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VINE VOICEon July 24, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The video I uploaded shows a quick unboxing and showing the G19 with the previous G15 keyboards, and the color LCD displaying some YouTube videos.

** 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.

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

G19 (2009):
+ 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!
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2121 comments343 of 368 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2010
Logitech's G19, an expensive keyboard with back-lighting, a unique color screen with game and other application support, and plenty of macro keys, is pitched by Logitech as the crème de la crème of keyboards. Is it? Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are numerous shortcomings that prevent the G19 from being a winner.

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...

c) Backlighting
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.

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.
2424 comments239 of 267 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 19, 2009
The Logitech G19 keyboard is perfect for 1: Serious gamers 2: Serious Geeks or 3: Seriously rich people who have nothing better to do with $200.

There is no instruction manual included with the G19, everything you need to know is included in the software, including a video guide to get you started.

Comes with a wrist rest that can be attached if desired, but it is made of hard plastic and is therefore not comfortable and of little use.

The following is an outline of the pros and cons I have found while using the G19.


-The backlit keys are completely customizable. You can choose any shade of any color including white.

-Awesome LCD with many applets and features including: CPU/RAM monitor, clock, RSS newsfeeds, Youtube feed for viewing Youtube videos,picture slideshow, and video player. Also works with supported games giving you in-game info.

-12 G keys each capable of storing 3 different functions acessed by the M keys.

-Media controls (Play/pause, stop, next, back) mute button and volume roll wheel.

-Windows key disabler switch which is standard on the G series keyboards.

-2 USB ports on the back of the G19 allow you to plug in and power any USB devices you want.

-Up to 5 keys can be pressed down at the same time and still register.


-Needs to be plugged into both a USB port and a outlet. Extra power is needed of course for the LCD panel.

-What, you expected there to be more cons?


Overall it is a wonderful keyboard that comes equipped with a not-so-wonderful price. Is it worth the dough? You be the judge.

Now if you'll excuse I shall watch a Youtube vid on my keyboard... because I can...
99 comments72 of 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 7, 2009
I struggled with the cost of this keyboard but found Amazon to have the best price plus the free shipping. I am not a heavy duty gamer but was looking for a solid keyboard with good back lighting of the keys. I had tried the Razor from Microsoft and was extremely disappointed with the lighting which comes more from around the keys than through them. Also, the feel of the keys was too "weak" for my tastes.

On this keyboard the lighting comes only through the keys and you can change the colors. This combined with a solid feel with I type makes me very satisfied.

I found the installation to be a breeze with the included software. Really, this is a plug and play unit once you have installed the software which gives you some utilities to control the features.

If you want a solid feeling keyboard with backlighting and can handle the extremely high price, this is a keyboard that you will not regret buying.

Now to load the WoW software that my daughter talked me into trying and then will learn how to use the macro keys!
22 comments16 of 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 4, 2010
If you own an X58 motherboard, beware. I have the P6X58D Premium and this keyboard was a big FAIL. Do your homework on this keyboard. I experienced random BSOD's, and sometimes just a complete system reset. I did a Google search for G19 + Windows 7 + Crash and came across Logitech's support forum for their gaming keyboards. There is a known issue with this keyboard and X58 boards. Logitech does offer "solutions", but none of them worked for me. The so called "solutions" seemed like workarounds to me anyways.

I did not purchase this through Amazon, but I am purchasing the Microsoft Sidewinder X6 through here. I'll put a review of that keyboard if it works. I wanted to warn anyone else about this problem if you have the same type of motherboard as me. Sounds like there are plenty of people who are enjoying the keyboard, wish I was one of them. It is a sharp looking board, the keys felt good, and the LCD screen was just flat out coolness...when it worked.

Good luck!
11 comment12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 2, 2010
I had high hopes for this keyboard, but had to send it back even though the LCD display worked and it was not crashing my system. I got it for only[...]. considering it was[...]. with a [...]. rebate, but it still wasn't worth that, and it was disfunctional as well. This keyboard does not work right with Win 7 64 bit. But, I am 100X better off without it and here's why.

