Accessory Review: Logitech G410 Atlas Spectrum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

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Logitech’s G910 Orion Spark and G710/G710+ are among the upper echelon of modern mechanical gaming keyboards, but like most keyboards they tend to take up valuable desk real estate and can be quite bulky to move around. That’s where the new G410 Atlas Spectrum steps in, a compact keyboard that packs premium performance into a smaller, lighter package.

The Atlas Spectrum is sort of like the little brother or sister of the Orion Spark. It shares a similar design aesthetic (which is okay but a bit clunky and angular for my tastes) and feature set, but has been altered in a few important ways based on some of the feedback Logitech has received. For starters, the key caps are a smooth surface with just a slight curve to softly cup the fingertips, opposed to the Orion Spark’s keys which have three sloped sides that many users felt weren’t so comfortable for typing. These key caps are designed to better balance gaming performance with regular keyboard usage. As someone who plays and writes about games–and is typing this review on the Atlas Spectrum–I’d say the keyboard strikes that balance with great success. That said, I do wish that the keys sat a tiny bit lower and that the angled wrist rest that offers support underneath the WASD hand extended further along the bottom to caress the right hand. That’s not an issue for gaming since the right hand will almost always be on the mouse, but it is a small knock against general typing.

Logitech’s Romer-G key switches are fantastic. They have fast actuation–which means shorter travel distance and lightning-quick response timing that can make all the difference in, say, a competitive FPS where every millisecond matters–and a very soft and subtle tactile feedback that in feel and sound splits the difference between a regular membrane keyboard and the type of clacky mechanical switches that sound like old typewriters. I’m told that the Romer-Gs are up to 40% more durable than any other competing mechanical switch, capable of withstanding 70 million keystrokes, but without a lab and some fancy robotic testing equipment (or even a monkey I could have endlessly poke at the keys) I have no way of verifying that claim. However, I will say that the sturdy feel of the keys does instill a sense of confidence that they will withstand the pounding of dedicated gaming.

Atlas Spectrum vs. Orion Spark size comparison.

Atlas Spectrum vs. Orion Spark size comparison.

With its tenkeyless design–the number pad traditionally found on a keyboard’s far right side has been chopped off–the Atlas Spectrum has significantly reduced height, width, and weight when measured up against keyboards with all their keys. For PC users with limited desktop space or gamers who prefer using low DPI settings, the sleeker dimensions allow for both a more natural spacing between left hand on the WASD keys and right hand on the mouse as well as extra room for making broader mouse strokes. The smaller size does mean that the Atlas Spectrum lacks the Orion Spark’s programmable macro keys and dedicated media controls. However, controls for audio/video playback have been smartly mapped as secondary functions to the F9-F12 keys, and volume controls have been mapped to the Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Pause/Break keys, all accessed by simultaneously holding down on the Function (FN) key located next to the right-ALT key.

Additional functionality can be tapped into via Logitech’s Gaming Software application. One of my favorites is the Game Mode option. Pressing the button just above the Print Screen key puts the keyboard in Game Mode, which by default disables the Windows, Application/Menu, and Function keys. I don’t know about you, but on plenty of occasions I have been interrupted in the heat of action by accidentally bumping the Windows key. Now that is no longer a worry, thanks to one little button. From there, the software can be used to customize which keys are disabled when the Game Mode switch is activated, and you can even save different profile loadouts to pair with specific games and applications.

Lighting is another one of the Atlas Spectrum’s bright spots. All gaming accessories incorporate some form of lighting nowadays it seems, but few can match what this keyboard has to offer. The RGB backlighting is so bright and vivid, uniformly shining through the key caps for clearly defined symbols without any noticeable light leakage along the underneath seems of the keys. Logitech’s Gaming Software allows for in-detail lighting customization, including the ability to group together differently colored key zones, run six lighting effects (Fixed, Breathing, Star Effect, Color Cycle, Color Wave, and Key Press), or go completely freestyle by individually setting the color for each key. I have also been told by Logitech that they are beginning to work with developers to implement game-specific intelligent illumination effects–for example, red and blue flashing keys when being pursued by cops in Grand Theft Auto V–but that’s not something I have been able to experience first hand. Battlefield: Hardline and SMITE are two other games that offer similar special effects.

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And I know comparing a keyboard to a mouse is like apples to oranges, but unlike the Razer Mamba Tournament Edition mouse I just reviewed, the Atlas Spectrum comes equipped with a dedicated backlighting on/off switch. That gets a big thumbs up from me.

So who is the G410 Atlas Spectrum for? Primarily I would say that it is tailored to competitive gamers that do a lot of travel for league play or friendly LAN parties as the compact form factor and lighter weight make it easier to stuff into a backpack and tote around. It’s equally ideal for gamers with limited desk space to work with–no more angling that full-sized keyboard in an awkward position to keep the end from hanging off the desk or encroaching on the mouse’s territory! Interestingly enough, younger gamers may also find the smaller size to be less daunting (though I’m not sure how many kids need to be using a high-end keyboard such as this). In terms of offering a balanced output between responsive gaming, comfortable typing, and general, daily usage needs, the G410 Atlas Spectrum, although maybe not the top choice out there, performs at a high level and is fully capable of fulfilling the duties of an all-purpose keyboard while freeing up a lot of extra room on your desktop.

The G410 Atlas Spectrum retails for $129.99 and is available now direct from Logitech with free shipping. At this time the keyboard is out of stock on Amazon.com, but the store listing indicates that more stock will be available beginning October 26th.

Disclosure: A G410 Atlas Spectrum mechanical gaming keyboard was given to VGBlogger.com for review testing by Logitech.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!