhesives and a leaflet behind. The packaging is nicely done.

 

It really has to be said that the G810 (and G610) are my favorite keyboards from the current Logitech G lineup in terms of design. The G310, G410 and G910 look horrifically ugly due to their over-emphasis on angles and "Edgy" designs which appeal to my inner 12-year old but also one which my 20-year old mind doesn't feel too fancy of. The G810's design is the opposite. While the keycaps do spell "gamer" quite a bit, the overall design is more subtle and understated especially when compared to its G910 cousin. I personally prefer this look because it fits in well with an understated setup and is overall a solid looking keyboard that, aside from some elements, isn't overly shouty in appearance.

 

Material choices on the other hand are good, but not shockingly great. The keyboard's outer skill is matte plastic, which does a wonderful job of repelling fingerprints, but doesn't give off that shine and "premium" feel of the brushed aluminum housing of the Corsair K70 or Logitech G413. The sides, unfortunately, are made out of glossy plastic, which is quite a shame to see on a keyboard above $100. It's good news underneath however, with large rubber feet keeping the keyboard stable and a 2-step hinge which allows you to adjust tilt from 0-4-8 degrees.

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The keycaps are also a refreshing change from the G910. While Logitech has released an updated version of the G910, called the Orion Spectrum (same name as the G810), which features more normal keycaps that the G810 also uses along with a more normal wristwrest, a common complaint about the Orion Spark keyboard was that the keycaps, while great for gaming, were the opposite for typing, especially due to the large ridges on the ends of the keycaps and the differing contours were difficult to get used to. The G810 uses cylindrical keycaps by comparison, and because of that, typing is much more familiar with other keyboards with the same keycap design and even gaming wasn't much hindered as the design still allows your fingers to rest on an ideal spot without getting cramped.

 

Not all of the design is so winning. While media controls are wonderful, their round shape does make for an odd inconsistency in design (but a volume wheel is definitely awesome to have) and for a keyboard north of $100, a wristrest should have been included. Sadly, Logitech doesn't include one, meaning that you'll have to get your own.

 

PERFORMANCE

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Now's the part that will generate some debate; the Romer-G switches.

 

For those who are new to mechanical keyboards, let me give you a short explanation; a mechanical keyboard uses mechanical actuation to send input commands, unlike a rubber dome where a keystroke is registered when you touch the dome at the end of a keystroke. Gamers and enthusiasts love mechanical keyboards, owing to their superior feel and longer lifespan. There are many different switches out there, but the most common ones you'll see are Cherry MX Reds, Blues and Browns. Reds are linear switches, which have little-to-no tactile bump and a short actuation distance, which makes them popular for gaming. The MX Blue is the opposite, as it has a longer actuation distance but also has a very pronounced tactile bump alongside a "click" sound when the switch is actuation, which many MX Blue fans love (like me) but others may find irritating, which brings us to the MX Brown, which is sort of the blend between the 2. It is quieter than MX Blue but has a tactile bump that MX Red doesn't. Browns are preferred by those who want a tactile bump but don't want the clicking sound characteristic of MX Blue.

 

What about the Romer-G? According to Logitech, these switches were designed primarily for gaming, with an actuation distance of 1.5mm and a lifespan of 70 million keystrokes. However, many users online have been divided on these switches, as some find it mushy and having a feel that's more akin to a rubber dome while others like the responsiveness of these switches. But let's not get into that. What about my experience?

 

Honestly, for the first few days, it was awkward. Having been a fan of MX Blues, Romer-G just feels "off". It really felt a lot more like a rubber dome than a mechanical keyboard of which I am used to. However, after getting to understand how the switch operates and how it feels, I have to say it has grown on me. The switch feels a bit like a hybrid between MX Red and MX Brown, as it has a tactile bump that you can feel when you press them slowly but does give off a slightly mushy follow through although it does feel a tad more solid compared to the G910 when I tried it shortly after it first launched.

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Gaming is an absolute joy on these switches. Their fast actuation and responsive nature helps make precise movements with WASD easier and while I have to reiterate that better equipment does not make you a better gamer, the G810 gives off a fantastic experience while playing Team Fortress 2 amongst other games. For gaming, this is a great keyboard.

 

Typing is also good, although perhaps not as satisfying as MX Blue. Their responsive nature helps with typing speed and using this keyboard to whip up study notes with 8000+ words in total, the G810 hardly broke a sweat and I never did once feel that I wished I had bought a K70. However, I still find MX Blues to be more satisfying to type on, owning to their more significant tactile bump and clicky sound profile.

 

RGB AND SOFTWARE

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Of course, this is a Logitech product with the word "Spectrum" in it, so it has RGB lighting. So how is it?

 

It's awesome. Due to the design of the Romer-G, the LED is placed in the middle of the stem and it shines a direct beam of light straight onto the engraved lettering on the keycaps. It really does look striking in person and even if you're not a fan of overly colorful keyboards, the Logitech Gaming Software is one of the better ones I have used and it has an array of different lighting styles and it is also highly customizable.

 

I personally have mine set to illuminate keys when I press them, but there are other combinations that you can use if you fancy.

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The aforementioned Logitech Gaming Software is not only used for RGB tuning but also for customizing macros using the F-row and even setting different RGB profiles for games to highlight important keys such as movement keys among other things. I personally would have liked to see dedicated macro keys but using the F-row can be a decent compromise if you're not apt to use all the F-row buttons.

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VERDICT

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It goes without saying, but the G810 is currently my favorite keyboard in Logitech's lineup, alongside the G610 Orion Blue. It blends understated design with tons of customization potential along with switches that I find are great for gaming while also being good for typing as well.

 

Do I recommend it? That really depends on whether you like the switches. If you dislike Romer-G, then skip this. The Corsair Strafe or K70 LUX RGB is a better choice especially if you're looking for Cherry MX switches. If you like Romer-G however, then the G810 is a worthy recommendation. This is a great keyboard and I am glad Logitech has listened and made a keyboard that keeps the DNA of the G910 but in a shell that's significantly less gaudy-looking.


ASUS RoG STRIX GL502VM

Intel Core i7 7700HQ | GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | 16GB DDR4-2133 | 128GB SanDisk M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB 7200RPM Hitachi HDD | 15.6" 1080p IPS monitor @ 60Hz w/ G-SYNC | Windows 10 64-bit

 

Samsung Galaxy Note8 SM-N950F

Exynos 8895 (4x Mongoose @ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.7GHz)ARM Mali G71 MP20 | 6GB LPDDR4 | 64GB Samsung NAND flash w/ UFS 2.1 dual-lane controller + 128GB SanDisk C10 UHS-I microSD | 6.3" 1440p "Infinity Display" AMOLED | Android Nougat 7.1.1 w/ Samsung Experience 8.5

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