First some Pros:
The colorful backlit keyboard looks great. Customizable G keys, and the LCD is sharp, colorful and a nice gadget. I was glad it accepted info from the Afterburner video overclocking utility( but not the graphs).

My aging EVGA 680i motherboard did not have problems. In fact, I had this and my old MS Natural keyboard, which also servs as a USB hub, working fine at the same time. Those X58 mobo manufacturers need go go bact to the old drawing board. BTW if you have an X58 you do not want this keyboard, do your research.

The cons:
1. The keyboard did not work right. The m key typed "M&A", the L key typed ",l8", and the p key did a page up and then typed "p". This was consistent, even after an uninstallation and reinstall and after installing the latest drivers.

2. I absolutly hated the keyboard layout. As others noted, keys are small and not spaced apart well, It was like using a laptop, seriously. Gaming keybard my foot! The space bar is close to non-existant. The G keys are too close to the keyboard and you will hit them when using shift or control. All non letter keys are small, i.e. Ctrl, Alt, Win key. It is a hassle to game with and definitly not suitable for everyday use despite its high price. You say that's OK, I want it for gaming. But you can get Logitech G 13 for gaming for just one third this price, and be 100X better off!!

3. This keyboard is lightweight, especially compared to the Microsoft keyboard I was using, and top end Steel series keyboards. This thing is low budget cheap, probably because they sunk too much into the colorful LCD. The plastic extention piece is cheesy, thin, not padded, and fingerprints smear it. The lifters in the back are useless. There is no curvature to the keyboard. I know it is not a natural keyboard, but come on, this is a top dollar keyboard, they could have enhanced it with a little natural curve to it.

4. The LCD software does not work right with Win 7 64 bit, (probably why they do not list it on the box or web site). Come on Logitech, its been out for over a year now, and you had pre release versions for a year before that. There is no excuse for such incompetency! The first few days the software worked, but then for no reason, all but 2 mini programs in the LCD disappeared and I could not get them back. I had to reinstall. I also suspect that programs that clean up your cookies, cash and temp files delete programs that run on the LCD. Again shoddy programming, they should not load essential program functions in temp folders.

5. Beware, all the little gadgets that run inthe LCD are eating your memory, about 100K and more depending on what all you load (you can control what loads). They also load automatically on boot up.

Nevertheless, thank Heavens, all this worked out for the good for me, and possibly for you too. I discovered that the Logitech G 13 gameboard (which is superrior to the Belkin n52te, do your research) is incomparably better than the G 19 for gaming; like light years ahead. Then get yourself a real keyboard to use with it. I found the Microsot Natural 4000 on sale here at Amazon. It is one of the best, most commented on keyboards in the world (note comments here and at other sites). So I'm happy, I got a far superrior gaming tool, and a great keyboard. Forget the G 19 it is not ready for primetime yet, and the cost is a ripp-off for what you get.
11 comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 4, 2012
I'd like to share my experience with this keyboard. I have used a Logitech G15 for several years and decided to upgrade to the G19. The G15 is excellent and still in working condition, but I really wanted to use the color display on the G19 for video playback. I purchased the G19 in April 2012, and it worked wonderfully. Should you get this keyboard, definitely look into the freeware application LCDHost. It lets you make custom displays with tons of options. Currently, my G19 is displaying the time, outside temperature, weather, memory usage, cpu usage across all for cores, i/o on 4 hard drives, in and out speed of my internet connection, and the number of emails in my inbox, all updated in realtime, simultaneously, with a custom background picture to boot.

The keys have a much softer feel to them than the G15, and the fully customizable backlight color is a great feature. The built in apps are adequate. I don't really like the new resource monitor. The bar chart format for memory and cpu usage on the G15 was much easier and faster to read than the tachometer-style meters on the G19. As I said above, you can fix that by making a custom config with LCDHost. Also, the movie playback plugin often doesn't recognize a lot of formats. There is a plugin for an older version of VLC that lets you redirect video to the LCD. That's great, but it means having 2 versions of VLC installed, and some twiddling.

Now, for the bad. I heard that this keyboard had issues with Intel X58 and AMD 790 chipsets. I have an AMD 790 based board, but everything was fine...until I reinstalled my Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty PCIe sound card, which I had take out to make room for a graphics card. After installing this card, I started getting the same issues that have plagued a lot of users. The keyboard would work fine for 20 minutes to 4 hours, and then it would lock up. It often locked up when Netflix was playing, or in the middle of a game of Battlefield 3. No amount of driver re-installation would fix the issue. Logitech's forums had lists of suggestions, but many of them were ridiculous, like disabling Crossfire. I have a Crossfire system, and I don't think that disabling my second graphics card is a great tradeoff. It didn't work, anyway.

So, for a few months, I have been using the G15, occasionally hooking the G19 up and trying a different suggestion. Nothing seemed to stop the constant lockups. During this process, I noticed that the AC adapter was making a loud buzzing noise. I had high hopes that I might have a bad AC adapter, so I ordered a new one from Logitech. The new adapter does not buzz, but the keyboard had the same lockups. I tried tweaking USB settings in the BIOS, as directed by Logitech. They even claimed that cell phones sitting near the keyboard could cause lockups. Moving my iPhone across the room didn't fix it, and to be honest, I'm not surprised.

In a last ditch effort to get this expensive (but really nice to use) keyboard working, I bought an IOGear 5 port USB card (which can be found on Amazon). I hooked up the keyboard, and it finally works with no problems again. There is still a downside, though. The USB card isn't recognized until Windows boots. So, I still have the G15 hooked up, sitting in a corner, in case I need to get into the bios or tell Windows to start normally after a crash. Obviously, this isn't exactly ideal. But, the keyboard is so good that I'm willing to put up with it. If it had worked well without any issues, it would be a five star product.

So, in conclusion, if you buy this keyboard and it works for you, you will really enjoy it. Combined with LCDHost, it is an incredible piece of hardware. If it doesn't work, you might as well either return it or go straight to using a USB card instead of your onboard USB. I haven't really been satisfied with Logitech's explanations for these keyboard issues. I can see how there might be a problem with one particular USB chipset, but the USB logic on the Intel X58 and AMD 790 is completely different. I believe that there is either a hardware flaw with the keyboard, or a flaw in their drivers. I don't think it has anything to do with the Creative hardware or drivers, since plenty of people encountering this issue have used onboard sound.
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on March 29, 2012
I have owned this product for two years now (pc platform) and it has some good points and some bad. First, as anyone who bought this over the others available, they did so for the lcd. I, myself have never used the built in applications from logitech all that much except for the performance monitor and the clock function. The best apps available for it are LCDHost, a third party program that's user customizable (within limits). It allows you to display everything from the 5 day weather forecast to the temperatures of your cpu & gpu and a host of other functions. The other over at mylcd (sourceforge) is called vlcstream. It's a media player for the g19 that uses vlc 1.1.11 (at least that's what it says in the readme). I've been using this for a while now. It allows me to change tracks, volume of vlc, playlists, even browse my computer on the g19 lcd while in game. Video and Audio both are supported. The backlighting is just fine for me. Personally, when I'm computing in the dark, I don't like other bright lights around except for the monitor. I like a backlight that's just bright enough to clearly see the the keys. It's even uniform enough as to not be able to tell where the led's are placed. In the future, if there's another that's released with a screen, logitech should place one reminiscent of today's android phones. A 4" touchscreen would be a remarkable improvement. As for the keys themselves, they use a membrane rather than "mechanical" switches. I find this just fine as membrane switches are the quietest switches except for the capacitive while still providing good tactile feedback. The only drawback I've noticed (this is with my board by the way, and only appeared after over a year of use) is that occasionally a key or two will stop functioning. This is easily solved by grabbing the left and right edges of the board and twisting the board slightly. This either means I have a loose connection somewhere or it moves the membrane enough to help. (Again, only after a year of use has this happened.) The wrist guard connects to the keyboard via two "hinges" that I find to be rather flimsy for my tastes. Thankfully logitech offers replacement parts on their site ($5 for the wrist rest). The bottom line is that it's a good keyboard if a little pricey. I've owned a G15 v1 and v2 in the past and this one is an improvement. Logitech needs to work on software for the screens though, offer better applets for them. And that's across all the screens, not just the 510 and the 19. As far as using the g19 screen for gaming, I never really look at it. It's a novelty in that aspect. But having a fully featured media player with it's own controls and volume with access to my pc media library is great. No more having to alt-tab out of Skyrim to switch songs.
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on November 3, 2011
This keyboard really is awesome. I am a firm believer in Logitech products, and this keyboard is no exception. The keys aren't to mushy and spring back nicely to allow for quick and smooth typing. The game toggle is really nice for when you are in game to keep you from annoyingly hitting the windows key and exiting you out of the game. I love that the media keys work even when iTunes (for example) is not on the main screen. There is the option to set a different color for each of the three macro group buttons. It is also really awesome to be able to set macros on the fly. I had to reformat my hard drive recently and when I moved my music back from the external iTunes decided it needed to make duplicates of everything (my fault but oh well). With this keyboard it was no problem, because I just made a macro to go through and delete all the duplicates right on my keyboard, pretty nifty. The best part is that you can set three sets of twelve macros for pretty much every program! meaning you can have 36 macros for your default profile, 36 macros for Open Office, 36 macros for each game, etc. Everything mentioned before is great even without mentioning that it has a color lcd to view system information on. The lcd is great. I don't feel like you need to be superman to push the buttons. They feel reminiscent of the buttons that were on my old Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro (I think..). I guess what may bother some is that they don't have that modern clicky feel they feel more like buttons than keys. On to my few gripes about the keyboard. Most of which could be fixed easily with a firmware update I am sure. The lcd is compatible with Windows slideshow. This HAD great potential. The operative word being had, because Microsoft has killed slideshow. You can hardly find any slideshow apps anywhere. This is a problem, because as far as other apps for the g19 go there aren't really many of those out there either. The keyboard has been out for over two years and there haven't really been any new apps released by Logitech or the community of g19 users. The best one I found was LCD Host, because it let me kind of build my own app. The worst part with the Logitech apps is that you can't even change the color of the background on any of them to be something other than Logitech green. I just feel like Logitech in two years would have done something awesome with the screen on this keyboard. I also really think that with usb 3.0 out Logitech would have put that into this keyboard by now.

All that said, the keyboard is fantastic! I strongly recommend it if you have this much money to spend on a keyboard. It has a really quick response time and a lot of great functions. If you do get this keyboard then you may be disappointed by the apps available, but definitely not by anything else!
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on March 18, 2010
Full disclosure, I tend to like Logitech products. I generally find them to be sound at worst, and typically not "at worst" anyway. Even so, I was hesitant about a $200 keyboard, but on the other hand, it does have a little full-colour screen on it.

As an upgrade from my previous keyboard, a Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution, there aren't many negatives I can give it. The clock on the MX 5500 was easier to process, since it was just giant numbers filling the entire screen. I'm sure the logic in showing us an old-fashioned clock face in the clock app on the G19 is that it's full-colour, animated, and pleasant to look at, but I kind of just want my big dumb numbers back. As a very seasoned and fast touch typist, I expect the Ctrl key to be the bottom-left-most key. I find myself still (most of the time) pressing G6, the NEW bottom-left-most key, even though I've been using this keyboard for about a week at this point.

The keys, when not backlit, are hard to make out, but given the material required to allow light to pass through, and the fact that there's no real reason to turn the backlight off while using this device, this is a nonissue. As far as responsiveness, the keys have just enough resistance that I don't accidentally key anything I don't mean to, but not much more than that. They're also extremely quiet, which pairs well with the Logitech G35 7.1-Channel Surround Sound Headset, since it greatly reduces the volume of my typing over VoIP services like Ventrilo.

I had to type something on my girlfriend's Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave Pro recently, and it struck me how much easier it was to actually just TYPE on the G19. They keys really feel wondrous and soft, and though it may sound silly, this gets me one tiny little step closer to feeling like there isn't an input device standing between me and my computer (usually with its arms crossed and a stern look on its face).

Media controls are better than the MX 5500's, which were all modal buttons with a very unsatisfying feel. The G19's media buttons are a bit more substantial, and the volume adjustment is now managed by way of an inch-and-a-half wide scroll wheel. While not the dial that I prefer most from my old Logitech Cordless Desktop MX - Keyboard - wireless - RF - mouse - USB wireless receiver - English, it's vastly superior to the MX 5500's tiny clicky little buttons for volume control.

The two built-in USB ports are very handy, but would be slightly handier still if they faced to either side, or the front, instead of away from me. This means I still need to resort to either getting up (or picking the keyboard up) and moving around until I can see what I'm doing, operating by feel, or perhaps doing something far too elaborate with mirrors and possibly a toy dog. That the ports are there at all is still great, though. They're 2.0, to boot, which is another nice bonus.

Physically, all in all, the entire package is very slick. The soft feel of the keys themselves, the soft feel of the keying action, the slick gloss of the screen area, the smooth tilt of the screen, high resolution and bright display, the noticeable absence of nearly any peek-through light when the keyboard is backlit... it all adds up to what FEELS like a $200 keyboard.

Lack of any meaningful print materials and obscurity of some of the software interfaces was a bit of a challenge, but when I remembered that we now have an Internet and a Google, I had no real trouble figuring out anything I wanted to, such as how to change the colour of the backlight, or how to get certain video codecs to play. The software selection at this point is pretty slim, but a full Software Developer's Kit (SDK) is freely available, and this means that, as I understand has happened with previous G-Series keyboards with free SDKs, it shouldn't be too long before there are some really awesome applications for this thing.

As for use while gaming, it's hard to express how I feel about it. On its own merits, just as a keyboard, it's awesome. The backlighting, the soft feel of keying, it's great. On the other hand, it should be more than what it is; for example, in-game stats displayed on the small screen are largely redundant, and relatively out-of-the-way. I can see some value in the YouTube playback for things like watching a walkthrough of an area you have struggled with, while trying to more or less simultaneously mimic the footage, but that's a bit of a stretch. When the screen is able to function as an in-game window replacement, showing me information that isn't on the main monitor unless I toggle its display, then it will start to have some real in-game value. As it stands, I have had to find contentment just letting The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition) run on the G19 screen while I play The Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria. And yes, I know that's sad.

The programmable set of G keys along the far left of the keyboard are less convenient to use in most scenarios than the number or F keys across the top of any keyboard. If you have a Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard, they have really almost no value at all. If you are a big-time MMO player and want to get certain functions off of regular letter keys for whatever reason (for example, maybe you bump "i" and open up your inventory at inconvenient times too often), then you might have a use for these keys. So far, I don't, and I am that big MMO player. Not physically, but, you know. (An aside; if you have enjoyed reading this review and/or care to know what I had to say about them, I have written reviews on for the stellar The Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria and the extremely overrated World of Warcraft Battle Chest.)

As soon as I can do things like force all chat to go into the G19's screen, and free up that real estate in my game screen, or push the area map off to that space, etc, this will be an absolute asset to enhancing the fun and flexibility of any given title. I haven't looked into the SDK at all, myself, so I don't have a good sense of what it's capable of or not, but as far as a tool for improving my games, pending better apps for games I actually play, I would have to call it a promising failure. With the knowledge that the G19 can (and most likely will) change for the better over time, I would say buy it if you like extremely high-end input devices, and wait if you want a more complete delivery on the promise the device inspires in your imagination when you see that there's a screen on it, and it can be programmed to show you just about anything you like. In neither case, do I recommend against buying it, so I am giving it 4 stars to express the average of 3 for what it is, and 5 for what I have every reason to believe it is likely to become.
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